Friday, October 19, 2007

Supposing Reality Exists: What Next? (10.06.10)

Let's suppose reality exists. If it does exist, then it is not sufficient to merely think or talk about it. Rather, we will want to be in conformity with it, no?

To put it another way, to not be in conformity with reality will result in death, injury or disease in one form or another.

For example, if you are not in conformity with the reality that walking into a speeding bus can be harmful, you won't live very long. But if you aspire to be a world-class mathematician, you won't get very far either if you refuse to conform to the dictates of basic math. Your career will die, as it were. And if you wish -- or even don't wish -- to know God in the absence of conformity to that reality, you will undergo spiritual death. Again and again.

Now obviously, it is possible -- common, actually -- to have thoughts that do not conform to reality, and not just if you're frankly crazy. Leftists are proof of this. Nor does intelligence help. Our universities are proof of that. And good intentions are of no help at all. The Democrat party proves this year in, year out.

Again, in order to have a cosmos, there must be a differentiation between subject and object. But no sooner do you have this differentiation, than you have a distinction between reality and appearances. The "human vocation" is to know the difference and to act upon it. The former is wisdom, the latter morality. Beauty is the creation of objects through which this reality is reflected.

In the words of Schuon, "He who conceives the Absolute... cannot stop short de jure at this knowledge, or at this belief, realized in thought alone; he must on the contrary integrate all that he is into his adherence to the Real, as demanded precisely by Its absoluteness and infinitude."

Therefore -- and here's the point -- "Man must 'become that which he is' because he must 'become That which is.'" Which is why the new and improved "first commandment" is to love the Lord with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.

In ether worlds, it takes all four -- heart, soul, mind and body -- to achieve this conformity. Leave out one, and you leave a "hole" in the Divine reality, the fullness of which is reveiled only in our adequate mirroring of it.

In man, the three transcendentals -- the Good, the True and the Beautiful -- are reflected in the form of Will, Thought, and Love, respectively. In other words, we must will the Good, know the True, and love the Beautiful. For who would want to will the bad, know lies, and love ugliness?

Don't get me started....

Just as wisdom is the beauty of the mind, virtue is the beauty of the will. And beauty itself reveals the intelligence -- not to say, love and will -- of creation, and therefore the Creator.

The point is that our Thought, Will, and Love are not merely isolated functions that arose "from nothing." Rather, they specifically function in a vertical-teleological manner toward their appropriate ends. It is impossible to coherently argue otherwise. People will the bad all the time, but it's only because they confuse bad and good, as in the U.N.

Likewise, people regularly teach and learn falsehood, but only because they either conflate it with truth, or deny the existence of Truth. If the latter, then "thought" will simply meander in a meaningless way over the blandscape of the mind, going from nowhere to nothing and then back again. It takes approximately four years to complete this round trip at a major university.

To quote Schuon, "Without beauty of soul, all willing is sterile, it is petty and closes itself to grace; and in an analogous manner: without effort of will, all spiritual thought ultimately remains superficial and ineffectual and leads to pretension."

Let's think about that one for a moment. Are there beautiful souls?

I don't really have to think about it, it's so obvious. But what I don't understand is how an atheist can get through life and not be in conformity with this simple reality, i.e., the existence of beautiful souls, along with the natural desire for one's own soul to attain such supernatural beauty.

Again, such madness is analogous to wishing to develop one's mind even while denying the sufficient reason for its development, which is Truth. And who doesn't love Truth?

Don't get me started...

It's quite simple, really, because the Real is simple: There is something that man must know and think; and something that he must will and do; and something that he must love and be (Schuon).

Notice the invariant in these three statements about human reality: must.

Therefore, Man is the unnecessary being that must Must, in conformity with the Being that Must Be, since we didn't have to be.

In other words, human beings are contingent -- which is to say, relative -- not necessary, or Absolute.

And yet, religion is here to teach us how to travel the perilous path from contingency to Necessity. The secret lies in the Must, which is that little portion of necessity we share with the Creator. But, in keeping with the gift of free will, it is necessary for us to "activate" the divine Must, for only in conformity to this potential reality are we necessarily free.

