Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Epidemonology of Men Without Ombilical Chords of Mystic Memory

I was going to write a post about the deep structure of the histrionic--or possibly nefairyous--Foley-a-deux between the Democratic party and the MSM, but Dr. Sanity has written a post that is even more relevant to what I wanted to say, entitled The New Religious Socialists.

Dr. Sanity and I are both huge admirers of Steven Hicks, whose book Explaining Postmodernism is the clearest exposition I have ever read on the cognitive and spiritual pathologies of leftist thought. (I have previously reviewed it in a post entitled From the Lofty Kant to Lefty Cant.) The book so clearly describes the disease that incoming college students are about to expose themselves to, that all freshmen in elite universities should be required to read it. Certainly doing so would be more important than teaching them about condoms, because a venereal disease only affects the body, whereas postmodernism destroys the mind and soul. (No, I am not engaging in hyperbole.)

In my review, I concluded by stating that “The only problem with Hicks’ book is that he stops short of explaining how to overcome what I call the logopathologies of the left.... In reality, there is no defense against these destructive ideas within the bounds of common reason--as soon as you descend into mere reason, you have already given the game away, for there is almost nothing the rationalist mind can prove that it cannot equally disprove.” (By the way, this should not be seen as a criticism, just an acknowledgement of the boundaries of Hicks' project.)

Let’s examine some of the behavior and rhetoric described in Dr. Sanity’s piece. At Columbia University, left wing extremists took over the stage and shut down a talk by the founder of the Minuteman Project, Jim Gilchrist, overturning tables and chairs and attacking him and his colleagues. “Having taken control of the stage, the students, led by the student chapter of the International Socialist Organization, unfurled a banner that read, in both Arabic and English, ‘Nobody is Illegal.’” The vandals “jumped from the stage, chanting in Spanish and pumping their fists triumphantly [and yelling] ‘These are racist individuals heading a project that terrorizes immigrants on the U.S.-Mexican border... They have no right to be able to speak here.’"

Dr. Sanity does an outstanding job of diagnosing these sick individuals, who, in the final analysis, are steeped in a perverse ideology that is antithetical to everything America stands for, but simply co-opting American ideals as a way to undermine America and advance their revolutionary socialist agenda.

So that is the illness. But I would like to get into the etiology and the cure. As it so happens, I am reading a new book on the philosopher whom I believe to have identified the nature of this disease both earlier and more accurately than any other thinker before or since: Michael Polanyi. If I get into a full biography of this great man, this post will go on too long. But suffice it to say that his philosophical thinking--which especially developed between 1947 and 1975--was largely ignored by mainstream academic philosophers. In hindsight it is obvious why, because he represents intellectual Lysol to their cognitive pathogens.

More than any other strictly secular philosopher, I regard Polanyi as the cure for what fails us in the form of postmodernism. Although not in any way overtly religious, his thinking is entirely compatible with the Judeo-Christian metaphysics that fruitfully underpinned western civilization for hundreds of years before the voracious tenurmites began eating away at the foundation. Most importantly, Polanyi manages to correct the deficiencies not just in the excesses of postmodernism, but in the equally problematic results of the enlightenment rationalism that Eliot describes thus:

Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.
All our knowledge brings us nearer to ignorance,
All our ignorance brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to God.
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
Bring us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.

In his body of work, Polanyi covered a broad range of subjects in an exceptionally lucid way, including economics, political theory, philosophy of science, epistemology (how we know what we know), meaning, morality, religion, and the nature of art. Today I will restrict myself to his political theory, while perhaps tomorrow I will get into his philosophy of science, for it has some very relevant applications to the differences between the dead and dying liberal MSM and the vibrant and living blogosphere.

One of the problems with our enlightenment science is that it served to make progress appear so inevitable that “the stage was set for utopian aspirations to run their course unhindered by the very forces that in an earlier age would have moderated them--and perhaps even strangled them in their infancy. Indeed, one might well describe the twentieth century as the bloodiest period of utopian political experimentation the world has ever witnessed” (MItchell).

Why? What exactly happened? First there was the attack on tradition. While there is no question that this was a vitally important development in the initial progress of science, the problem is, it went too far in trying to rid the mind of all preconceptions or “transcendentals”--as if it were actually possible to grasp reality barehanded in a wholly unmediated and objective manner.

Ultimately this approach to knowledge failed us “by exalting what we can know and prove, while covering up with ambiguous utterances all we can know and cannot prove, even though the latter knowledge underlies, and must ultimately set its seal to, all we can prove.” It necessarily leads to “skepticism about the very things we once held most dear.” In this regard, Polanyi’s conclusion is identical to that of one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century, Kurt Goedel, who proved the same thing with ironclad logic: that we know infinitely more truth than we can ever specify in an objective, linear, mechanistic way.

However, the demand for explicit proof reduces the much wider realm of what can be known to the comparatively puny realm of what can be proven, thus shrinking the magnificent cosmos down to the proportions of our senses. Ironically, this does indeed place man at the center of the cosmos--not vertical Man who has access to primordial truth, but horizontal man who is restricted to his sensory ape-eratus. The result , as described by Arthur Koestler, is a new species of “men born without umbilical cords.”

Now see what happens next, and you will have the magic formula that explains everything from the thugs at Columbia, to communist totalitarianism, to nazism, to dailykos, to our present culture war (being that I am Godwin, I am exempt from his Law). This post is starting to run long, so I will be brief.

Although the postmodernists have done their best to undermine the principles underlying western civilization, nevertheless, the memory of Christianity remains, since it is in our very blood and bones. This memory produces a “passionate urge to pursue righteousness,” even though the assumptions of postmodernism deny the very reality of objective moral truth. Once traditional morality has been shattered, in the words of Polanyi,

“moral passions are diverted into the only channels which a strictly mechanistic conception of man and society left open to them. We may describe this as a process of moral inversion. The morally inverted person has not merely performed a philosophical substitution of material purposes for moral aims; he is acting with the whole of his homeless moral passions within a purely materialistic framework of purposes.”

Thus, at the foundation of postmodern moral inversion is always the same thing: “the combination of skeptical rationalism and moral perfectionism, which is nothing more than the 'secularized fervor of Christianity.’” But whereas “moral perfectionism within a Christian context is moderated by the doctrine of original sin and deferral of perfection to the end of history, the perfectionism of a post-Christian world provides no such moderating counterbalances.”

Therefore, the dynamic of this moral inversion allows both societies and individuals “to commit appallingly immoral acts--acts which, according to the skeptic, are not really immoral, since morality is an empty category.” Leftists are therefore sanctioned to “bring about a purely immanent perfection without the hindrance of moral limitations on the means to the end.” This utopian fantasy demands the immediate and total transformation of society, which may be pursued without limit.

