Saturday, September 23, 2006

Death Defying Laughter and a Touch of Infanity

A world is a perceived world. There are many worlds, and if you do not have the upperatus to pursuve it, it will not exist for you and come out to play.

A scientific world is a quantitative world, whereas religion (not the scary kind) addresses itself to qualitative aspects of the cosmos. Science, restricting itself to the horizontal aspects of reality, necessarily regards the human being as essentially superfluous, no different than any other scientific fact of matter, matter of fact.

However, on the traditional view, human beings are regarded as a microcosmos, a “universe in miniature,” sharing the same plan and clueprince as the whole existentialada. Holy guacamole! This is what the dry desert father Origen meant when he said, “Understand that you have within yourself, upon a small scale, a second universe: within you there is a sun, there is a moon, and there are also stars.”

As Meister Eckhart yelled out while running away from the religious authorities, “The world is created anew for each newborn person.” Or, you might say that when you were bearthed and begaialed, a mirrorcle of the abbasolute was born, and infanity put in a finny phase.

Existence, if you are sonsitive to these these maters (the voidgin kind), is a nonstop guffah-ha! experience. I know it is for my 17 month old gagboy, anyway. It’s all a big joke to him--discovery, surprise, convulsive laughter, rinse and repeat. How does one lose that essential attitude of existence as play, and is it possible to ungrow it again? For as I have munchkinned many times, every lila one of us is an inrisible pax of the puzzall, speaking in apunnishontical way.

One is struck (ouch!) at how absent this gladitude is in the two grim angriologies of our day, Islamism and leftism. Strangely, Ahmadinejad is always smiling, and yet his only humor is quite tensional and headache inducing. And the Tourette’s left of dailykuss and huffingandpissed is an unrelieved stream of anger and unfactive.

Here again, this is another reason why gliberal talk radio will always suckceedngly, because the left can never make fun of so much that is eminently jokeworthy--for excremplement, Ahamdinejad and Chavez, Howard Dean and Jesse Jackson, the hordes of feminist shemales and their feminized femaniacal consorts such as Johns Kerry and Edwards. The left’s laughty loondry list of sacred cowpies is so long and malodorous, that any humor that doesn’t involve hating President Bush is bound to offend one of their conflatulencies, so in a mallard of time it gets terdious very quackily, not to mention blasfumy.

Many people will have to await the occasion of death to hear the final punch line and to get the Joke Beyond Which There is No Funnier. But to live nobly is to live in the company of death, and death is a dark cosmedian, no doubt. For example, my wife and I decided somewhat late in life to have a child to always be heir for us (although our fairytality doctor reassured us on our first shakedown that we weren’t even close to the oldest fossils he had exhumined that day). As it so hap unhappyns, my son was conserved in the very same month (but in a different dish) that I was diagnosed with type I diabetes. Ha ha ha! Life and death juxtaposed. Sugar & sweet. Very funny!

This humorous yuckstaposition of various pilarities such as life and death is pregnant on nearly every page of Finnegans Wake. Sure, we’re all going to die. You anyway. But “Hohoho, Mister Finn, you’re going to be Mister Finnegan! Comeday morm and O, you’re vine! Sendday’s eve and, ah, your vinegar! Hahahaha, Mister Funn, you’re going to be fined again!” In fact, we die a thousand deaths in this liffey life, but “even if Humpty shell fall frumpty times as awkward..., there’ll be iggs for the brekkers come to mournhim, sunny side up with care.”

What will you remurmur when you died? What will you tagalog in your philopaean? I was thinking around this the other day, as I was shooting hoops, mostly oops, by my lonesome at the nearby park. Thinking about my fimfim. You know, my funferal. You’d think it would be slightly mausolating, but it was sort of... I don’t know... wet’s the world... oceanic I suppose.

And then a little byrd spoke his dylan' words to me: “The river flows, it flows to the sea, wherever that river goes, that’s where I want to be, flow river flow, let your waters wash down, take me from this road, to some other town.” That's a way a lone a last a loved a long the riverrun, the same bloomin' yes that worships in oneder in a weecosmic womb with a pew and is finally nothing after all (before it, two). Or so we have heard from the whys.

It reminds me of a poem Elvis used to recite to his friends and other peerasites, he really did:

As I awoke this morning
When all sweet things are born
A robin perched on my windowsill
To greet the coming dawn
He sang his song so sweetly
And paused for a moment’s lull
I gently raised the window
And crushed his fucking skull

But not a king crosses the phoenix line in this life lest he be repossessed and amortized. I guess that’s my pointer. Somehow gravity must be exchanged for levity and lovity if you want a mahahasamadhi from this womentary maninfestation, while you wait. We all go back to the mamamatrix anyway once we’re cured of plurality. Why not staret now, I for One, One for all?

Now that I have an itty bitty, I remama with him sometimes. What it was like! Face to face in a sacred space, into the blisstic mystic, no you or I, nor reason wise, count the stars up in your eyes. That's how you seeternity. It's there in a wee be tweenus. You know, the nature of reality, the rapture of nihility, a peace magnificent, silent-still, crystal clear, outshining mystery, Truth of truth, syrup hovering over the waffles, Divine spark, breath of life! And you shall never grow so old again, amen for a child's job.

A touch of infanity. Couldn’t we all use it?


(Note to commenters--I had to enable comment moderation because HWSNBN keeps trying to hijack the thread with his inane and inapproprate comments, so there may be a short delay between posting your comment and seeing it. His assholiness has done this several times before, where he will spend hours posting the same thing no matter how many times I delete it...)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Will the Real Reality Please Stand Out?

It all comes down to the question of reality, doesn’t it? What is the real world?

