Saturday, September 06, 2008

Evolution and Creation: Is this Really the Best God Can Do?

Yes, it's a serious question, and one that separates traditionalists such as Frithjof Schuon from evolutionary thinkers such as Sri Aurobindo or Teilhard de Chardin. The former believe in a static or deteriorating cosmos, while the latter believe in an evolving one. Not just Darwinian evolution, mind you. Rather, biological evolution would simply be an inevitable artifact, or side effect, of a cosmos that has in fact been evolving for 13.7 billion years, or ever since it banged into being.

Now, when I completed the first draft of my book perhaps a decade ago, I was absolutely convinced of this view. Perhaps "convinced" is the wrong word, any more than one is convinced that the sun rises in the east. Rather, science tells us that there was a time that the cosmos did not exist. Then, suddenly it did. Not gradually. Suddenly. It did not exist. Then it did.

Same with Life (I capitalize it when I am speaking of "Life as such"). The last time I checked with Petey, this was a supposedly dead -- or, to be precise, non-living -- universe until March 4, 3.85 billion years ago, when Life suddenly appeared, or moved from the implicate to the explicate order. Which is another way of saying that the universe revealed itself to be a living one after all.

In other words, from our vantage point, 10 billion years may seem like a long time, but from the Creator's point of view, we know that one day is an eternity and all of eternity is but a single day. If you cease anthropomorphizing the situation, then perhaps the emergence of Life was an overnight sensation.

Same with the emergence of humanness. No one knows with certainty when human beings arrived on the scene, but let's say that genetically complete humans appeared approximately 200,000 years ago, give or take. As I explained in the Coonifesto, our genetic endowment doesn't explain much in light of the fact that "humanness" doesn't appear until much later, only around 40,000 years ago. And I would go even further, and say that real humanness didn't emerge until the axial age, with the simultaneous downloading of all the great revelations. In the absence of these revelations, man isn't really man at all, just a cosmic freak, an animal-human hybrid like Bill Maher, Deepak Chopra, or Keith Olbermann.

Of course, you can argue against these facts in the name of "faith," but I do not believe that is the purpose of faith -- i.e., to help us disbelieve what is before our eyes. Rather, it is to help us understand that which is not before our eyes. And in the entire scenario I have just laid out, there is much that is not before our eyes, and which cannot be understood or illuminated in the absence of faith.

To take just the most obvious examples, how could a perfectly ordered universe suddenly appear out of nowhere? Why is it ordered at all? And why is it so ordered that it allows not just for the emergence of living things -- as we know, if you mess with just one of the knobs on the Creator's cosmic console, and change one of the mathematical parameters that undergird the physical cosmos, biological life would be impossible -- but also for the emergence of minds capable of understanding the truth of the cosmos and of their own origins? To express it as succinctly as possible, what kind of cosmos permits Truth, Love, and Beauty? To say that science cannot answer that question is a banality of the first rank.

Only after the first draft of my book was written, did I really immerse myself in the works of the traditionalists, e.g., Schuon, Guenon, Cutsinger, Nasr, and others. While I had encountered them before, I basically rejected them on a priori grounds, since I thought it absurd to suggest that the cosmos was not evolving.

However, in the mean time, a lot of spiritual growth had taken place, so, for the first time, I was actually able to penetrate and understand where the traditionalists were coming from. Or, perhaps I should say that they were finally able to penetrate my density. So for the past four or five years, as you may have noticed, I have been very much under their influence. Frankly, I can never repay Schuon for what he has given me. It's as if he put the finishing touch on my ability to think about spiritual things -- i.e., to engage in intellection and think vertically.

Nevertheless. I still feel as if Aurobindo and Schuon are talking about apples and oranges. Schuon has an absolutely vertical and static orientation -- like the Catholic church on stilts -- whereas Aurobindo is quite the opposite, and not only values the evolving world, but sees it as the very stage upon which the cosmic-spiritual adventure takes place. The world is here for a reason, and it's not just to wait for our death. But Schuon comes very close to saying that -- as do some Orthodox thinkers, for that matter.

The whole point about Aurobindo's philosophy is that the world is not only worthy of our being here, but that we are required to do the urgent spiritual work of uniting the above and below, in order to create the "life divine" on earth. This is obviously not in some pie-in-the-sky, youdopian leftist sense, but more in the Christian sense of bringing God's light into the world ("Thy will be done"), or in the Jewish sense of Tikkun, or helping to complete God's creation. Frankly, I see Aurobindo's philosophy as being quite compatible with Christian theology, but also with Americanism, which is optimistic and progressive, values the individual, and sees itself as engaging in a spiritual mission. Americans are idealists, in ways that the sophisticates of the international left simply cannot grasp because of their lazy cynicism.

