Sunday, October 29, 2006

Garbage In, Godless Out

What a hard days night. First the vaporized post -- which was a real corker, by the way -- and then Dupree came home raving drunk from a costume ball at 3:00 AM.

All I hear is pounding inside the garage. I go in, and he’s torn a hole in the wall with a sledge hammer, looking for the “murphy bed.” Needless to say, we don’t have a murphy bed in the garage -- or anyplace else, for that matter -- but Dupree is confused and agitated, because he thinks he’s back in the last place he stayed in Baton Rouge, in our great auntie Cile's basement. So now I’ve got an extra window in the garage, and meanwhile, I have to attend another all-day seminar today while atheists flock here liked rodents to an offal dump. Now, I hardly blame rodents for being attracted to offal dumps, but the problem is, they don’t know the difference between that and a banquet table, and in so doing, turn the latter into the former.

Just what is the militant atheist's claim? It is not quite accurate, is it, to say that he knows something we don’t, for he specifically claims to not know what we do know; and furtherless, that his metaphysical ignorance represents a superior form of knowledge. That ignorance is not knowledge -- let alone truth -- let further alone Ultimate Truth -- eludes them entirely, even if one can be sympathetic to their view that authentic ignorance is preferable to what they necessarily regard as false knowledge (which, were that true, is no knowledge at all).

The atheist believes that reason obliges one to deny God, but this represents a most limited and facile understanding of reason, since reason can only work with sources that are not supplied by reason in its narrowly construed understanding.

There are two distinct forms of ignorance, an active variety and a passive one. As it so happens, tolerating one’s not-knowing is an indispensable step on the way to genuine knowledge of any kind. However, it cannot be a permanent phase, for the simple reason that generative “not-knowing” in any discipline is guided by a telos that will eventually fill out this unsaturated container with content.

Put it this way: an a-theist is no different than an “a” anything -- for he is a self-confessed ontological adolescent, in the sense that human beings (analogous to, but also very different from, other living things) point toward their own completion, whereas the atheist forms his identification around what he is not: a theist. As any parent of a two year-old can tell you, it is very easy to no! what you are not.

Now, knowledge is a grace, which is to say mercy. It certainly does not have to be, and yet it is. That there exists a primate capable of knowing absolute truth absolutely is proof enough for me -- albeit, a preluminary truth -- that any materialistic philosophy is hopelessly self-refuting. Again, the hiatus between the most lofty animal and the lowliest bacon-loving atheist is nevertheless absolute, which is why we may say -- insist, even -- that his every blasphemy only praises God. He is his own doorway that leads straight out of a crude and reductionist Darwinism, for while human beings may easily comprehend the truth in natural selection, natural selection can never comprehend the truth that is in man--that is man.

Naturally, there was a time that I did not know. Like our militant atheists, I was ignorant of my ignorance, and instead knew that I knew. For me, the key out of the closed world of my own nervous system was to encounter a being who did know, and to tolerate the considerable gap between his knowledge and my ignorance. This gap is known as “faith” in its dynamic and generative aspect, and is the critical component in acquiring metaphysical knowledge that is rooted in being, not just the “head.”

It must be jarring to a pork-loving atheistic renaissance man to be the proud possessor of a triple digit IQ and therefore absolute knowledge and truth, only to stumble upon a community of souls who reject his facile pseudo-philosophy as the commonest stupidity. What? How can this be! My MENSA friends assured me that my superior intelligence was the guarantor of absolute truth!

In reality, there are by definition as many ways to prove the existence of God as there are human beings. One could say the same thing about the unconscious, which no other human being can discover for you. Therapy can naturally help, but only to assist you in making the discovery yourself.

But the atheist is an egomaniacal control freak who refuses to see that we do not control the unconscious. Rather, he is just like the obsessive-compulsive patient who attempts to colonize the unconscious mind with a grid of mere conscious knowledge. It can accurately be described as egoic imperialism, and it works both ways, above and below. For the ego can “comprehend” neither the unconscious “below” nor the Spirit “above” (this is a simplification, for many aspects of the “unconscious” are highly conscious and “above,” for example, the dreamer who dreams the dream). Instead, the idea is for the ego to be conquered by the divine. To the extent that we do not participate in this profoundly mysterious process, we are all the poorer for it. Or, let us say, the proud ego becomes wealthy while the spirit goes begging for crumbs of bacon.