There are three ways of obtaining information about the world and answering this question, 1) logic and empiricism (i.e., inductive and deductive reasoning), 2) revelation, and 3) intellection. The modern world--or most of its elites, anyway--has rejected the latter two categories, which I believe creates a false and misleading image of the world. Ultimately it is not a human world fit for humans, and yet, we are increasingly forced to live in it.

I used to scoff at those ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel who are supported by the state for spending all day poring over the Torah, as if the government should be involved in funding people’s private religious fantasies--as if they are doing something “important,” like embryo stem cell research or advances in queer theory.

I now realize that such individuals are much more in touch with reality than the materialistic scientist, because they are specifically exploring a human world, and the human world is more real than the material world. Please, this is not to exclude or belittle science in any way, only to emphasize that human beings have real spiritual needs that science can never meet. To reject spiritual knowledge is actually to reject mankind, to run away from what man actually is in his deepest being.

For example, love is a dimension of real knowledge, as is beauty. So too the sacred. None of these quintessentially human categories is detectable by the methods of science. When you explore the sacred or the holy--which is what those bullfighting Torahdors are trying to do--you are dealing with a legitimate realm of human knowledge. Furthermore, just as profane knowledge “feeds” the mind, spiritual knowledge is metabolized by another part of ourselves, the nous, the "psychic being," or the intellect properly so-called. Just as there are mathematical geniuses, there are spiritual geniuses who are simply in contact with a different world. The former may well know nothing of the latter, just as the latter may be ignorant of the former.

And the failure to acknowledge the two worlds can lead to real problems. Historically we are well aware of what happens when the spiritual world is taken as the only reality. No need to chronicle those problems here, for we are living through them in the form of our struggle against global jihad.

But do the jihadis have a point in their condemnation of the west’s rejection of the spiritual world in favor of a non-human material world? Yes, in some twisted sense they might have a point, but this hardly justifies their actions, and more importantly, mired as they are in their deeply infrarational sprituality, they have no idea how spiritual a country the United States actually is (half the country, anyway--we’re not talking about the metaphysical yahoos of the New York Times). In reality, it is the most spiritual country on earth, especially because we are talking about a mature spirituality that has been honed by its encounter with modernity and which traditionally placed scientific knowledge in a wider spiritual context. If you completely extricate scientific knowledge from a spiritual framework, you will eventually end up with something very nasty.

We are using the term “intellect” in its time-honored way, as that which allows the human being to distinguish between substance and accidents. Intellection is direct knowledge of reality, very much analogous to physical perception. If you see something with your eyes, no one will ask you to prove the existence of sight. But in our current anti-intellectual climate, if you perceive something equally vividly with the intellect, you will be asked to provide logical proof--itself a wholly illogical demand. In reality, only a deeper intellect can judge the claims of the intellect. And there is no rational basis whatsoever for determining who has the deeper intellect. It is only something we can know with our own awakened intellect.

I humbly and gratefully bow down before intellects wider and more penetrating than mine, but I surely won’t waste my time with someone who challenges my perceptions but whose own intellect is disabled or asleep. This is not arrogance, it is just common sense. I wouldn't debate the merits of a poem with someone who cannot appreciate poetry. But in our egalitarian world, we would like to believe that knowledge is an external “thing” that can be passed from mind to mind like an object. Sadly, much religious knowledge is regarded in just this manner--as if you can “know” it in the same way that you know any other subject.

But as I was at pains to point out in my book, religious knowledge is realized knowledge. That was the whole point of my admittedly preliminary attempt to develop an abstract system of empty symbols to describe the realm of spirit. There are so many religious “talkers” out there whose talk is precisely vacuous--it is literally empty, devoid of the experiential light that would give it real meaning.

The analogy with the mystery of music is fairly exact. Two highly schooled musicians can play the exact same thing.... No, let’s make it even more dramatic. A true master--say the jazz great Bill Evans--can say more with the suspended silence between his crystalline notes than most pianists can say in a musical lifetime. Have you not felt the ontological weight of a real spiritual presence in certain souls? Have you not heard the identical words uttered by others, now rendered weightless, frivolous, and slightly silly?

The latter type of person would be happy to go on national television and share their banal insights with a profane boob such as Larry King or Keith Olbermann. On the other hand, Petey would probably just stare in stunned disbelief after the first moronic question, knowing that no matter what he said, it would only be experienced as words, just like any other words. Petey would be pleased to commit career suicide on national TV, since he’s already "dead" anyway. Knowing him as I do, he would probably say something along the lines of, “I’m having trouble answering your question because I can’t remember what it was like to be so stupid, and thus provide an answer suitable to your reptilian brain.”

(You might have noticed that this is a common problem in debating liberals. As one advances into the real world, one forgets what it was like to be so foolish and naive. Which is why those who have recently left the fold of liberalism are its most able and energetic debaters. They remember why they believed the stupid things they did, and can thus provide reasons.)

Just as there are materialists who are nothing but empirical “factualists” in a self-created infrahuman world, there are pseudo-spiritual types who are what Schuon calls “realizationists.” This is one of the banes of the whole new age movement, which arrogantly tells people that they are too good for traditional religiosity, that religion is a pernicious mythology that modern people have evolved beyond, and that they are so special that they can bypass the rest of us and become “one with God.” Virtually any person who claims realized knowledge of this type outside a traditional framework is either self-deluded or a con man (there are exceptions to every rule, of course). For one thing, if they had such insight, they would not have the attitude they do toward religion, but would be awakened to its profound depth and beauty.

The purpose of this post was to get into the question of the two worlds--the abstract world disclosed by science and the concrete world as experienced by humans--but I can see that my preface has already filled the allotted space, so I’ll have to get to it later. But the point I want to emphasize is that the world disclosed by science, although clearly useful to human beings--no argument about that on this end--is not the real world. Rather, it is merely an abstract world that is essentially based on an extension of our sensory faculties, i.e., the subatomic world.