Or, the crucifixion of the contingent is resurrected in the Absolute.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Creator: What's He Really Like?

He must really like beetles, as one biologist put it. But aside from that -- and not discounting what revelation has to say -- what can we sophly affirm about God? In order to approach this question, we'll have to serve a little detention in the office of the Divine Principle.

Ironically, although the school founded by Schuon is called "traditionalist," it is precisely those who are most traditional who are likely to reject his ecumenical but non-synthesist approach.

That is, Schuon insisted that all of the authentic revelations were correct -- i.e., more or less adequate to disclose valid and operative knowledge of God and Salvation -- even though the individual practitioner is unlikely to regard his tradition as just one of many. Schuon addressed this issue in a number of subtle and sophisticated ways, but there again, I would guess that the passionate believer in the One True Faith would consider Shuon's handling of the matter as "too clever by half."

Still, there are ways around the problem. For example, it probably makes no sense to say that one religion is absolutely correct while all the others are absolutely in error. Therefore, there can be degrees of religious truth, so to speak. For example, Ann Coulter was recently attacked by irreligious bigots for essentially saying just this: that Christianity represents the "perfection" of Judaism, not its annulment. Naturally, a Jew believes no such thing, but no one accuses the Jew of being a religious bigot because he believes Jesus was just a confused or grandiose rabbi.

In fact, Jews and Christians can live harmoniously because they share a core set of values, but differ on their theological expression. Thus, Coulter was in no way suggesting that Judaism was "absolutely wrong," but only relatively so in light of what she regards as the "perfection" of Christianity. Schuon would probably say that both religions are relatively absolutely true, but anyone is still free to think their religion is the "most adequate."

In point of fact, one cannot practice a religion and not think it is absolute, for the very reason that one of its purposes is to convey a sense of the Absolute, and you cannot understand the Absolute in terms of the relative.

Then again -- and here is where a bit of confusion arises -- we can only understand the Absolute in terms of the relative, so long as we are alive and living in this relative world: You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live. This is really just another way of saying "no one can know me absolutely on this side of death." Even Jesus agrees: Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.

Therefore, we must use "analogues" to try to comprehend a God who always transcends our categories, which is the deeper meaning of As above, so below, Let us make man in Our image, according to our likeness, and God became man that man might become God. Other animals were created according to their kind, meaning that they are based upon their own platonic archetype. Only man was ultimately fashioned from the divine archetype (although not only from this archetype; you might say that it is the "ruling" or "solar" archetype that transcends, subtends, and potentially harmonizes all the others).

So, we may use analogy in a certain way in order to understand the Divine Mind. For example, being that we are in the image of the Creator, we are as different from the other animals as God is from us. And we are not just different in terms of some scientific quantity, i.e., more intelligent or more self-aware.

Rather, we are qualitatively (which is to say, vertically) different in ways that are absolutely unbridgeable (because vertical) by biology. All other animals are trapped in their subjectivity, unable to stand outside it. But human beings are precisely capable of objectivity, which is "the capacity to step outside of our subjectivity and thus to transcend ourselves; this is precisely what characterizes the intelligence and will of man" (Schuon). In turn, this is why Man is a doorway to the Absolute and can know objective Truth.

The human intellect has two capacities that work in harmony to create the possibility of growth or "evolution" toward our own divine archetype. First, we may discern -- which is to say "separate" -- reality and appearances, "the Absolute and the contingent, the Necessary and the possible, Atma and Maya" (Schuon). But this discernment is "joined, complementally and operatively" with the capacity to unite or synthesize differences; which is why it is said that "science is the reduction of multiplicity to unity," and that "to know much, you must know little."

The typical secular intellectual knows everything about nothing (i.e., the relative) but nothing about Everything (i.e., the Absolute). And yet, he still necessarily elevates the relative to the Absolute, which is a sort of backhanded tribute to the unity of the One, an ideal unity that is the ground and sponsor of all knowledge. If there were no Absolute, we could truly know nothing, which is an absurdity.

