Saturday, May 16, 2009

Holy Hologram, Shabbatman, Break Out the Shark Repellant!

Hmm. I'd like to post something about this new book I just finished, Why Us?, but as you know, I don't roll on shabbos. Rather, Saturday is re-run day, in which we delve into the knowa's arkive and chew on a predigested bobservation from one or two years ago.

To be honest, the book didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know, but it's always good to have some scientific back-up, because I mostly rely upon common sense, logic, metaphysics, and plain old cʘʘnvision. Regardless of what metaphysical Darwinians say, and how loudly they say it, some things just cannot be true. Period. And one of them is metaphysical Darwinism.

So I've selected a couple of posts from one year ago that touch on some of the topics discussed in Why Us?, which I will use as templates to insert some observations about the book.

By the way, some readers apparently wonder why I keep hammering away at atheism, radical secularism, leftist statism, and metaphysical Darwinism. I would turn it around and say that if the reasons are not self-evident to you, then you have some spiritual work to do, for you are like the fish who doesn't see the water because he is swimming in it. Which wouldn't necessarily be a problem were it not for the fact that these are shark-infested waters, and you are exsanguinating from the intellect. And meta-cosmically speaking, you're either in the game or on the menu.


Science and religion both build magnificent cathedrals, but whereas the religious cathedral is analog and "continuous," the scientific one is digital and therefore unavoidably discontinuous and atomistic. It can only approximate or model reality, whereas religion "mirrors" it.

Or, you could say that man is a mirror facing in two directions, above and below. When he turns to the above, he is like the moon reflecting the light of the sun. But when he turns to the below, he reflects the darkness and obscurity of matter, which can only be illuminated by his own intellect "shining" upon it. Otherwise, the world is as flat as a manflake, devoid of depth, dimension, and meaning.

Ideally, pontifical man is the axis mundi who -- like the vertical ray of creation itself -- transverses across all levels of reality, from mystical union above to quantum physics below. As a result of the law of inverse analogy, the paradoxical continuity of the quantum world is a mirror of the highest state of consciousness, in which the many are reconciled into the One. In other words, mystical union is not possible because of the "quantum universe"; rather, vice versa: the discrete matter of middle earth dissolves into the ocean of quantum oneness because it is a distant echo of the One. Oneness cannot not be, whichever end you look at.

You could even say that science (or scientism) is the "worldview" of the linear left cerebral hemisphere, whereas religion embodies the worldview of the right. This is why the naive scientistic fundamentalist always sneaks a foolish version of religion in through the back door. Obviously, the right brain is every bit as "epistemophilic" (knowledge-seeking) as the left brain, but the answers that satisfy the left brain have no necessary relevance to the right. Hence, try as he might, the naive atheist is fighting a quixotic battle against the very forms of thought that give access to Higher Things, e.g., transtemporal vision, spiritual intuition, transcendent art, mythic imagination, archetypal resonance, and so many others. After all, a love of truth is the very basis of religion.

All of these transcendent modes unavoidably "return" to the atheist, except in a laughably crude manner. For example, the recent crop of bonehead atheists are known for their lack of literary skill (Hitchens excepted), but one assumes that they aren't trying to produce such juvenile prose -- that they are at least aiming, however awkwardly, at some sort of transcendent aesthetic ideal in their rhetoric. Perhaps not. Perhaps the medium is the message which mirrors the dreary architecture of their skeevy souls.

Man -- a proper man, anyway -- hungers for the transcendent. And even -- or especially -- an improper man will seek after the transcendent in the immanent. Because man must "transcendentalize" something, he will do so to matter, and thereby become either a hedonist, a virtual animal, or a sort of anti-religious religious fanatic. Of the three, the animal might actually be highest (or least low), since at least he -- like any animal -- doesn't try to wring more pleasure and/or wisdom out of matter than there is in it. Rather, he simply accepts it for what it is, and takes his bovine pleasures as they come.

But one of the marks of the postmodern inversion is to essentially locate the good and the true in matter and the cosmic center at the periphery; thus, the "inverse" wisdom of the the secular left, which is none other than the mind turning on God and therefore itself, and systematically taking a wrecking ball to the beautiful spiritual cathedral man has built brick-by-brick over the centuries. Scratch the surface of any leftist policy, and you will see this assault on the spiritual norms of western civilization.