But we do not live in that world. Rather--one hopes, anyway--we live in the human world, and it is this world that religion specifically addresses itself to. And this is why the unsophisticated literalist who says that “God created the world in six days” is far, far more wise--on a human level--than the man who knows only the equations of quantum cosmology, but is blind to the world from which those beautiful equations arise. For just like any other species, in order to thrive, human beings must live in a human environment.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Bridge to the Center of the Cosmos

Today we are going to do some verticalisthenics, so bring your Denys shoes and casuist clothing, and I'll talk along some loose fitting gab.

Frithjof Schuon writes of two key ideas, that of the origin and that of the center: “In the spatial world where we live, every value is related in some way to a sacred Center, which is the place where Heaven has touched the earth; in every human world there is a place where God has manifested Himself in order to pour forth His grace.

“And it is the same for the Origin, which is the quasi-timeless moment when Heaven was near and things were still half-celestial...”

For those of you who are familiar with my book, the nonsensuous uberchore at the beginning was my attempt to describe the badda bing-badda bang of the Origin, while the nonsense at the end was my attempt to describe the journey to the Center, where heaven and earth meet once again in the muddle of the mount, right back at the Origin. Hallow, noumena!

Most of our waking life is spent outside the Center and Origin, although one of the purposes of the spiritual life is to spend as much timelessness there as as possible. Outside the vertical world of Center and Origin, we pass our days in the horizontal categories of space and time that flow from them. But in the spiritual view, time takes on a special, eschatological meaning, as it relates to the perfection that leads to theosis--both individually and cosmically. In other words, timelessness takes time, and as some Beat up old poet once said, “walking on water wasn’t built in a day.”

To be situated in space is to be situated in a cosmology, even if it is a very boring and stilted cosmology that is not worthy of humans, such as materialism. A legitimate religious cosmology serves the function of providing the human being with all the tools he needs to discern his existential situation and to do something about it--not on his own, mind you, but with the assistance of the grace which flows through it. Religion is supposed to provide you with a vertical cosmology that helps you know your way around the interior of the cosmos. Science, on the other hand, deals only with the exterior aspect of the cosmos--its outer tier, or epidermis, so to speak.

Through grace, we may surpass ourselves and therefore become ourselves. We may realize our highest destiny, which is not found in the things of this world, but back at the vertical Center and Origin, now further enriched and transformed by our presence, which it is our duty to radiate back out horizontally into the world. And so it glows....

Multiculturalism is a pernicious crock in the cosmic egg because, among other reasons, there is no ultimate value in culture per se. Rather, we judge a culture in its vertical aspect in terms of how effective it is in orienting us to our destiny and allowing us to arrive there. There are many cultures that focus on our ultimate destiny--in a charitable mood, one could even say that this is what the contemporary Islamic world attempts to do. However, their various horizontal pathologies prevent anyone from actually achieving their vertical destiny--or at least they had better keep quiet about it if they do stumble upon it, or sufi the consequences.

Other, more dynamic societies such as ours, provide us with all the tools we require to move, to get off the dime and go forward. But forward into what? Here is the nub of the crux of the gist of the rub, my cosmonauts, for if all our wonderful dynamism is not oriented toward the Origin and Center....

Does anyone out there understand what I’m saying, or does it sound like I’m speaking of irrelevant abstractions that do not touch our day-to-day lives, much less the future of our civilization? Can I get a witness? Can I get a hallelujah? Is this thing on?

Naturally, we in the west have our well known metaphysical pathologies of materialitis and reductionosis, effectively barring the gates of heaven and installing man in place of the Creator. As a reaction to this impoverished horizontal cosmolatry, we also have our curiously muddled spiritual pathologies that reverse the cosmic order and elevate the relative to the absolute, e.g., “Nagarjuna is God.” This is the way of most spiritually barren new age alternate post-religious magic. You shall know them by their fruit cakes.

It goes without saying that no culture is perfect, just as no relative world of any kind is perfect. “There is none good but the One.” Human perfection lies in its proximity to the Perfection of our vertical lighthouse at the end of the historical tunnel. It’s a narrow path toward that tunnel, but it is only on that path that the ravages of time are essentially reversed, leading toward perfection rather than mere repetition or degeneration.

The cultural bridge that leads us from the relative to the absolute is badly broken, not just through neglect, but because some vertical errorists in our very midst--most of them terminally tenured--have been actively trying to blow it up for several centuries. It was once a very sturdy bridge that led to many blessings, such as science, democracy, liberty, and the ultimate value of the indvidual. But now, those things are in danger of becoming ends in themselves, thus enclosing us in a linear prison rather than a means of reaching the Center and Origin.

For man does not flourish in the circular world of old-fashioned paleo-paganism or the linear world of contemporary neo-paganism, but only in the open spiral of vertical faith and horizontal reason.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Ahmadinejad, Ape of God

In order to understand patients, psychologists routinely monitor and observe their own reactions to the patient, known as counter-transference. My counter-transference reaction to Ahmadinejad is that he is palpably and disturbingly evil, like a demon in human form--like Hitler or Arafat.

Not only do I agree with Dr. Sanity that Ahmadinejad’s positively satanic speech yesterday before the UN was nausea inducing, but I believe that if you didn’t have some sort of similar gut reaction, there is something wrong with the state of your soul. And yet, one sees the useful idiots of the MSM blithely analyzing the literal content of his speech, as if it has any meaning or significance whatsoever. On the other hand, President Bush cannot utter the most banal truth without the MSM trying to determine his "actual" underlying political motive.

My reaction to Ahmadinejad must have felt somewhat similar to the way the delusional left reacts to President Bush. This is no secret, for if you read most any liberal blog, they openly talk and write about their visceral hatred of the President. Thus far I have seen no mention of any similar reaction toward Ahmadinejad, which speaks volumes about their moral compass, or lack thereof. I’m trying to imagine, say, a Republican in 1942 who absolutely loathed FDR with every fiber of his being, but who was indifferent toward Hitler. What to make of such a morally broken person?

