Tuesday, February 27, 2007

You Have Omail: The End is Near!

The earth is in a crisis.

What a cliché. Start over.

My friends, today we find ourselves at a crossroads.

Please. This sounds like an 8th grade graduation speech -- which is better than Al Gore, but still. Say something kooky, something more in the Gagdad style. Something that makes no sense but sounds like it ought to.

My fellow Coons, I keep getting these vertical messages in my inbox about the final act in the arc of salvation. In fact, it is what got me to thinking about this whole topic to begin with. Of course, one of the problems in being a... a whatever it is I am, is that you never know whether these memos are spam from various levels of consciousness, both high and low, or the real vertical deal. After all, to think at all -- even in the horizontal sense -- is to ignore and delete 99% of what comes into your brainbox. A stupid or confused person doesn't know how to filter out all the garbage. There are also plenty of spiritually sensitive people who are open to the vertical, but who, for a variety of reasons, distort the message.

The reason for this is that the message, regardless of its "purity," must nevertheless be filtered through the crooked timber with which the material human is composed. This is why every step in genuine gnosis (not the heretical kind) must be accompanied by two -- maybe even three, to be on the safe side -- steps in virtue. In other words, the True cannot evolve too far in advance of the Good; nor can it get out too far ahead of Beauty, but that's a subject for a different post. Let's just say that a perusal of the new age section of your local bookstore brings to mind the title of one of Thelonious Monk's compositions: Ugly Beauty.

But debased books of the Tony Robbins/Deepak Chopra/Wayne Dyer variety (the men with the secret!) could also be called "False Truth" or "Bad Virtue." These genuine profits are in a spiritual "catch 22," because if they were to actually become more spiritually attuned, they would never stop being ashamed of what they had written -- of how they had trivialized the Divine Message and rendered it as ugly as an email solicitation for boner pills, as Lileks calls them, so don't blame me. Such writers (not Lileks, the other ones) will remain in a closed circle and keep writing the same spiritually barren self-help book over and over. There is no true divine creativity, no real vertical spark.

One of the purposes of religion -- properly understood -- is to act as a filter -- that is, to help one distinguish between the Real and the unreal, so as to align oneself with the Real. This is why a sophisticated yahoo such as Bill Maher can make fun of religion all day and therefore never understand why America's founders had to have been deeply inspired by Judeo-Christian metaphysics. Such a person must either ignore that truly Inconvenient Truth or imagine that our founders were cynical secular men, just like him. To someone within the Judeo-Christian stream, the connection is obvious, but to someone trying to swim on the dry land outside of it, it makes no sense that such freakishly clear-thinking men were deeply devout, so they must "attack the link," as Bion would say. But this is also to attack God, which is always a bad move.

Anyway, the omail I keep receiving has to do with the nature of the times in which we are living, and how they relate to Phase III in the Arc of Salvation. Now, it should go without saying that if one is totally immersed in the horizontal, one has no perspective on the now. At best, one will superimpose some idiosyncratic, egocentric meaning on the now, derived from limited personal experience. This is why virtually all secular leftist boneheads look at Iraq and see Vietnam. This is as far in the historical vertical they can rise, which isn't very far at all, to say the least. Thus, they interpret all matters of race in terms of Alabama in 1950, or all questions of "class" as if it were 1850, or all questions of "gender" as if it were 1750. Progressives are always temporally frozen in amber, looking at history through a rear-view mirage.

A universal spiritual truth is that one of the gifts, or "charisms," of the Holy Spirit is the ability to read the "signs of the times." One does not know the third person of the trinity "objectively" but only subjectively. It is not that aspect of God which one looks at, but that with which one looks with inspiration, or with "eyes made new," so to speak. Bear this point in mind for later, since if Phase III is the age of the Holy Spirit (Phase I having been the age of the Father, Phase II the age of the Son), then certain important implications follow. This is getting ahead of ourselves a bit, but as Frederick Turner puts it in his Natural Religion,

"The Christian Gospels contain an enormously important implication that is both clear and curiously ignored or muted in the teachings of most of the churches. Jesus leaves us with the promise of sending the Paraclete -- literally, in Greek, 'the one called to help.' Yet in most Christian liturgy the Holy Spirit is tacked on, as it were, as an afterthought, after passages celebrating at length the glory of the Father and the Son. 'Oh, and by the way, let's not forget the good old Holy Ghost' seems to be the general tenor....

"Yet if we analyze the style and characteristic 'plotting' of God's story of the world as Christians see it, it would be entirely out of character for him to have arranged a big anticlimax after the ascension of Christ. The redemption outdoes in drama and even importance the earlier creation and fall; if this is the third age, the era of the Paraclete, then surely it must be more marvellous still, and marked by a personal style not entirely the same as that of the Father and the Son. It would behoove us to pay more attention to the divine person who is with us now, as present among us as Jesus was, if we believe what Jesus says" (emphasis mine).

More on that later. Anyway, to read the "signs of the times" is to peer deeply into the now and perceive a more overarching pattern. However, one is not actually looking more "deeply," so to speak, but from a higher vantage point. Or let us say that the "depth" is a result of the "height," as the addition of a third dimension allows one to see the greater whole. For example, let us say that you are a passenger on a train. There is another train on the same track coming at you in the opposite direction. From your vantage point within the train, you can't see what's up ahead. To be perfectly accurate, you can see ahead a little ways, but for the most part you will be taking in the passing horizontal scenery.