In order for there to be a cosmos at all, there must be a separation, or division, between knower and known, subject and object, interior and exterior, infinite and finite. Thus, the first act of creation is to make this primordial division between Beyond Being and Being. This can be expressed in diverse ways.

For example, Genesis posits a realm of primal watery chaos; it is dark, void, and without form. So the first act is to divide light from darkness, the waters above from the waters below, the vertical from the horizontal. The appearance of the dry land is none other than the finite within the infinite, or you might say (k) from O. Or, you could say that it is an ego, or individual subject, won from the formless infinite unconscious void.

Here is some analogue language to flesh out where we are at this point:

The essentially creative act is the dissociation of subjectivity and objectivity out of the primal unity. Self and not-Self then come into being, though not into independent being, for each is bound to the other by the unity of which both are polar aspects (Sri Krishna Prem)

The fiat lux of the first day of creation and the fiat lux of the awakening of faith in the soul are of the same essence. In both cases it is a question of the creative act of "Let there be light! (Meditations on the Tarot).

Sparks of holiness are imprisoned in the stuff of creation. They yearn to be set free, united with their Source (Lawrence Kushner).

That there should be physics is a miracle (James Cronin).

Nothing comes into existence unless the divine spark of consciousness, no matter how faint or dim, lies at its center (Richard Smoley).

There is no greater love than that of the sacrifice of eternity for the limitations of existence in the transient moment (Meditations on the Tarot).

When the divine plenty is manifested in its complete fullness there is no room for the existence of anything else. A world can exist only as a result of the concealment of its Creator (Adin Steinsaltz).

Eternity is another word for unity.... Time is eternity broken into space, like a ray of light refracted in the water (Abraham Heschel).

In the incarnation humanity is the "boundary" or "frontier" between the visible and the invisible, the carnal and the spiritual, like a mediator between creation and creator (Olivier Clement).

Eternal, he assents to Fate and Time / Immortal dallies with mortality / The All-Conscious ventured into Ignorance / He whose transcendence rules the pregnant Vasts / Prescient now dwells in our subliminal depths / The Absolute, the Perfect, the Alone / Has entered with his silence into space / He has made this tenement of flesh his own (Sri Aurobindo).

Or, if you prefer an unassailable digital redoubt, "The One emerged from the Zero and proceeded to create the 1 and 0, which evolved and transcended themselves in the Cosmic 3."

To be continued....

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Human Trifecta: Infinite Stupidity, Wicked Humor, and Evil Morality

The decisive error of materialism and of agnosticism is to be blind to the fact that material things and the common experiences of our life are are immensely beneath the scope of our intelligence. --Frithjof Schuon

And just what is the scope of human intelligence? At its outer and inner edges, it is none other than the Infinite, the Absolute, the Eternal. It cannot be surpassed, for it is potentially total, which is to say, "adequate," or proportioned to, the Divine Mind. Hear me now, believe me later.

If those sophering from materialitis and reductionosis were correct, this total intelligence would have no cause and no explanation, certainly not on Darwinian grounds. Obviously, no other animal has an intelligence that infinitely exceeds the necessities of survival.

In other words, "survival" is the sufficient cause of animal intelligence. But what is the sufficient cause of mathematical truth, aesthetic truth, metaphysical truth? Not to mention, music, humor, love, poetry? As I said in my book, these are "luxury capacities" that are as different from animal intelligence as life is from matter.

To quote Arthur Koestler,

"[T]he evolution of the human brain not only overshot the needs of prehistoric man, it is also the only example of evolution producing a species with an organ which it does not know how to use; a luxury organ, which will take its owner thousands of years to learn how to put to proper use -- if he ever does."

And luxury is an apt word, for it is a kind of extravagant light placed in the middle of nowhere, like a brain inside Paris Hilton. How did it get there? Why does she have it? She'll never use it. It will just sit there idly, like a huge inwhoritance she'll never touch. How could natural selection produce a bunch of nothings capable of knowing the Absolute but individuals capable of knowing absolutely nothing?