To further quote Dr. Sanity, “Only in a world that values nothing would there not be instantaneous outrage at the lies, deceptions and self-serving tripe offered for world consumption by a man who clearly has no conscience and enjoys lying and distorting for the fun of it.” What kind of world is it, in which there is instant denunciation of the Pope’s truthful words about Islam, but no similar reaction to the outrageously vile lies of Ahmadinejad? It means that in this dark world, the Truth is under constant attack while the Lie flourishes, abetted at every step along the way by the nihilistic left. I will say it again: there is no religion or doctrine higher than truth, for if all good people were united in confronting the Islamic world with the simple truth, as did the pope, it would wither like a coward. These monsters are only emboldened by our cautious and mealymouthed evasions of their truth.

Ahmadinejad’s speech was not aimed at people like you or me or Dr. Sanity. Rather, as she writes, it was addressed “to the passive, uncritical and morally bankrupt minions who nod sagely at any idiocy as they desperately try to maintain a world view that ignores reality as its founding principle.” In fact, the speech was aimed at three varieties of idiot, 1) those with Bush Derangement Syndrome, both foreign and domestic, 2) the airheads of the mass media, and 3) well-intentioned but foolish and naive people who believe liberal platitudes about the world.

In the past, I have discussed Bion’s idea that truth is anterior to the thinker, and that it is only for us to discover it. In that sense, truth doesn’t require a thinker. It just is. The lie, on the other hand, requires a thinker-- often a brilliant one for particularly grandiose lies, such as Marxism.

In order to know and speak the truth, one needn’t be aware of the lie. But in order to lie, one must be aware of the truth, otherwise it isn’t a lie. This is why it is such a damnable lie for liberals to mindlessly chant that “Bush lied.” First, to say that “Bush lied” is to deceptively redefine the meaning of “lie.” But on a more malignant level, in order to advance their own lie, these libeling liberals must be aware of the truth. In other words, their lie has no basis in reality, but exists solely as a reaction to the truth--in the same way that a shadow exists only as an artifact of light.

There was a profoundly cosmic symmetry yesterday, what with existential light and darkness crossing paths in the same building on the same day. I don’t know if you had the opportunity to hear President Bush’s speech, but it was one of the most straightforward and morally lucid political speeches I have ever heard. If anyone but Bush had made the speech, it would be considered one of the few shining moments in the sordid history of the UN. So full of light were the President’s words, that I am surprised the U.N. building didn’t burst into flames. The very walls of this sanctuary of darkness must have cried out in pain at the violent intrusion of such an unfamiliar force of truth. It was like a reverse rape--forcing decency upon an unwilling subject.

Ahmadinejad’s words were a precise mirror image of truth, again highlighting the fact that one must on some level know the truth in order to lie about it. In Ahmadinejad’s case, one was struck at how frequently he made appeals to specifically Judeo-Christian principles and rights that he and the dictators of Syria or Libya or the Saudi entity would never dream of granting their own enslaved peoples: “Citizens of Asia, Africa, Europe and America are all equal. Over six billion inhabitants of the earth are all equal and worthy of respect. Justice and protection of human dignity are the two pillars in maintaining sustainable peace, security and tranquility in the world.” (Where is my CAIR-sickness bag?)

This is one of the most disgusting and dysfunctional aspects of the U.N., for it means that tyrants and dictators can make pleas for the very justice or liberty or democracy that they deny their own people. And liberals fall for it every time. Indeed, why can’t Iran have nukes when Israel does? Why don’t the so-called Palestinians deserve a state? How are oppressed peoples to express their grievances but through terrorism?

Liberals love beautiful but empty platitudes about peace and justice and oppression, so Ahmadinejad was speaking directly to them when he said that “Today humanity passionately craves commitment to the truth, devotion to God [liberals don’t mind so long as it's a non-Christian one], quest for justice, and respect for the dignity of human beings. Rejection of domination and aggression, defense of the oppressed, and longing for peace constitute the legitimate demand of the peoples of the world, particularly the new generations and the spirited youth who aspire to a world free from decadence, aggression and injustice, and replete with love and compassion.”

Ahmadinejad sounds exactly like the America-hating Jimmy Carter--whom he is once again slapping in the face--when he says “The Almighty has not created human beings so that they could transgress against others and oppress them. By causing war and conflict, some [he didn't have the courage to say the United States and Israel] are fast expanding their domination, accumulating greater wealth and usurping all the resources, while others endure the resulting poverty, suffering and misery.”

In words calculated to warm the hearts of empty-headed liberals everywhere, Ahmadinejad asks the same vapid questions they asked of Reagan: “What do they need these weapons for? Is the development and stockpiling of these deadly weapons designed to promote peace and democracy? Or are these weapons in fact instruments of coercion and threat against other peoples and governments? How long should the people of the world live with the nightmare of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons?” As every liberal knows, evil people don't kill people, weapons do.

Sounding just like our own resident One Cosmos moonbat, he appeals to the hearts and so-called minds of those who believe that pseudo-spiritual platitudes are the answer to the world's problems: “Is it not possible to rely on justice, ethics and wisdom? ... Aren't wisdom and justice more compatible with peace and tranquility than nuclear, chemical and biological weapons? If wisdom, ethics and justice prevail, then oppression and aggression will be uprooted, threats will wither away, and no reason will remain for conflict.” He knows full well that people such as our resident moonbat confuse personal spirituality with civilizational suicide, and is speaking their language.