But someone standing on a hilltop, even though he is still in space (i.e., not "time traveling"), would be able to "see the future," or at least a possible future. That is, he could see one train down below and the other train off in the distance, and be aware of the danger. There is really nothing magical about it. To a certain extent, it's as simple as adding 2 + 2. Frankly, psychotherapists do it all the time. They can see the "train wreck" up ahead, but it rarely does any good to explicitly warn the patient. Rather, you have to help lift them up, so they too can see it and react appropriately. Foresight is forewarned.

Now, all humans have this innate ability. A "prophet" is someone who has the same ability, only in a highly developed or more purified form. Like Michael Jordan, he just has a higher vertical leap. Again, this is one of the "infinite distinctions" between man and animal. Of course, one of the "signs of the times" is that it is actually controversial to say that the gap between man and animal is infinite, but this is a fine example of where the radical Darwinians are wrong. An animal knows nothing of the future, only the now. In fact, it would even be incorrect to say that they know the now in any human sense, as a quasi-magical ingression of eternity into time. For animals it is more of a two-dimensional, "in your face" now, whereas for humans it has an additional dimension of "distance" and therefore depth. (One of the purposes of meditation is to increase this depth of the now.)

As mentioned yesterday, humans are only able to know history at all because they have a built in sense of absolute history -- in the same way that we are only able to judge any beauty at all in light of an innate sense of absolute beauty. This is why we all have the ability to judge beauty on a relative scale but why perfect Beauty cannot surpass itself. The same can be said of Truth and Virtue. What is true is true. If two things are truly true, one is not more true than the other, since they each reflect the Absolute. This is common sense to humans, to such an extent that they don't even think about it consciously.

Due to the inevitable temporo-centrism of fallen man, humans are always tempted to believe that they are living in a "special" time. This may or may not be true, but some times are clearly more special than others in a cosmic sense -- in terms of the Arc of Salvation. From the point of view of the Arc of Salvation, mankind is pretty close to a hopeless case that has only survived this long due to a number of extremely potent "vertical interventions," some in the form of a divine smack-down, others a smack-up -- but always a smack. Many metaphysical dullards -- I saw a Hot Air video clip of Bill Maher blowing hot air about it just yesterday -- object to the Old Testament on the grounds that it depicts a "psychotic" or "bloodthirsty" God who is constantly killing people. This is like someone seeing -- I don't know, let's say, Saving Private Ryan -- and saying, "what a stupid film. Just a bunch of sociopathic killers shooting at each other."

To be immersed in the horizontal is by definition to be barred from any transcendent meaning. Transcendent meaning can only be found in the vertical, so it goes without saying that horizontal man cannot understand scripture by converting it into mere horizontal information to comport with his fallen state. This is to do exactly what an animal does to history. Again, animals have no knowledge of history because they do not have access to it. But the difference between vertical man and horizontal man is hardly less extreme, in the sense that horizontal man does not understand religion because he cannot understand religion -- and then has the narcissism -- always the narcissism -- to "hubristically" elevate himself above the vertical man.

By this insane logic, the greatest men who have ever lived -- including America's founders -- must either be nut cases or just plain ignorant. If Bill Maher had been there at the constitutional convention, he would have set them straight. He would have courageously spoken politically incorrect truth to power:

"What's this nonsense about 'endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights?' Please. You're not going to ground our rights in that psychopathic killer God, are you? I have this idea -- I've been corresponding with this brilliant fellow over in France -- Robespierre's the name. He says we have to put the kibosh on all this religious BS altogether and get a fresh start. Forget about re-enacting the exodus from Egypt. That's a stupid myth anyway. We have to go back to the real beginning and reinvent man on totally logical grounds. C'mon people, let's be unsentimental about this. As Max says 'virtue without terror is destructive, and terror without virtue is impotent. Terror is only justice prompt, severe and inflexible.' Doesn't that make more sense than saying the purpose of government is to protect rights granted by a quote-unquote God whom -- let's be honest, people -- we all know doesn't exist? Arianna, you agree with me, right?"

I apologize for rambling, but I suppose I'm laying a foundation. Work on the foundation is finished for today, as it needs to settle and harden a bit. Please stay away from the soft spots. I'll just leave you with another provocative quote from Turner:

"If in Christian terms this is truly the era of the Paraclete, it means that the history of the world since the redemption must itself contain a message, a message that cannot be less than equal to the Gospel of Christ -- if the Holy Ghost is indeed equal to the other two persons of God. If we look at that history from the vantage point of today, we notice one huge development: the astonishing progress of science, technology, and the human arts in general. That progress occurred chiefly in the parts of the world devoted to the Book and influenced by the life of Christ, while other civilizations lagged, or caught up only when exposed to the Gospel. The implication is that in Christian terms we might see progress in human art and science as the direct sign, the gospel, the very metabolism, of the Paraclete, the Helper."


Ricky Raccoon said...

If this is only the foundation, Dr Bob, I can't wait for the finished work.
Masterpiece so far..

Lisa said...

Is there a possibility that as a part of this cosmic involution/salvation that Man could come to exhibit some sort of new ability to see the fourth dimension? (possibly with their 3rd eye?)

"Likewise the concept of shadows can help us better understand the theory of four dimensions. If you were to shine a light on three dimensional object, it would cast a two dimensional shadow. Therefore light on a two-dimensional object would cast a one-dimensional shadow (in a two-dimensional world), and light on a one-dimensional object in a one-dimensional world would cast a zero-dimensional shadow, that is, a point of non-light. This idea can be used in the other direction; light on a four-dimensional object would cast a three-dimensional shadow.

