Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Singularity is Here!

Here it is, your weekly "Best Of" from two years down. Although we're now up into July 2006, this one was actually plucked from down in May 2006, since I noticed in my site meter that it was getting a fair amount of hits. I then reread it and decided to try to edit it into presentable shape. Originally -- and I guess still -- titled "The Singularity is Here!" And don't forget, these are never mere summa rerungs, but an opportunity for me to dialogue with my own shady past and to entertain deep second thoughts about it, or what we call "higher ambivalence." It also allows me to cover my tracks. [Most of the new material is in brackets.]


I am convinced that the destruction of transcendence is the actual amputation of human beings from which all other sicknesses flow. Robbed of their real greatness they can only find escape in illusory hopes.... The loss of transcendence evokes the flight to utopia. --Pope Benedict

[Don't you love that line? "The loss of transcendence evokes the flight to utopia." It's so pithy, and yet it sums up a whole dimension of soul pathology that connects most of the organized enemies of mankind as such. No, wait a minute.... half the enemies, i.e., neo-Marxists, metaphysical Darwinists, radical secularists, and scientistic reductionists. Our other adversaries, the Islamists, have the opposite problem, that is, the loss of immanence. Along these lines, the big-brained Spengler wrote,

"Secular liberalism, the official ideology of almost all the nations of Western Europe, offers hedonism, sexual license, anomie, demoralization and gradual depopulation [i.e., an infrahuman and immanent hell]. Muslims do not want this.... For Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality."

Thus -- and this is about as ironic as it gets -- extremes meet in the radically immanent Lizards and their enemies, the radically transcendent Islamists. But BOTH are enemies to the Raccoon -- and American -- way of life; for the Lizards and other radical secularists cut us off from our vital transcendent center, while the Islamists would cut us off from or earthereal existence, and have us lead a life of bodily death while we still inhabit one.]

Anyway, a reader asked me to comment on a post by ShrinkWrapped from a couple of days [years] ago, entitled The Despair of Abundance. The reader mentioned “Kurzweil's theories of a coming singularity, and how that might affect man's search for ultimate meaning.... I often wonder if in Kurzweil's future, where all horizontal needs are easily available and we have all that we want, will man's nature provide him with no choice but to set out in earnest to discover the new world of the vertical? Or will he simply continue to wallow in the material world all the more enthusiastically.” [Short answer: see the Pope's pithy pronouncement above.]

I am not familiar with Kurzweil, but ShrinkWrapped linked to an article by Douglas Mulhall, in which he discusses this “singularity” in terms of the development of “superintelligent” human beings through genetic engineering and artificial intelligence: “Thanks in part to molecular manufacturing, accelerated developments in AI and brain reverse-engineering could lead to the emergence of superintelligence in just 18 years. Are we ready for the implications -- like possible annihilation of Homo sapiens? And will we seem to superintelligence what our ape-like ancestors seem to us: primitive?”

[Ho! For some pinhead to suggest that a computer could ever exhibit superhuman intelligence only emphasizes that said pinhead does not know what superhuman intelligence is. In short, could a computer ever write the Torah, Tao Te Ching, Upanishads, or the Book of the Subgenius? The question answers itself. Except to a materialistic pinhead.]

Mulhall spins out a number of possible dystopian scenarios that seem not just fanciful to me, but based on more fallacies than it is possible for me to even address in this post. Let me say first of all that human beings have always intuited and lived in the light of the singularity, or eschaton, at the end of history. Consciously intuiting this singularity is one of the prerogatives of being human, and what sets us apart from the beasts, for it really amounts to intuiting God, or the Absolute, or the One, or O, or the coondom thereof. I believe that Kurzweil’s notion of some sort of purely “horizontal” singularity is simply a garbled misapplication of a transpersonal religious idea. It's just a kind of sophisticated stupidity, like that of the Lizards.

For the singularity is already here, and has always been here. It is radically transcendent, beyond space and time. But because it is, it is necessarily immanent as well. It cannot be contained, so it “spills” into manifestation, sending its rays into every corner of reality, including human consciousness. To be “born again from above” is precisely what it means to reorient one’s life in light of this singularity or "attractor" at the end of history.

The idea that there will be some sort of material singularity that will end human suffering is both absurd and undesirable. According to all religious traditions, the cause of most human suffering is not lack of intelligence but man’s own corruption. No material progress will undo this decadence, and would likely even aggravate it. For as Schuon notes, “the lasting elimination of our miseries depends on our conformity to Divine Nature, or on our fixation on the ‘kingdom of God' which is within you.” What Schuon is talking about is conforming ourselves with the singularity discussed above. This is not theoretical, abstract or ethereal. Rather, it is entirely empirical and experiential -- it is the experience that is at the heart of any religious transformation.

To the extent that we do not use the world as a plane to rediscover our divine “inwardness,” then we will be strangers in this world, wandering from pleasure to pleasure with “no direction home.” In other words, in our fallen, “exteriorized” state of consciousness, we require suffering to overcome our faults, to “tear ourselves from sin,” and to reascend back to our source. In the spiritual view, it is our illusory, exteriorized state that is the cause of our suffering. Therefore, to provide this illusory state with even less suffering -- to try to make it completely comfortable and to eliminate all friction -- is simply going to increase confusion and cause more souls to deviate from their proper end.

[By God, it's like putting a bunch of penguins in Chicago in August, and then giving them some swamp coolers to feel at home, that's what it is. A lot of good that will do. There are NO horizontal conditions, no matter how "comfortable," that could ever make up for the loss of my Raccoon habitat.]

These spiritually flabby horizontaloids are Nietzsche’s pathetic last men, the cosmic losers who shall live in a “pitiable comfort.” I’m afraid that we are well into the phase space of that false singularity, and we can already see it’s baleful effects. I believe that ministering to the lower needs of these last de-virilized men forms the basis of contemporary liberalism, which increasingly cannot tolerate discomfort, disappointment, or inconvenience.

Theodore Dalrymple wrote of an ironyclad truth that the modern liberal will never understand, which is that misery always rises to the level of the means available to alleviate it. Therefore, even if a liberal program “works,” it doesn’t work, because it simply creates an appetite -- an expectation and narcissistic sense of entitlement, really -- that unhappiness or unfairness should not exist. To live one’s life in this infantile way is a recipe for metaphysical disaster, or liberal cluelesside.

