Monday, October 27, 2008

That Old Black, er, Post-Racial Magic (11.10.11)

Letter VII, The Chariot. UF tells us that this arcanum has to do with that most subtle temptation, spiritual temptation. It is subtle -- or at least tricky -- because the temptation results from one's very spiritual success: "It is the temptation to act 'in one's own name,' to act as master instead of servant." Virtually the entire new age movement falls under the heading of this particular temptation.

This is why all authentic spiritual paths begin with moral development. If they sometimes exaggerate man's depravity, this is far preferable to the converse, since one of the purposes is to prevent the spiritual inflation that occurs when spiritual energies are mingled with the unredeemed man, a la Deepak and his ilk. Again, when this happens, you create a demon, a monster. And it only happens again and again and again.

Schuon said something to the effect that man tests his faith by renouncing, while God tests it by removing. Renunciation has the practical effect of opening up a space where the ego would otherwise be. Elsewhere in the book, UF says that while nature abhors a vacuum, Spirit requires one.

Here again, the inverse of this would be the Deepak-style new age idea of The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, or Creating Affluence. To the extent that Chopra's magical ideas "work," it is because they harness demonic energy. To the extent that they continue to work, it will depend upon how thoroughly one has vanquished the conscience -- i.e., become less than human.

In a relativistic universe in which there is no difference between up and down, this is to become a "superman." This is why Chopra is apparently regarded as a "wise man" by thousands, instead of the spiritual cancer that he is. For as UF says, "it is not desire which bears magical realization, but rather the renunciation of desire." Or, one might say, "blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." One must not saturate the space where vertical energies operate. Rather, one must get out of the way.

Here is the key point: "For some the superman has more attraction than the Son of Man, because he promises them a career of increasing power, whilst the Son of Man offers only a career of 'foot washing.'" The ego obviously prefers the superman, and it is to the power-seeking ego which all false paths appeal.

As a little sidebar, I hope that when UF pejoratively -- and properly -- refers to the "superman," it is in the Nietzschean and not Aurobindean sense. For example, if you read The Mother's Prayers and Meditations, it is far closer in tone to that of a Christian saint than any Deepak-style cosmic narcissism. I haven't looked at this book in a long time. On one of the opening pages there is a hand-written letter from the Mother, showing the extent of her egoic surrender to the divine. Prior to this, she had had plenty of experience in the occult circles that flourished at the turn of the century, and were very much similar to today's power-mad new age movement:

Some give their soul to the Divine, some their life, some offer their work, some their money. A few consecrate all of themselves and all they have -- soul, life, work, wealth; these are the true children of God. Others give nothing. These, whatever their position, power and riches, are for the divine purpose valueless cyphers. This book is for those who aspire for an utter consecration to the divine.

I'm just browsing around. Here's another sample: Let Thy Light be in me like a Fire that makes all alive; let thy divine Love penetrate me. I aspire with all my being for Thy reign as sovereign and master of my mind and heart and body.

Thou art the one and only goal of my life and the centre of my aspiration, the pivot of my thought, the key of the synthesis of my being.

Really, every passage is an inverse image of the Chopra Method, being that nearly each one emphasizes the centrality of worshipping that which is above us and the ceaseless effort to do so, which UF says is the best curative against spiritual inflation, since these serve as a reminder of the distance between us and the goal. We must not confuse "what we are" with who or "what the worshipped being is." True, "all is God" -- although it is far more accurate to say that "nothing is not God." Nevertheless, to paraphrase Schuon, it does one no good whatsoever to say "I am one with God" until one appreciates the extent to which that is far from the case.

Let us shun the paths that are too easy and ask no effort, the paths which give us the illusion of having reached our goal; let us shun the negligence which opens the door to every downfall, that complacent self-admiration that leads to every abyss. Let us understand that however great may have been our efforts, our struggles, even our victories, compared with the distance yet to be travelled, the one we have already covered is nothing.... (the Mother)

Back to the Chariot. Getting sidetracked. Well, not really, because Chopra is again such a perfect symbol of the dangers of spiritual inflation and megalomaniacal delusions. Countless other new age or "integral" con artists would serve just as well, but since he seems to be the most prominent case, he's the one that immediately comes to mind.