(By the way, for anycoon who is put off by Aurobindo's metaphysics, please be patient, as I will eventually explain how all this comports with Judeo-Christian metaphysics.)

Schuon would say that the world is inevitably winding down through time, as it falls increasingly far from its timeless source. But I say, so long as single infant can grow up and know the Godhead, it is winding up. Schuon would say that human beings are well into the "beginning of the end," i.e., the "Kali yuga." Aurobindo might say that we are only just now approaching the end of the beginning, as mankind learns to colonize and expand its own psychic space, which converges upon the Divine mind. For example, in his own case, he wrote (in 1914, by which time he had realized all that could be realized from the standpoint of traditional yoga) that "what I thought were results are nothing more than a preparation. I feel as though I have done nothing yet, as though I have not lived the spiritual life, only entered the path that leads to it."

Aurobindo begins with the principle -- as indeed you must -- that all is one, and that that One is God, or Brahman. In other words, Reality is not a "sum" but a unity; all multiplicity, all differences and variations, exist within that prior oneness: "From that all variations begin, in that all variations consist, to that all variations return." God is the "Alpha and Omega," the "One besides whom there is nothing else existent." Only it is ultimately Real. To the extent that we really exist, it is only because we partake of that Being.

As such, it is an artificial distinction to radically separate being from becoming, as I believe Schuon does. For if God is one, then becoming partakes of being as well. True, there is a "dark and silent" aspect of God, that is, the Godhead that may only be unKnown in the luminous darkness of mystical union. But there is another side -- literally -- to the story, and that is the "active" aspect of God, part of which is this Creation. As Aurobindo writes, "The fundamental truth of Being must necessarily be the fundamental truth of Becoming. All is a manifestation of That."

This is simply another way of saying that the "becoming" represented by cosmic evolution is nothing but a necessary consequence of God's Being, as it is deployed in time, so to speak. Again, Schuon would say that the world of "becoming" is only becoming less and less as time goes by. Could this possibly be true? We really only have three choices: either it is becoming less, becoming more, or staying the same. The latter cannot be the case, since only God by definition "stays the same," being that he is eternal. But his eternity participates in time -- indeed, time is simply the moving image of eternity, or God in Motion, so to speak. And I just cannot accept the idea that time represents God's "deterioration." Rather, the specific reason why time is anti-entropic is because its substance is God. It's the reason why dust comes to life and monkeys compose symphonies.

Now, there are evolutionary worlds and non-evolutionary worlds, and it is critical to maintain their distinction. For example, the world of revelation is a non-evolutionary world. It is intended to help us understand the timeless truths of our evolutionary world, but that can hardly mean that the world itself is not evolving. Rather, that's the whole point. Precisely because the phenomenal world is changing, we need a way to understand its deeper truth, whether it is scientific truth or moral and theological truth. Again, the whole point, say, of Genesis, is not that it describes things that happened long ago and once and for all, but that it describes what happens every time, over and over. Likewise, creation didn't just happen 13.7 billion years ago or 6,000 years ago, but continuously.

Let us think of the Creation as a "bridge" between becoming and divine Being. Naturally, the bridge must be built in time. Furthermore, it goes without saying that this bridge could never be built "from the bottom up," like a Tower of Babel. Rather, the only reason it can be built at all is again because God is the material, the ladder, the rungs, and the destination. Looked at in this way, ours is not a "God of the gaps." Rather, precisely the opposite: God is a God of the gaplessness, specifically, the lack of any real gap between matter and life, life and mind, mind and spirit, and spirit and God. In the absence of God, this is indeed a gap-filled universe, with no way to account for the ontological discontinuities. In other words, the only way you can get from matter to life or ape to man is because of the very gaplessness of God.

You might say that evolution "presses upward," but that it could never arrive anywhere in the absence of God "pressing downward," so to speak. A quintessential example of this is Christ, or even the Christ principle, if you prefer. No matter how hard man "pushed against the sky," he could not have produced a messiah on his own. Rather, the ascending pressure must be met by a descending response, which creates a kind of "whirlpool" where spiritual activity takes place. This is why, in your own life, as you press upward, God pushes downward.

Looked at in this way, there are "avatars" at every stage of evolution. For example, that first living being was an "avatar of matter," a divine descent. Life is already Divinity. It is sacred. And it is One.

To be continued....

Friday, September 05, 2008

You Say You Want an Evolution

Well, when the pipeline gets broken and I'm lost on the river bridge
I'm cracked up on the highway and on the water's edge
She comes down the thruway ready to sew me up with thread
Well, if I go down dyin', you know she bound to put a blanket on my bed
--Bob Dylan

I woke up at 1:30 and needed a dump truck to unload my head. I tried to remember it all before falling back to sleep, but I should have jotted down a few notes. Now I need a mental detector to find the little pieces strewn about the shore.