If we eliminate the suffering that provokes “inwardness” and rebirth, it actually leads to a frenzy of manic activity in which less and less imperfection is tolerated, and at the same time, magnified. Just as luxuries become necessities, inconveniences -- or even delays -- become cosmic injustices. This is why, for example, the phenomenon of “black anger” occurred only after the civil rights movement had accomplished all of its aims, or why feminists still exist.

[This is also why the horizontally privileged Michelle Obama walks around with her own personal black cloud. It's amazing, really. If she had been my student in graduate school, I would have failed her just on the basis of her tortured grammar and poor spelling, not to mention her kooky and/or shallow "ideas" (just liberal cliches, really). But racist liberals passed her along anyway, since they don't believe blacks should be held to the same standards, but just want to feel good about themselves. Thus, she harbors an abiding sense of grievance, despite the attempt by liberals to remove all friction from her life. I'm guessing that no one's ever told her that she is an idiot, least of all the mealy-mouthed Barack -- which she desperately needs to hear in order to even begin to remedy the situation. What a lousy husband. You shouldn't have to learn that you're braindead from a total spengler.]

Leftism attempts to eliminate evil without eliminating the cause of evil, which is in the human heart. In so doing, it causes deeper existential alienation, a more profound attachment to the very impermanent things that can never satisfy us. This doesn’t mean that we do not attempt to improve the world. Of course we do. But only in the context of perennial wisdom and total, integral truth -- of horizontal and vertical realities. Exclusive focus on "horizontal perfection" would lead to a kind of hell with no vertical escape. But this is the explicit program of liberalism. And to the extent that spiritually blind Lizard-types foreclose the vertical, they only hasten the coming of this hell.

I think I’ll conclude with a comment on the bizarre notion of a “superintelligent” human species that would somehow replace us. The fact of the matter is that human intelligence is already absolute and infinite, so it cannot be surpassed, certainly not by “artificial intelligence.” We are already "superintelligent."

As I have mentioned before, I was little concerned that my book, what with its bird’s-eye survey of history, may have created the false impression that we are “smarter” or better than our forebears. This is not the point I was trying to make. Rather, my point is that only now, at this point in history -- especially in the Christian West -- do so many human beings finally have the opportunity to achieve their potential, even if most people just waste the opportunity. In the past, only a tiny fraction of human beings had that opportunity.

But make no mistake -- no human writer, no matter how “superintelligent,” will ever surpass Shakespeare. No musician will surpass Bach, or even John Coltrane or Van Morrison, for that matter. No human philosopher will ever surpass Plotinus, or Eckhart, or Schuon, or the Upanishads, because OBVIOUSLY, knowledge of the ultimate can by definition not surpass itself, any more than artistic perfection can surpass itself. There is just “perfection.” One either achieves (or approaches) it or one does not.

It is as absurd as suggesting that, because of genetic engineering, the women of the future will be much more beautiful than the women of today -- that they will be “superbeautiful,” as it were. Preposterous. Women are already ultimately beautiful. Seriously, how could women be more beautiful than they already are? When they try to become more beautiful -- e.g., through plastic surgery or breast implants -- it usually just backfires and detracts from their natural beauty. Likewise, how could music touch our soul any more than it already does? With more technology? Ho! Does Justin Timberlake sound better than Louis Armstrong's Hot Sevens? And how could ultimate truth be more true than it already is?

The singularity is already here. So quit complaining and just enjoy it.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Declare Independence From Your Genes: Darwinist Sons of Apes vs. the Children of Light

Evolutionism is the very negation of the archetypes and consequently of the divine Intellect; it is therefore the negation of an entire dimension of the real, namely that of form, of the static, of the immutable; concretely speaking, it is as if one wished to make a fabric of the wefts only, omitting the warps. --F. Schuon

This is not a post, unless it turns out to be one. But it just occurred to me that perhaps this dispute between Raccoons and Darwinists is a result of both parties being in the right, at least insofar as the Darwinian theory applies to those who adopt it and thereby cash in their humanness. In other words, as I have mentioned on a number of occasions, Darwinism does seem to adequately explain the simple mind of the Darwinist, just as it does any other animal. After all, a "reduced mind" would apparently call for a reductionistic explanation. Or at least that's one way of looking at it.

I should hope no Darwinist takes offense at what I am about to say. Certainly they shouldn't, being that I am fully conceding the truth of their theory as it applies to them. So there's no need to be offended unless you just can't take yes for an answer. I am only saying that your theory doesn't apply to me. Nor does it apply to other Children of Light -- only to you self-professed children of apes and monkeys.

Let me back up a bit, and point out that there is an esoteric doctrine that touches on this issue. Actually, I wouldn't so much call it a "doctrine" as a sort of midrash that uses a mythological story to explain an existential situation. No Raccoon needs to be reminded that this situation exists, for we must deal with it every day, living here on this Planet of the Apes. We try not to complain about it. It is what it is.

I see that I wrote a post about this a couple of years ago, so I'll just summarize some of that material here, before continuing with this line of thought below:

There is a rabbinical tradition that attempts to read between the lines of scripture to discern its hidden -- and much deeper -- meaning. In so doing, the rabbi will invent a midrash to illuminate and flesh out a given passage. These are often full of paradox, puns, wordplay and other midwascally wabbitorahcal devoices, almost like zen koans. They are the earliest guffah-ha experiences of which I am aware, Jews having developed a finely honed sense of humor very early on.

Sometimes a midrash is necessary when you encounter a couple of Biblical passages that seem to outwardly contradict each other; the midrash then provides an "interior" reconciliation, so to speak.

I have always been intrigued by the fact that Genesis tells two very different versions of the creation of man. Most people seem to just skim over this inconsistency, but perhaps God is trying to tell us something. Perhaps we need a midrash to reconcile the two. In short, we need a way to reconcile the existence of Lizards, kos kids, Darwinists, Marxists, and other self-professed sons of apes, with Raccoons and other Children of Light. It really comes down to trying to find a way to accommodate the horizontaloids into the wider human world on their own terms, and preserving their culture, so to speak. We certainly mean them no harm. We just want to understand them. And help them, if at all possible.