Speaking directly to the anti-Semites of the angry left, he echoes their grossly distorted understanding of history: “The roots of the Palestinian problem go back to the second world war. Under the pretext of protecting some of the survivors of that war, the land of Palestine was occupied through war, aggression and the displacement of millions of its inhabitants. It was placed under the control of some of the war survivors, bringing even larger population groups from elsewhere in the world who had not been even affected by the second world war, and a government was established in the territory of others with a population collected from across the world at the expense of driving millions of the rightful inhabitants of the land into a diaspora and homelessness.”

And sounding just like neo-Marxist new age dopes such as Deepak Chopra, he says “Peoples driven by their divine nature intrinsically seek good, virtue, perfection and beauty. Relying on our peoples, we can take giant steps towards reform and pave the road for human perfection.”

If not “the,” then certainly Ahmadinejad is an Antichrist, in the sense that he is an absolute ape of God, of all that is good and decent and holy. I don't think he said a single thing that wouldn't fit perfectly into the Democratic platform. You can be sure that no prominent Democrat will rise to defend our country and our president from the insults of this little creep, as they know that he was playing to their base (in both senses of the term). After all, he hit every one of the Democratic barking points, except perhaps for global warming. My advice to him is that he tell the world that Iran is only pursuing nuclear power because it is gravely concerned about the adverse effect of fossil fuels. That should neutralize Gore, outflank Hillary, and cinch the nomination.


He says he just bangs this stuff out, first draft, last draft. Should we believe him?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Speaking Truth to Pouters & Doubters

It’s too bad that the main point of the pope’s recent talk has been lost amidst the willful misunderstanding by habitually aggrieved and pouting Muslims and their western mouthpieces in the MSM prick-and-martyr spin machine. This is probably perfectly understandable, because what the pope said was just as insulting to the secular left as it was to Muslims. It’s as if there is a secret affinity between the left and the Islamists--what Eisenhower* famously called the "mullah terror & nasty-old-leftist complex"--as the left riles up the Muslims so as to encourage them to act out their own aggression. The left does this in a thousand little ways, and the terrorists are fully aware of it. We even have their own internal memos revealing how much they rely upon the western media and other useful jihadiots to achieve their aims.

The reaction to the pope reminds me of my own detractors, in that they habitually take one small part of my writing that they think they understand and proceed get all emotional about it, meanwhile ignoring the much larger context that they are probably incapable of understanding. They are like the drunk who looks for his missing keys under the street light, except they are looking for an argument under their dim little metaphyical street light.

In any event, the pope’s main thesis was something that is equally incomprehensible to both the Muslim world and to the secular left, that is, “the close relationship between reason and belief. Without the right balance between the two, the pontiff said, mankind is condemned to the ‘pathologies and life-threatening diseases associated with religion and reason’--in short, political and religious fanaticism.” When the Pope said “political fanaticism,” you can be sure he wasn’t talking about the creeping fascism of Bushitler, but about the actual life-threatening spiritual and cognitive pathologies of the secular left.

In his talk, the pope spoke of the truism that in Christianity, God is inseparable from reason: "In the beginning was the Word." He noted that "God acts with logos. Logos means both reason and word," and that "The inner rapprochement between Biblical faith and Greek philosophical inquiry was an event of decisive importance not only from the standpoint of history of religions, but also from that of world history.... This convergence, with the subsequent addition of the Roman heritage, created Europe."

This fortunate convergence of faith and reason occurred at only one time and in only one place: the Christian west. It did not take place in the Muslim world--or at least where it did begin to take place, it was stillborn (or rather, violently aborted). But in the west--particularly in Europe--the covenant between faith and reason has been relentlessly attacked and almost completely vitiated by various secular and materialistic ideologies, with truly grave and deadly results. In the long run, it is doubtful that Europe can even survive its own cognitive and spiritual pathologies, because they are now steeped in a philosophy and a way of life that was never intended for humans. Their “spiritual environment” cannot sustain a truly human community, if only because it cannot passionately defend itself.

As for the pathology of Islam, the pope quoted another Catholic theologian, who said that "for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent, his will is not bound up with any of our categories." The writer of the WSJ piece linked above asked, “If this is true, can there be dialogue at all between Islam and the West? For the pope, the precondition for any meaningful interfaith discussions is a religion tempered by reason: ‘It is to this great logos, to this breadth of reason, that we invite our partners in the dialogue of cultures.’"

Yesterday a reader expressed bewilderment at our mention of intrinsic heresy. An intrinsic heresy is a religious idea that cannot possibly be true in any objective metaphysics, while an extrinsic heresy is one that only applies to a particular religion. The belief that God is not both radically transcendent and equally immanent is an example of intrinsic heresy.

To cite a fine example of intrinsic heresy, another reader yesterday expressed bewilderment at my pointing out that it is fruitless to affirm the great Upanishadic truth tat tvam asi--thou art that, or atman, the self, is brahman, the ultimate reality--before realizing the extent to which, in our fallen state, thou aren’t much of anything, much less that. This is simply respecting the objective metaphysical truth that, while God may be immanent, he is also radically transcendent. To emphasize only half of this paradoxical equation leads on the one hand to collective pantheism and personal narcissism, on the other hand to the type of spiritual darkness inhabited by the Muslim world, where God is radically transcendent and therefore beyond human understanding.

Orthodox Christian doctrine, like the Vedanta, gets the equation exactly right. Modern people are generally baffled by the intensity of the early Christian debates on the nature of Christ, but the stakes were actually quite high, and if those councils had gotten it wrong, the Christian world may well have gone the way of Islam. Among other things, they determined that in Christ, God was both fully God and fully human (I am not a Christian theologian, so forgive me if I get any details wrong here.) They didn’t say how this paradox could be or how they knew it (it was a divine mystery), but they rejected every possible variation--Nestorianism, Monophysitism, Monothelitism, etc. (look ‘em up yourself). In the end they affirmed that Christ embodied the two natures unconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, and inseparably. And what goes for Christ goes for us, to the extent that we may participate in his life and consciousness. We may become through grace what Christ is by nature.