Which reminds me. I really did dream about the ocean last night. I was walking home along a boardwalk with an armful of books. The tide came in and began pulling me out. I lost the books, and then began to wonder if I would lose myself as well, the reason being that I always run my blood sugar pretty low. When you do that, you don't have much gas in your tank -- which is fine, so long as you're not suddenly sucked into the ocean with a handful of books, and need the energy reserves. It's just one of the spooky things about living with diabetes, with one foot in this world and the other on a banana peel. In other words, just like everyone else, only more so.

I think the dream and the early morning influx of light speak to the current zeitgeist -- which is a German word that, roughly translated, means "spirit of the times." I'm not trying to be pedantic there. Rather, I am only trying to emphasize that spirit exists and that is inextricably woven into time, which is composed of the warp and weft of spirit and matter, or vertical and horizontal. It's not just a figure of speech. There really is a spirit of the times, and one of the gifts that routinely goes along with spiritual development is the ability to discern the "signs of the times." You -- yes you there, troll:

In the morning, it will be foul weather today: for the heaven is red and lowering. Ye know how to discern the face of the heaven; but ye cannot discern the signs of the times. That's why your comments are so appallingly stupid.

Now, the Sarah Palin pick has unleashed a tremendous amount of "energy." But that's just a banality if you don't know what energy is, especially as it pertains to the human realm. What is this energy? What is its actual source? And is she the actual source, or just the occasion for becoming aware it?

Regarding this force of energy, it has definitely affected this blog, along with everything else. Suddenly I'm getting betweeen two and four times the traffic. Why? It has nothing to do with me, but with this impersonal energy moving through people and affecting them in a variety of ways, both high and low.

It is fascinating that this force has conservatives feeling more or less "ecstatic," while it is affecting liberals in the opposite way. The most vivid example that comes to mind, since he is already such a caricature, is Keith Olbermann, who is so loosely put together to begin with, that it doesn't take much of this energy to make him disintegrate altogether.

And when I say "disintegrate," I again mean it literally, in the psychoanalytic sense of decompensating. Decompensation occurs when one's psychic defenses are overwhelmed, which then causes an uprush of primitive affect and ideation. In other words, all of the things one normally represses flood the ego, as in my dream.

So here is Keith, decompensating last night on live TV:

It has always been understood that the sudden ingression of spiritual force will make the unjust, impure, or unprepared person sort of disintegrate, which is why spirituality is no game. Think of what happened to St. Paul when the force suddenly entered: a pseudo-epileptic fit followed by blindness.

Do not think of this story as merely apocryphal, but as a lesson in humility as one approaches the Divine. If Paul hadn't been who he was, the Force may have killed him or affected him like a Keith Olbermann, or the other malignantly narcissistic pneumapaths of the left. Your body and mind are the very field of pneuma-cosmic evolution, an experiment in the possibility of a higher life in an essentially primate form. (More on which later.)

Judaism is very aware of this idea of the body-mind as spiritual battleground, as is Orthodox Christianity, but the same principle is present in all authentic revelations. For example, it's not just a politically correct meme, at least as applied to Sufis, who really do see jihad as a spiritual war on the lower self. Unfortunately, they probably represent only 1% of Muslims.

But a thousand years ago, perhaps the average Christian wasn't all that different, given the "spirit of the times," which may have encouraged a similar externalization of the spiritual battle. After all, if you don't have a highly developed interior to begin with, then when the force enters you, it has no place else to go but back outside. In turn, this is why it is so important for Raccoons to develop a capacious interior, which will be both a cause and effect of the spiritual ingression. It will always push against your existing limits until they are totally transcended, so be careful what you wish for. You really do have to say God-bye to both your past and to your existing self. At a certain point, you won't have the choice.

As Will has pointed out many times, consider what happened in the 1960s. Whatever you think of that decade, it was nevertheless a reaction to a palpable ingression of spiritual force that affected different people in different ways. For essentially "vital" (more on the definition of that later) people, it affected them in an essentially vital way, making them only more vital, but then confusing it with spirituality.

Man had in fact reached a certain evolutionary impasse, and the ingression of the force was necessary to break through it. In order for growth to take place, Catabolism must coincide with anabolism. But many people and institutions merely catabolized without bothering to anabolize to something higher. Metabolism obviously requires both. But only for the rest of your life, metabolism being indistinguishable from life -- including spiritual life (on our side of it).

I was only a kid during the 1960s, but especially in hindsight, I can see that I was quite sensitive to the spiritual powers that were swirling about everywhere, and I could also see how they affected essentially dark souls, who misappropriated that energy toward narcissistic, dark, self-serving, vital, and anti-spiritual ends. Can I get an amen? Yes, grace falls like rain from the sky, but the rain falls down on the good and wicked alike. For one person the rain assists organic growth, while for another it just makes them all wet.