As it is, we already provide them with government-supported reservations for the more disabled among them to carry on their ways and worship their primitive gods, i.e., universities and institutional journalism. Perhaps they need more social services, for example, an early intervention program to assist a Child of Light who is cruelly being raised by Darwinist parents. Such a child will have his human potential crushed, unless his soul is particularly robust and able to break out of their parental and cultural programming. Many wasted lives -- not to mention, eternities -- could be avoided with such a humane approach.

Anyway, enough modest proposals. Back to the midrash. The "Orthodox Christian esoterist" (I don't know what else to call him) Boris Mouravieff had an interesting way of reconciling the two passages. That is, he felt that they were not referring to the same event, but to two distinctly different ones. In the pre-Adamic account in Genesis 1:27, both man and woman are created simultaneously. But in the second version in Genesis 2:7, God forms man “out of the dust of the ground,” and more importantly, “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” so that he became a truly “living being” with a divine spark within. It is this divine spark that makes all the difference.

You might say that God first created “horizontal man” who is capable only of biological or Darwinian growth. But he then corrected this deficiency by creating “vertical man” who is capable of spiritual evolution. This new kind of man -- who had had a living soul breathed into him -- essentially looks like his earlier cousins (although close inspection of the eyes often gives the game away), but “possessed in a latent state a potential that the purely animal world does not possess, that of passing on to the human and even superhuman stages of development."

In short, God created a vertical being who transcends horizontality, or genetic programming, while nevertheless remaining "in" the world. We're not talking about angels here -- who are purely vertical beings -- nor are we talking about Darwinists, Lizards, or Marxists -- who are purely horizontal -- but a highbred being who lives at the crossroads of the horizontal and vertical.

Before you get all high and mighty, bear in mind that this was all prior to the Fall, and much subsequent miscegenation between the randy Children of Light and the daughters of the earth. “Pursuing the mirage of temporal goods,” Adam and Eve lost touch with the higher intellectual center through which they had enjoyed direct contact with God: “The beauty of the daughters of men did the rest. Adam turned away from his real ‘I’ and identified with his personality” (Mouravieff).

So, the question is, is the planet still inhabited by two kinds of people, Children of the Light and sons and daughters of the earth?

The question answers itself, does it not? Can’t you tell when you’re in the presence of the latter? Is it just me, or when you look into their eyes, don’t you see something roughly halfway between animal and human? A coarse and vital being who does not know transcendence, and therefore cannot help owing his primary allegiance to the mamamaya that birthed him, i.e., Eve, or matter? (Again, matter is etymologically linked to matrix ["womb"] and maternal.) Darwinists do indeed spring from the womb of matter, again, by their own insistence. There is no Father-principle at all, i.e., "fertilization by the Word," which is the essential ingredient for the birth of a True Man, or Child of Light.

Another way of saying it is that there are "Children of Eve" and "Children of the Virgin." The former spring from the darkness of the earth, while the latter can claim divine parentage "through adoption." For in the end, we obviously aren't really talking about any kind of simultaneously goofy and sinister genetic determinism that condemns a man to be a Darwinist ape. Rather, the latter is a self-imposed condition that they choose because of an insane intellectual pride, a kind of hypertrophied narcissism, that has the effect of severing man from the pre-existent wisdom represented by the Virgin, or our non-genetic clueprint.

"Bob, I’m still a little uncomfortable with your division of humankind into two different species. Isn't that the road to genocide?"

Here’s a banal example. You tell me if you simply disagree with this man, or if you might as well belong to a different species:

The New Yorker calls Peter Singer, the world’s “most influential living philosopher.” It is Singer’s belief that “middle class families in the United States have a moral obligation to pay 33 percent of the first $30,000 they make to combat poverty around the globe.” After the first $30,000, they should pay 100 percent. He explicitly rejects the theory of property rights as an "unacceptable ethical view," and argues that certain animals are "persons" that have “the same special claim to be protected” as humans. He also maintains that infanticide is in some cases morally obligatory (Larry Arn, in a special edition of the Hillsdale College Imprimus).

Singer would undoubtedly find my allegory of two kinds of humans to be repellant. This is because, like all radical secularists, he knows that there are actually no humans. For equating animals and humans does not elevate animals so much as denigrate human beings. Or at least those of us into whom God breathed a living soul.

In point of fact, it is the radical Darwinists who explicitly wish to commit spiritual genocide against our kind. Radical secularists are clearly waging an all-out assault on the religious foundations of America, and trying to efface any link between our nation and the transcendent principles it was founded upon. I believe it is an act of child abuse to convince a child that he is nothing but a Darwinian animal. Richard Dawkins believes I will be committing child abuse by giving my son a religious education. There's not much middle ground there.

It is not so much that the idiotic Darwinists are killing us in a direct manner, but that they are doing everything within their power to destroy the habitat in which the Raccoon lives, moves, and breathes. With every passing year, more territory is inhabited by the lower humans, which crowds us out. I'm sure that many of you are aware of the fact that, had it not been for the development of the internet, Raccoons would by now be nearly completely isolated from one another, unable to even find one another in order to reproduce -- both spiritually and genetically. In the case of Mrs. G. and myself, we have one Raccoon child, but we do sometimes wonder how he is going to be able to find one of his kind, and carry on the line. Will our Raccoon line end with him? Probably not, for there is always grace.

So, my dear, deluded Darwinists, declare independence from your genetic programming today, become a freeborn Man, and join the Children of Light in our revelationary struggle against the sons of apes! For,

Transformist evolutionism is the classical example of the bias that invents “horizontal” causes because one does not wish to admit a “vertical” dimension: one seeks to extort from the physical plane a cause that it cannot furnish and that is necessarily situated above matter....

Revelation coincides with the recollection of the Wisdom previously acquired, but transitorily 'forgotten' through the fact of incarnation.... once the human support is ready and has attained a degree of perfection, the Logos descends upon him and dwells in him, just as light automatically dwells on a clear and smooth surface....
--F. Schuon

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Materialistic Egomaniacs and Spiritual Logomaniacs

Notes, notes, notes. They're everywhere. Sometimes I think the reason I blog is to try to herd them all into one place and reduce them to some kind of order. Sometimes I can hardly even read them, like when I try to etch them onto the owner's manual with a dead ballpoint pen while driving.