Now you know why the socialist thugs at Columbia may say with a straight farce, “Nobody is Illegal": because they themselves are beyond law and morality. And you also know why they can say that traditional Americans who believe in the rule of law are “racist individuals” who have “no right to be able to speak here."

A reminder: moral passion in the absence of traditional morality has murdered more people than all other unnatural causes combined.


Related: The God that Did Not Fail: How Religion Built and Sustains the West, and

The End of Commitment: Intellectuals, Revolutionaries, and Political Morality in the Twentieth Century

Friday, October 06, 2006

Around the Cosmos in 365 Days: Narcissistic Refractions in the Mirror of my Añoverbosary

It almost passed without my noticing it, but yesterday was the one year anniversary of this blog. I hope I can reflect on this occasion without getting all sentimental. That goes for you too, so watch out with the overheated rhetoric.

Where to begin this self-indulgent exercise.... Where else but with ME! One thing blogging has taught me is that I have a number of skills that I didn’t really know I had before I started blogging, for example, Islamophobic humor.

It all started with LGF, which is one of the most important news resources in the world. What Charles does there is a daily monument to the failings of the MSM, which is much more concerned about a pathetic old chicken hawk harassing young men than the Islamists who would kill every child--not to mention gay man--in America if they could. If all Americans were exposed to the stories Charles brings to light, I am sure that eighty percent of the country would understand the nature of our enemy and be solidly behind the war on terror. For the other 20% of doctrinaire moonbats in the reality based community, no amount of reality will ever suffice.

I just googled my name on LGF, so I know the exact day it all began: 8-9-03. That’s when I started posting on LGF under the clever name “Bob G.” That was in the days before registration, when Charles’ readership was quite small compared to today.

At first I was shocked and outraged by the stories Charles would post. But at some point I decided that it was pointless to get all worked up and respond with righteous indignation. So I started trying to come up with humorous one-liners. I still feel that, in addition to smoking the terrorists out of their holes, we should systematically joke 'em out of their holes. We should relentlessly mock them and their stupid theology, something that would have come naturally to Americans in the days before political correctness. It should have started no later than 1979, and should have only intensified when they issued a Fatwa on Salman Rushdie.

There are well over 1,000 posts under the name of Bob G. For example, some of Bob G’s early contributions included a historical observation about the Muslim world: “Did you know that Muslims discovered zero? The problem is, they’ve been discovering it ever since.” (Yes, I know, they only preserved the idea of zero, but you can’t let facts get in the way of a good joke.) I also mentioned some Palestinian bumper stickers I’d seen, such as: "Practice Premeditated Acts of Violence and Gratuitous Cruelty,” "Obey Authority," "My Other Car is a Truck Bomb," "Jihad is Not Healthy for Infidels and other Vile Creatures," "Follow Me, I'm Lost," "My Son Graduated Summa Boom Loudly from Arafat Hi," and "Pray for World Conflagration." After a bomb lab was discovered in the Palestinian territories, I asked, "Isn't qualifying it as a Palestinian bomb lab redundant, like Bozo the clown?"

Then, on 2-9-05, Gagdad Bob was born, when another reader on LGF suggested the name (obviously a takeoff on the haplessly grandiose Baghdad Bob.) Gagdad Bob still occasionally comments on LGF, and I see that the number is now up to 1883. I’m looking at some of his early contributions now. There was a story about money laundering in the Palestinian Authority, to which I remarked, “Sources close to Arafat say that money was the only thing he ever laundered.” There was another story about some terrorist apologist who was described as a “the Rosa Parks of Islam.” I said the description was accurate, because he insists on the right to blow up any part of the bus he chooses. I also commented on the media describing Bin Laden as a “Saudi dissident.” I agreed, noting that Arab society is mired in the 14th century, while bin Laden wants to bring them to the 13th. In response to some terrorist front group--probably CAIR--I said “Excuse me, but if Allah had intended Muslims to have civil rights, don't you think he would have given them some in the Koran? Maybe he knew something we don't.”

Then, at some point in the summer of 2005, I discovered ShrinkWrapped, and began leaving more serious comments there. Frankly, I was shocked to discover another non-moonbat mental health professional. I thought I was the only one. I emailed him immediately and offered my support, since he is still deeply closeted, whereas I am relatively “out” (although I do not advertise my proclivities; I’m guessing that only one coworker shares my dark secret--the rest probably assume that I am a normal Bush hating liberal.... well, maybe not normal, but not abnormal enough to be a conservative).

Then, one of ShrinkWrapped’s readers--I wish I remembered who it was--sent me an email saying how grateful he was for my comments there. He included about a dozen of them in the email, and suggested to me that I should start my own blog. I read through the comments, and thought to myself, “hmm. Those are interesting. Or, if not interesting, at least pretty damn weird.”

In the meantime, my book, which had come out in early 2005, was greeted with resounding silence. It was unanimous: this was not a book to be tossed aside lightly, nor even with great force. No, it was a book to be ignored entirely. So I thought to myself, why not use the blog to try to generate a little interest in the book? I knew full well that the book wasn’t for everyone. However, at the same time, I knew that it couldn't be for no one either. I just knew that somewhere out there was a small population of ontological guerillas, cosmic omsteaders, extreme seekers and evolutionary freedom fighters for whom this book would be just the thing, if only they knew about it. At least I could give people the choice of whether to ignore it.

The book still hasn’t made any money--or if it has, I haven’t heard about it. But--and not to congratulate myself, but it’s true--I didn’t write the book with any commercial motivations whatsoever. I’ve told the unlikely story of how it got published in a previous post, so I won’t repeat it here. But I really tried, insofar as I was capable, to write something with no “expiration date,” so to speak. Even where the book contains old perennially true ideas, I tried to dress them up in a fresh new way. I really wanted the book to be “relevant” forever.

Now, you have undoubtedly noticed that the so-called news, as filtered through the MSM, is not really news. Rather, it is the appropriation of an institution called “news” for the promulgation of a worldview. I, on the other hand, have an all-encompassing weltanthang through which I attempt to interpret the news of the day. This is what eludes my detractors entirely, because everything I write is the reflection of a vision of cosmic spiritual evolution. In truth, this is what anyone does who reflects on the events of the day, except the liberal media pretend they are free of their cheap paradigm a dozen. In other words, it is only your overarching paradigm that allows you to notice what is important in the first place and to put it in context. Therefore, it is no surprise that the liberal media constantly confirm the assumptions of liberalism.

Ultimately what I want to do is understand the events of time from the standpoint of eternity. I’m not saying that I do it well, only that I seem to have discovered a little muddle-world niche that no one else inhobbits. In a very real sense, the blog has become the center of my spiritual practice, after ten years of a very different kind of spiritual practice that primarily involved meditation, reading, reflection, withdrawal from the world, and “ascent.”