Damn. I really do need a dumptruck to unload my head today. I'm barely getting started here. I feel as if I'm holding on to the tip of the tail of a large animal up in the sky, trying to pull it down.

One point I wanted to re-emphasize is that the sudden increased attention to this blog really has nothing to do with the blog or with me, but with the influx of spiritual energy coursing through, and focussed upon, Sarah Palin. If I could show you the spike in my site meter, you could see it as a kind of measure of that force. If I were more of what Sri Aurobindo calls a "vital mind," I could easily see myself getting caught up in it in a purely political way, which is what vital beings do, because they can't help doing it. They see the energy coming from "outside," when it is really coming from above. But when it mingles with what is below, watch out.

To put it another way, the reason why politics is dominated by vital beings is because they live in a realm of visceral "excitement" that prevents them from seeing or understanding what's really going on. The further leftweird one goes, the more vital it gets, but not always. There are many vital conservatives, and I also find them offensive if not repulsive. In turn, this is why I like, say, a Dennis Prager so much, because he is always able to translate what is going on from the perspective of the "mind of light," which is sattvic (ascending) rather then rajasic (expansive and passionate) or tamasic (descending). (Again, more on the "mind of light" in subsequent posts, but think of it as the first manifestation of the human station beyond ego.)

Believe it or not, all of this is still connected to the series of posts on Hitler a couple of weeks ago, but it might take me two more weeks of posts to explain how and why. I think I'll just move on for the moment and try to explain where this is all headed. One thing I think we need to bear in mind is that both Obama and Palin are responding to the same impersonal force, but obviously in diametrically opposed ways. One is personalizing the force, as it mingles with his immense narcissism, while the other is humbly submitting to it. It couldn't be more obvious.

Oh yes. That's another one of the things that popped into my melon in the middle of the night. I hope that Sarah Palin realizes what she is in for, because she will have to essentially die to her previous life and her old self, as she processes the various forces centered upon her. As I mentioned a couple of posts back, imagine the strength of character it would require to maintain your center while being psychically "used" and abused by so many millions of people, both friends and enemies. She must tolerate both the vile and hate-filled projections of the left, but perhaps even more problematically, the idealized projections of the right.

This is why, more often than not, celebrities essentially go insane, spiritually, morally, and intellectually. They are simply unable to metabolize and neutralize the idealizing projections that come their way. Instead, they inflate the ego and breathe life into all of their mind parasites below. The same obviously happens to all of the fraudulent gurus such as the Demonic Deepak. (You will notice in this latest piece how he precisely inverts some of the mechanisms and principles we are describing here. Fascinating. For him, Palin "is the reverse of Barack Obama, in essence his shadow, deriding his idealism and exhorting people to obey their worst impulses.")

Note how the cosmos looks when it is precisely inverted by someone as wicked as Chopra. For him, Palin stands for "small town values," "a return to petty, small-minded parochialism, ignorance of world affairs," "a repudiation of the need to repair America's image abroad," bogus "family values," which is just "a code for walling out anybody who makes a claim for social justice," "patriotism," which is really just "the usual fallback in a failed war," etc. I tell you, he is a monster in a way that only a "spiritual" person can be.

"It would be a shame to elect another Reagan, whose smiling persona was a stalking horse for the reactionary forces that have brought us to the demoralized state we are in."

What a freaking ghoul. Some days you need a steam shovel to keep away the dead. (Get a load of some of the comments as well: "She's a cheerleader. A Stepford wife, an automaton who delivers speeches written by other people as if the words were her own.... And this pit bull metaphor, is perplexing. Do we love pit bulls now? We need owls in Washington, men and women of wisdom, not rabid dogs who chew up the Constitution and bite any person wearing a turban. Pit bulls aren't thinking animals."

Having owned one, pit bulls are actually wonderful animals. Like humans, it all depends upon their master. Anyway, this is again why it is so critical for the recipient of such projections to be free of both narcissism and insecurity, which is another way of saying "beyond ego." The problem there, of course, is that politics is like a Darwinian environment that pre-selects narcissistic people of both the left and right. It really is "show business for the unattractive." When you see the TV reporters mingling among the delegates and interviewing the typical Republican pol, you see the problem.

On the one hand, the masses must believe that Sarah Palin is "just like them." But on the other hand, she can really be nothing at all like them, or we're screwed. Rather, she must be vastly superior to them, part of which will involve being much more humble and non-narcissistic than they are, very much like Ronald Reagan. This why it is true what McCain says about the Reagan Evolution: "we came to change Washington, but Washington changed us." But it really only changed the narcissistic and vital types, of whom there are always plenty. It could not under any circumstance change me, and let us hope that it will not change Sarah Palin. True spiritual maturity is of the utmost importance.