As the zoologist and science writer Matt Ridley put it, there is simply no conventional scientific way to "understand how a costly investment in big brains today may be justified by cultural riches tomorrow."

To which a Raccoon always adds cultural poverty, i.e., the structured stupidity that has beset most human cultures down through history. In this regard, we are the true multiculturalists, in that we believe they're almost all pretty damn stupid. Those cultures that have escaped enforced collective blindness and motivated stupidity are the great exceptions, not the rule.

In a peripheral or possibly direct way, Dr. Sanity's post today touches on an aspect of this problem. For example, if you want your country to flourish, oy vey, don't be such a schmuck: just befriend the Jews. In this regard, you can take the Bible quite literally: I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse (Psalm 37:22). I would guess that there's just about a 1:1 correspondence between the success of a country and its hostility toward Jews, being that the anti-Semitic Islamic world is at the bottom of the barrel of bipedal monkeys.

Dr. Sanity quotes Meryl Yourish, who writes that

"People talk about the brain drain of various nations’ top scientists and doctors coming to the U.S. because here’s where the action is. But let’s not forget the incredible addition of talent America has received due to the persecution of European Jewry for the last few centuries. The waves of Jewish immigrants from Europe brought America a lot more than the Hollywood studio system. It brought us top scientists, thinkers, doctors, technologists, and authors." The anti-Semite David Duke "goes to Iran to be feted by his fellow bigots at the Holocaust denial conference, while back in America, the Jews that Duke hates so much are working hard at their respective crafts, and being recognized by the rest of the world for the valuable contributions they make."

Dr. Sanity cites the statistic that "Though Jews make up a mere 0.25 percent of the world’s population and a mere 3 percent of the United States', they account... for 27 percent of all American Nobel Prize winners, 25 percent of all ACM Turing Award winners for computer science, and 50 percent of the globe’s chess champions." Not to mention a disproportionate number of the world's great comedians -- the Marx Brothers, Woody Allen, Jerry Seinfeld, Jack Benny, Rodney Dangerfield, and dozens of others. On the other hand, nearly all Islamic comedy is inadvertent, as we shall see below.

There is a wise crack in the Talmud that says something to the effect of "every blessing carries a curse." Thus, it seems that human beings could not be given the gift of potentially infinite intelligence without simultaneously being exposed to the imbaccilus of infinite stupidity. Indeed, if you toss free will into the package, how could it be otherwise and be other than wise? Intelligence, being both free and infinite, must be free to be infinitely stupid. Which is why, in the words of Ronald Reagan, "The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so."

So, on the one hand, natural selection cannot account for an intelligence that vastly exceeds the needs of survival; but nor can it account for an "intelligence" that is so comprehensive in its stupidity that it clearly undermines survival prospects. That God placed the Muslims on top of the oil proves that he too must have an ironic (sadistic?) sense of humor. Or, as Joyce put it,

Hohohoho, Mister Finn, you're going to be Mister Finnegan! Comeday morm and O, you're vine! Sendday's eve and, ah, you're vinegar! Hahahaha, Mister Funn, you're going to be fined again!

Nevertheless, this meandertale is a grand funferall with many a smile to nondum if you're abcedminded to its claybook!

In fact, humans are so intelligent, that they can use their intelligence to explain away their utter stupidity, as demonstrutted in this hilarious interview on Muslim TV (cited by Dr. Sanity) that goes into the question of why the Nobel Prize has been awarded to 167 Jews, and to only four measly Arabs out of 380 million -- all four of whom "are considered traitors."

The interviewee answers with a series of questions: "Are we Arabs not included in the transfer of the scientific genetic code? We, the descendants of Al-Khawarizmi, Al-Jahez, Al-Razi, Avicenna, Ibn Al-Haytham, and Casey Kasem -- are we all born idiots? Is there not a single scientist or deejay among us? Are we not included in the genetic code? Is intelligence not transferred down among us Arabs?"