But in my 49th year, a number of events conspired to turn my cosmos upside down and inside out. I remember back in my 20’s reading a book that said that our lives run in seven year cycles. Furthermore, these cycles are fractals, so that each seven year cycle has the same deep structure as all the others. And one complete cycle is 7 x 7. In the back of my mind, I always had this idea that something big would happen in my 49th year, some kind of transformation, or culmination, or symbolic death and rebirth. I don’t know. Something.

As it so happened, I did die. In several ways. First was the publication of the book, which was a very real sort of death, after having had my entire being revolve around it for so many years. Then there was the birth of my son after having been married for 17 years and enjoying an altogether different kind of life. That old life was dead. Then there was the surprising discovery of type I diabetes, which is--if you play it right--to be constantly shadowed and tutored by Death.

Now, instead of a yoga of ascent and “escape” from the world, I practice a yoga of descent and engagement with the world. This is now much more consistent with the Judeo-Christian view, which maintains that the world is worthy of our being in it, even if not of it. But it is also entirely consistent with Sri Aurobindo’s yoga, which picks up where the old yogas leave off. Now I realize that it’s very easy to go off to some retreat, disengage from the world, and ascend into a blissful detachment from this vale of tears.

But if you are truly an extreme seeker and off-road spiritual aspirant, that path is for wimps. It’s like one of those freakish body builders who spends his days lifting weights. But put him on a baseball diamond or a basketball court, and he’s worthless. Now I am committed to truly making the word flesh, and in so doing, make the world fresh--every morning. It's a much bigger challenge to try to bring spirit down into the world than to flee up and out of the world into spirit.

In other words, we must embody our realization in everything we do. Nevertheless, everyone must approach spirit in their own way. Everyone is a unique “problem of God,” but with a unique gift as well. In my case, I can no longer even imagine writing anything without the background context of spirit. I feel like those medieval artisans who crafted the gargoyles on top of the cathedrals that no one would ever even see. Nevertheless, these craftsmen were acutely aware that God was looking, so that nothing less than their best effort would ever suffice.

Occasionally I write a gargoyle that gets gargoogled and generates a gaggle of traffic. It’s almost always something of the political “red meat” variety, such as my psychological takedown of Clinton. But whenever that happens, I make it a point to test the limits in a self-defeating manner by writing a post of High Cosmic Weirdness to immediately clear the room of those who do not understand the larger purpose of the blog. For in the end, this can never be a mass movement. Rather, we can only build the membership of the Transdimensional Order of the Friendly Sons of the Cosmic Raccoons the old-fishin' way: one lonely raccoon at a time.


By the way, to my shock and surprise, some readers have been purchasing indulgences through Petey’s sad little tin cup. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude. Frankly it’s a little embarassing. To be honest, I have an issue with praise. I’ll have to run it by ShrinkWrapped, but I think he would say that it’s because my outward humility just masks my crass exhibitionism and sense of entitlement.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Innocence Lost and Found

The problem with a scandal is that there is nothing that can be learned from it unless it reflects a wider principle that makes the scandal itself pale in significance. If we could only identify the principle, then perhaps we could shift gears and stop talking about the scandal in such a breathlessly immature way. But the hysterical MSM specializes in lack of context and breathless immaturity, so what are the chances? If only they could be as ahysterical as they are ahistorical.

So, what is the wider principle here? Clearly, one of the principles is protecting the innocence of children. Why? Why do we care about that? Because all sane men know that children come into the world in a state of sexual innocence. And although they are sexual, they are not conscious of it, and their sexuality is not integrated into any wider concept of self.

This is why I am so creeped out when I see parents who allow their children--especially girls--to dress in provocative ways. Especially in California, I have seen many prepubescent girls who, if you just squint your eyes a little, could pass for beautiful woman. This was not the case when I was in grade school or even junior hi. Then there was a sharp divide between adults and children, in manner of dress, behavior, and general appearance. Of course, many of the girls were cute--I had many painful crushes--but they weren’t sexy or intentionally sexually provocative. And if they were, they would be sent home and told to wear something apppropriate. Today, this would generate an ACLU lawsuit.

I am quite sure that I would have been adversely affected by today’s sexual climate, in which the girls are like little adult women. Before my wife and I had a child, we would baby-sit a couple of twin girls who lived down the street. We did this at least once a week from the time they were around three years of age, and we grew quite close. It was a wonderful experience. Their mother was a very responsible stay-at-home mom, and their innocence was protected throughout their childhood.

But once they entered their teenage years, one could detect a disturbing transformation. Scanty clothes, too much make up, push-up bras, cleavage. Why on earth does a 12 or 13 year old need make-up, let alone a push up bra? It’s not as if, as a man, you cannot notice it. Naturally, I want to avert my eyes, because these are like daughters. And the problem is, no uncorrupted girl at that age has any insight into the primitive nature of male (especially teen) sexuality. It is absolutely free-floating, obsessive, intrusive, and easily attachable to any part of a woman’s body. If these girls actually knew what kinds of thoughts they provoking in the boys (and some men) around them, I am sure they would be creeped out. Unless they themsleves are acting out some kind of sexual trauma that was perpetrated on them, and have become prematurely sexualized as a way to “control” the opposite sex.

With regard to the present scandal, you can instantly see through the phoniness of the left in its so-called concern about Foley the “predator” and “pedophile.” Because if we’re going to have a discussion on the preservation of child innocence, how far is the left actually willing to go along in joining forces with the sane?

For example, is the left willing to stop their disgusting attempt to destroy the Boy Scouts--one of the few institutions in this nation that helps to transform boys to men--and agree that it is a horrible idea to punsish the Boy Scouts just because they do not want to be forced at gunpoint to have openly gay scout leaders? Do you not see the problem? Knowledge that a man in your midst is attracted to your sex introduces an unavoidable element of sexual tension. Even if suppressed, everyone will be unconsciously aware of it, no different whatsoever than if an attractive young female were the scout leader.

Because of their surging hormones and the fluid nature of their sexuality, young boys desperately need activities where they can get together in an environment free of sexual tension. For example, team sports must be preserved with no girls allowed. Is what I just said against the law? I can’t wait until my son is old enough for little league, but if it's true that leftist activists have made it against the law to exclude girls, I’ll start my own league.