Sometimes it's just the title for a post, with no content, like Charles Johnson's Deterioration and Bion's Concept of the Imaginary Twin; other times I write a few cryptic words, thinking I'll know later what I meant, like this beauty: "atheism is an extrinsic ornament." What the hell is that supposed to mean? Sometimes it's a new insult to be handed off to Dupree, like this one, which isn't really his style: anus miribalis, or what an amazing asshole! Sometimes it's just a stupid joke: "celibacy is the path of lust resistance."

The hard part is telling the difference between the nonsense, the wisdom, the jokes, and the insults. But that's your problem, I suppose.

Today I am told that this post has something to do with the contrast between materialistic egomaniacs and religious logomaniacs. Perhaps this is a timely topic, given that a fairly representative member of the former group -- an apparent materialistic egomaniac named Alobama -- essentially accused me of being a religious one. Let me retrieve the exact quote from its dank bog of incoherence, so as to do it proper injustice.

Alobama expresses the sentiment that the herd of intrinsically diverse and independent Raccoons is analogous to the left-wing Jonestown cult, and that I -- and we -- am "as prideful as a man can be. It's in the Coonish jeans. Deny it without using 'I' if you will. Or better yet skip the plea bargain and just delete all the cajoling proise from your published mosthead, drop your distinguishing GD moniker, and be content to live in the world you wish for rather than the world as it is. Or is your talk also cheap? I've only made it two paragraphs into your diatribe today and already you've soiled your trousers. Sorry to be so dour. I"ll tune in tomorrow when you might be speaking to truth instead of lies. Your own not exempted."

I'll admit that I didn't comprehend Alobama's touchingly earnest groping for coherence except for the references to Jonestown and pride; giving s/h/it the benefit of the doubt, perhaps he scrawled these proto-thoughts with a rusty box cutter while driving his forklift. Be that as it may, the charge is a seriously loony one, and therefore worthy of a seriously derisive response.

Let's start with some definitions. Better yet, let's start with some principles, since they are a priori true, on pain of there being no truth, and therefore no accurate definitions. For to define can be either a passive or an active act; to define is to draw a boundary around something, i.e., to give it a name, which is man's prerogative and duty. In a sense, it is indistinguishable from the thing's existence, at least from our perspective. We can't think clearly about anything that isn't well defined; to put it another way, to the extent that we've clearly and accurately defined something, it likely means that we are thinking clearly about it.

Without an adequate container, there can be no content, and what we call "thinking" is precisely the byplay of container and contained, or the evolution of the container through the assimilation of more refined content. (This is one of the unavoidable problems of atheism, in that they define God in an intrinsically inadequate way, given that they concede at the outset that they've never even experienced this thing that they both define and yet reject. On this basis alone we ridicule these dysluxic dorklings with great gusto.)

Anyway, we begin with the principle of the "two minds," which is present in all religious traditions. In coonspeak, we like to employ unsaturated symbols to describe these two selves, or "interior mindscapes," (•) and (¶). The former stands for that which goes by the name of "ego," while the latter stands for that which goes by various names in different traditions. Both result in a "projected world" which the person goes on to inhabit and then take for reality; but only one is real.

That is, these "two minds" are adequations to different planes of reality. Or, to be perfectly accurate, (•) is a paradoxical adequation to unreality (or that which cannot be ultimately real), while (¶) is a mirror of the Immutable, the Absolute, and the Real. As such, the final end of (•) is a kind of nothing masquerading as a total hardness or dissipation, depending on the temperament, while the final end of (¶) is precisely a Real nobody and a fulsome nothing, something to which all saints and mystics will attest in one way or another. For this reason, humility is always a mark of the saint or sage, even though, looked at from the profane point of view, they can appear grandiose, inflated, egomaniacal, etc. In fact, if you are convinced that only (•) is real, then you really have no choice but to view even the most exalted (¶) as just an oversized (•).

Just to be fully clear, we need to add a couple more definitions here for a complete picture, that is... hmm, I guess my computer doesn't have the upward and downward arrows, so you'll jut have to imagine them; but these refer to the Godman (or avatar) and the saint or bodhisattva, the former a direct manifestation and incarnation of the divine principle within the relative, the latter an ascent of relativity to divinity. These are to be distinguished from the rank and file (¶).

Now, to jump ahead a bit, does the B'ob have an ego? Of course. I make no special claims for myself, but even the best of us has an ego so long as we are in the embodied state. And in fact, if you fail to comprehend this, you will be led into error, as we see in the cases of so many actual cultists and "independent gurus." For these types, the more they insist that they have "transcended the ego," the more narcissistic and egomaniacal they tend to be. For example -- and again, I make no special claims for myself -- but the idea that it would even occur to me to turn God into cash profits by selling a "Kama Sutra Calendar" is quite literally unthinkable. Repellant, really.

In fact, I should think that, once one is aware of God, one would do nothing to make him look foolish or trivial, and do everything to preserve one's good relations with him. The fact that Deepak never runs out of ideas for cashing in on God strikes me as a red flag that we are dealing with a very big (•), not (¶). If trolls want to say I am "jealous of Deepak," one can only ask: what else could you think?

As a brief aside, you will see that I occasionally use humor and even what some might call "vulgarity" to get my points across. But in my case -- and I'll flesh this out later -- I hope that any vulgarity is "from above," so to speak, not "from below," paradoxical though that may appear. Even after I started doing this, I had a great deal of trepidation and ambivalence before being assured that it was for a higher purpose and not merely frivolous.

For example, just yesterday I received a touching email from a grateful reader, who said "Your blog has become a virtual sanctuary for me and, no doubt, many others. Thanks for letting that happen," and went on to single out the following passage: "I have no respect for a reductionistic Darwinist who is not a nihilist and a sociopath, for he is merely a weakling and coward who lacks basic intellectual honesty and the courage of his convictions. He has his feet planted in the soil of Judeo-Christian values, even while he has his head planted in his ass."

Ho! Such passages are clearly not intended to be merely humorous, but are more like a koan, which "is a formula by intention absurd, destined to bring about a kind of liberating rupture in the mind of the person meditating on it, the mind in this instance being considered with regard to its hardness and blindness" (Schuon). The Raccoon refers to these as the sacred "guffah-HA!" experience, which is firmly rooted in the scryptical passage, My yokes are easy, my words enlight! All Raccoons become adept at this, not just me, for it is one of the "gifts of Toots."