UF points out that since the purpose of esoteric spirituality is the cultivation of height, depth, breadth, and profundity -- i.e, "that which works behind the facade of ordinary consciousness" -- inflation is the principle danger for all who would embark upon this path. As such, this is why there is such an emphasis "on the cultivation of humility," for example, in remaining obedient to orthodoxy (or to the true Master), of systematic and continuous "examination of conscience," and on "the reciprocal brotherly help of members of the community" of Raccoons. "Authentic experience of the Divine makes one humble; he who is not humble has not had an authentic experience of the Divine" (MOTT).

This, by the way, is the meaning of true community, of which left wing statism is a truly gross caricature. As Russell Kirk writes in Eliot and His Age, the left settles for the dreary monotony and soul-crushing exterior uniformity of the welfare state, rather than "to undertake the hard and austere labor of thinking through a program for restoring true community," which can only be rooted in the Spirit, not neo-Marxist matter.

Leftism and secularism embody the preference for -- and enforcement of -- illusion over transcendent reality. These parasites "live upon a civilization to which they contribute nothing." In fact, because they are "progressive," they actively sever the living link between the present and the past, so that communication with the past -- the source of practical wisdom -- is impossible. The idea of "temporal progress" denies the spatial mode of civilization, in which we are presently floating atop -- and nourished by -- hard won wisdom, truth, moral beauty, and liberty.

Obama is suffering from the identical spiritual inflation as Chopra. Note how UF saw Obama coming half a century ago:

"The reformer who wants to correct or save humanity easily falls victim to the temptation of considering himself as the active center of the passive circle of humanity. He feels himself as the bearer of a mission of universal significance, therefore he feels himself to be more and more important."

And why not, with deeply disturbed creatures such as this serving as his herald demon:

"You really only get a handful, a smattering, maybe three or four per lifetime if you're lucky or blessed or just so happen to be paying the right kind of deeper karmic attention. Historic events, I mean. Major shifts, upheavals, great leaps forward [!!!!! -- ed.], the Thing That Changed Everything.

"President Obama will be just such a shift, an extraordinary marker, a type and flavor of history that we as preternaturally jaded humans rarely get to experience anymore.... the sheer volume of expansive energy surrounding Obama's run has been absolutely astonishing, a global outpouring of positive interest and awareness like almost no other leader, no other potential slap of progress we've experienced in modern American history. From the international headlines down to the forgotten corners of our own culture we normally never hear from, the message is the same: Something is about to upend. Something seems like it's about to give way."

Yes, something is about to give way (and be taken away) alright. With an Obama presidency, we will now be governed by those least capable of governing themselves, which is a recipe for hell.

It would not be too difficult to name some politicians whose influence and impact agree very well with the classical concept of the "black magician." Indeed, is it difficult to name politicians who have exercised a deadly, suggestive influence on the popular masses, blinding them and inciting them to acts of cruelty, injustice and violence, of which each individual, taken separately, would be incapable... and who, through their semi-magical influence, have deprived individuals of their freedom and rendered them possessed? And is not this action to deprive men of their moral freedom and to render them possessed the aim and very essence of black magic? --Meditations on the Tarot

Let the Great Leap Forward begin!


Anonymous said...

As we brace ourselves for Obamanation, it might prove useful to glean a few things from Kirk as the nation braced for Clintonation in 1991. If you want to know why Obama will be elected, simply ponder what the Republicans have done with their time in power, again, and again. Except this time, it was worse. Much worse.

cousin dupree said...

I haven't read it, but I'm sure I probably agree. As someone once said, "I hate Republicans. But I really fucking hate Democrats."

will said...

>>. . . that most subtle temptation, spiritual temptation. It is subtle -- or at least tricky -- because the temptation results from one's very spiritual success<<

I think that's why at this stage of spiritual progression, a Teacher is necessary. One need not trouble one's self as to whether or not that stage has been reached - when it is, the Teacher will appear, one way or the other.