How about school uniforms? In my opinion, this would be one of the healthiest policies we could possibly adopt. But with the ACLU and all the activists of the left, what are the chances? When I drive to work in the morning, I can’t help noticing the way girls are dressed at the bus stop. First of all, I find it impossible to believe that these girls have a proper man in the home, because no man would allow their daughter to dress that way. Furthermore, a girl who is not loved by a noble man will search for lower substitutes through the vehicle of her sexual allure, which is extremely unhealthy psychologically. A 13 or 14 year old should not know that she has this extraordinary power, or at least not know how to abuse it. But many girls never outgrow it, and become addicted to the power they have over men. It hardly leads to sexual liberation, but to cynicism and jadedness.

The left has been at the leading edge of the mainstreaming of every deviancy and perversion into society over the past 40 years, to such an extent that they would be offended at the idea of calling someone a deviant or a pervert, because it implies a standard of sexual maturity. Yesterday, for example, I heard Bill Maher sneer something to the effect that Foley would not be chasing after young men if only we would allow him to marry. How then to explain 50 year-old Maher’s preference for dating porn stars, hookers, and Playboy bunnies, and substituting dogs for children?

Maher clearly regards himself not as pathetic or immature, but “sophisticated” and far beyond the narrow minds of cultural conservatives. He has even made the idiotic statement that Republicans are only concerned with sexual propriety “because they’re bad at it.” Here is the actual quote: “This is always what happens with that Republican party. They are somehow able to conflate real morals and values with sex. Because they're Republicans, Larry. They're bad at sex. They're pasty, unattractive white people, and if you had to have sex with them it would be over in an excruciating three minutes. So what they always like to do is conflate sex with morals.”

That is typical of the “sophisticated” attitude of the left. Only those who are moral relativists and who have no standards at all, are fit to pronounce on those who do.

Ultimately it comes down to whether man is merely an animal or whether he is a spiritual being suspended between animality and divinity. Of course, you all know what I believe. But I am the unsophisticated one. A liberated person understands that sex is simply a biological function. It would be abusive and even unconstitutional to teach adolescents that there is moral and immoral sex. No. For the radical secularists who have taken over the educational establishment, there is only healthy and unhealthy sex. In other words, so long as both people or animals consent, and nobody catches a bad disease, that’s the only standard. Marital sex, homosexual sex, teenage sex, masturbation, it’s all the same.

Talk about a lack of sophistication!

It is amazing how the left has managed to overturn the order of the cosmos in the matter of a mere generation or two. When I was in high school (I graduated in 1973), I still had the remnant of the idea that sexuality had a spiritual telos, that its proper end state was marriage, and that anything short of that was just sort of “pretending” to be an adult. Of course, you can kid yourself and convince yourself that there is no difference, but you are living a lie. Committing yourself to another human being transforms you--it is a big part of what changes a boy into a man.

Knowing nothing else at all about the two candidates, would you vote for a married man or an unmarried man? We’ve never had an unmarried president, and I doubt we ever will. Here is a fine example of a truth that is so deep that it is beyond words. It is simply in our being, being that we are human. But it is precisely this deeper sort of translinguistic truth that is inaccessible to the leftist sophisticate. The history of intellectuals over the past 200 years teaches that is probably the norm for the intellectually intelligent to believe stupid things, partly because, in their vanity, they do not want to be perceived as ”unsophisticated,” itself a reflection of our fallen state and the hubris that goes along with it.

Regarding the question of innocence vs. sophistication, Schuon has pointed out the truism that those who mock the stupidly credulous are very likely among the ranks of the stupidly incredulous, such as Bill Maher and most of our anti-religious cultural elites. Furthermore, as hinted at above, “the self-styled destroyers of illusion live on illusions that exemplify credulity second to none; for a simple credulity can be replaced by a complicated one... complication does not make error less false, nor stupidity less stupid."

But most philosophy is merely error on a grandiose scale, and there is no error as grandiose as that of secularism--even if we restict ourselves to a bland mathematical body count of the 100 million deaths attributed to various secular and atheistic ideologies in the 20th century.

I feel very lucky. I had a very innocent childhood, an innocence that I never lost entirely. Although we naturally fall away from it during our rebellious years, it is possible to regain it as we mature, so long as it was there to begin with (and with God, all things are possible, so do not despair if you feel your own innocence was shattered and cannot be regained.)

Being innocent also makes you simple. It makes you transparent. It makes you harmless toward the good. But many people do not like to look into the face of innocence. It repels them. Being that it was stolen from them, they enviously wish to steal it from others--there is a perverse thrill involved in telling a child Santa Claus doesn’t exist, that all sex is the same, that God is dead, that all texts are arbitrary narratives concealing blind power, that truth doesn’t exist. It is the thrill of of rebellion and destruction, the illicit joy in being one's own god.

When one's entitlement of innocence has been damaged or stolen, one way of dealing with the loss is to mercilessly attack it when it appears in others. Child abuse is theft of innocence, and vice versa. No grade school child should be forced to learn about homosexuality, or any kind of sexuality, for that matter. Innocence is an existential category, no different than beauty, or the holy, or the sacred.

But job one of the secular rebellion is to finish the job that a certain serpent started once upin a timeless veridical, just a moment ago. For the compulsive demystification of this wonderful cosmos by sophisticated barbarians yields a kind of pseudo-intelligence at no apparent cost.

But there is a cost in aggressively unveiling the intrinsic mysteries that make us human. Our humanness.

What looks like an ascent is really a descent: ignorance and lack of intelligence are at ease in a wholly superficial refinement, and the result is a climate in which wisdom takes on the appearance of naiveté, uncouthness, and reverie.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Foley Grail of Homosexual Victimhood

Obviously, there is much talk, most of it unedifying, about the situation with congressman Foley, who, as we mentioned a couple of days ago, is not a pedophile but a homosexual attracted to young men. As linked to in Monday's post, there is a large body of evidence that a substantial portion of male homosexuals is indeed obsessively fixated on adolescent sexuality. This is not a homophobic statement (at least not in the sense intended by PC accusers who only use the term to shut down debate) but simply a statement of fact. An intellectually honest gay man will not hesitate to confirm what I am saying. Can I get a witness from an emotionally mature, conservative gay gentlemen, so that I do not have to endure the inevitable slurs?

Psychologically, it would make perfect sense for an adult homosexual to prey on teenagers if he himself had been similarly victimized as a teen. In fact, Foley has released a statement indicating that he was indeed molested by a homosexual priest.

It is a truism that victims become victimizers. This is not to say that all victims become victimizers. That would be false. Most people, for whatever reason, are able to overcome physical or sexual abuse--rarely without scars, but they do not necessarily have the compulsion to repeat the act on others (or they at least have insight, and can consciously stop themselves from acting on the compulsion). However, among the many abusers I have evalutated, I cannot recall a single instance of a victimizer who was not him- or herself a childhood victim of some sort of abuse.