In order to grow spiritually, we must become supple and receptive, and yield to powers that are largely unpredictable and beyond our control. This is something the hypertrophied ego of the atheist cannot do for whatever developmental reason, if only because the humility is intolerable and readily slides into shame. Thus, they cannot know what it means to abandon oneself to something infinitely higher and greater. In maintaining the postmodern superstition that they are the sole authors of their own lives, they miss out on the adventure of a lifetime. As one can see, the spiritual impoverishment radiates (as if darkness could radiate) from their very manner of expression. They exalt in their own misplaced egoic exaltation, which amounts to the most unsophisticated form of idol worship.

As I predicted several posts back, the atheists cannot stay away from this site for the simple reason that the atheist necessarily projects his religious “shadow” (to employ Jung’s terminology) into the theist, where he may engage it through proxy. You might say that they see in us a pneumagraphic negative of themselves--a shadow of their own inner fire. Naturally the image is distorted through repression and projection, which is why none of us recognize to the crude and childish religious image being projected onto us.

The crudeness and childishness most certainly exist, but in the projector, not projectee. This is elementary. It is also alimentary, rooted in the most primitive oral and anal psychodynamics. This is a topic for another post, but those who have been following this debate and have ears to hear will most certainly know what I am talking about. You are what you feed.

Sadly, as Jung understood, one of the reasons why “shadow work” is so critical to psychological development is that the alchemical gold is found in the shadow. Is this not obvious? The atheists project a part of themselves into us, but in so doing, reject their most vital and precious aspect -- something of great beauty and value, now rendered ugly and worthless. Pity, really.

Now, there is a proper form of projection that is required (not always, but generally) for spiritual development. That is, we all must find the mentor -- living or “dead,” it does not matter -- who represents the projection and the attractor of what we are to become. He or she is your unrealized self, projected onto someone who has realized it. There are many forms of realization, and I imagine that this blog specifically appeals to people who share similar “spiritual histories.”

For example, I did not know my Minister of Doctrinal Enforcement before he staggered in from the cold into our warm little inn a number of months ago. And yet, what is so remarkable is the close correlation of our beliefs, not just the broad strokes, but many fine and subtle details. This, even though we arrived at our respective deustinotions through largely divergent paths.

And yet, here we are, all of us, shaking hands atop the mountain, while at the same time regarding with sacred awe the even more towering peak that stands before us.

Naturally we cannot help seeing the valley dwellers below, who seem content to live with their noses to the ground, occasionally pausing to look up and remark about the cloud cover that obscures the mountain top. We have no quarrel with the contented valley dwellers. However, more than a few remind us of a bucket of crabs who instinctively pull down any of their brethren who try to climb out. To call such a crabbed existence “philosophy” is to celebrate the state of being a raging animal inside a dying carcass, as one metaphysical wag put it. I can’t say I really blame them for being drawn to this site. There is no envy like spiritual envy.

This I know: beauty enters as the ego falters. The cosmos is a circle that opens in man and closes in the Divine Being, however you understand it. We are the two-way mirror through which the sacred projects itself, and which stimulates the spontaneous response of adoration, devotion, and yes, submission. But if you align yourself with these forces of your own destiny, you will discover that the sub-mission of the ego is a super-mission of the Self, as -- surprise of surprises -- you pull the sword of life from the stone of death. For we do not merely dream to live, but we live to dream, and we build by day the dream body we shall wear when the sun has set and no man can work.

O mighty atheist, knower of all, you are already whole! Why dost thou need this asswholier-than-thou-physician?


Anonymous said...

I would be interested to know what kind of substances you ingest in order to produce such a humongous quantity of post-modernist verbal diarrhea, and outlive it.
No wonder you became a clinical psychologist - there are so many delusional persons around you, they're even watching you from the mirror.

Anonymous said...

Now I comprehend you are using the "flypaper" strategy, luring atheists to your site, where their heads explode in rage and resentment, and they are thus rendered impotent. Very clever, very clever.

Anonymous said...

Another good post, Bob. Don't let the trolls get your goat. But I have a question. You describe atheists as bacon loving/pork loving. What does the consumption of pork have to do with atheism? Is there a twist of the knife here that I am missing? I feel like the one guy in the room that didn't get the joke.

Anonymous said...

feeblemind, if you would read the extensive comments from the past several days, especially Thursday and friday, all would be made clear.

Anonymous said...

Thank you juliec. I will do as you suggest. I have been busy the last couple of days and have not caught up with the posts. I have an off topic question for Bob. With all the abuse that bloggers get in the comments sections, Do you and other bloggers carry a latent streak of masochism?

Van Harvey said...

One of the obnoxious trols name goes by the name of 'Bacon eating atheist Jew', or Bacon boy for short.

Best thing about the new site? No word verification!

Anonymous said...