Yes, of course. No animal is intelligent enough to be as stupid as this person. They ought to give a Nobel Prize for Intelligent Stupidity. Oh wait. And the winner is, Al Gore.

By the way, they also give the Nobel Prize for "evil goodness," as indicated by Yasser Arafat, Jimmy Carter, and Kofi Annan. Again, only a highly moral animal could be so infinitely morally confused.

Now, let us suppose that we are made "in the image of the creator." That doesn't really explain much unless we know what the creator looks like, so to speak.

That was going to be the original topic of this post, but I got sidetracked, so I suppose it will have to wait until tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Premises and Conclusions on the Way To God

In order to rearrive at the Divine Reality, one must begin with the proper premises. You know, garbage in, garbage out, which is the entire intellectual basis of misosophic atheism.

In other words, atheists "reasonably" conclude that God doesn't exist, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they have only proven that their conclusion follows from their premise. But all conclusions follow from premises, so they haven't actually proven anything, except unwittingly -- and that would be the fact that Man is the being who employs truth to arrive at reason, not vice versa. Or to put it the Schuon way, something isn't true because it's rational, but rational because it's true.

I've been rereading one of my favorite books by Schuon, Survey of Metaphysics and Esoterism. The majority of his books are merely collections of essays, with no central, unifying concept or theme. However, that would be a rather superficial characterization, since Schuon is always writing from the center itself. It is as if each essay is a fresh consideration from the center of being to the periphery of language, or what we call O-->(n). Once you become accustomed to his style -- something most people apparently have difficulty with -- you understand that nearly all religious writing is actually (k)-->O. While the latter can be technically "true," it will be in ways that couldn't be more different from the former. (Naturally, when one dwells in scripture, one is attempting to have a similar experience of O-->(n).)

I notice that Dinesh D'Souza is going to take a crack at debating Christopher Hitchens next week on the existence of God. D'Souza (whose new book is entitled -- and it's not a question, but a statement -- What's So Great About Christianity) thinks he will make more heartway than the feeble pastors who have thus far been eviscerated by Hitchens, but I doubt it:

"So far Hitchens and his fellow atheists have had it relatively easy. Hitchens has been going around the country debating pastors. Pastors are supposed to be models of Christian charity. This means that Hitchens can call them names but they cannot call him names. Pastors are required to turn the other cheek, while Hitchens gets ready to kick them in the rear end. Moreover, pastors are not used to fending off attacks from people who deny the validity of the gospels and, in Hitchens’ case, even cast doubt on the historical existence of Jesus Christ. How can you quote Scripture to a man who denies the authority of Scripture to adjudicate anything? So Hitchens has a good game going, because he gets to make outrageous claims and they are going mostly unchallenged."

My guess is that D'Souza will merely employ a slightly more sophisticated version of (k)-->O, which is no match for the nihilistic passion of ø-->(k). "Nihilistic passion" seems like an oxymoron, but it definitely isn't, something that D'Souza doesn't seem to recognize:

"I’m surprised at the vehemence and nastiness of Hitchens’ atheism. I didn’t know he harbored these deep resentments. Yes, I know that atheists present their ideas as the pure result of reason and evolution and so on, but I cannot believe that Hitchens regards the idea that we are descended from the apes with anything other than bemused irony. I suspect that Hitchens likes Darwin mainly because Darwin gives him a cudgel with which to beat Christians.

"As he admitted in a recent interview, Hitchens calls himself an 'anti-theist' rather than an 'atheist.' Most atheists say that based on the evidence, they believe God does not exist. Hitchens’ position is somewhat different: he doesn’t want God to exist. He hates the idea of God’s existence because he thinks of God as a tyrant who supervises his moral life."

So straight away, we can see why "debate" is the inappropriate forum to adjudicate this question, since we are not in the realm of reason but of passion, and as that old Brit Hume noted in a broadcast a couple of centuries ago, "reason is the slave of the passions." In the end, my guess is that both men will merely be giving voice to their passions, which is fine. It makes for good infotainment, like an intellectual rugby match.