This in itself shatters the agenda of homosexual activists who insist that homosexuality is a genetic condition. This is such a simplistic statement about human sexuality that it is beyond belief. For certain male homosexuals it very well might be genetic. But at the same time, I have no doubt whatsoever--none--that not all homosexuality is genetic. Does anyone believe that ancient Athenian males, who practiced widespread "boy love," were genetically different than we are?

A typical case comes to mind of a male patient who was raped (in the real sense of the term) by an uncle when he was eight years old. When he reached puberty, he acted out sexually with older men in a highly promiscuous manner. A homosexual activist would tell you that he was a “gay teen” instead of a tragically confused teen engaged in repetition compulsion of his sexual trauma. He himself never identified with being homosexual, and in fact, went on to marry, have children, and “outgrow” the homosexual behavior (although he was still haunted by what had happened to him). But activists will tell you that it would have been unethical for a therapist to try to "change" him into a heterosexual! Instead, we would have to help him feel "unashamed" of his impulses, or perhaps have instructed him on how to pursue them "safely."

Clearly, it is not accurate to say that predatory adult homosexual men only prey on “homosexual” teens. Rather, this type of predator is often looking for vulnerable, confused, weak, traumatized, or conflicted teens such as my patient. Adolescence is obviously a difficult passage, and sexual identity confusion is quite common. I cannot imagine a more harmful cultural policy than to formally instruct teenage boys that if they have a homosexual thought, it means that they are homosexual. I regard this as an example of a truly monstrous evil perpetrated in the name of “liberation” or “progressivism.”

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, the left is deeply at cross purposes with itself over this matter. First of all, they are normally the party that champions homosexual rights, openly gay Boy Scout leaders, the open expression of teenage sexuality, abortion for 12 year olds, and all forms of sex so long as they are consensual. Remember, just like the racists of old, the homosexual activists would have you believe that if you are 1% gay, then you are 100% gay. By those standards, judging by the IM’s, the object of Foley’s desire was a “gay teen.” The genes have spoken!

(The only other possibility was that the teen was merely “goofing” on a creepy old chicken hawk, which I do not think should be excluded as a possibility. I’m thinking back to when I was sixteen or seventeen, and if this had happened to me, my friends and I would have laughed our a**es off and probably tried to goad the man into making more bizarre comments; sure enough, I just heard on the radio that the homophobic pages referred to Foley as "FFF": Foley the Fag from Florida.)

One of the most destructive cultural memes of the left involves the illegitimate use of the “victim” designation. Before the 1960s, this word had an unambiguous meaning. When you heard it, you did not merely roll your eyes. European Jews were victims of the holocaust. Blacks were victims of racial discrimination.

But since the 1960’s, the category of “victim” has become a sort of floating signifier, to such an extent that most political battles come down to an unedifying struggle over who is entitled to wear the crown of victim. Once you understand the concept, you will only see it everywhere. For example:

Are illegal immigrants our victims, or are we theirs? Are we victimized by Walmart? Or are people of modest incomes being victimized by the alliance between the Democratic party and corrupt big labor, who hate Walmart? Are the Iraqis victimized by our “occupation” of them, or is President Bush the greatest liberator of Muslim slaves in human history? Are the Palestinians really victims, or have the Israelis actually been the perpetual victims of Arab hatred? Are American Muslims victims? Are we victimized by black crime? Or is that unthinkable, because blacks are by definition victims? Was Clinton victimized by ABC and Chris Wallace? Or was he merely playing the victim card to obscure the fact that we are all victims of Clinton’s fecklessness regarding Islamic terror? Was Clinton the victim of Ken Starr? Or were Juanita Broderick, Kathleen Wiley, and Paula Jones his victims?

Foley, who was a victimizer, wisely played the victim card immediately. And if the teen was merely playing him for a chump, then Foley was a double victim: a poor old homosexual taken advantage of by a homophobic teen and his snickering buddies! But it’s not going to work, because there is a higher principle involved, and that is defeating the Republicans in November. Therefore, the narrative is set in stone. A Republican homosexual has already had his victim card revoked anyway. It is of no use to him. He can play it, but it purchases as much as confederate money.

I am consistent. I believe that anyone who tries to prey on a vulnerable teenager who is already conflicted about his sexuality is exploiting their innocence and bringing great harm. Again, there are true victims in this world. To tell an otherwise normal teenager whose is confused about his sexuality that he is probably “gay” is a horrible thing to do. It is in the realm of unforgiveable, because it can ruin a life in the name of a petty political agenda. The question is, does the left really care about protecting sexual innocence, or is this just blind opportunism? Do they really have an interest in promoting mature sexual relations? After all, as we wrote about last week, the more people marry, the worse Democrats do at the polls.

Ironically, there was a debate in the 1990’s in Washington DC about lowering the age of consent for sodomy to age 16. Naturally, homosexual activists were strongly behind the movement. Here is a sample of what they argued would happen if 16 year-olds were somehow barred from sodomy (emphasis mine):

“We will then begin to see some very ugly and nasty cases of arrests and prosecutions for fully consensual, private acts of Sodomy involving 16 and 17 year olds, preceded by extensive, intrusive, money-and-resource-wasting investigations, and some vicious cases of entrapment and other manifestations of the worst of police abuses. The official homophobes will have a field day.... There are always fascists waiting in the wings for a signal which will enable them to expand their repressive control over people, and to do their dirty work. This raising of the age will be taken as that signal.”

“The impact... will be particularly unfortunate upon younger Gays. We in the Gay community have worked long and hard and not nearly successfully enough so far, to provide for the normal social needs of our Gay teenagers, who are deprived of what heterosexual teens of the same ages consider, without second thought, a normal social life.... This raising of the age of consent for Sodomy is a sure-fire recipe for raising the already-far-too-high suicide rate for Gay teenagers.”

“[It] maintains and reinforces exactly the symbolic marginalization of Gays which we are trying to eliminate. In the rhetoric of the '60's Civil Rights Movement: We will now be allowed onto the bus, but will be kept firmly and calculatedly in the back. The implication of this proposed raising of the age.... is that we and our lifestyle are being considered second class, from which our younger people must be protected. That is offensively insulting and is unacceptable.”

Again, the whole issue is defined by who may claim victimhood. So was an innocent child victimized by Foley? Or are fascists shoving a teen to the back of the sexual bus, where he may well commit suicide if we do not champion and celebrate his desire for sodomy with an experienced mentor? Again, if it's just abuse of authority, isn't Clinton having sex with a 19 year-old intern much worse?

Here is the deeper problem that is attached to victimhood. No matter who you are, if you are able to perceive yourself as a victim, it entitles you to bypass the normal rules of the conscience. Murder is wrong. But it would have been perfectly moral for a Jew in nazi Germany to murder a nazi, because Jews were true victims.