As an example of this, imagine that light is shone down through a wireframe cube onto a flat surface. The shadow that results is that of a square within a square with each of the corners connected. Similarly, if a four-dimensional cube were lit "from above", its shadow would be that of a three-dimensional cube within another three-dimensional cube.

Being three-dimensional we are only able to see the world with our eyes in two dimensions; a four-dimensional being would see the world in three. Thus it would be able, for example, to see all six sides of an opaque box simultaneously. Not only so; it would also be able to see what was inside the box at the same time, just like in Flatland, where the sphere sees objects in the two-dimensional world and everything inside them simultaneously. Analogously, a four-dimensional viewer would see all points in our 3-dimensional space simultaneously, including the inner structure of solid objects and things obscured from our three-dimensional viewpoint."
taken from Wikipedia...

As above so below and now within.

Maybe a new approach to looking at things from above in the way you alluded to in this post about the train wreck...

Gagdad Bob said...

This piece explains what I attempted to say yesterday regarding "anti-Jews" such as Karl Marx: George Soros and the Problem of the Radical Non-Jewish Jew.

NoMo said...

Lisa - "...see the fourth dimension...3rd eye" brought to my mind this rather mind-boggling passage written by the apostle Peter:

"Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things." (I Peter 1:10-12 TNIV)

Looking back, forward, up, in, out, through - simultaneously. Apparently even angels seek to understand the multi-dimensional "arc".

debass said...


You also have the fourth dimension, time. Everything in the physical world is static without it. And don't forget the Fifth Dimension; I always liked that group.

Petey said...

Humanity is the religion of the angels.

Van said...

Lisa said " Man could come to exhibit some sort of new ability to see the fourth dimension? (possibly with their 3rd eye?)"

Another possibility is that Time would be that other dimension. As the 3D cube shows 4 oddly connected squares on a two dimensional surface, our lives show oddly connected episodes of our development, hinging on different pivot points in Time. You can imagine the exceptional 2D dweller trying to imagine and communicate the idea of elevation connecting those four squares into one seamless structure. One can also imagine a 3D dweller trying to communicate the seemingly disconnected ages of History, as being seamlessly connected through time past... into time future, as one structure having form, shape and design... couldn't you Bob?

wv:awzoyu a ways o you?
nah, nevermind, wordverif changed its mind:gtrojt... sounds vaguely like something you need those boner pills for.

goy said...

"...debased books of the ... Wayne Dyer variety (the men with the secret!) could also be called "False Truth" or "Bad Virtue."

Thank God - thought I was the only one! Twenty years ago Robbins was my hero though. Unfortunately, as you say, he's never evolved from the original message and therefore, while his initial work understood horizontal motion, he's never been able to make the "right turn".

As for "...he cannot understand religion -- and then has the narcissism -- always the narcissism -- to "hubristically" elevate himself above the vertical man." - I guess we should prepare ourselves to see more of this sort of thing going forward.

Anonymous said...

Could it also be said that, through our senses, we experience far more than four dimensions? Embodied within ourselves, we simultaneously experience sight, hearing, physical feeling, taste & smell (sometimes conflated), and through these things the awareness of time passing. These are just the basic senses. I don't know how they could be represented as an abstracted unified structure (a cube, or a shadow of a fourdimensional object), except of course as they actually exist in a human body, but perhaps somebody here can coonceptualize this better than I can.

On a completely unrelated note, Robin Starfish has a link to a nifty music site called Pandora. You give it the name of a song or artist you like, and it makes a radio staion for you based on other songs that sound like it. I put in "Neil Finn" - it played one Crowded House song, and then a whole bunch of music I've never heard/ heard of, but definitely like. If you're looking for new music, this might be a good way to find it.

Quake said...

An important point that Bob treated in passing should be emphasized--

The human mind is not a closed system. The sum of all thoughts that you have on any given day are not all "yours."

Some seep in from other people (yes, there is a fuzzy and unreliable cross transference)

Some come from other "planes" of being which interpenetrate ours (for instance, a plane or world of mind, inhabited by entities of pure thought-form). There is another plane of "vital" forms that are made of emotions, and these can give you suggestions to misbehave.

There are higher spiritual planes inhabited by angels and other high forms, and these can give us suggestions too.

And some, like Bob's O-mail, come in from God.

A person's mind is a goulash of thoughts, and untangling what comes from where should be attempted.

Raccoons probably do an automatic sorting of influences.

Van said...

Bob Woodruf, the World News Tonight co-anchor seriously injured by an IED in Iraq recounted:
"When it actually exploded, I don't remember that," he said. "But I do remember immediately at that moment that I saw my body floating below me and a kind of whiteness."

I wonder, what does a MSM Press do with first hand reporting from one of their own, of there being something beyond mere flatland life, do they follow the trail any further? Doubtful. Head injury, don't you know.

(oh come on, wv:cgbmmwq typing endurance testing now?)

ricky raccoon said...

Dr Bob says:
“This is like someone seeing -- I don't know, let's say, Saving Private Ryan -- and saying, "what a stupid film. Just a bunch of sociopathic killers shooting at each other."

Yes. Calling it the war in Iraq always irritated me. The word war is too ‘saturated’ as Dr. Bob often says about certain words. Calling this a war implies it’s almost like a boxing match between to otherwise ‘equal’ opponents…who just like to fight. So silly of them.

Whenever I discuss the subject with libs I try make my case for why I’m 'for it' by describing it as a rescue mission. To me, that’s what it is. Our soldiers are more like fire fighters running into a burning building to save the people trapped inside. And incidentally, the soldiers and people trapped inside, don’t have the luxury of time for hand wringing and risk calculating – because the building is on fire and there’s people trapped inside!