Today's Non Sequitur!!
It will disappear at the end of today, so take a look!

Anonymous said...

>>here we are, all of us, shaking hands atop the mountain, while at the same time regarding with sacred awe the even more towering peak that stands before us<<

Seems fitting that the world's major religions, dating back to the earliest times of the Vedic scriptures, began in mountainous regions.

There's an ancient Hindu poem that describes the Himalayas as being "the smile of Siva". Scary!

The weird thing is that first there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.

Anonymous said...

Dilys, excellent. I have dreams like that.

My picks for the all-time great symbols of the spiritual quest:

- mountain

- castle

- bridge

Anonymous said...

Also Route 66 and Highway 61.

Mother Effingby said...

I am going to have to compile a list of words to use from now on: call it my Vobobulary, if you will. Furtherless is one of them. I also use words of my own, like sheveled and ruthful. And squid pro quo, which means I will let you have some of my calimari, if you share some of your stuffed mushrooms with me.
As for the actual content, brilliant, as always. *I am worried about the poster calling him/herself would seem that s/he has several different personalities.*

Richard said...

I read once, I don't remember where, that the less certain a proposition is, the more vigorous will be the arguments in favor of it. People don't, for example, invest much energy in arguing that the sun will rise tomorrow morning.

Interesting post, but I wondered why you felt the need for all the name calling. You could have made the points you did as easily without.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the wonderful posts. I have been reading them for the last month of so and have found them to be most insparational. You offer far more than any self-inspired atheists.

The Light truly shines in you and your words.

PSGInfinity said...

...because he was channeling his inner Petey?

Anonymous said...

You might as well say the same thing about Santa Claus. Atheism is the only rational choice because there is no evidence for god. Atheism isn't believing there is no god, but simply means "without belief in god". Since belief in god is not rational, atheism has to be. Your comments are incredibly misguided and bigoted.

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, it's good to be back. Glad you're still here, Bob.

To the God-Hating Trolls:

As a teenager, I often argued with my Father. I did not understand the reasons behind His actions. Sometimes He seemed harsh and uncaring. I did not see that He was always acting in my best interest.

In my arrogance and shortsightedness, I began to hate my Father for this. I thought I knew everything, and I didn't want Him interfering in my life. Who was He to meddle in my world? I would create my own world.

But the pain of hating my Father became too great a burden. So instead of bearing this conflict, I left home and didn't look back. I renounced my Father. He no longer existed to me.

But it was not easy to internalize this lie. I remembered the good times with my Father and I longed to return to Him.

To make my fabrication easier to believe, I told myself that my Father was dead. He did not exist.

But if I couldn't have a Father, than nobody else could either. In my envy, I persuaded others to renounce their Fathers' as well.

But still, I secretly longed to reconnect with my Father. As the years passed, memories of Him never dimmed. And I began to see His values and teachings embedded in myself.

Eventually, I grew up, and realized that I didn't know everything after all.

After some reflection, I was able to transcended the hate, the fear and the pain. And I went home.

And there was Dad, waiting with open arms.

As above, so below, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, I usually don't bother answering posters with no names, but I do feel I have to say this;

Don't you see you're just proving that what Bob says about atheists is correct? That you come here just to "shadow" box your own projections? If you are an atheist, why do you even read a blog like "One Cosmos", which is about faith, God and the soul? Surely there are plenty of atheist blogs you could go to.

And why do you care what we believe? Isn't it all nonsense to you, anyway? You may think you're converting us to the cause of Reason---but if you think so highly of Reason that you must convert people to it, doesn't that make Reason a god of sorts, to you?

Again, if you're an atheist, why care so much about what other people believe?

Anonymous said...

also, Anonymous, do you really think that insulting Bob, and the rest of us (calling us delusional, insinuating Bob takes drugs, etc.) is going to bring us around to your point of view ("HEY, ANONYMOUS WAS JUST SNARKY TO BOB! HE MUST REALLY HAVE LOTS OF IMPORTANT STUFF TO SAY!") or convince us we should immediately adopt your own, personal (un)belief system? (Why would we want to be anything like you?)

I think you're coming here to "shadow" box, not debate. And by doing so, you're just showing Bob to be right.

Anonymous said...

"I would be interested to know what kind of substances you ingest in order to produce such a humongous quantity of post-modernist verbal diarrhea, and outlive it."

Anonymous said...

Yum, nothing like a fine meal from Bob to end an excellent Sunday. I will finish it off by spinning Petey's current turntable advice - Van Morrison's "A Sense of Wonder", maybe followed by a snifter of my fave, "Hymns to the Silence".

Again, thanks for being. There.