But the left has discovered the great truth that illegitimate victimhood is the key to illicit power. It is the basis of a corrupt supergo, or bad conscience. Thus, if it means temporarily abandoning first principles--that the homosexual is always the sacred victim, no matter what--that’s fine, so long as it ensures success at the ballot box. But just as the left had to strip Clarence Thomas or Condaleeza Rice of their blackness in order to feel victimized by them, Foley and the predatory priests must be stripped of their homosexuality. Instead, they’re just perverts or pedophiles. Homosexuals don't do that.

But the left does at least have a certain consistency. Just as they do not feel that chicken hawks are qualified to make decisions on miltary policy, they do not feel that chicken hawks should be involved in designing policies to protect children from online chicken hawks.

*Let's see how quickly this thread degenerates into the question of whether my post victimizes homosexuals! Just in case it is unclear, I believe there are many wonderful gay people, and that we do need to be compassionate and sensitive to the needs of an adolescent who is truly "different" and not just confused or conflicted. I am talking about the wider, and I believe destructive, agenda of activists, not of individual cases.

In any event, I do not so much divide sexuality horizontally between heterosexual and homosexual, but vertically between mature and immature. And what is mature sexuality? That's the subject of a different post.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Dreams of Ego, Nightmares of History

When I speak of the “culture war,” no one should be offended, because I am not speaking of this or that individual person, nor of this or that particular policy. There are many decent (although I believe misguided) people on the left, just as there are many a-holes on the right, especially among politicians, who, for a variety of reasons, are a special kind of a-hole.

As a brief aside, this is why I am never surprised when any politician, left or right, is involved in scandal or corruption. I expect it. As I may have mentioned last week, I see the world of “professions” in a very Darwinian manner, as a field of occupational “environments” that selects certain personality types. Politics, as much as any other field (including show business, which is merely politics for the attractive), attracts narcissistic, insecure, vain, and power-seeking individuals. Therefore, I am hardly shocked at the sexual misconduct of a Mark Foley, Gary Condit, Bill Clinton, Gerry Studds, James McGreevey, Barney Frank, or JFK. Rather, I am shocked by a James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill or Ronald Reagan.

I might add that the field of psychology also generally selects for a certain type of personality, which is why I have never related to the great majority of my peers, with obvious and profound exceptions. Take Dr. Sanity, for example. I’m very glad she lives halfway across the country, in Michigan. Being that she is two time zones ahead of me in hyperspace, when I’m out of ideas, I can always count on her post to inspire me and get me off the dime. This morning’s meditation on the evils of multiculturalism is no exception.

Dr. Sanity gets to the heart of the primordial battle of our day, which is not just against Islamic jihad, but our own culture war between left and right. She notes that the “politically correct road which the left has taken us all down--billed as the path to peace and harmony--has instead led to a land dominated by emotions; a place where barbarism of the most primal sort is tolerated and excused.”

But why should anyone be surprised at where this unenlightened ideology has led us? “Multiculturalism after all celebrates--not belonging to the family of humanity--but to one's sexual, racial, ethnic, or religious identity above all else.... Like many ideas of the left, it should now be apparent to anyone with a brain, that--in the case of multiculturalism--the exact opposite of what was promised ends up being delivered.”

“Just as the false promises of socialism and communism were found to lead to misery instead of happiness; poverty instead of wealth; enslavement instead of freedom--so too, have multiculturalism and political correctness, instead of harmony, brought lethal discord.”

Thus, just as Dr. Sanity is a couple of hours ahead of me in her wisdom, Europe is perhaps a generation ahead of America in its folly. Thanks to the useful idiots of Europe, we can see exactly where the idiotic road of leftism leads. The French are like the frogs in slowly boiling water who have no idea that their goose pate is cooked. They took the wrong fork in the historical road, which we may now stick in them. They are history.

This is what I am referring to when I write about the unbridgeable chasm between left and right. Half of our country has already gone the way of Europe. If a significant portion of the other half goes, then I am not at all optimistic about the future of mankind. The stakes are that high.

I am a psychologist. I carry a badge. I diagnose individuals. But it is said that a prophet diagnoses mankind. Thus, if you look at the DSM, there are, I don’t know, a couple hundred different diagnoses. But if you look at the Bible, or the Upanishads, or the Tao Te Ching, there is only one diagnosis, which is that human beings live in falsehood, alienated from reality. They habitually confuse what is ephemeral and valueless with what is transcendent and of eternal value. His consciousness exteriorized, hypnotized by the parade of images, the spiritually untutored man wanders from sensation to sensation until falling into the abyss at the end of his daze, wishes to ashes, lust to dust.

The “dream of ego” is a dream by the ego and of itself. This, in my view, is why revelation is so important, because--if it is what it purports to be--it is the only way human beings may truly look at themselves from outside themselves, through a non-manmade source that is uncorrupted by the ego. In my own lifetime, I have been shocked to discover that religion, properly understood, is both the shield and the corrective for certain inevitable metaphysical delusions to which humans are heir. I neither looked for this wisdom nor expected to find it.

Left to itself, the dream of ego, which is embedded in the wider dream of culture, eventually displaces our true self, and becomes a sort of second nature. This is what it means to be a fallen being in a fallen world. According to Schuon, the fallen ego "is woven of images and of tendencies” which “are our responses to the world around us; as we exteriorise ourselves, we create a world in the image of our dream, and the dream thus objectivized flows back upon us, and so on and on, until we are enclosed in a tissue, sometimes inextricable, of dreams exteriorized or materialized and of materializations interiorised.”

The more primitive or "sophisticated" the culture, the more it lives not in the world but in its dream of the world. Obviously this is the problem we face in the Islamists. They live in a dream, which wouldn’t concern us in the least if we weren’t being asked to play such a vital role in it. On the other hand, sophisticated multiculturalists have for so long asked us to honor the dreams and fantasies of other cultures, that we no longer have the means or the will to speak truth to these powerful delusions, as the Pope attempted to do a few weeks ago. It would be like a psychologist who attempts to heal a patient by “honoring” his neurosis as just another beautiful way to live. (There was actually a school of therapy which attempted to do just this in the 1960's, the Rogerians, who perfected the vacuous technique of "unconditional positive regard.")

One of the perennial delusions of the left is their naiveté about human evil. In their ahistorical view of history, they regard war as the exception rather than the rule. Thus, they see our struggle with Islamic jihad as some kind of aberration. In fact, many on the left won’t acknowledge that we are even in a war. Rather, it is a phony war, a quote-unquote “war on terror,” "blood for oil," "contracts for Haliburton," blah blah blah.