>>"I hate Republicans. But I really fucking hate Democrats."<<

I believe that quote can be attributed to Trey and Matt, creators of "South Park". Thus the term "South Park Republican".

julie said...

One Teacher, along with several teacher's aides...

Van said...

Sweetness and Light has npr interview clips of the obaminations views on the constitution, from as far back as 2001, and his views are as opposed to The Founders Constitution as you can get.

He's no amiable gent, he's a fraud wearing that mask to hide the Halloween horror hiding underneath. He knows exactly what he wants and intends to do, and he intends to wipe out the last remaining vestiges of constitutional rights, in favor of the old Proregressivist/Marxist dream, enabling the Gov't to do what it feels is right to you, in order to 'promote' a change in you.

In any meaningful sense of the words, he is anti-liberty, anti-freedom and anti-American.

If you aren't speaking out against this monstrosity - shame on you.

observer said...

"I hate Republicans. But I really fucking hate Democrats."

In psychoanalytic terms, one could say that Republicans/conservatives are really good at manipulating oral rage, while Democrats/liberals are really good at manipulating Oedipal shame. (These are definitely generalizations, and not all Republicans are conservative nor all Democrats liberal ... but general tendencies hold.)

Gagdad Bob said...

In psychoanalytic terms, one could say that you are not one.

ximeze said...

Thomas Sowell on A Conflict of Visions chapter 1 of 5 beginning today on NRO tv (new chapter post each day this week thru Friday)

Thomas Sowell describes the critical differences between interests and visions. Interests, he says, are articulated by people who know what their interests are and what they want to do about them. Visions, however, are the implicit assumptions by which people operate. This idea elevates to politics, where visions are either “constrained” or “unconstrained.”

Van said...

Sowell's book A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles, is an enlightening and insiteful examination of what people believe, often without knowing it, and an excellent read to boot.

Ray could benefit greatly from it (could, not necessarily would, but he certainly should).

Niggardly Phil said...

"This is the history that comes around only once or twice per generation, that emerges from somewhere deep and urgent to move us forward; it's a kind that invites growth and sparks surprisingly constructive feelings in everyone and everything it touches. Do you recognize that kind? Right. Me neither. Until now."

I recognized that kind in the way the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah had a deep and urgent need to move history forward.

There is something deeply unsettling about the vocabulary and syntax of that article.

Petey said...

Yes. It is the rhythm and tone of an intoxicated demon.

Van said...

""The reformer who wants to correct or save humanity easily falls victim to the temptation of considering himself as the active center of the passive circle of humanity. He feels himself as the bearer of a mission of universal significance, therefore he feels himself to be more and more important.""

And more and more empowered and entitled to do what he sees as being necessary in order to force you to accept what he has decided you need to do and become. And as any collectivist worth his pillar of salt will tell you, any lone wolf individualist who doesn't go along with the crowd, is a threat to it.

Also picking up on the Obamination interviews which just came to light, Bill Whittle: Shame, Cubed
Three separate reasons to be appalled, each more disgusting than the last.
, he also has links to the original audio.

"The entire purpose of the Constitution was to limit government. That limitation of powers is what has unlocked in America the vast human potential available in any population.

Barack Obama sees that limiting of government not as a lynchpin but rather as a fatal flaw: "

This isn't just another election folks - don't let it go.

Robin Starfish said...

Or, one might say, "blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

The silver lining from our current upheaval may be that our vast middle class will face a mighty opportunity to reassess the true meaning of treasure.

julie said...

Wow. Just... wow. Via Vanderleun, who wanders the fever swamps so we don't have to (unless of course we want to know what dark incantations they're muttering).

christopher said...

Call The Grieving God

The walls are too high.
They go too far left and right.

Storms will come near soon
And wild eyed, we still cast blame.

Call the grieving god to help
The host cross over.

We think we know what happens
When the walls fall.

Poetry Coroner said...

I know what happens
I lived through Jimmy Carter

Van said...

Carter didn't have Obama's aims or Henry Paulson's precedents.

The only poetry that's going to apply, is apocalyptic.

Anonymous said...