As we have been saying in recent posts, the hierarchical continuity of the world is a necessary consequence of the intrinsically radical discontinuity between the Principle and the manifestation, God and creation, Absolute and relative, One and many. You might even say that in each of these antinomies, (¶) is an adequation to the former, while (•) is an adequation to the latter. Thus, in this sense, we see that (•) "must needs be," otherwise we could never even get around in the horizontal world. Yes, O fences must come, but woe to the man who lives behind one!

Speaking as a psychologist, the problem for the majority of patients is not "too much ego," but not enough ego, that is, a stable, coherent, fluid, and open adaptation to the horizontal, within the higher context of a vertical orientation. And for those with a hypertrophied or hardened ego, the problem is that it is closed to anything higher than itself, and thus becomes a kind of living death, or embodied prison.

Each of the following categories is intimately related: ego, individualism, narcissism, relativism, libertinism, and alienation from immutable principles. Conversely, (¶) is related to sanctity, charity, compassion, chastity, humility, "absolutism," and principial reality, not because of any "top-down" dogma, but because of first hand "acquaintance." In short, (¶) is an open system on the vertical plane, which is in dynamic rapport with O. In contrast, (•) is at best an open system with Ø on the horizontal plane. There is nothing wrong with relative knowledge, so long as one recognizes that it is relative, e.g., Darwinism as science, not metaphysics.

To put it another way, man was not created to live within manmade limitations, most especially the "unlimited limitations" of a limitless and therefore totalitarian science. Either you see this, or you don't. Either you are a horizontal egomaniac or a vertical logomaniac. And I guess that's the end of this post, even though I've barely scratched the surface of our eternal owner's manual.

There would be truth,
Truth that nobody sees,
If in the world everyone were like you
--Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes, Se Todos Fossem Iguais a Você


Related: The Necessary Religion:

"On an individual level, natural law holds that there is a Third [vertical] Party, beyond the biological mother and father, involved in the act of human creation. Your two parents generated your material [horizontal] substance, the goop and soup of you; that much could be said of any mammal. But according to natural law, God expresses His interest in every human being through the act of ensoulment -- the creation of an individual soul [(¶)] -- by virtue of which the human being becomes a person. And from that quality of personhood flow the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The End is Near! Or Possibly a New Beginning...

Very little time this morning. (No time to fully spell- or coherence-check, so bear with me.) I'm tempted to simply go as long as I can in expanding upon a comment left last night by Kepler Sings, because he hums some important melodies. He was also involved in the kerfuffle at LGF, trying to speak truth to darkness, but obviously to no avail. Truly, the ignorance there is as solid as rock, or like a layer of glacial ice. I'm sure you know that kind of invincible ignorance, since you probably once nurtured it -- and proudly so -- yourself. I know that I did.

As Nomo pointed out yesterday, pride is the author of our fall. But pride is not just an attitude, but a lie, and you-know-who is the Father of Lies, especially that one. And as I attempted to say in response to Kepler Sings, I am not so much concerned with whether or not you take this literally, so long as you take it. In other words, these theological formulations are there to convey a timeless truth about man's situation. Obviously, for the vast majority of man's existence, he lived in a pre-scientific world, so that the only way he could convey and assimilate primordial truths about himself was in a non-scientific manner.

If we round off and say that man has been here for 100,000 years, 99,600 of those years were pre-scientific. Apparently, it was only as recently as the "axial age" of approximately 2,500 years ago that man was sufficiently prepared to assimilate the revelation of Truth, for that is when most of the major revelations were downloaded by man -- the Upanishads, the Hebrew prophets, the Tao Te Ching, Plato and Socrates, etc. That these were timeless truths tells us something critical about revelation vis-a-vis the uncreated intellect, more on which below.

But modern man basically equates science with truth, which means that -- and this is something that eludes them entirely -- they end up living in an abstract, secondary world instead of the the primary, Real world. This point cannot be emphasized enough. Insofar as humans are concerned, the scientisic world -- or the abstract, theoretical world described by science -- is not the real world. This is so elementary, that it is amazing that it needs to be said.

For example, despite the fact that they are just Darwinian animals, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens both want to be married -- in Dawkins' case, several times, in Hitchens' case, twice. The question is, why? The answer is that they don't really want to inhabit the Darwinist fantasy world they champion, nor could any human being actually live in it, because it is not the human world. Rather, their gaseous protests to the contrary, both Dawkins and Hitchens surely want to live in the Real human world, a world that is full of Love, Truth, Beauty, Wisdom, and Virtue, and which clearly transcends anything reductionistic Darwinism has to say.

Again: to have the courage of one's convictions and to live in the Darwinist world of the scientistic imagination would be to live as an animal, not a human. Remember, to a Darwinist, a human being can be nothing other than an animal, pure and simple. Along the lines of our last couple of posts, there can be no radical discontinuity between human and animal -- or matter and Truth, behavior and Virtue, accident and Beauty, etc. It is a subhuman world unfit for Man. Which is again why none of them actually live there. They're all frauds, phonies, and crude loudmouths, including, sad to say, the head lizard.

In his comment yesterday, Kepler Sings reminded us of the doctrine of Adam and Original Sin. In response, I wrote the following (although I'll take the opportunity to edit and expand a bit where necessary):

"I couldn't agree with you more about Charles becoming a profoundly anti-intellectual, illiberal, and right wing mirror of Kos. And I agree with the rest of what you said, although with certain subtle modifications in order to make certain that it makes TOTAL SENSE within the pneuma-cosmic economy. In other words, there's no problem with what you said for someone who already understands it. But the modern mind demands a kind of logical consistency, so I would probably say it a bit differently, even though logical consistency is somewhat beside the point and "extrinsic" to the truth being conveyed. Ultimately you either get it or you don't, so it's a matter of 'presentation.'

"The main point is that Darwinism applies to a limited material domain, whereas Christianity applies to the much wider human world, however you interpret it. However -- and this is just my opinion -- only an esoteric understanding fully resolves any doctrinal contradictions that occur if one views theology in too literal, or materialistic, a manner. Part of the Raccoon mission, as it were, involves formulating these timeless truths in a manner 'acceptable' to modern ears, even though it is not really the duty of truth to be acceptable to man, but rather vice versa. But Petey is wise, merciful, so he does it anyway."