Before proceeding any further, let's talk about some of the qualities of the vital mind. Satprem writes that it is a "source of both difficulty and great power; a source of difficulty because it tends to jam all the communications coming from outside or above, frantically opposing our efforts to silence the mind, bogging the consciousness down at its own level of petty occupations and interests, thus hindering its free movement toward other regions..."

You cannot merely perform "moral surgery" on the vital mind, as conventional religions tend to do -- i.e., repress or split it off. Nor can you just wallow in it, as the Romanticists of the left tend to do. Rather, you must transform it, which is not as easy as it sounds, as every seeker knows that there are adverse forces that protect the status quo, very much in the manner that our psychological defenses can prevent psychological growth.

Satprem continues, noting that "there is a kind of threshold to cross if we want to find the true life force behind the troubled life of the frontal man."

I guess I'd better stop now. The dump truck has barely emptied. I may need to continue tomorrow instead of taking the weekend off, but right now I need to get to work.

Well, you know I need a steam shovel mama to keep away the dead
I need a dump truck mama to unload my head
She brings me everything and more, and just like I said
Well, if I go down dyin', you know she bound to put a blanket on my bed.
--Bob Dylan, From a Buick 6

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Metaphysics of Envy and the Revenge of the Left

I was going to discuss the tenth commandment later in the week, but since it illuminates the tempest of the day, I think I'll get right to it. In particular, I was reading an article at American Thinker, Sarah Palin and the Narcissistic Wounds of the Left, when an important point clicked into place. The click was so loud, it made my household gnome, Petey, jump out of his skinlessness.

Lewis notes how, for the left, Obama "is entitled to the presidency." You see, for them "It's only justice. Think about that word 'justice' and try filling in 'revenge.' 'Social justice' means the revenge of the poor against the rich, of the radical women against the men who've stood them up and hurt their feelings all their lives, and the revenge of black people finally doin' down the whites -- as Jeremiah Wright makes so abundantly clear."

What the left calls "social justice" is actually "the revenge of the psychologically oppressed against people who look happier and more satisfied with their lives." As such, it is intimately related to the psychoanalytic understanding of envy, which is an unconscious mechanism that goes about destroying what one does not have, in order to eliminate the emotional pain of not having it.

Frankly, that was such an important point that I didn't get any further in the piece: when the left talks about "social justice," what they unconsciously mean is social revenge. Ah ha! Suddenly their nonsensical economic proposals make sense! They're not supposed to make sense to the conscious mind, which demands logic and reason, but to the unconscious mind, which demands passion, instinctual release, and emotional satisfaction. Guffaw ha! It's like the keynes to their whole economic kingdumb!

As with the Islamists, the emotional thrill of hacking off someone's head is the sufficient reason for doing so. The rest is commentary and pretext. Likewise, the emotional satisfaction of "sticking it to the rich" is the sufficient reason for sticking it to them. Who cares if the economy will shrink? It feels good. The intellectual justification is just a thin veneer on the surface of the emotional drive, which is destructive, not creative. The same with such self-defeating policies as rent control, anti-free trade, a "living wage," socialized medicine, and "windfall profits taxes" (let's hope that Sarah Palin is not actually in favor of them, or that she will be quickly disabused once someone explains their folly to her).

Then it suddenly made sense to me why the Democrat base is composed of the under- and overeducated. Many if not most intellectual mediocrities with too much education -- New York Times idiotorialists and the like -- live in a kind of detached and abstract world. As such, they long for "authenticity," or some such replacement for actual being, the latter of which results from the higher unification of truth and action, or will and beauty, or virtue and truth.

This is why left-wing intellectuals identify on the one hand with the impulsive underclass (not so much the poor, but the depraved poor), but also why they patronize and defend the worst kinds of so-called art, which are really more about a flight from being, into a kind of human-animal mockery of it. This downward flight of intellectuals has been going on ever since the Romantic movement began its counter-revolution a couple hundred years ago. No matter how much they flap their lips it's a fall, not a flight, but it feels like one until you hit bottom. Unless you keep digging. Which is the job of liberal arts departments.

There is intellectual truth and emotional truth. Again, in a healthy -- which is to say, whole person -- these will converge and harmonize, but in the unhealthy person there will be a radical disjunction, which will cause one side of the union to atrophy. Thus, one can obviously be an emotional thinker with no real intellect. But one can also be an intellectual with no emotional (let alone, spiritual) intelligence.

An Al Gore comes immediately to mind, someone so caught up in his abstractions about the weather, that he has no idea how emotionally motivated they are. As such, he mainly communicates hysteria, but without even being aware of it. In other words, you can be sure that he imagines himself to be an "intellectual," when he is really more of a frightened child. If it weren't global warming, it would be something else -- something to organize and contain his emotions.