You demonstrate my point. Carter did not have Henry Paulson/George Bush's precendents (please remember GWB appointed him and agrees with him). This is why it is not only unconstitutional, but simply stupid to wrest so much power in the executive branch, because by and by, you will get an Obama, and a Bush. You clamor for people to speak out now, but where were you the last 8 years? Constantly biting your tongue and giving the benefit of the doubt because the man kept saying he was a conservative. He wasn't.

cousin vicki said...

the walls would stay up longer
if you'd quit
blowin that horn

Van said...

aninnymouse said "You demonstrate my point"

Whatever the hell point you thought you made, you didn't.

Bush wasn't my choice in the 2000 primaries because his "Compassionate Conservatism" was so obviously going to be standard RINO rightward leaning socialism-lite, but he became the nominee, and given the other options Gore or Kerry, he was the best possible choice. Had he lost, Henry Paulson (a democrat btw) would have made their actions to seem conservative in comparison.

As I've said, repeatedly, the system won't be fixed through the system, through an election, though its destruction may be postponed, the system won't be fixed, until people are again educated themselves and again able to understand the Constitution as the Founders designed it - anything else will be temporary fixes only, but that doesn't make them any less necessary.

If you have an actual point to make, make it, otherwise please shut the hell up.

Anonymous said...


Nice to see you give quotes from the Mother. She was a spiritual piece of work. My own mother met her and spent some time at her Ashram in Pondicherry, India. It was a good experience for my mother; she said the atmosphere around the Mother was surcharged with spiritual precense.

A note on Chopra; I understood his "wishful thinking" doctrine to be meant for those who were somewhat surrendered already; of course you don't want to hand the unregulated ego a tool to satisfy banal desires.

Chopra means to give the already prepared yogin a tool for doing works not for the ego, but for the world movement in general. It is the only way his material can be parsed; it wouldn't make sense otherwise.

For one who has created the empty space for God to enter, has dropped most ordinary motives, and is now an employee of God full time, then visualization techniques like Chopra's, meant to bring things into the field of existence, are valid tools; a force multiplier for the God workers.

I know by experience that certain ways of visualization have an uncanny way of brining things to pass. I have ruefully learned the truth in the adage "be careful of what you wish, because you might get it."

Chopra should be more careful to establish the baseline conditions for users of intentional vision; it is not for the person in an ego centered life. In that case it would lead to calamity a good part of the time.

austracoon said...

"it is not desire which bears magical realization, but rather the renunciation of desire."

Lev 3:17 It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood.

marimoishe said...

Here's the bit from that article that really unsettled me:

Do you, at the very least, pause in your day and take a deep breath and say oh my God, would you look at that, the world is shifting right this very moment like I've never experienced before, and I can feel it rumbling beneath my feet hang on hang on oh holy hell hang on?

I'm sure Morford didn't mean it this way, but his description of an Obama presidency as a sudden violent earthquake is wonderfully, horribly apt. When it's all over, the infrastructure of the world we knew will be smashed and countless lives will be damaged or destroyed. We'll pick ourselves up, clean things as best we can, fix what needs fixing, mourn the dead, and get back to life.

Some of us will recognize the need for stronger infrastructure. And some blinkered idiots will hope for an even bigger quake to come along next time and finish the job.

Ray Ingles said...

Van - Just looking at the summary and comments, I can't go with either the 'constrained' or 'unconstrained' visions as described. There are constraints, and some of them are very firm indeed. And utopias are impossible, too. But there's still a lot of room for improvement. Imagine if you'd told someone with a 'constrained' view in the 14th century that by the 20th century, universal literacy would be the norm in much of the world, and the murder rate would be 4000% lower, and slavery would be illegal everywhere...

Ray Ingles said...

Van - "The Constitution may not be perfect, but it's a lot better than what we've got!" :->

Van said...

Ray, as usual, you speak without having the slightest idea what you are criticizing or talking about.

Gee... wonder how you're voting this year.

Ray Ingles said...

Van - Not the way you think.

River Cocytus said...

Slavery certainly is far from illegal. It is just now common to believe that it ought to be.

God willing one day slavery of the soul will be disdained as much as slavery of the body. But alas; it is not yet to be.