As Kepler Sings properly points out, it matters not one whit to the eternal Truth what science discovers about the supposed origin of the Cosmos, or the "cause" of Life, or the evolution of Man, for it can never touch the higher truths disclosed by revelation to man's uncreated intellect, the reason being that revelation is "intellect objectified," while the intellect is "revelation subjectivized."

Is that clear? This is the one essential point that I am always at a loss for words to fully convey, but I'm going to keep trying anyway. Sometimes I almost get there in the middle of the night, when my mind is empty and I am "shocked" by the miracle of subjectivity, because that is what it is, not a miracle but the miracle, this numinous and luminous humanous window on the world, and which is everything. Truly, it is the Light in the darkness that the dorks will never comprehend.

For this is another of the ironies of science: although science claims a totalistic explanation of the All, it does so at the expense of the true All, which is consciousness itself, for only the human subject has access to this All through the interior window of consciousness.

In other words, in a metaphor I have purloined before, science absurdly attempts to prove that the tree doesn't exist by growing more leaves. And this is the Tree of Life, or the Upanishadic tree, with its nonlocal roots aloft and local branches down below. Human beings have the unique privilege of knowing this tree, and yet, they proudly choose the fruit of that other naughty tree! I don't care what science has to say about the meaning of human life, so long as it subsists on the fruit of that withered tree. Does this make me some kind of religious fundamentalist? I hardly think so. Rather, it makes the bovine materialist a scientistic fundamentalist.

Or, for you lizards and trolls in Rio Linda, science reduces consciousness to a meaningless side effect of material processes. Now, no one who is himself "conscious" could possibly believe this nonsense. And I am apparently using the word "conscious" in a very different manner than the materialists, and this is one of the big problems, for if we cannot define our terms up front, we will simply generate a meaningless dispute. As I have said before, I do believe that man's lower consciousness can in many ways be explained by Darwinian principles, for man does partly inhabit the horizontal world, on pain of not existing at all.

But our primary home is the vertical world, and it is strictly impossible to derive it from any purely horizontal world without doing great violence to man -- in fact, annihilating Man as such. It is quite literally a kind of genocide, which is again what is so disturbing about the darkness of LGF. For the first principle of conservatism is that there is a real transcendent order to which man owes his primary allegiance. This is another way of saying that man lives in a vertical world which is the real and enduring world, in contrast to the horizontal world of ceaseless change and mutation. No enduring principles can be derived from that world, at least none that apply to the human world per se.

This downward spiral into scientistic anti-humanism cannot continue indefinitely without eventually hitting bottom and then crashing through to the other side, thus completing the cosmic inversion, i.e., the Fall. Kepler Sings notes that "Revelations tells us a time comes when God is so present on the earth that men cry for the mountains and rocks to cover them, lest they see the face of God. Darwinism is the beginning of that cry, men looking to rocks and dirt to hide them from the absolute creative power of God. Now that cry is an intellectual cry, but it will fill the whole of men, and they will seek physical death, rather than face this reality.

People pretend "that something, anything, some force, non-force, quantum vacuum, or the vacuum in their heads produced all that is, or ever has been, or ever will be, instead of this person we call God, but hardly know. Because to admit that all is created by a person, demands that the only real reason for life, for all this observation, for all our relationships, they do only one thing, point us to that person. Or rather THE person.

"Only someone insane in some way, would live in a great house where food comes through the door morning and night, you hear voices all day, activity throughout the house, and you never leave that room to investigate? To find out who built, or owns the house?"

This is again where the "Raccoon project" comes in. I wish I had more time for a fully coherent explanation, but I need to wrap this up. As time moves us further and further away from primordial truth, reality begins to "harden," which is the true source of modern man's rigid and desiccated materialism. This lifeless rigidity, or spiritual rigor mortis, eventually, like a cataract, occludes vision of the higher, while at the same time opens him to a flood from the lower, and then causes him to confuse this flood of vital energy with spirit. Thus, vitalism, both physical and intellectual -- becomes man's new religion. Either you see this or you don't.

One or two thousand years ago, man was able to live in a "general revelation," but this is no longer possible under modern conditions. This is why religion has become more of an individualistic project, since the individual must now do what the community once did in the past (and no longer does), which is to say, understand and assimilate the revelation. Fortunately, due to the law of inverse reflection, the Spirt -- and God's mercy -- is actually more available to human beings today than ever -- not because man is better, but precisely because he is worse. Whereas in the past, the seeds of spirit were a kind of widespread propagation, today it is more like an intense laser beam that must apparently work on one person at a time. No longer could an entire civilization be transformed by a single revelation.

In short, we have moved from the Age of the Father, through the Age of the Son, and are now in the Age of the Holy Spirit. Whether this represents an "evolution" or an augur of the "end times" is a discussion for another night.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Discontinuitycontinued, or My Odious Oneness With the Dreadful Deepak

Outside in. Spacetimematterenergy. No beforeafter, nobodaddy, no mamafestation, nothing but neti. --The Coonifesto

Only because of the Absolute can there be, on the one hand, a discontinuity that transcends material continuity, and on the other, a spiritual continuity that subtends biological and psychological discontinuity.

Now, viewed from one angle, liberation, enlightenment, or salvation -- let us just say "deliverance" -- obviously involves a sort of discontinuous "leap" from one state to another, i.e., "metanoia." But viewed from a more absolute point of view, there is no leap and no one to leap anyway, just the realization of a prior unity. You might say that in the latter, more eastern view, it is we who superimpose the discontinuity on the world, i.e., maya, and realize the transcendent continuity.

However, the Semitic religions look at it in the converse way, in that humans impose a sort of false continuity on the world (think of naive scientism or bonehead Darwinism, which reduce the world to just one level, thus allowing -- actually, ridiculously insisting upon -- continuity from below rather than above), so the realization of God is clearly a discontinuous, "transnatural" leap to a higher plane.

This is why I say that Darwinism represents a kind of magical, faux mysticism "from below." In fact, this accounts for the religious fervor of the fully committed Darwinist. They have gleefully "seen the dark," and naturally wish to spread the bad news. Our trolls show us that there can indeed be "Rays of darkness."