Now, secularists habitually steal things from religion and then either pretend that they invented them or presume that they can be wrenched from their sacred context without doing grave damage to them. For example, secularists benefit just as much as anyone else from the blessings of Judeo-Christian values, while at the same time doing everything possible to attack or belittle the source of those values. Again, many things we take for granted in the west developed specifically in a Christian context and nowhere else: the infinite worth of the individual, liberty, democracy, science, etc.

This is one of the primary reasons why secular progressives are so ironically named. They can never really be progressive, since their materialistic metaphysic denies meaningful progress at the outset. Scratch a leftist and you will always discern a nostalgic, backward-looking, non-friction metaphysic--the painful recollection of the lost entitlement of infancy and the desire for a romantic merger with the conflict-free eden of childhood--only projected into the future.

As I have mentioned before, in the absence of the supernatural, people will fall back onto more primitive, pre-religious and magical modes of thought, but then imagine that they are progressing beyond religion. But in my view this is impossible, for I believe that religion discloses objective metaphysics. Therefore, anything short of real religion descends into mere mythology: relying upon it to orient yourself in the cosmos, you will move laterally and eventually backwards, as we see in contemporary Europe--a fine example of trying to live off the fumes of Christian values in the absence of the Christianity that gave rise to them. This was definitely one of the main points of the pope’s talk, and one that the left will not understand because they cannot understand--partly because of the intense, mocking superiority they feel toward religion.

The vast majority of our contemporary pagan scholars would undoubtedly agree that intrinsic meaning does not and cannot exist. For a secularist, this is necessarily the case. For example, if history does not refer to something outside itself, it has to be without meaning or purpose, truly the proverbial "tale told by a tenured idiot, full of sound and fury, but signifying a nice paycheck and adoring coeds.” While there can be limited purposes within history, there is no transcendent meaning to any of our endeavors, any more than there can be transcendent meaning to your individual goals and pursuits. It's all ultimately pointless. History is simply history--just a material process, a journey of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.

But if this were true, mankind would never have found the exit out of its closed circle of material and instinctual existence. In the logoistic understanding of Christianity, history is witness to a literal descent of the logos into the stream of horizontal time, so as to forge a concrete link between the vertical and horizontal--between the One and the many, time and eternity. To say that "God became man" or "Word became flesh" is just another way of saying that the vertical, that is, the ultimate, timeless ground, outside time and anterior to manifestation, poured itself into material form and chronological time--not just in a single human being, but in all of humanity.

Only humans can serve as a bridge between the higher and lower planes that are manifest in the outward flow of history. Indeed, this is our purpose: to nurture and grow the seed of eternity within the womb of time. How do I know this? I don’t. I just water the plant and watch it grow.

*A persistent urban myth has it that Eisenhower warned us of the "military-industrial complex" rather than "mullah terror & nasty-old-leftist complex," when clearly, we require the former to defeat the latter.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Attacks on Truth (or Let's Play R.O.P.-a-Pope)

Truth is sacred. There can be no doctrine or religion higher than truth. It is the most important societal value and the prerequisite for any kind of growth, whether it is spiritual, psychological, anthropological, or scientific. Because of the truth-loving nature of the primordial, uncreated conscience, if you can establish a lie as the truth, the furtherance of evil will take care of itself.

This is why the Lie is satanic, because it is the great enabler of immoral violence. For example, in the Arab Muslim world, the reason why they hate America and Israel--and therefore feel justified in their aggression--is that they are inundated with vicious lies about us, just as nazi Germany murdered Jews because they were were steeped in lies about them.

I believe it was Burke who said that culture “reconciles a man to everything,” no matter how foolish or barbarous the custom. But some cultures are so immersed in the Lie that they cannot help producing lying liars, most dramatically in the Middle East, but obviously here in the United States as well, only in a more subtle form. For example, the pressure of political correctness is an instrument of coercion designed to reconcile you to the lies of the left, or to punish the thinker who speaks certain impermissible truths. 

Amazingly, the Pope is being attacked for uttering a banal truth about Islam. But it is not really the Pope who is being attacked. Rather, this is an assault on truth itself, abetted by the world’s major news media. For if the media were interested in truth, why would they even note the Pope’s words, except perhaps in passing? If the Pope had said something outrageous or controversial, that would be worthy of attention. But the fact that the media give so much attention to what the Pope said about Islam only underscores their belief that what he said was somehow open to doubt--as if any doubt is possible based upon the violent reaction to the Pope's words.

The psychoanalyst W.R. Bion coined the term “attacks on linking” to describe a certain pathological mental mechanism that dismantles the thinking process so as to be unable to recognize an unwanted truth (it was later turned into a virtue by leftist academics who call it "deconstruction"). The reaction in the Islamic world to the Pope’s statement is a fine example. In order to not perceive the simple truth that Islam has a long and bloody history, the mind must unconsciously “attack” any evidence that leads to that conclusion. Thus, it may look like the Pope is being attacked, but he is incidental to the deeper process of attacking and dismantling a reality that Muslims do not wish to see. And this angry attack on reality is at the very root of the problem we face with both Islam and the left.

In the past, I have written about what I believe to be defense mechanisms against the “upper vertical.”  Broadly speaking, the upper vertical would be the realm of truth, beauty and morality.  We can also apply Bion’s concept of attacks on linking here.  Understood this way, it would involve a sort of willed stupidity that dismantles the ability to think clearly, not just in the realm of truth, but in the realm of morals (“the good”) as well. This is why any society that assaults and devalues truth is going to engage in immoral violence, whether it is the Soviet Union, nazi Germany, or the Muslim Middle East.  If any of them were capable of assimilating truth, their violence would stop in an instant.   