But wherever human beigs are, war follows. In his book Constant Battles, archaeologist Steven LeBlanc writes that the “cruel and ugly” truth is that in traditional societies, an average of twenty-five percent of the men died from warfare. Anthropologist Lawrence Keeley, in his War Before Civilization, notes that whenever Homo sapiens "appears on the scene, definitive evidence of homicidal violence becomes more common.... If anything, peace was a scarcer commodity... than for the average citizen of a civilized state.”

Indeed, LeBlanc writes that the homicide rate of some prehistoric villages would have been 1400 times that of modern Britain and about 70 times that of the United States in 1980. Although roughly 100 million people died from all war-related causes in the twentieth century, Keeley estimates that this figure is twenty times smaller than the losses that might have resulted if the world’s population were still organized into bands, tribes and chiefdoms.

Keep that last figure in mind in considering the nature of World War IV--or what I believe is the denouement of Cosmic War I. At the moment, our enemies are limited to killing only as many as they can. But what if they were only limited by how many they wanted to kill? The primitives with whom we are at war are limited only by the means, not the will. We, on the other hand, are not limited by our means, but by our will. If the sophisticated dreamers of the left continue to conspire with the primitive dreamers of Islam, the result can only be more nightmares.


Related on LGF: John Howard Blasts Left-Wing Elites

Monday, October 02, 2006

On Perversions, Pedophiles, and the Homophobes of the Left

One of the great drawbacks of our “enlightened” times is that we cannot speak honestly about sexuality. There are basic truths about human sexuality that your grandparents took for granted, but which cannot now even be discussed in impolite elite society. It is the opposite of sophistication or openness--it is a willful and destructive naiveté. Make no mistake: this modern attitude has nothing to do with freedom or liberation, but falsehood and slavery. But if you speak openly about it, the dogs of political correctness will be unleashed.

Let us stipulate that there is something problematic about male sexuality. In fact, if we cannot agree that this is so, this is a fine example of how far from reality the “reality based community” is. Virtually all perverts are men. I don’t have the statistics -- nor do I need them -- but I am quite certain that nearly all violent rapists are men, as are almost all pedophiles. It is well understood that nearly all of the paraphilias -- what used to be called perversions, which is a judgmental and not nice word, so it had to be changed by the left -- apply to men.

For example, I once had an elderly patient with a shoe fetish. His entire sex life revolved around fancy high heeled shoes--wearing them, having sex with them, wearing them while having sex, etc. It’s almost unimaginable that a female patient would enjoy having sex with a sweaty old tennis shoe. When they have a shoe fetish, it involves compulsively purchasing them, not intimate companionship with them.

It is interesting to read the hysteria coming out of the left regarding the situation with Congressman Foley, who I wholeheartedly agree is a pervert. Furthermore, it is fascinating to hear the left using this normally shunned word so freely and openly. Normally, the left specializes in defining deviancy down, so they are definitely at cross purposes with themselves in this matter.

In fact, someone left a shrewd comment about Foley on La Shawn Barber’s blog, that “Twenty years from now, he will be able to marry a 16 year old boy.” Seriously, who could argue with this comment? Is this not the trend that the left has been working toward over the last 40 years? Twenty years from now this might be an epic story of forbidden love overcoming the medieval, benighted, and unprogressive attitudes of conservative sexual oppressors.

But there is a much deeper reason the left is at cross purposes with itself. They keep stridently referring to Foley as a “pervert.” While I certainly agree that he is a pervert, I am quite sure I don’t understand why they do. Is it because he is attracted to young men? If that is the case, why is he a pervert, when all normal heterosexual men are just as attracted to young female flesh? Can I get a witness? I'm hardly excusing it. "Is" is not synonymous with "ought." In fact, this is why society must have "oughts" in place that acknowledge the problematic nature of male sexuality.

On dailykos they keep calling Foley’s actions “pedophilia,” but this is amazingly deceptive. Pedophilia specifically revolves around fantasies, urges, or sexual behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child, a very different thing. Therefore, we can take the charge of pedophilia right off the table.

It is well understood that almost all true pedophiles are men. This is hardly a knock on men. Saying this does not make me an androphobe. Furthermore, the majority of pedophiles are heterosexual, which is perfectly understandable, since they constitute over 98% of the male population. But let’s be honest. Let’s just look at the statistics, and see if we can draw any inferences from them aside from the truism that male sexuality is problematic for civilization--or that, for that very reason, both cultural mores and laws must be designed to guide male sexuality toward healthy, or at least pro-social, outlets. Otherwise, men will be inclined to “do what they do” in a state of nature, and be reduced to what George Gilder called the “naked nomad.”

In proportion to their numbers, homosexual males seem to be significantly more likely to engage in sex with minors. Let’s take the homosexual priest problem that afflicted the Catholic church. It is again deceptive to call this a “pedophile priest” problem, since the majority of victims were post-pubescent teenage boys. This is apparently consistent with studies indicating that “While no more than 2% of male adults are homosexual... approximately 35% of pedophiles are homosexual. Further, since male-on-male pedophiles victimize far more children than do heterosexual pedophiles, it is estimated that approximately 80% of pedophilic victims are boys who have been molested by adult males.”

Of course, it is only anecdotal, but there is no question that the majority of homosexual patients I have seen had their first encounter with an older man when they were still adolescents. Now, I am neither a researcher nor a statistician, but let us suppose that the above statistics, which were published in reputable journals, are roughly true. That they are in the ballpark.

Let’s put it this way. I am not a member of the American Psychological Association, for the simple reason that it has been taken over by agenda-driven leftist activists, including sexual activists. In their prestigious Psychological Bulletin in 1998, the APA published a ho-hum research paper arguing that the harm from childhood sexual abuse was vastly overstated, and that even then, much of the harm was probably due to extrinsic factors such as family disapproval. In other words, it was not intrinsically harmful, much less pathological (or, needless to say, immoral). For many, it was actually a positive experience.

“Moral passion” is an interesting thing. Just like other impulses and drives, it will find a way to express itself. On dailykos, this situation is generating the kind of moral passion usually reserved for blind Bush hatred. Assuming it is genuine and not merely opportunistic, it makes me very curious. Why? Because there are many on the psychological left who would argue that what Foley did was not only not pathological but perfectly healthy, so long as the boy didn’t object, and Foley didn’t use his position of authority to exert illegitimate power over the boy. At bottom, it would be considered nothing more than an office flirtation with a willing participant.

And so, if Foley is neither a pervert nor a pedophile, what has the left so morally exercised? Is sexual corruption of minors really on their radar? If so, they had better be careful what they wish for, because they are aligning themselves with the cultural conservatives they normally despise. Can we start with MTV? Not banning it, of course, but stigmatizing it as the psychosexually toxic moral cesspool it is. And if (I said if) the above studies linked to are correct, how about addressing the more general problem of adult male homosexual seduction of underage teens? Make it a special category of "love crime," or something.