You might say that God is continuous in his immanence, but discontinuous in his transcendence; but even that is not wholly satisfactory, for immanence is ultimately a property of transcendence "spilling over" and extending into every corner of reality. God is (secondarily) immanent because he is (primarily) transcendent, but not necessarily transcendent because he is immanent (as this could be a result of mere pantheism, i.e., "God = everything").

Is this confusing? Don't worry. We'll figure this out. I'm just getting warmed up. Plus I woke up with low blood sugar, so it's taking a bit longer for the brain to kick in, being that it runs on glucose, you know. Glucose and shakti, anyway.

Schuon writes that "a passage from the world to the Divine Reality, or from manifestation to the Principle... raises the problem of the continuity -- or discontinuity -- between the relative and the Absolute."

Now, one of my beefs with new age frauds such as Deepak is that they emphasize the continuity without the discontinuity, which is another way of saying that they omit mention of a little matter known as "sin," which you might say is our own self-perpetuated discontinuity between us and God. So to simply say that "all is one" before we have undergone the hard work of eliminating and purifying that which is clearly not one with God, is luciferian at best, and probably satanic. Why? Because instead of elevating man toward God, it brings God down to the measure of fallen man. Some God. Some continuity. For if I am one with a scoundrel such as Deepak Chopra, truly, what is Oneness good for?

No. The fanciful continuity between man and God as envisaged by the new age hucksters "does not correspond to any reality, needless to say; otherwise there could be no discontinuity in the world itself" (Schuon). To paraphrase something else Schuon said, it does one absolutely no good to say "all is one" until one has deeply realized the extent to which nothing could be further from the truth.

Ultimately this comes down to the infinite gulf between gratitude and entitlement, or humility and narcissism. It doesn't take a psychologist to see through the bottomless narcissism of the the new age gurus, for blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. A corollary would be: cursed are the grandiose in spirit, for theirs is a condo in hell.

Another typical integratroll left a comment the other day to the effect that he could discern no difference between me and Deepak, except perhaps that I was jealous of the latter's vast new age financial empire. Whatever. If so, why darken my virtual doorstep? Why not just stay at Deepak's blog? I mean, really. If that were the case, wouldn't I be trying to make a living off of this, instead of just -- for what it's worth -- giving it away for free? Trust me: you will never see a "Raccoon Kama Sutra Calendar" for sale here, despite Dupree's insistence that they would sell like hotcakes. However, a "Hunks of the Coonosphere" calendar is already in the works.

Speaking of witch, I wonder what idiocy Deepak has come up with this week at wicked Ariana's hate site. Let's go find out! Here we go. The usual cosmic inversion. Conservatism -- that would be you and me -- is "the party of inertia," and represents "the impulse in each of us not to wake up -- it says 'Leave me alone. I like the way I am.... By definition reactionary forces want to freeze progress, usually by idealizing the past and grossly exaggerating the risk of moving forward."

That's us alright -- freezing progress, idealizing the past, and exaggerating the risk of moving forward. No projection there! (Not sure what Deepak's medical specialty was, but it obviously wasn't psychiatry.)

Deepak has it all figured out, as he is the true Last Prophet of mankind. Respecting the timeless wisdom of the past is just a kind of fear and stupidity: "It takes no courage to enforce 'traditional values.' [Yes, think of the bravery of the Hollywood celebrities who fawn over Deepak and who courageously live outside any moral norms!] Traditionalism rarely, if ever, advanced the world at large." The Ten Commanments? Just superstition. The four noble truths? Just some ignorant buddhahead. The Upanishads? Just a muddled premonition of Anthony Robbins and Wayne Dyer. Traditional marriage between a man and a woman? Hello?! Have you not yet purchased your fully illustrated Deepak Kama Sutra calendar? (It also serves as an emergency emetic!)

You see, if you want to experience one of those discontinuous leaps of consciousness, you have to follow Deepak's laughty example. He even says so: "quantum leaps in creativity, new discoveries, liberating insights" can only occur if we abandon tradition. "Clearly we are at a point where traditionalism has shown far more negatives than positives.... We live at a time when traditional values shouldn't be allowed to hold consciousness back." Let's blow up the Constitution even faster! Those dead white Euros are just keepin' us down!

Yes, tradition holds consciousness back. Obviously. Think of all the saints and sages throughout history who couldn't "evolve" because of tradition: Denys the Areopagite, Meister Eckhart, St. John of the Cross, Theophan the Recluse... the list is endless. Conversely, think of all the spiritual geniuses produced by the new age movement, not limiting ourselves to the self-evident genius of Deepak himself: Anthony Robbins, Da Love Ananda, Starhawk, Seth, Krishnamurti, ... where does one even begin to approach such blinding spiritual luminosity!

Forget God and his silly demands. No, the venerable Deepak reminds us that "In the end, arriving at a new world comes down to what makes us happy." Thus, evolution is the fulfillment of your bloated ego, which is entitled to a world that mirrors its infantile omnipotence.

However, just like Deepak -- who undoubtedly lives a simple, unencumbered life of spiritual renunciation within the mansion walls of his 27 acre beach front compound -- we must change, so that "Our conception of happiness has to move away from materialism." Indeed, like his good friend Al Gore, we must leave a small carbon footprint, using no more energy in a month than what is consumed by a dozen typical American families in a year.

Okay, back to reality. According to that backward and fearful traditionalist, Schuon, "the discontinuity which one can observe everywhere cannot but be the reflection of the discontinuity separating manifestation from the Principle, or the world from God, and which can be abolished only by the ontological -- or spiritual -- reduction of the first to the second, or by the supernatural radiation of the Principle into the manifested order."

Allow me to trancelight this for you; again, both bonheaded materialists and the sociopathic Deepaks of the world eliminate the discontinuity by reducing the Principle to the manifestation. But this is to conflate light and sun. As Schuon points out, the light we see here on earth is actually none other than a "prolongation" of the sun; indeed, it is the sun.

Or, we might say that they are "not two." For we are nevertheless aware of the central sun above, which sends its rays in every direction, illuminating the herebelow. To fraudulently seize a ray of light and imagine that it is the "center" is to be a doltish Deepak or a muddlebrow materialist, it hardly matters. For the sun does not require us to go on being, whereas the earth without the sun is like Deepak without tradition: pure darkness and death.