Ever since I’ve likewise found the term anti-war insulting - as if to say I’m pro-war. Pro-war? I’m not pro-war! I’m anti-bad guy. If there was a better way to convince the bad guys to stops I’d be all for it. But unfortunately it’s the only thing the bad guys understand.

Van said...

Goy said "Thank God - thought I was the only one! "
They'd all be much poorer if you were! I went the same route too. What I noticed was odd, tracing & reading the long line of self help books back Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich), and numerous others back to Ben Franklins... it's interesting to see the idea of the Vertical getting slowly but surely (that shape of Time made visible perhaps) reshaped, flattened, and remoulded into "Personal Power!".

Everything else pretty much remains constant throughout all of them, interesting to note that the only "new" in all of their "New! Hidden Secrets Revealed!" boilerplate, is not something new revealed, but something old hidden.

James said...

Wonderful post. I am still digesting the whole message, but a few gems of wisdom jumped out at me. Bob, your statements about the mind are tremendously insightful. I have just recently come out of a depression. There are many things I did to wake up from it, but the one thing I learned which was most helpful is most of stuff in your brain is garbage and in order to be happy and successful you have to filter out the bad stuff. This insight changed my life. I also see the truth in your statement about meditation deepening the now. I've been practicing meditation off and on for years now and I've gotten nowhere except where I needed to be. Here is my meditation insight. It is the difference between a quiet mind and a silent mind. A quiet mind is like a room full of unruly folks who are quiet because there is a marine drill sargent running around the room with a big stick. It's quiet, but there is a tension as soon as the marine is distracted the noise starts up again. A silent mind is like a room full of unruly folks who are completely wrapped up in an artistic performance. Their attention is completely consumed by this non-local action. The mind is silent when it receives the grace of God because, well it's grace and it's awesome. Such is the difference between horizontal meditation and vertical meditation /prayer. I hope I'm making sense.

GLASR said...


Gagdad Bob said...

Gandalin, you full blooded idiot, I was not making a comment on Marx's genetics but on the lower vertical mirror image of the higher vertical Jewish message.

Gagdad Bob said...

And don't ever post here again, asshole.

Ricky Raccoon said...

One more thing about the soldiers…

I’ve worked side by side with military folks (mostly Navy) for a good number of years. I work for an engineering firm.

I have yet to meet one who even remotely came across as the types depicted in so many ‘war’ movies these days. No blood-lusters and shoot-em-up types in my bunch.

They are good, good people who have the guts (a natural gut) to do what is right. I place them above me on the vertical ladder.

I actually went to art school and was originally a lefty-lib. Long since converted – a significant result of being around these fine people so much. I’ve certainly grown up a lot for having been in their company.

I think it’s the reason the libs have such a repulsion for the military. They know they can’t do what the soldier does. I can’t either. But I accept that. They are built differently than me. And I am thankful for them.

Van said...

So Thats where my coffee went!

RiverCocytus said...

gandalin: It is not unlike the Son of the good emperor who becomes an 'anti' emperor.

Hitler's parents were Roman Catholic. In this sense, he was an anti-papist; or had the 'reverse papal revelation' if transmorgified into Bob's analogy. This doesn't imply fault of the Roman Catholic church, but it does change the way his evil played out.


The organization I make websites for is heavily into the Napoleon Hill stuff; It's one of their big books. I recognized early on that while it is a workable philosophy it is by no means complete, and relying on basically one (or two) principle(s) it lacks depth or real substance. Basically they do the 'law of attraction' stuff. There's something called 'Psycho Cybernetics' which is basically positive-thinking mishmash; instead of thinking of it as something strictly false, it is merely pulling a good rule/principle and making it the principle. Its main issue looking at it from the outside, is that it invites the presence of unloving spirits, creating this problem of narcissistic selfishness that is self-justified. (Think of the unloving spirit as a mind parasite, in general, that blocks real L links from happening.)

Anyhow, good stuff, Bob. It is similar to the 'message' some folks have been receiving regarding these times. As to whether it is true or a projection, only time itself will tell that.

Also, this 'Virtue, Truth, Beauty' thing is a biggie, I sense. But what is the linkage between the three, I mean, red-green-blue: different, but all light, vert,horiz,depth: different but all space, etc. So Virtue, Truth and Beauty are distinct, but what is their 'space'? If we were in Linear Algebra, we might ask what the vector space of them was...

Sorry, spatial-minded guy here...

There's my favorite word, which describes these things, is possibly 'syzygy' which is the 'yoking together'. We can, for the purposes of discussion throw out the Gnostic association. Here's the wikipedia on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syzygy

There's even a connection to Atari down there at the bottom.. cool beans.

Anonymous said...

I often felt the same way when libs argued against the "war." Another argument that drove me nuts was the old "well, if you feel that why why don't we go in and rescue every country run by an evil dictator. My (unspoken) response to that was simply this: if you see a school on fire, and you know wihtout a doubt that you personally can't rescue all of the children inside, do you just walk away, hands in your pockets and whistling a merry tune (you're not the one breathing in the stinking fumes, right?)? Of course not (unless you're a moonbat, apparently) - you try to save as many as you can. Some will be closer and easier to reach than others. If you are really fortunate, by showing a few kids the way out others may hear you and follow. You probably won't save them all, certainly not on your own. It's dangerous, and the outcome is uncertain - you could get killed yourself.

Anyway, that's always how i viewed the situation.