In the process, man loses his both his center and his spiritual resonance with the beautiful archetypal forms anterior to him. He becomes a kind of orphan of being, i.e., Existential Man, who, in the words of Schuon, embodies "the codification of an acquired infirmity." This is the final "intellectual atrophy of man marked by the 'fall,'" entailing a hypertrophy of practical (i.e., left brain) intelligence but the loss of any capacity to assimilate it into a higher kosmic context.

"Skeptical rationalism and titanesque naturalism are the two great abuses of intelligence, which violate pure intellectuality as well as the sense of the sacred; it is through this propensity that thinkers 'are wise in their own eyes' and end by 'calling evil good, and good evil' and by 'putting darkness for light, and light for darkness' (Isaiah, 5:20 and 21); they are also the ones who, on the plane of life or experience, 'make bitter what is sweet,' namely the love of the eternal God, and 'sweet what is bitter,' namely the illusion of the evanescent world" (Schuon).

Is it any wonder that conservatives are so much happier than liberals, when the kookbook of liberalism is quite literally the recipe for unhappiness? Of course Michelle Obama is the bitterest millionaire; except that she has plenty of company, i.e., Michael Moore, Sean Penn, George Soros, Jimmy Carter, Keith Olbermann, Alec Baldwin, Bruce Springsteen... the list is endless. For it is a list of losers who are spiritually vacant and unconsciously in search of the reason in politics. Hence their energy and fanaticism that can never be matched by the Hordes of the Happy, for the same reason it is literally impossible for a normal person to understand what motivates the jihadi, who is none other than Envy with a bomb attached (whereas the leftist is Envy with a gargantuan state attached).

At least the outright hedonist is not as pretentious and destructive as these endarkened souls. He's just searching after ecstasy -- which in its literal sense means to exit the closed circle of the ego, i.e., "stand outside" -- except that he tries to spring his mortal cage from below instead of above. This is certainly possible; the trouble is, there's no floor there, so one tends to keep falling, which, for awhile, gives a kind of thrill from the bracing "movement." This lasts until one begins to notice the gradual absence of both heat and light (i.e., heart and intellect), as one drifts further and further from the central sun which makes the earth humanly habitable.

This postmodern downward movement really gained steam in the 1920s, but was then placed on hold due to the great depression and World War II. Afterwards it started up again in earnest in the Beat movement of the 1950s, and then reached a critical mass in the 1960s, trickling down into a baby boomer generation that had such a weakened spiritual immune system that the virus took over the host. We still haven't recovered from this adolescent peter pandemic, and perhaps we never will. To paraphrase Christopher Dawson, you can undo in a matter of weeks what it took millennia to build.

Again, that would be our precious Western cathedral, which can only be "animated" by people who can see and appreciate it, just like any work of art -- or even like the quantum world sightlessly envisioned by physicists. Dogs don't get jokes, they don't understand baseball, and they certainly don't get religion. In an analogy I have used before, even something as luminous as scripture is nevertheless like a reflector light on the back of a car. It gives off no light of its own, otherwise it would be visible to dogs and atheists. Rather, it must be "lit up" by something external to it, which would be the uncreated intellect. Shine the intellect on scripture and it suddenly glows in the dark, as light reaches out to light, in the process compressing time and history into an eternal point.

But a dog will just bark and chase after the car. Plus, he wouldn't have the foggiest idea what to do with it if he caught it. Piss on it, I suppose. And if dogs were capable of sinking beneath themselves, they might even consider it a work of art and call it Piss Car.


Well, I never did explicitly insert anything about Why Us? One of the main points I wanted to discuss was how the brain only interprets reality with the use of an internalized map. Again, it's just common sense, but Le Fanu cites the latest brain research that shows how we do not have any unmediated access to reality in the manner believed by the naive materialist.

Instead of quoting him, I'm just going to summarize my own understanding. What we call "reality" is something that is constructed through the interface of sensory and other kinds of input, as it "strikes," so to speak, our internalized map. I would compare it to the way a hologram works, creating a three-dimensional image as a result of the interference pattern produced by a coherent beam of light (a laser) and the light scattered by an object (and if this isn't how holography works, then by golly it should work this way).