Van Harvey said...

Stu! Been wondering where you'd got to, missed seeing your comments.

Anonymous said...



My point still stands. I don't care where the quote comes from.

Anonymous said...

Can't argue with aninnymice.
They're much too clever.
You win. We're all deluded fools and we can never hope to acheive your exalted level of enlightenment and civility. If we were as smart as you we wouldn't be here at OC.
Now please declare victory and go away.

Oh- try the Salvia. It won't convince you of God, but it may scare some humility into you.

BTW: the new blog site is way better. See y'all over there.


Van Harvey said...

Richard said... " People don't, for example, invest much energy in arguing that the sun will rise tomorrow morning."

Luckily for you, you obviously haven't spent much time reading David Hume or his philosophical progeny. He actually did spend a lot of time worrying about that, and actually concluded that events such as a sunrise & sunset, or that hearing the sound of a door closing behind you indicated that the door actually closed, were only things that for some reason often occured together - but they weren't related. There were no principles of physics involved, in fact there were no principles at all.

Ah, the treasures of modern philosophy.

Anonymous said...

Only an atheist would follow this:

Atheism is the only rational choice because there is no evidence for god.

...with this irrational followup and conclusion:

Since belief in god is not rational, atheism has to be.

No, since there is no evidence for God that fits the atheist's narrow, temporal, sensory, categorical definition, atheism must be irrational.

Let's try and keep our more inflated conflatings in check, shall we?

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, there's a god alright. He created billions of galaxies, and a talking snake and a magic apple, and he cares deeply about the sexual habits of creatures that have been around for less than one millionth of the history of the universe. Sheesh!

Anonymous said...

"It must be jarring to a pork-loving atheistic renaissance man to be the proud possessor of a triple digit IQ and therefore absolute knowledge and truth, only to stumble upon a community of souls who reject his facile pseudo-philosophy as the commonest stupidity. "

But an IQ of 100 is triple digit and that's just the mean. You know, I've met a few MENSA types and not one of them was able to resist telling me that they are a member of that group

Krystalline Apostate said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Krystalline Apostate said...

This is simply unbelievable.
Let's summarize, shall we?
Bagdad Bob & posters are on a higher moral, physical, & mental plateau than atheists.
The only good atheist is a silent one (since atheists believe in 'nothing', we should keep our mouths shut, right?)
Hey, I don't hate atheists! Some of them are friends of mine! (Does that sound vaguely familiar?)

My question is this: does the APA approve of mass diagnoses? How do you, as a psychiatrist, justify a collective prognosis?

I think you may have just compromised your hippocratic oath - you have done harm. You have fostered malignant stereotypes on a group of people as wide & diversified as any Western nation.

We come in all shapes & sizes. Black, white, Asian, Arab, Jew. We run the entire spectrum from conservative to moderate to left to right. We come from varied backgrounds.

To paraphrase from the Bard:

"To bait fish withal: if it feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what's his reason? I am an atheist. Hath not an atheist eyes? hath not a atheist hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a atheist wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge! If a Christian wrong an atheist, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge! The villainy you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction."

But you are correct in this:
This is no banquet table. You & your cultists err in this. It is a country club of intellectual exclusionists, who would not listen to outsiders no matter what the words.

The rest of your followers may be moths attracted to a flame, but I shall not have my wings singed by the candle of hatred brightly burning.

& again I say:

Physician, heal thyself.

Ben said...

I realize I'm late in getting here but on the chance that Ka reads this I'm going to take a crack at this. Ka this isn't to persuade you but to explain Bob's point (since you don't seem to have gotten it from actually reading what Bob wrote). Non atheists are on a higher plane because height in Bob's analogy is measured ON A DIFFERENT AXIS than the one you're measuring. You are confusing length for height. What you call intelligence is on the horizontal axis. Bob has made reference time and time again to the vertical and the horizontal, the vertical being the connection to the divine. Being an atheist you cut yourself off from this so by definition are at zero (or less than zero in that you are negating the divine not simply unaware of it)on the axis. This isn't to be insulting. If we label the axis "perception of the divine" (which is just one part of it)you'd be in agreement.

Anonymous said...

Fine KA.
Don't get singed, by all means.
Same advice for you.
You win the argument.
No convincing you of anything.
We can't keep up.
So please declare victory and go away.
You are really getting tedious.


Nova said...

I came upon this site through a path not dissimilar to that taken by many others, I suppose. Actually I found the link on Wretchard's superb Belmont Club. I was dismayed to see his comments section fill up with the usual stuff from the
Richard Dawkins clones. Speaking of whom, the pied piper of godlessness was interviewed over the weekend in the leftist Toronto Star. I wrote a letter to the editor which was inspired in no small part by what I've read here.