James - I like your take on things. I'm currently making tentative attempts at meditation; right now, the crowd in my head isn't remotely quiet enough to allow for the Grace to seep in; I've tried the truncheon technique, but my hyperactive mind parasites just wait till the enforcer's back is turned. Clearly, that doesn't really work. Perhaps if I tell my inner children to use their indoor voices...

RiverCocytus said...

About the Military; having now shot weapons (for the first time) at a range, I now realise the incredible respect you have to have for these things, that the military instills in its recruits. (A policeman trained me how to shoot.)

Seriously, just handling the weapons properly gives one a sense of respect and caution that no naive radical can possibly understand.

Van said...

Thinking about the non-jewish jews, and some discussion we had previously about the uses of Illusion as scaffolding for the vertical...

What if the scaffolding is erected within a person, but the vertical structure it was meant to Form, is never built? Is there an anti-vertical that is created? Or maybe using Lisa's 3D to 2D cube shadows, a resentful tracing (etching?) over the shadow lines cast upon the horizontal by the never completed Vertical scaffolding?

Does an expected Vertical Expanse which is never completed, become a hollowed out horizontal blueprint for resentment and anger?

Where IS my coffee....

robinstarfish said...

pebble in still pond
koi and heron sense a change
pour this tea slowly

RiverCocytus said...

julie, this is going to sound funny, but there is a part of The Purpose Driven Life that talks about this same thing; it is the sense that trying to control these things (mind parasites, temptations, etc.) just causes us to focus on them, allowing them to remain.

I have a dear friend in Christ right now who is struggling with a similar thing; he is focusing on hating sin (instead of Loving God.) What it does is make him dwell on sin, which does not stop him from sinning but keeps it continually in his thoughts (like the drill sargeant.)

Paul's suggestion was, "If there is any thing good, true, beautful, righteous, pure, faithful, set your mind upon those things." (Pardon the Paraphrase.)

Fidgeting is impossible to get rid of by focusing on NOT fidgeting; because somehow in the mind the non-fidget is like the shadow of the fidget; meaning you're still thinking about fidgeting, really. Fidget! Could drive ya nuts!

Anonymous said...

Interesting question, Van. I wonder if it would be kind of like an abandoned structure; what becomes of it depends on the location. Some might become overgrown with plants, reclaimed by nature; others may crumble into a dry, dusty waste. In an urban setting, it would be filled with refuse or used as a shelter by squatters and runaways.

Abandoned and unused, such structures can be very dangerous to the unwary.

On the other hand, if the foundations are strong and the basic structure properly formed, with careful work and attention it might still be completed by a caring hand, with the proper guidance.

Anonymous said...

I like the picture that goes with that haiku - looking at it, I can hear the chimes...

RiverCocytus said...

Van, it is said of Jesus that he was a true revolutionary because he came from within that tradition. It is like somewhere in man's nature is this potential to pervert all things; and reverse and subvert to his own will to power everything he has been taught. Thus the 'anti-christ' would be in fact, the ultimate evil in that same sense.

The more luminous the image, the deeper the shadow...

Anonymous said...

I'm working on it : ) The trouble isn't physical fidgeting; outwardly, I am far more still and quiet than most people - it's the inward fidgeting, the easy distractions, etc. ad nauseum. I know enough to allow the extraneous thoughts to pass through without really acknowledging them, but there are just so many...
Really, it's just a question of practice and patience, especially with myself.

RiverCocytus said...


"I don't feel no ways tired
I've come too far from where I started from;
Nobody told me the road would be easy
But I don't believe he's brought me this far to leave me."

-Rev. James Cleveland, [rest in peace you great man of soul.]

Ricky Raccoon said...


As much as there is an awful lot I despise about Hollywood, they do manage to every so often sneak a good movie past the guards.

Your point reminds me of a great line from a recent movie National Treasure. Referring to what we are bound to do by our Declaration of Independence:

"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and provide new Guards for their future security."

Which in the context of the movie the main character explains:

“If there's something wrong, those who have the ability to take action have the responsibility to take action.”

Van said...

Question on the problem of the self absorbed in the article Goy ref'd above. Not to discount the issue it purports to highlight (growing narcissim of Gen Y'rs in college), but part of me can't help but wonder if the concerns of this type of person: "Laura Rantala, 26, a sociology major, said the phenomenon got in the way of a survey she conducted last semester on the attitudes of men and women about jury duty"

...who is busily resenting this: "I think it's because we all have our own cellphone and iPod with which we're doing our own thing in our own little world," she mused."

...,might have more to do with students no longer being deluded into thinking that people like her, and her 'studies', have actual value? The article ends with :"The old model was a collegial one in which students and professors alike sought knowledge for knowledge's sake. The new model is 'I paid my money, give me my grade and degree.' It makes me want to ask [students], 'Want fries with that order?' "

It makes me wonder whether the students are finally catching on to the fact that the "knowledge for knowledge's sake" that is being offered in the colleges IS of no more and no better use than a grade and degree. Rather than snidely asking if they'd like fries with that, it might be better for them to begin including an Education in the Beautiful, the Good and the True, with that grade and degree - That would go farther in transforming the Gen Y'rs than concern over sociology studies.

It is after all, the Gen Y'rs who are enlisting and serving in our military right now - clearly they aren't all turning into narcissists, some at least are finding deeper values far afield from Academe'.

At least, that is what I hope.

RiverCocytus said...

Ricky: yeah, and just because people tout that intention who cannot tell right from wrong does not make that a bad rule of thumb.

Speaking of good movies, "Amazing Grace" is, I've heard, phenomenal. It's about the life of William Wilberforce (what a name!) who is responsible for ending the slave trade (and eventually slavery) in England.