This is why communicating this hysteria to others is Gore's urgent "life's mission," and why it is so impervious to reason and evidence that contradicts his alarmism. He doesn't want to calm down, as the emotions make him feel alive. He needs everyone to feel as alarmed as he is, in order to "normalize" it. A large part of craziness involves the unconscious need to create a congenial environment wherein it will feel like normality. Think of college campuses, which have literally become a kind of psycho-emotional environment for the worst kinds of soul pathology hiding under the cloak of "education."

Lewis writes that the Left feels "entitled to power, because in their own eyes they have Truth and Morality on their side. They are Mahatma Gandhi, they are Dr. King, they are the vanguard of the marching proletariat. It's not just Big O who has the incomprehensible egomania. His inner circle and vast numbers of his supporters do, too. Entitlement, grandiosity, narcissism: In psychiatric thinking they all suffer from secret feelings of inferiority, narcissistic wounds to their self-esteem. Every time they lose, those nagging feelings come up again. So they are always overcompensating, trying to bully reality into the shape they need."

As a friend was reminding me the other day, the left cannot argue in good faith, since they do not see the political spectrum as a "polarity," so to speak, between left and right. Rather, they see it as a continuum, with the right as a kind of atavistic holdover from an earlier age. They are more sophisticated than we are, so they needn't bother even seriously contending with our arguments. Again, it is a breathtakingly transparent projection.

This is why the left is so hysterical about Sarah Palin. On the one hand, they flatter themselves with the notion that they represent the province of "strong women," but obviously the opposite is true. The left is the province of weak and victimized women who cannot get through life without Father Government protecting them. It is the same with blacks. They are the party of weak, dependent, and victimized blacks who cannot get by without the assistance of white liberals who can assuage their unconscious guilt by pandering to blacks. It's just an unconscious dance of mutual projective identification. Who said white folks can't dance?

It reminds me of a joke Louis Armstrong once made. Here was someone who had to deal with the worst kinds of actual racism, but was never a bitter or angry man. When asked about his secret, he said words to the effect that it was easy: just get some powerful white man to put his arm around you and menacingly say, this is my nigger. Armstrong was only half-joking. The racists of the contemporary left are dead serious.

Therefore, hell hath no fury like a leftist who encounters a female or African-American who doesn't need him. Thus, the high-tech lowbrow lynching of Clarence Thomas and the current unseemly attacks on Sarah Palin. How else to account for the shroud of discreet silence over the John Edwards affair vs. the airing of every possible rumor and smear about Palin and her children?

Now, what does this all have to do with the tenth commandment, “thou shalt not covet?” I'm tempted to just post it later in the week, since this has already gone on longer than anticipated. Yes, that's what I'll do. Class dismissed.

Related: Yearning for the Mud, @ American Digest. Reminds me of how the malignant narcissist confuses his feces with milk. So think twice before you rely upon the MSM to keep you abreast of the news, because that's no breast.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Lie With the Left, Wake up Fleeced

It's an annual tautology, isn't it? A holiday that celebrates taking the day off. Anyway, in keeping with the spirit of the holiday, I am doing so. Besides, I was a union member for over 12 years, from 1976-1988, during which time I put my college through me. Being a 10 year union veteran, I am also vested in the pension program, which, last time I heard, will entitle me to $237 a month when I reach retirement age. The bad news is that the pension fund is in a "critical state," which means I may have to start saving now for the beer fund.

I wanted to wrap up with the last two commandments, so here they are. These are the two that most distress the left, for where would they be without Lies and Envy? After all, speech was given to liberals in order to conceal their thoughts. And those hidden thoughts are, more often than not, rooted in constitutional envy. For example, I am certain that Andrew Sullivan is just envious of Sarah Palin's ruby slippers. What else can explain his vicious smears except perhaps AIDS-related dementia? Not that there's anything wrong with that.


Lies and the Lying Liars Who Live Them

That would be us. For, depending on how you look at it, God became man so that man might become God (so to speak). Or, Brahman became Maya so that Maya might become Brahman. Or perhaps Truth became falsehood so that falsehood might become Truth. Looked at in a certain way, lies are one of those things that must exist if we are to have a maninfestation separate from the Principle, a creation apart from the Creator.

The Christian esoterist Boris Mouravieff wrote that “We live in a world ruled by lies. Lying and stealing are the dominant elements of human character whatever the race, creed or caste. Whoever says that this is not true simply tells another lie. Man lies because in a world ruled by lies it is not possible to for him to do otherwise.... [T]he progress of this civilization, which is the fruit of an intellectual culture, considerably increases the need for lying.” (One of the great things about America is that it is still possible to get ahead by speaking truth. In most other cultures, one gets ahead by lying, and gets marginalized or killed by speaking truth. For example, it is not possible to speak truth in most of the Islamic world.)