What I find here is what I have always lacked. Perhaps because I've been too lazy/busy to undertake the level of
spiritual learning that Bob has mastered I have always felt unequipped to talk about spiritual matters--about God--in an "intellectual" way. I lacked the tools to escape the defualt position of so many Westerners who belong to the chattering class. I've ordered the book from Amazon and plan to read it all next weekend.

Thanks for doing this, Bob. I doubt you realize how many people like me you will help in the long run.

Nova said...

anonymous wrote:

"Oh yeah, there's a god alright. He created billions of galaxies, and a talking snake and a magic apple, and he cares deeply about the sexual habits of creatures that have been around for less than one millionth of the history of the universe. Sheesh!"

You sound like me 10 years ago, almost word for word. You are wrong but paradoxically there is virtually no way to enlighten you as you are now. Maybe some day things will change for you and you will move from adolescence into adulthood. Maybe not. For now I would advise you to not think about these things at all rather than continue down your current path. You will make yourself sick, trust me.

Gecko said...

Another great post, Gagdad, and thank you!
It would seem that the atheists have a political agenda and we will be hearing from them about their victimization by all the religions they will aggressively try to dismantle. It is, oh so twentieth century dahling, when the atheist agenda of Karl Marx defining religion as the opium of the mensaless masses, China, Russia, Cuba managed to supress religious practices again surfaces once again. Evidently Sam Harris has placed his book called "Letter to a Christian Nation" on every senators desk in Washington. Nice publicity stunt.
JWM, glad that you are on the mend!

Anonymous said...


Oh yes, they've got a political agenda, and if they ever come to power we'll find ourselves herded into re-education camps and gulags, all in order to "cure" us of our evil, oppressive thoughts, and teach us that the state, and the state alone, is to be worshipped and obeyed.

Just take a look at that atheistic/materialistic paradise on earth, the Soviet Union. Or the persecution of Christians and Buddhists in that other paradise, Vietnam. Or China, going after Christians and members of Fulan Gong alike? Or any country in whcih atheism becomes the official doctrine---complete with its own grand inquisitors and high priests enforcing obedience to it.

They've got a plan for us, alright. . .

Anonymous said...

tgfrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrz vcAzxDSC

This is what happens when a black cat walks across your key board.

I don't quite understand the animosity towards atheists. Most don't concern themselves with any type of god. Those who do are voicing an opinion which they feel hasn't been heard. Your characterization of them as victims in response to a question as to why they bother to post here is unkind. Any minority living in a Christian society is bound to feel frustrated by that dominance.

I don't see them as a threat. Why the anger?

Nova said...

"I don't see them as a threat. Why the anger?"

Speaking only for myself, I DO see some atheists as a threat. I DO believe that it was the atheism inherent in the pathological ideologies of the 20th century (mainly Stalinism and Maoism) which made such colossal mass-murder projects doable.

"Hatred" however is the wrong word. I WAS one of these people--these shallow atheists--for most of my life. In almost every post here from an atheist I hear echoes of my former self. I do not hate them; however I think it is high time that someone firmly stands up to them. In Canada atheism is the overwhelming majority position. I believe that has to change or Canada is in serious danger. We need to reverse this decadent spiral, and recover our moral center. That does not mean we all must be Christian! However those who reject Christianity and adopt more exotic faiths simply because they hate their own culture are probably part of the problem too.

Anonymous said...

anonymous- you don't see atheists as a threat? Hmmm... I don't think the masses in the soviet union or under Mao's rule in China originally saw Marx's doctrine as a threat either, that was until it had matured to its natural ends.

Now I don't believe any of us would cower or would run away in fear if an atheist walked into the room. But give them the reigns of power? That would concern anyone with any sort of sense of history.

Furthermore, you say that any who is not a Christian would be "frustrated" by living in the Christian dominated nation.

With respect, if this was not a Christian nation, and this were lets say communist china (ruled by an atheistic doctrine)... Christians living over there are not "frustrated", they are put in prison for indefinite periods of time, brutally tortured, and killed. (keep in mind, in your mind, this shouldn't concern us)...

A Muslim here can rail against the current president (bush or anyone else), gather and meet wherever and whenever they want. A Christian in a country dominated by Muslims, take Iran for instance, are put to death.

Excuse me if I don't feel any sympathy for the religious (or non religious) minorities in America.

Anonymous said...

Dust, You need a history lesson. Your knee-jerk anti-communism has blinded you to reality.