This isn't a bad summary of his life.

Anonymous said...

Van, I thought the same thing reading that article; the sociology chick was probably just as self- absorbed as those she was annoyed by.

One thing that did strike me as accurate was the people who expected an "A" just for showing up. I knew many of these types in college; sadly most of them were education majors, planning to go on to become teachers. And yes, there were some who actually demanded from their professors a passing grade just because they were education majors (one of the many reasons I'm considering homeschooling someday, when I have kids and need to think about such things...)

Van said...

James said "...the difference between a quiet mind and a silent mind. A quiet mind is like a room full of unruly folks who are quiet because there is a marine drill sargent running around the room with a big stick. It's quiet, but there is a tension as soon as the marine is distracted the noise starts up again. A silent mind is like a room full of unruly folks who are completely wrapped up in an artistic performance. Their attention is completely consumed by this non-local action. The mind is silent when it receives the grace of God because, well it's grace and it's awesome. "

Now there's a description of the effect of the Beautiful, the Good and the True!

Familiarity with and contemplating the Beautiful, the Good and the True not only absorbs the viewer, but will transform them, if they allow it within them.

What is the inter-relation between the Beautiful, the Good and the True with each other? What is the inter-relation between heigth, width and depth in a sculptural work of Art? Each forms and defines and is of the other. When we allow the Beautiful, the Good and the True to enter into us and to reform upwards within us, that harmony resonates in our mind and soul, and I suspect that mind parasites pressed up against them are either transformed themselves, or shattered from the contact.

goy said...

juliec said... "One thing that did strike me as accurate was the people who expected an "A" just for showing up. I knew many of these types in college; sadly most of them were education majors, planning to go on to become teachers."

Don't know when you were in school julie, but it's only gotten worse. I experienced it somewhere between first and second hand as my wife's caregiver during her recent completion of a B.A. Many of her schoolmates demanded higher grades whether they showed up or not. And your observation that the problem is most acute in (and, in fact, starts with) education majors is no accident, IMHO.

Constructivist ed. theory, which is the current orthodoxy among ed. majors, seems to do its utmost to remove any level of accountability from teachers OR students with respect to measuring how much / how well they're learning and, indeed, if they're learning anything at all.

Van said...

robinstarfish, I really like that last Haicoon

Van said...

Juliec and Goy,

As H.L. Mencken noted, "A startling and dramatic improvement in American education requires only that we hang all the professors and burn down the schools". Depressingly, you can fill a library with the books that have made clear that the 'Education' schools of America are the greatest threat to gaining an Education possible.

Two standouts that can give the clearest overall picture of the disease that is American Educationism, are Thomas Sowell'sInside American Education, and Richard Mitchell's The Grave of Academe (downloadable). from the intro to "The Grave of Academe":

"...undertook the task of describing, by extrapolation from one visible protuberance to another, and with a little probing, the great invisible hulk of the beast, the brooding monstrosity of American educationism, the immense, mindless brute that by now troubles the waters of all, all that is done in our land in the supposed cause of “education,” since when, as you see, I can rarely bring myself to write that word without quotation marks, or even fashion a sentence less than nine or ten lines long, lest I inadvertently fail to suggest the creature’s awesome dimensions and seemingly endless tentacular complexities. I will try to do better. The somber subject requires clarity."

RiverCocytus said...

This may or may not be up to the same par, but there is always The Underground History of American Education.

One of his key points is that people are not nearly as 'dumb' as we imagine them to be because of our educational system. Funny that the constructivist theory that men are tabula rasa does not result in smarter people but dumber ones.

'It was the year 2000, and everyone was equal...'

RiverCocytus said...

PS: Tentacular is an awesome word and is now mine to use!

*runs off happily*

goy said...

"...I can rarely bring myself to write that word without quotation marks, or even fashion a sentence less than nine or ten lines long..."

Oh. So. True.

Was going to post more on this, but remembered that it's come up before...

And yeah, tentacular has all sorts of interesting uses! ;-)

Van said...

Yep, John Taylor Gatto is another that saw first hand what the tentacular (I love/shudder, at that word too) beast of educationism is.

I agree, I don't think it makes people dumb... and this is something that occupies my thoughts a lot (a lot = three school age kids), and I haven't come to a final assessment of it yet, but it can, if uncorrected, direct kids towards unintelligent beliefs. It doesn't make people dumb... but it does, at best perhaps, delay the process of integrating the width's of life. It can put people off, at least for a time, being interested in literature & history and the Arts (nudging back towards the Beautiful, the Good and the True again). A bad education (... an uneducating education) also points kids off on false trails which it may take years or decades for them to correct.

Then again, what may set a kid after acquiring an education, a stray comment at a sales conference, an unexpected impression from a movie, a chanced upon blog - even a (I would have snarled and sneared at this a year ago) video game, can flip the switch in a person, and a fine education can be had by anyone interested in it cheaply and easily; at least the raw materials of one can be had through Gutenberg.org, The Teaching Co., discussion blogs, etc. An Education itself seems to me to be something that the person creates within themselves through reflection, contemplation and discussion of a wide, though focused, range of material - that and living itself of course.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Cool post, Bob!
Really cool...because it's... snowing.

Flashback: about 7 or 8 hours.
"Todays weather where you (me, Ben) are at; partly sunny, possibility of showers."

Yesterday I saw clips of the oscars, where Algore was preachin' to the masses.
All the faces of the algorians in the audience were aglow in rapture, leaning forward and hanging on every word. Nodding as the cameras focused on them.
Algore, their Profitt had spoken.