The "nihilistic passion" alluded to above is like a pneumagraphic negative of the mystic's passion. It is what makes the writing of a Nietzsche so bracing compared to the thin gruel of the contemporary middlebrow atheist crowd -- the Dawkins, Dennetts & Harrises. Hitchens isn't like them, in that he can muster some real satanic energy, irrespective of which side of an issue he is arguing.

Anyway... That's not what I intended to write about. Back to the epistemological foundations of God in the human psyche. Schuon's first principle is that "there are truths inherent in the human spirit that are as if buried in the 'depths of the heart,' which means that they are contained as potentialities or virtualities in the pure Intellect: these are principial and archetypal truths, those which prefigure and determine all others."

You can bellow no there aren't!, but that's just (-k) riding piggyback on a particular passion. It is a Lie, but as Bion observed, the Lie is very close to the Truth, since it must know the truth in order to lie about it. Hence the passion it can generate. Many lies can be uttered with great passion, whereas a truth can be quite feeble coming out of the mouth of a person who knows it only as (k), which is a sort of carbon copy of Truth, once or twice removed. Think of the direct passion of an Adolf Hitler, or of the Islamists, or of Dailykos.

The truths of which Schuon speaks "are accessible, intuitively and infallibly, to the 'gnostic,' the 'pneumatic,' the 'theosopher' -- in the proper and original meaning of these terms -- and they are accessible consequently to the 'philosopher' according to the still literal and innocent meaning of the word."

So prior to a debate on the existence of God must come a debate on the question of the existence of an Intellect which may know Truth directly. All else stands or falls on that question. But again, can that really be debated?

No. It would be analogous to debating the existence of sight instead of simply seeing. How would you even know about vision unless you already see?

Or, as Schuon writes, "if there were no pure Intellect -- the infallible faculty of the immanent Spirit -- neither would there be reason, for the miracle of reasoning can be explained and justified only by the miracle of intellection. Animals have no reason because they are incapable of conceiving the Absolute; in other words, if man possesses reason, together with language, it is because he has access in principle to the suprarational vision of the Real and consequently to metaphysical certitude."

In other other words, "The intelligence of animals is partial, that of man is total; and this totality is explained only by a transcendent reality to which the intelligence is proportioned." As I was at pains to point out in my book -- then again, it only hurt a little -- human intelligence can never be explained "from the bottom up." To attempt to do so merely generates absurdity. Rather, it can only be understood from the top down, or from the absolute to the relative. There is no Darwinian explanation as to how an animal can escape contingency and know absolute truth absolutely. Our minds are not merely "proportioned" to the archaic environment, as Darwinism would demand, but to invisible, transcendent realities, i.e., the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, those realms that may only be seen and comprehended directly by the intellect, not by an animal's nervous system.

Likewise, Hitchens resents the idea of the Creator because he thinks it interferes with his "freedom," when it is the only possible source of real freedom. Again, to quote Schuon, free will "proves the transcendence of its essential goal, for which man has been created and by which man is man; human will is is proportioned to God, and it is only in God and by Him that it is totally free."

Seems like a paradox, but only to those trapped in (k), for just as knowledge is only possible if it is constrained by Truth, freedom is only free if it is canalized toward the Beautiful and the Good, aka, the Real.

Ah, but these are just words. The only appropriate response to a Hitchens is to concede that there is no God and that he is His prophet -- or, shall we say, blacklanded complement.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Occidents Don't Just Happen

It's true. Nor do Orients. Or Middle Easts. Or Upper East Sides. In each case, the culture in question developed around a distinct set of values that forms its deep psychospiritual structure.