You will have noticed that one of the reasons you cannot debate a leftist is that they do not (and perhaps cannot) meet your argument on the plane from which it arises. Instead, they hijack that plane and try to drag you down to the level from which their minds operate. This is why they never address the content of your argument, but attack your motivations.  And this is one of the major reasons why left wing talk radio cannot succeed, as the constant attacks on truth and on motivations quickly grow tedious.

You know the tiresome drill: if you are for tough interrogation of terrorists, you are for torture; if you are against government enforced racial discrimination, you are a racist; if you are against the redefinition of marriage, you are a “homophobe”; if you are against the Kyoto protocols, you wish to destroy the earth; if you are in favor of tax cuts, you want to line the pockets of the wealthy; if you are in favor of the liberation of Iraq, you are greedy for oil; if you want to control your own retirement, you just want to give a boon to mutual fund companies; if you are against inefficient socialized medicine, it’s because you want poor children to be sick; if you want to control the borders, you hate Mexicans; etc. The list is endless, and although it is superficially diverse, the same mental mechanism is at its root: attacks on linking.

In his heart, even absent a divine commandment, man (a normal man, anyway) knows that he should not lie.  This is why you will also have noticed that liberals never give straight answers in interviews.  They like to say that this is because the answers are too subtle and  nuanced, and that you can't just blurt out a liberal idea the in the way that conservatives blurt out their simple ideas.  So they habitually obfuscate, dodge, dissemble.  In the words of their guru, the linguist George Lakoff, they must frame their ideas, as it is the frame that makes the lie appear true and thus eases the conscience.

Not for nothing did Jesus crack that the adversary “was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own substance, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

This is an interesting statement, for it suggests that lies are somehow a "human substance," somewhat like a spider that spins a web out of its own body. Truth, on the other hand, is not, and cannot be, of human origins. It is somehow anterior to us, and it is only for us to discover or remember it. And oh what a tangled web we weave, compared to the spider.....

Animals cannot lie. While they can have certain naturally selected mechanisms of deception, they cannot live a lie. But living a lie is in the normal course of events for human beings. Talleyrand once remarked that language was given to man so as to conceal his thoughts. Interestingly, this problem is fully recognized in scripture, as the very first conversations recorded in the Bible are a tissue of lies. The serpent lies to the woman, the woman transmits the lie to the man, and the man lies about it to God. The very emergence of self-consciousness seems to be inseparable from lying.

A cursory glance at history--or at the idiotorial pages of the New York Times--establishes the fact that lying is absolutely fundamental to human existence, even though the idea wasn't systematized until the early 20th century, in the works of Freud and his followers. Bion in particular developed a sophisticated epistemology showing how a vital lie is at the basis of most all forms of psychopathology.  He made the provocative observation that the lie requires a thinker to think it, whereas the truth does not, for it simply is. We discover truth, but it takes a thinker to concoct the lie (and, I might add, a brilliant thinker such as Marx or Chomsky to create the most grandiose lies). And once the lie is in place, it causes the psyche to enter a sort of parallel universe, for it constructs itself on the foundations of that primordial lie.

Just as freedom and truth are necessarily linked--i.e., no one who is living a lie is actually free--those who are in thrall to the lie are slaves. While they may enjoy a subjective sense of freedom, it is an illusion. In fact, they have forfeited their freedom and are attached to a spiritually suffocating demon generated out of their own psychic substance.  And this is why Muslims wish to spread their lie around the globe, for until the entire world is caught in the same web, they will have the nagging sense that something is deeply wrong with their lives.  Out of unconscious envy for the living, they want everyone else to be ruled by the same demon that enslaves them.

The left is powerless against these Islambies, for the secular mind cannot in good faith object to nihilism. After all, a nihilist is simply a good faith atheist, humanist or secularist--someone who has drawn the implications of their impoverished philosophy to their logical endpoint. A nihilist is simply someone with the courage of their lack of convictions. They are no match for those who are passionately attached to the Lie.

Meaning--any meaning--always involves the bringing together of diverse details into a higher unity.  In reality, it is a sort of higher vision that sees through the surface to the inner unity of a mass of data. It is very much analogous to those Magic Eye pictures, which look like a bunch of random markings on the page. But when you relax your eyes, out of nowhere pops a three-dimensional image. The image was actually there all along, but was buried amidst the phenomena. You might say that it was a message awaiting a messenger capable of seeing it.

All truth is a synthesis of particulars, the reduction of multiplicity to unity. There are some truths that people, for one reason or another, do not wish to know. One way to rid the mind of unwanted truth is to attack the links that allow the truth to emerge.  In order to accomplish this feat, inchoate meanings must be beaten down, attacked, and strangled in their crib before they can emerge as a full-blown catastrophic Truth that the liar knows but does not wish to Know. On some level, knowledge of truth must always precede the lie. Such a person is condemned to living in a mass of meaningless particulars that actually make no sense. But, as always, the mind will covertly elevate this cursed condition to a courageous virtue, whether they call it "extending the caliphate," "speaking truth to power" or giving you "all the news that's fit to print."

Which is why the Pope must apologize. 

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Be Very Frightened: Krystallnacht is Coming to AmeriKKKa!

Ironic, isn't it, how just at the same time we are being threatened by god-intoxicated theological fascists from around the globe, we are facing the identical threat here at home, in the figure of George Bush?

Awhile ago on dailykos, there was a piece entitled Slouching Toward Kristallnacht, outlining all of the eery parallels between pre-nazi Germany and contemporary America. For the hundreds of frightened posters that commented on the article, it is not a matter of if, but when Bush suspends the charade of democracy and imposes a fascist state on us. As the fevered author, Maryscott O'Connor, ominously intoned, "It won't come in the same form. It never does. But it's coming. The lure of fascism is too powerful for men like the ones currently pissing all over our Constitution." (Of course, it better come soon. Bush has only two years to get the ball rolling.)