Now, can someone tell me why I should believe Al "I got a liberal arts degree" Gore making dire predictions about Disneyworld turning into waterworld 10, 20 or 100 years from now, when meteorologists can't even get an 8 hour prediction right?

RiverCocytus said...

The agreed-upon shame (at least in some circles) is that we're forced to go through that drek. But then again, it is a terrible winnowing...

Doesn't make it sound any better, though.

wv: isbyk! Sounds like a heretofore unknown bird.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Algore's ideas are tentacular on the level of 20,000 leagues UNDER the SEE.

I knew that word would come in handy.

WV: xkruhoqh...need I say more?

RiverCocytus said...

What he says his experience with 'dumb' people is, they aren't nearly as 'dumb' as we think, or rather, they are not smarter than we think but are far more functional than our screwed up understanding of intelligence -> functionality would indicate.

In other words people of low intelligence can learn to drive and do so well; even if they would take 10 years to learn calculus. He also indicates that our supposed understanding of what 'average' intelligence is, at least can be is a gross error. Not that it's surprising, but a lot of our schooling is shaped around what the perceived averages are.


wv: tvmsstme - and I'm glad it did.

RiverCocytus said...

I had octopus sashimi.

It was tentacular!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Yet if we analyze the style and characteristic 'plotting' of God's story of the world as Christians see it, it would be entirely out of character for him to have arranged a big anticlimax after the ascension of Christ. The redemption outdoes in drama and even importance the earlier creation and fall; if this is the third age, the era of the Paraclete, then surely it must be more marvellous still, and marked by a personal style not entirely the same as that of the Father and the Son. It would behoove us to pay more attention to the divine person who is with us now, as present among us as Jesus was, if we believe what Jesus says" (emphasis mine).

I'm glad you brought this up, Bob.
This is probably the most misunderstood attribute of God in Religion today.

Ricky Raccoon said...


RE movies and Hollywood, I find it easier now if I tell myself "I like parts of movies". Sort of a rationalization, but at least it lets me not completely give up on movies. I'm hopeful of what movies ‘can’ do. And also often times they can be beautiful visually.

By the way, if you are impressed by William Wilberforce, you would also enjoy I'm certain David McCullough’s biography of President John Adams. Have you read it?
I am reminded of it by your reference to slavery. Adam’s and his family had no slaves. Not a one. Ever. In contrast, President Jefferson about 60 or so. Both had strong feeling against slavery and realized their hypocrisy having declared all men created equal. But they were also well aware of what they may only be able to accomplish in their time.

After Adams died and his estate settled it had an estimated net worth of about $100,000. Quite a bit for those days. Jefferson on the other hand died quite a bit in debt. Adams no slaves. Jefferson lots of them.

I love Jefferson, despite his failings on that issue. Clearly a big issue as issues go. I would make a similar point about Washington – who I consider the greatest American that ever lived. For without him – and especially of course God, there would be no America.

So related to Dr Bob’s posts lately, it’s important to try to see the world through the eyes of these great people as they were in their time, on their ‘train’ looking forward.

RiverCocytus said...


Breaking news: Glenn Greenwald(s)' thought reaches negative mass and begins generating world-destroying dumb-grav(y?)ity : Whoaz.

Lisa said...

Wasn't the Goregy at The Oscars just pathetic, as if film and Hollywood can't get much worse....what's next Nobel Peace Prize?

Not that I actually watched, I happen to think all those people get an award with every paycheck and have no need for all the hypocritical self-congratulation. Only interested in dresses and jewelry...

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Ricky Raccoon said:
"They are good, good people who have the guts (a natural gut) to do what is right. I place them above me on the vertical ladder."

Don't sell yourself short, Ricky.
You can do far more than you think you can.
In fact, we all can do far more than we think we can.
Maybe not in the way we would choose, but in the best way in any sense.

Their can be no service without support, and for that I thank you and all my fellow brothers and sistas under the pelt.

We are all one team (Coons that is), and we all have our Destiny(ies) to fullfill.

cosanostradamus said...

This ark has the best ports of call anywhere. Fjords, calving icebergs, gourmet repasts...

The Arc series has me thinking along the lines that gifts of the Spirit are to be a prime duty rather than some mysterious attribute bestowed on a few lucky super saints.

To boil this down to gumbo (and I apologize in advance if it's reheated):

The first post-Noah directive was to be fruitful and multiply. Done, check, but as Bob so clearly points out, mankind went about as far as it could with civilisation-building before it needed another shivering of timber.

The ascension of Christ was the "meteor strike" that filled that bill (and is still endangering dinosaurs to this day). It also opened the door for the Paraclete and the second directive: go into all the world and preach the gospel. Eureka! It's the same directive all over again, just at a higher frequency! More logos and less hand to plow. The result - our "astonishing progress of science, technology, and human arts in general" seen in the nations with ears to hear.

So...the gifts of the Spirit. Assuming that the first and second directives were talking about the same thing - the grease of verticality into the cogs and wheels of human life - isn't the exercise of the gifts a command, a duty instead of a prayer cloth received from Benny Hinn for $29.95?

If so, it's incredibly liberating, especially in terms of creativity. It makes creativity (of the Beautiful, Good, and True variety) Job # 1 instead of an "avocation" to play around with after doing the "real" work of making money, feeding the family, making the electric Hummer payments, etc. Perhaps most naturally creative people have enough antivenom to deal with that particular parasite, but it certainly affected me through my educational years. And of course it's far worse now.