In America we have a culture war between those who value our deep structure and those who merely wish to take advantage of its unique values in order to undermine our system from the foundation up. For some reason we call these hungry tenuremites "liberal," when their value system is illiberal to the core. For example, this accounts for the all-lieance all the time between the holy warriors Islam and unholy pacifists of the left:

"Hence it wasn't surprising for viewers around the world to see the Islamist militants in Europe taking to the streets alongside the 'bourgeois Neo-Marxists' to protest the governments that supported the War on Terror.... The jihadi manipulation of the bourgeois-Neo-Marxist 'struggle' has played a central role in the so-called 'mass demonstrations' in the West since 2002, and the demonstrations themselves are an important component of the War of Ideas against democracy. On campuses, both in North America and Western Europe, the jihadi-antiwar axis has planted deep roots, and thanks to the skills of university-based anarchist groups, the jihadists have found a cover they can hide under, instead of simply becoming members of the typical Wahabi-contolled Muslim Student Unions."

In short, the Islamists are parasitic on the left, which in turn is parasitic on the liberal West. Neither ideology is rooted in the Sovereign Good, because neither is planted in reality to begin with. Rather, in each case, they are more or less "distant" from the fulsomeness of reality, so that they are ideologies (or emotiologies) of "deprivation" (and eventually depravation) condemned to a Folsomprisonness of unreality.

In other words, the Amer-I-Canism of our founders is based upon the liberation of the innate creativity of the individual, who in turn mirrors the creativity of the Cosmic Center. But leftism appeals to envy, which is simply the pseudo-creative "activity of nothing." It is the cosmic Nothing wishing to fill its existential naughtiness by inappropriating the creative something of others. This is why, if wishes were hearses, leftists would ride in them. Which they do, really, for leftism is ultimately a death cult, in that you cannot serve two mysteresses, and there are only two on the men, you.

Or take this fine example today from Dr. Sanity. The Diagnosista' writes that "For the last 100 years, Islam has abandoned any of the precepts that may have once made it a vibrant and positive force in the world. Today's Muslim leaders for the most part, have hitched their religious wagons to a variant of Marxist ideology, infused by a powerful religious fanatacism and funded by oil." Whatever else it is, Islam is "a religion that justifies and glorifies the abuse and death of children; a religion that enslaves, oppresses and humiliates women; and a religion that justifies slaughter and martyrdom as a way of life is not even in the same moral universe as any of the other major religions on this planet."

LGF links to a piece by Melanie Phillips, in which she explicates the actual Muslim values which under-lie the recent bogus offer of "peace":

"The Islamic world -- or part of it -- has waged war on the Christian (and Jewish) western world. The Christian world is merely responding in self-defence. It is the Islamic world which says it wants to conquer the Christian. The Christian world does not say it wants to conquer Islam, merely that Islam should stop trying to conquer it. Yet the Islamic world pretends that the Christian world is engaged in an act of exterminatory aggression against it.

"That lie is the motor of the jihad. That lie is fundamental to the absence of peace between the religions. Yet this letter fails totally to acknowledge this seminal fact. It says: The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians. Very true; but for this piety to be any more than a meaningless truism, the Islamic world has to end its aggression. The letter makes no acknowledgement of this. All the emphasis is on the Christian world altering its behaviour. So its inescapable implication is that for peace to occur, the Christian world must abandon its own self-defence. In other words, there can be no peace without the Christian world surrendering to Islam."

Now, it is not actually possible to make any nontrivial statement about reality without an implicit or explicit metaphysical framework, usually a naive or bad one. The American revolution was the first explicitly metaphysical political revolution. In other words, it wasn’t merely rooted in blood, vengeance, land or treasure, but in clearly articulated ideas and ideals that continue to inspire spiritually normal people all around the world. The reason why America has been so successful and productive is because it comes closest to embodying the fullness of metaphysical truth in a political system.

For our founding document is rooted in the affirmation of the self-evident (because metaphysical) Truth that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and that among these are Life,Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. As reader Michael B. noted, “The reference to the Creator is, and was intended to be, a metaphysical basis for the argument made in the Declaration against the English Crown. Deny the metaphysics, and the charges against King George III become baseless.”