But if this is just about abuse of authority, then surely what President Clinton did was far worse, because 1) he actually acted on his urges (rather than just talking about them), and 2) felt no real remorse, unlike Foley, who immediately stepped down from his position in shame. So is it just because the left is homophobic?

(By the way, if my meaning is too ironic or oblique, you may find that some of the comments shed additional obscurity on my point.)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Meditation: Gracing the Skids with Assisted Cluelesscide (10.13.11)

We left off yesterday discussing the three modes of spiritual knowing: meditation, concentration and prayer. Why three modes? Because man is a being made of intellect (which relates to truth), will (which relates to virtue), and heart (which relates to love). Meditation addresses itself to the intellect (not the profane intellect of the worldly intellectual, but to the uncreated intelligence), while concentration (as we will be using the term) applies to the will, and prayer to the heart (not the physical heart, of course, but the integral being, or “mind in the heart”).

Each of the three modes is polarized into a duality. In the case of meditation, the duality is discernment <---> union (the former being objective, the latter subjective; in the first instance, we must differentiate between the Real and unreal, and then assimilate the Real). Another way of saying it is that meditation is the way we transform religious know-how into spiritual be-who.

Before we even start, I should probably emphasize that I am not a spiritual do-it-yourselfer, which brings an element of will into the discussion. I tried the “willful” approach for a number of years, but didn’t really get anywhere with it. This is what the Buddhists call jiriki, or “self power,” as opposed to tiriki, or “other power.” In our language it is a matter of grace vs. effort. Being that I didn't have any faith in a higher being, I couldn’t very well rely upon the assistance of that higher being, now could I? Also, being then of a rationalistic (in the limited sense of the word) strain, I was initially drawn to atheistic approaches such as Zen or Taoism. Left to my own efforts, I was simply unable to get nowhere fast enough.

It was only starting in 1995, when I made the decision to consciously surrender to some nonlocal assistance, that I started gaining some traction in hyperspace. You know, harvesting. Born again from above. Leaving my alter egos on the ego altar. Repossessed and amortized. Cashing in my chimp. Nilling mysoph to a blank. Getting the keys to my luxury corps. Blissting off from the errport on the higher planes. Departing in order to bewholed. All that stuff.

So bear in mind that all my advice must be understood in the context of a real relationship with an unlimited partner. For me--and I imagine for most westerners--a human partner is best (living or "dead," it doesn't matter), since our consciousness is infused with the principle that the logos may go so low that it glows in human form. Although one form may transcend and surpass the others--I don’t want to get into that argument right now--I know for a fact that there is more than one who is capable of transmitting a real grace and a real spiritual power and presence. Of this I have no doubt, because, for one thing, we are talking about a cosmic principle, not a one-time violation of a cosmic principle. In fact, Orthodoxy compels assent to this more general principle, what with the veneration of the saints, starets, and early fathers.

Also, bear in mind that it is almost always necessary to find this nonlocal assistance in an established orthodox tradition. This is why manmade, improvised new-age approaches wrenched from their sacred context do not work. Real traditions are protected by forces that guard against egoic vulgarians who wish to take heaven by storm. Outwardly this is called “dogma,” but there is an interior protection as well that ensures that the fruit of the usurper or false prophet will always be unsound. Once you get your bearings in the domain of spirit, it is easy to pick up most any new age book and play Spot the Heresy!, usually on the first page. It gets boring real quick.

According to Schuon, in meditation, “The contact between man and God becomes contact between the intelligence and Truth, or relative truths contemplated in view of the Absolute.” In other words, meditation acts upon the intelligence (in the deeper sense, as defined above) in order to awaken certain timeless “memories” (vertical memories, as it were) and to engage the higher imagination (as discussed in yesterday's post). This is how truth is metabolized and assimilated into the being--it is a very organic process which exactly mirrors mundane, horizontal learning.

That is, as I noted in my book, the process is identical, just applied to a different plane. In both cases, there is a knowing subject, a plane of phenomena, and a transformational space in between. In each case we are dealing with what Aquinas called adequation between subject and object. It is just that in spiritual knowing, we are working with knowledge that transcends the senses (although not always, and not forever, since the higher intellect is capable of seeing the material world as a “theophany” of God, a principle that we routinely rely upon in order to appreciate the noetic light that shines through a great work of art, or simply perceiving the naturally supernatural beauty of the Old Master Painter himself).

Again, I am not big on attempting to spiritually lift oneself by one's own jirikstrap. For one thing, it chafes. Here I agree with Schuon: “Contrary to what is too often stated, meditation cannot of itself provoke illumination; rather, its object is negative in the sense that it has to remove inner obstacles that stand in the way, not of a new, but of a preexistent and ‘innate’ knowledge of which it has to become aware. Thus meditation may be compared not so much to a light kindled in a dark room, as to an opening made in the wall of that room to allow the light to enter--a light which preexists outside and is in no way produced by the action of piercing the wall.... The role of meditation is thus to open the soul, firstly to the grace which separates it from the world, secondly to that which brings it nearer to God and thirdly to that which, so to speak, reintegrates it into God.”

While truth is truth, it must be realized in order to begin transforming the person. It is not like scientific knowledge which, once known, stays that way. Rather, the realm of spirituality involves truths that must be known and reknown repeatedly, in a spiraling process. There is no end to it on this side of manifestation.

Q. Is not an increasing effort of meditation needed and is it not true that the more hours you meditate the greater progress you make?

The Mother: The number of hours spent in meditation is no proof of spiritual progress. It is a proof of your progress when you no longer have to make an effort to meditate. Then you rather have to make an effort to stop meditating: it becomes difficult... to stop thinking of the Divine, difficult to come down to the ordinary consciousness. Then you are sure of progress... when concentration in the Divine is the necessity of your life, when you cannot do without it, when it continues naturally from morning to night whatever you may be engaged in doing...

Q: But is not sitting down to meditation an indispensable discipline, and does it not give a more intense and concentrated union with the Divine?

The Mother: That may be. But a discipline in itself is not what we are seeking. What we are seeking is to be concentrated on the Divine in all that we do, at all times...

There are some who, when they are sitting in meditation, get into a state which they think is very fine and delightful. They sit self-complacent in it and forget the world.... This is not a sign of spiritual progress.... There are some who act and seem to feel as if meditation were a debt they have to pay to the Divine; they are like men who go to church once a week and think they have paid what they owe God....

To enter the spiritual life means to take a plunge into the Divine, as you would jump into the sea. And that is not the end, but the beginning....

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