I believe it was Burke who said that culture “reconciles a man to everything,” no matter how foolish or barbarous the custom. But some cultures are so immersed in the Lie that they cannot help producing lying liars, most dramatically in the Middle East, but obviously here in the United States as well, only in a more subtle form. For example, the pressure of political correctness is an instrument of coercion designed to reconcile you to the infrahuman lies of the left.

In conducting a psychological evaluation, patients are often motivated to lie -- to make it appear that they are either more or less ill than they actually are, or that one thing is responsible for their psychiatric problems when it is actually another. And yet, unless they are psychotic, a part of them always knows they are lying, and is ambivalent about it. Remember, the lie presupposes the truth, so a liar must be aware of the truth on some level.

In his heart-mind, even absent a divine commandment, man (a normal man, anyway -- someone who hasn't completely given himself over the lie and become its instrument) knows that he should not lie, and a part of him attempts to align itself with truth, and spill the beans on the internal liar. It's actually one of the fun parts of my job -- to try to conspire with the part of the patient that is desperate to get the truth out, despite flack from other parts of the personality that wish to prevent it.

We live in a world of forces, at every vertical level. Just as human beings are tripartite entities consisting of body, mind and spirit, there are physical forces, mental forces, and spiritual forces. In the spiritual-intellectual realm, truth is most assuredly a force, from which the materialist or metaphysical Darwinist willfully attempts to sever himself. There is a counter-force which we call "lying," which, if you think about it for even a moment, has probably had a greater impact and influence on the world than Truth. Or at the very least, it is a constant battle. Truth is always embattled on all sides, just as light is surrounded by darkness. Not for nothing did Jesus make the wise crack that the adversary “was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own substance, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

This is an interesting statement, for it suggests that lies are somehow a "human substance," somewhat like a spider that spins a web out of its own body. It is a kind of dark substance that oozes from a real liar -- a Ted Kennedy, a Johnnie Cochran, an Obama. Truth, on the other hand, is not, and cannot be of human origins. It is somehow anterior to us, and it is only for us to discover or remember it -- what Plato called anamnesis. It too is a substance, the substance of light, which, to paraphrase someone, is as light as a gas but as hard as a diamond. It is of celestial origins, while the lie is of human origins (via Stan, if you like). The point is, only humans lie, since only humans may know truth.

You'd think it would be uncontroversial to utter a simple truth, but you'd be wrong, wouldn't you? If you don't believe in the force of falsehood, try sharing a controversial but banal truth at one of our elite universities, such as "men and women are fundamentally different and, on average, excel at different things," or "children do better with a mother and a father than with two mothers and two fathers," or “racial quotas hurt blacks," or “some, if not most, cultures are patently sick." It seems that to carry Truth is to pick up a cross and paint a target on one's back.

Animals cannot lie. While they can have certain naturally selected mechanisms of deception, they cannot live a lie (actually, as an astute commenter mentioned the other day, it might be possible if the luckless pet has a particularly nutty owner, like James Wolcott). But living a lie is in the normal course of events for human beings. Interestingly, this problem is fully recognized in scripture, as the very first conversations recorded in the Bible are a tissue of lies. The serpent lies to the woman, the woman transmits the lie to the man, and the man lies about it to God. The very emergence of self-consciousness seems to be inseparable from lying. The Lie banishes us from paradise.

A cursory glance at history -- or at the idiotorial pages of the New York Times -- establishes the fact that lying is absolutely fundamental to human existence, even though the idea wasn't systematized until the early 20th century, in the works of Freud (the good Freud) and his followers. In particular, the psychoanalyst W.R. Bion developed a sophisticated epistemology (say that fast three times) showing how a vital lie is at the basis of most all forms of psychopathology. He made the provocative observation that the lie requires a thinker to think it, whereas the truth does not, for it simply is. We discover truth, but it takes a thinker to concoct the lie (and, I might add, a "gifted" thinker such as Marx or Chomsky to create the most grandiose and elaborate lies). And once the lie is in place, it causes the psyche to enter a sort of parallel universe, for it constructs itself on the foundations of that primordial lie.

In my own colorful terminology, I have called these internalized lies "mind parasites." I believe the term is an accurate one, for it is meant to convey the idea that a vital lie that lodges itself in the psyche is not static, but takes on the characteristics of the host, so to speak, thereby disguising itself. I remember once discussing this with my analyst. I don't remember the exact context of the problem I was whining about (or if I’m lying about not remembering) but he said words to the effect of, "What do you expect? It's as smart as you are."