Precisely. The metaphysics of the English Crown rested on the divine right of kings -- a bad, blood-based metaphysic that was taken for gruntbrains then as now, because, as Dennis Prager emphasizes, most human beings have always valued blood over morality. In this regard, nazi metaphysics are more or less embraced by most people who are not specifically infused with and shaped by the alternate view -- that blood is not only unimportant, but meaningless. One is not an American based upon blood, but based upon whether one assents to a common set of immaterial ideals. This was an entirely new psycho-spiritual, evolutionary development in the world, one that the world continues to resist, most conspicuously among the blood-worshipping savages we are fighting in the Arab Muslim world.

For example, the Palestinian objection to Israel is not “physical.” Rather, it is purely metaphysical, rooted in their nazi-like metaphysic that objects to a single drop of Jewish blood “polluting” their blighted nobohood. Consider how a normal human being would react to the Jewish presence in the Middle East: “Of course we want the Jews here! They bring knowledge, education, technology, wealth, prosperity, liberal ideals, jobs, human rights, democracy, comedy, decent delicatessens. Who wouldn’t want them?”

Indeed, who wouldn’t want them? Someone who -- like the vast majority of human beings in the past -- values blood and tribe above all else. This is the all-consuming metaphysical and existential problem for the Arab Muslim world. They are obsessed with it. It is their metaphysical dream (or nightmare). All else can wait, but the liquidation of Israel is of the utmost urgency.

Of course, we have our own watered-down versions of blood-based metaphysics in the forms of totalerantarian multiculturalism, diversity, and racial quotas. One of the primary reasons why contemporary liberalism is so illiberal is that it has abandoned the liberal precepts of our founding documents and is obsessed with race and blood. Although this noxious matavistic flies under the banner of “multiculturalism,” it is not really about culture but about blood. It is about valuing someone not because of the content of their character but the color of the container -- because of their membership in a privileged racial group.

In America’s past, Jews and Asians were prevented from attending college because of one kind of racism. Now they are prevented from doing so by another kind of racism that goes under the misleading rubric of “diversity.” I personally wouldn’t care if every single student in the UC system were Asian American. Being that I am a liberal, I would not conclude that this had something to do with race. Rather, I would assume that it had something to do with Asian values. If I were a member of a culture that did not produce such academic excellence, I would want to find out what it is about Asian values that makes them excel, and then imitate them. But this is as foreign to the liberal mind as it is to the Palestinian mind to imitate Jews, as opposed to butchering and maiming them.

One way to eliminate the painful distance between oneself and another is to attack what one feels the other possesses. This primordial impulse, rooted in envy, is as old as the human race. Genesis, preternaturally astute as ever in its metaphysics and anthropology, places it in Chapter Four, in Cain’s murder of Abel. It is the first human crime and the recurring human crime, for Genesis doesn’t just tell us what happened “once upin a timeless” but what happens every time. (The Fall, of course, was worse than a crime -- it was a blunder.)

So, my fellow Raccoons, I have a dream -- a metaphysical dream which barbarians in all times and in all places are asleep to. My dream is that there is a world of ought that is more real than the world of is. My dream is that a belief is not true, nor an act virtuous, if it fails to conform to this transcendent clueprint. My dream is that our God is a God of liberty, and that the same God that gave us life gave us liberty -- the liberty to freely discover truth, love and beauty, and to align ourselves with these transcendent realities. My dream is that there are only two races, the decent and the indecent. (Oh, wait... that last one was Dennis Prager's dream of Victor Frankl's quintessentially Jewish dream.)

Tell me your metaphysical dream, and I will tell you where your eyes are fixed and where your treasure lies or your lies are treasured, and whether your life and mind are ascending or descending on the inwardly mobile ladder of darwhiggian evolution and salvolutionary deveilupmount. For as it pertains to mankind's collective vertical ascent, there's no such thing as an unfree launch.

The most important goal for one to arrive at is this imaginative picture of what is otherwise a brute empirical fact.... How can men who disagree about what the world is for agree about any of the minutiae of daily conduct?... Without the metaphysical dream it is impossible to think of men living together harmoniously over an extent of time.... The dream carries with it an evaluation, which is the bond of spiritual community.... It must be apparent that logic depends upon the dream, not the dream upon it. --Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Coonsequences

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