But to be infused with that spiritual dimension, together with the knowledge that it's our job, our duty to procreate it through our art, music, writing, daily work, whatever and whoever we touch - wow, that's like a load of monkeys off my back and a source of honest to god Joy. Time to git 'er done, just do it.

Sorry to ramble on, but the Arc of Salvation posts of the past several days are causing all sorts of synaptic tentacular rewiring. I hope it rains for another 36 days and nights.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Lisa said...
Wasn't the Goregy at The Oscars just pathetic...?

Goregy...heh heh! Good one, Lisa.
It was pathetic to see the Goregy and Goregasms, in public no less.
They have no shame.

lurker uncloaking said...

While re-reading the last paragraph of your latest post, the Holy Spirit gave me such a nudge…for many years, since first hearing a fragment of “Amazing Grace” sung (in Arlo Guthrie’s movie), I’ve felt Her* presence sneaking up on me (or occasionally wielding a righteous clue-by-four upside my head). Although Jesus is my blessed savior, the Holy Spirit is the aspect I normally pray/complain/plead/rejoice/thank/chat with…and the “Gift of the Spirit” She has blessed/saddled me with is the tendency to become totally gobsmacked with awe, joy and wonder over the INDESCRIBABLE GLORY & BEAUTY OF GOD’S CREATION at the slightest provocation. Anyhoo….to make a long story longer…what the Holy Spirit 'said' to me was “By Me, I strongly suspect this Gagdad-Bob person is on to Us (nudge-nudge, wink-wink).”

* Since people who can read the user’s manual in its original language, tell me that in the Old Testament, Wisdom (archaic Hebrew for Holy Spirit) is given the feminine form, I feel it only proper to follow their precedent.

PS wv:xnnya ...could I be mistaken in my assumptions...

Anonymous said...

Van der Leun over at American Digest has a couple of good posts about Algore and the awards show. (All his posts are worth reading, if you have a few minutes)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

cosanostradamus said...
This ark has the best ports of call anywhere. Fjords, calving icebergs, gourmet repasts...

Amen to that! We're talkin' about Liberty Call!
Two words every Sailor Coon loves to hear!

We Coons are supernatural Sailors, sailing the seven sees, the vast O'sheens, and the Eternal waters of Life; making port O calls as the Master sees fit, awaiting those sweet words, Liberty Call!

Gno what I mean?

ms. e said...

Your Gumbo Reux is positively delicious.
It is a mitzvah to share gleanings.

I once saw one of those portable, rentable, electric signs on wheels in rural Louisiana that said:

"Git 'er done for Jesus".

Why? cusof (wv)

Ricky Raccoon said...

USS Ben,

Thank you for your service.

Ben says:
“Don't sell yourself short, Ricky.
You can do far more than you think you can…”

See what I mean fellow Coonsters? He’s worried about me.

But don’t worry. I’m not getting down on me. I’m getting up with you guys.

And please take the rung above me. It would be my pleasure.

I’ll do what I can to help out from here.

God bless you, Ben

robinstarfish said...

go ahead and laugh
moonbats like to lick themselves
then hand out awards

joan of argghh! said...

I've enjoyed the re-thinking that the last few posts have evoked in my spirit. I've liked re-visiting the Trinity afresh, with new questions and possible insights, and real wonder. The Magical Bobical Tour has taken me places I'd never be able to visit with other, lesser Tour Guides and Cosmic Travel Agencies.

Saying that, today's post is like coming home for a family reunion and finding that nobody's actually changed, they've just processed all the family history in a way that's making sense.

Seeing the Holy Spirit as Part the Third in the timeline of history makes all that dysfunction, befuddlement, and incomplete information now blossom into a maturity of vision, a joyful arrival at peaceful fellowship without all the drama: The Helper is here.


Historical dysfunctions: I remember when many a good Christian believed the end was near because gasoline went up to 70 cents a gallon! And Jimmah was president! But the numerous predictions of "The End is Near" were silly but widespread.

If the Spirit is real, if the Help is True, then everything can pass away tomorrow and the peace of that Truth will suffice.

I think it more likely that all things--past pains and present joys--are being made "alive" unto the Eternal gambit for Salvation. Part III is full of Promise.

Nick said...

There have been some people here who are having a tough time meditating. While I struggle with the practice as well I believe that a good way to train the mind to quiet itself is through memorization. Not too long ago I felt in my spirit that I should start memorizing a scripture per day. So I started choosing scripture that directly addressed those things which I had little understanding of at the time. For instance, before not too long ago I had a lot of trouble with the idea of God's grace being powerful and sufficient to change my heart. So I would start memorizing scriptures regarding the nature of God and His grace. Though I haven't been able to do 1 per day I have been making scripture memorization a habit and I believe it has helped me in both increasing my mind and my spirit's ability to focus and the ability to block out distractions. Hopefully this helps someone else out.

Lisa said...

Debass- Ha Ha! Aha!

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind's true liberation
Aquarius! Aquarius!

How did all those hippy baby boomers fail to realize the obvious, still stuck in a leftist down-ward spiral?!

jwm said...

Robin Starfish:

Your haiku gave me a laughing fit. Hard to type.
You rule.
WV: yimjee (Korean pickled yams?)


NoMo said...

Lisa - Youthful idealism isn't a bad thing - as long as you grow out of it. Seriously, many of us really Believed it. "Let the sun shine in...!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thanks Ricky Raccoon!
God bless you also!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

jwm said...
Robin Starfish:

Your haiku gave me a laughing fit. Hard to type.
You rule.
WV: yimjee (Korean pickled yams?)

Heh heh! I got yimjee comin' outta my nose after Robin and JWM's posts!