By the phrase "pissing all over our constitution," I believe O'Connor is referring to Bush's inexplicable interest in listening to telephone conversations of his fellow fascists who wish to impose a different theology than he does. Whatever. They're both motivated by the "lure of fascism."

Since the Jews are in on it this time, O’Connor concedes that Bush's targets for genocide "Probably won't be the Jews." Instead, "Maybe Arabs. Maybe gays. Maybe 'libruls.' Who the fuck knows?"

Indeed, who the fuck knows? That's the whole point of harboring a paranoid delusion. The delusion is necessarily vague at the edges, lest it be easily contradicted by reality. So she doesn't have a krystallnacht ball. What do you want, names and addresses? As another wag put it a couple thousand years ago, "Of that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the angels of heaven."

O'Connor knows only this: "It almost certainly won't be recognisable to most people until it's far too late."

Actually, it's the other way around. Once you start harboring persecutory delusions, it's too late. There's not much that psychology or even psychopharmacology can do for you. First of all, such individuals rarely seek treatment for their paranoia, because they don't know they are paranoid. Nor is there any medication for a fixed Delusional Disorder, especially a collectively held one that is reinforced by all of the members of the paranoid group. Here are just a few of some 500+ comments I harvested off the top, so this only scratches the surface of the depth of their shallowness:

"Yes, we saw a documentary last week on the Holocast and how it began -- its all true and its all happening again."

"Us non-heterosexuals have been the canary in the coal mine... and we have been singing for DECADES about what is coming down the road for us all.... Just as the communists, the socialists, the jews were all picked off one by one, we all get in the cross hairs eventually unless we stand together when the first are in that spot."

"We are not at the beginning. We have walked well down the fascist road. In my case, I woke with this rhetorical question: what is a Holocaust Denier? To my mind, the most dangerous of Holocaust Deniers are those who embrace the uniqueness of Auschwitz, who privilege the particularities of the past and all the shopworn realities of 1930s Germany and who wilfully deny its resonance to what is happening now."

"The capacity for evil must exist before the evil is done. Before there are gulags and death camps, the apparatus that sustains them must exist. We are worried because the apparatus is forming: a government that considers itself beyond the rule of law. This is not about the evils already committed, it is about the evils that may be committed in the future if the apparatus is allowed to grow unchecked. We won't know until it happens that Bush is planning a 'final solution' of his own..."

"The Patriot Act is intentionally destined to fail so that when the Globalists carry out a terror attack they can blame 'civil liberties advocates' for preventing them from keeping the general public safe and then reject out of hand criticism of all future police state legislation that they pass."

"Who else thinks September 11, 2001, was our Burning of the Reichstag? The historical parallels are obvious."

"This is where we're heading, folks. If the legislative or judicial branch does nothing, we are, for all intents and purposes living in a nightmarish version of Nazi America. And given the bullshitstorm that place has become, I think I'll be looking up the location of local gun ranges and trainers in the next two weeks along with going out to shop for a gun. I can't believe America has gotten to this point and my reaction to this new reality can be summed up in one word: Fuck."

"I'm extremely alarmed by the hate coming from FOX News. The whole 'war on Christmas' is coded anti-semitism. There is a history in this country of tying the 'war on Christmas' to the 'international Jew threat.'"

"Many conservatives will indeed start making physical threats when arguing with someone who disagrees with them, and many are happy to act on those urges. They treat their spouses and kids the same way and are too immature to see other adult strangers as any different."


Isn't it odd that these lost souls are deathly frightened of you and me and President Bush, whereas I am afraid of their thoughts. Specifically, it is very unsettling that a large segmemt of the population believes things about conservatives that are not only untrue, but cannot possibly be true. They are terrified of a wholly fantasized version of reality, while I am afraid of their seemingly boundless capacity to fantasize and to inhabit their malicious fantasies.

The purpose of language is to communicate about reality. But what if it is not communicating reality, but fantasy? Somehow, these people are "successful" in communicating to one another (they all know exactly what the others are talking about, while you or I would say, "wwwhhhhaaaat?), and are even perversely emotionally "nourished" by the communication. It is a relief to them that others share the same fantasy--it satisfies them, fills some kind of need. But it is not a need for truth. It's like an anxious group of primitives who invent a spurious cure for a disease they don't understand.

Without historical perspective, anthropological knowledge, and psychological insight and maturity, one's present being will simply rush in to fill the gaps of existential ignorance. This is how primitives remain primitive--they are trapped in the now, with no accurate knowledge or history. Their cultures are simply a collective neurosis, just as a neurosis is a private culture. Now, with the rise of the internet, perhaps more than ever before we have micro-cultures or "psychoclasses" that can become echo chambers for their anxious, frightened, paranoid, and even borderline psychotic members. They are support groups which support the disease, not the cure.

We must always remember, that culture is man's adaptation to his humanity, to the frequently distressing reality of having a mind. The reason why cultures can appear so strange and dysfunctional is that, more often than not, they are an adaptation to the inner world of fears, anxieties, and emotional pain, not to objective reality. The sort of primitive tribalism of dailykos consists of omnipotent and deified knowledge that only spuriously succeeds in blotting out ignorance.

But like any mental patient, only by "unknowing" their delusional knowledge can they begin to know reality and become healthy. This is notoriously difficult to achieve in groups immersed in a paranoid world view. For they are not the victims of mere ignorance, but a motivated stupidity. In this way the paranoid left is comparable to Islamists and nazis, in the sense that they are drowning in an invincibly dysfunctional worldview. The Islamists act on their delusions. Let’s hope our reality-based community limits itself to impotent kvetching.

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