Monday, June 30, 2008

Memos From God to Himself: Cosmic Continuity and Deuscontinuity

At further risk of tawdry-sounding self-promotion, I want to get back to what I was saying the other day about how the chapters of my book are simultaneously discontinuous (indeed, like any other book) and continuous (like no other book of which I am aware, but I'm sure there must be at least one!). The purpose of this, don't you know, was to emphasize the fact that the universe is obviously One, and yet, diverse in ways for which science can never account, for reasons that are principial, not contingent.

And again, this wouldn't pose a such a deep philosophical problem if the discontinuity were simply dispersed "outwardly" in a purely horizontal manner. There would still be the problem of how it is possible for discrete wholes manifesting internal relations (and therefore interiority) to arise, but that is simply none other than "existence," for to exist is to manifest as a relatively autonomous and definable whole, or a part in relation to the Whole. In other words, if you are not a discrete and identifiable whole, then you are simply merged with your surroundings and don't really ex-ist.

But our cosmos has the baffling property of vertical discontinuity, of "ontological leaps" to entirely different modes of being, e.g., Bupkis-->Matter-->Life-->Mind-->Spirit-->Meta-bupkis (there are others, but those are the big ones). In fact, this weekend I happened across a passage by Schuon, who wrote that "When all is said and done there are only three miracles: existence, life, intelligence." And "with intelligence, the curve springing from God closes on itself, like a ring which in reality has never been parted from the Infinite.”

So you see, there is one of those quotes I was mentioning that also justify the circular structure of the book (for when Schuon uses the word "intelligence," he means it in terms of the higher intellect in its "uncreated" mode; as such, he's ultimately talking about the metacosmic journey that begins with creatio ex nihilo and ends in egobliteration and therefore cosmonihilation back to the One. So you could actually say that there are only two miracles: Existence and Redemption; or perhaps just one miracle, Redemption.

So “in reality," writes Schuon, "if God is the ‘omega,’ He is of necessity also the ‘alpha,” on pain of absurdity. The cosmos is a ‘message from God to Himself by Himself.’”

Either that, or we could adopt the scientistic view, which necessarily regards the cosmos as "a message from matter to itself by itself." But of course, this begs the question of how matter can have the capacity to encode any messages at all, for doesn't the capacity to do so transcend the properties of matter? Furthermore, wouldn't "knowing" this be reducible to matter, and therefore, stupidity?

Yes. This pernicious error goes by the name of "the invincible stupidity of the Lizards," or "the eternal religion of the kosbags," and is the "false circle" that unites the shrill extremes of left and right wing. (Again, LGF is not a conservative blog, but a right wing one; and kos is obviously not a liberal blog, but a leftist one, and left and right necessarily meet on the horizontal plane, since both deny transcendence a priori).

Again: the True Unbroken Circle -- which is esoterically symbolized by the ring-tailed Raccoon with "circles 'round the eyes" -- is the Open Spiral that is grounded in the Alpha and Omega that we call -- not coincidentally -- O (for this "O" is open, among other properties).

Now, the material world is made of "impermanence," or ceaseless change, while the intellect is made of timeless Truth, which is its "substance." But this ceaseless material change has a ground of transcendent permanence, otherwise we could not understand the change, any more than one can determine which of two bodies is moving in a two-body system. For example, it would be impossible to say if the sun were revolving around the earth or vice versa unless we could view the situation from a "higher third," transcendent position.

Likewise, we could not know the four-dimensional Adventure of Consciousness (i.e., evolution) if we were not capable of stepping outside of it and viewing it "from above." If you don't believe me, I suggest that you consult your pet monkey on the matter, and see what he has to say (or throw).

One might pose the question as follows: if human beings had never existed, would Darwinism still be "true?" (And please bear in mind that Darwinists are quite insistent on the point that the emergence of human beings was wholly random, to such an extent that if the "film" of evolution could be "replayed," it would never have resulted in humans.)

In other words, the question comes down to this: does truth "evolve?" Or, is it merely a result of evolution? If so, it cannot really be truth, since it is a wholly contingent thing in a wholly contingent cosmos: remember, in the scientistic cosmos, humans are just adam & evesdropping on matter having an intrinsically stupid conversation with itself. Needless to say, the question of transcendent or eternal "truth" doesn't enter the equation.

But it is precisely here where religion enters the picture to save these pompous asses from themselves, for religion is none other than an awareness of the Absolute shining through the relative, or eternity "within" time (for it is actually the converse i.e., time as an intrinsic property of timelessness), and Truth amidst appearances. Again, in the open spiral, appearances are struggling back up to Truth, so to speak, whereas in the closed horizontal cosmos of scientism, appearances are merely revealing other appearances, which is no revelation at all, just a double deception. It is what we call "scientistic insanity," for it is just a very elaborate and circuitous way of going nowhere except closer to tenure.

I don't know about you, but when I talk about Truth, I am talking either about the Absolute, or about something that makes no sense unless it is "in the light of the Absolute," so to speak. Thus, the "relative truths" of science are certainly permitted, so long as it is understood that these truths can never be justified on their own level, but only with the implicit understanding that no rational discourse is possible in the absence of the Intelligible Whole that sponsors all real knowledge and knowing -- which are in turn reflections of the exterior and interior of this Whole, respectively.

Let's take, oh, the Buddha. He was quite certain that he was revealing eternal truth when he declared that attachment to the impermanent was the source of suffering. This is not an "evolved truth," much less a truth that will somehow be transcended or gotten around with further "evolution." Rather, once again, this truth is the saving presence of the Absolute within the relative.

Or when Jesus says, "I am the Way, the Door, the Life," he most assuredly did not mean to add the qualifier, "until something better comes along." No. For he is talking about the Way back to the Absolute, the vertical Door, or passageway that miraculously abides here in the horizontal, and the eternal, nonlocal Life of which biology is a mere local property.

Another way of saying it is that God is the immutable center around which mutable appearances "rotate" like planets around the central sun. When we are aware of the Sun's light, it is not so much a matter of "straining" to see it, but simply removing the obstacles, clouds, or impurities that obscure it. Which is why the Eternal Vocation of the humble Raccoon is simply "cleaning windows." But as I keep trying to remind our trolls, I don't do installations.

To be discontinuously continued....

What's my line?
I'm a working man in my prime
Cleaning windows...
--Van Morrison, Cleaning Windows

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