Ah ha! In other words, the mind parasite has at its disposal all of the marvelous hi-tech wetware of the psyche -- like a rogue state that acquires nuclear weapons. Therefore, it can easily justify itself, elaborate itself, gang up on the truth, intimidate healthier parts of the psyche. Think of a dictator who uses legitimate means to come to power, but then corruptly uses all of the levers of power to stay there and eliminate opponents -- similar to how liberalism gradually morphed into the twisted leftism which now controls the Democrat party.

Just as freedom and truth are necessarily linked -- i.e., no one who is living a lie is actually free -- those who are in thrall to the lie are slaves. While they may enjoy a subjective sense of freedom, it is an illusion. In fact, they have forfeited their freedom and are attached to a spiritually suffocating demon generated out of their own dark psychic substance.

Think of a vivid example that comes readily to mind -- the Islamists. Is it not obvious to one and all (er, no) that they are absolutely enslaved by artificial beings of their own creation? And that they want everyone else to be enslaved by the same demon? Does this not demonstrate the insane power of demons and the lies they propagate? And how the liberal media simply treats the lie as another variety of truth? You know, who are we to judge? The Middle East is just too complex. The Palestinians are victims too. We deserved 9-11.

There are personal mind parasites and collective mind parasites. Many cultures revolve entirely around monstrous entities that have been engendered by whole communities, such as the Aztec. Here again, it would be wrong to say that the Aztec had a bloodthirsty god -- rather, it clearly had them. Thousands upon thousands of human beings sacrificed to satisfy this imaginary god's appetite for human blood, elaborate mechanisms set up to supply fresh bodies, the heart of the sacrificial victim cut out by the officiating priest who would himself take a bite out of it while it was still beating. A whole society of Jeffrey Dahmers trying desperately to allay their existential and ontological anxiety by vampirically ingesting the life force of others. The head-chopping Izlambies are just the latest edition of this primordial anti-religion. But you undoubtedly know some people in your own life who do the same thing -- hungry ghosts and Rays of darkness who feed on the light (or the blog) of others.

In all times and in all places, human beings have looked for ways to objectify, worship, and appease their self-created demons. This is preferable to having them run around loose in one's own psyche. Take again the example of the typical beast of Islamist depravity. How would one even begin to tell him: "Listen, buddy. You have a persecutory entity inside of you that your life revolves around. You have placed it outside of yourself, in the 'infidels,' so as to make your life bearable, for the lie conceals a truth that is too painful to endure. Would you like to put down that meat cleaver and talk about it?"

To a large extent, this dynamic is at the heart of more mundane politics as well. For those who do not experience George Bush as a demon, it is almost impossible to understand those who do, any more than we can really understand the motivations of the Aztec. The collective mind parasite has a grammar and logic all its own, inaccessible to all but initiates of the Lie.

You don't actually want to get that close to an intoxicating Lie of that magnitude. It's not safe. Better to observe it from a respectful distance. Otherwise, you will find yourself pulled down into a false world of counter-lying rather than simple truth. You cannot create an artificial "good demon,” which is what secular leftists are trying to do when they aren't creating bad ones. Those critical critics who criticize my "negativity" probably think I am engaging in the former -- heatedly countering the lie -- when I am calmly engaged in the latter -- simply reaffirming the truth. This is the inner meaning of "resist not evil." Resist it in the wrong way, and you come into its orbit. The Raccoon way is never to resist a troll, but to ridicule them from above.

For a demon operates through a combination of will and imagination. You may think of perverse will as the male principle and perverse imagination as the female principle. Together they beget the demon child that then controls the parents, taking over both will and imagination. Consider how so much art and academic nonsense is nothing more than the elaboration of the lower imagination -- ideological superstructures giving cover to lies of various magnitude. Think of how much "activism" is simply the angry agitation of the perverse will.

Truth is a living thing, a consciousness -- and therefore a Being -- that cannot be reduced to the idolatrous systems of men, especially corrupted men who do not honor Truth to begin with. Most modern and postmodern ideologies and philosophies are opiates for elites too sophisticated for such nonsense as Truth. But like all misused drugs, “Lies gravely affect our mind; they distort the undeveloped organs of the Personality, upon which depends the effort that must lead us to the second Birth.... Even more, lying makes the man who aspires to evolution go backwards” (Mouravieff).

The saving manifestation of the Absolute is either Truth or Presence, but it is not one or the other in an exclusive fashion, for as Truth It comprises Presence, and as Presence It comprises Truth. Such is the twofold nature of all theophanies; thus Christ is essentially a manifestation of Divine Presence, but he is thereby also Truth: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” No one enters into the saving proximity of the Absolute except through a manifestation of the Absolute, be it a priori Presence or Truth. --F. Schuon

Well, I said I was going to post the last two commandments, but this has gone on long enough already. We'll do the last one later in the week.

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