Thus, reality is a kind of wave front, or interference pattern. Now, if you have internalized the rigid and reified Darwinian model to understand everything, then any input that strikes it will just be ignored or incorporated into the model. As a result of this unnatural selection process, the person will create a flat and two-dimensional photograph, not a hologram.

But as we have discussed on many occasions, the deep structure of religion also provides a model of reality that is "illuminated" by grace, or by "light from above." So God is in the light -- indeed, he is the Light -- but if you don't have the right map, it will just bounce off of you as if it doesn't exist.

Well, I gotta get some work done. Out.


julie said...

By the way, some readers apparently wonder why I keep hammering away at atheism, radical secularism, and metaphysical Darwinism.

Asking that question is a lot like asking an athlete why they keep doing different types of crunches, pushups and stretches after mastering them.


Northern Bandit said...

I just ordered "Why Us?"

HvB is still a bit above my pay grade at this stage, and my Schuon (Divine Wisdom) was re-shelved with the bookmark at about page 10. OCUG is so dog-eared that I'll need a new copy soon. I got a lot from Polanyi and Berlinski, and I'm almost ready to start on MOTT. I know it'll be tough going at first, but I've done my coonisthenics and am as prepared as I can be right now.

Northern Bandit said...

Catching up from yesterday. Every once in a while there's a passage in an OC post that just switches on a light somewhere deep in my mind -- a place that had formerly been there, but in darkness -- impenetrable.

This was the passage that did it for me today: the "bridge", life/mind --> spirit -- reaching beyond itself. Magnificent!

At every level, reality points beyond itself to its meaning. Let's take the example of Future Leader again. Everyone loves a baby. But that's only because the baby is the quintessence of something that points to its own fulfillment. If the baby were arrested at that stage, he would be as much an occasion for joy as that paralyzed and demented stroke victim. He would be death, not life, being that life by definition reaches beyond itself. It is a "bridge" between matter and Mind, just as Mind is a bridge between Life and Spirit.

sehoy said...

"By the way, some readers apparently wonder why I keep hammering away at atheism, radical secularism, and metaphysical Darwinism."

I'm glad you do keep hammering away at them. It truly matters. I'm in the midst of a written discussion/disagreement with my two brothers. I love my brothers, but I loathe their belief system which is militantly anti-christian and morally relative.

If it weren't for you all, posters and Dr. Bob, and the support I get from here, I would be unbelievably hurt by some of the things my brothers have been saying to me these last few days.

You've given me courage to fight the good fight.

Alan said...

sehoy: I'm with you on the brother situation :-)

"exsanguinating" - to be drained of blood. I learn something here every day. In Sacramento the Terminator has been conquered by the Exsanguinator!


James said...

Thanks Bob.

Gerard said...

Dear Bob,
If you keep up the unprotected puns I am going to hunt you down and drive a tent stake through your heart.

Thank you for listening,
Gerard Van der Leun

Anonymous said...

"Or, you could say that man is a mirror facing in two directions, above and below. When he turns to the above, he is like a moon reflecting the light of the sun."

That's kool. . . but I'm feelin' playful with words and wana say, "When she turns to the below, she is like a sun reflecting the light of the moon" -- would it makes sense as well?

wv sez "bodis" = heavenly bodies?
It happens ***** she who has no name held a mirror in her hands this dawn.


Anonymous said...

Bob, I get your reasons for hammering away at the atheists and their ilk.

The question is, if said hammering is worthy, why aren't more of you doing it?

While you hammer diligently, your comrades are up to other things for the most part.

Will not a constantly pugnacious and combative stance, revisited each morning, eventually wear a groove in your being you won't be able to jump out of?

Any daily repitition should be looked at with a skeptical eye.

As Julie writes, you can compare it to athletic training. But even the most dedicated athlete takes a day off once in a while where no training is done.

On a personal level, truly to do you arise each day itching to take another swing at the leftits?

That just isn't right. Perhaps there is something else bothering you that you have sublimated here?

julie said...

Gerard, you're just jealous because the best pun you've come up with lately was the one about de tain knee abuse ;)

Gagdad Bob said...


You are correct. I am sublimating my desire to kick them in the nuts by writing about them instead.

ge said...

so...words WILL get you through times of no meaning better than meaning will get you through times of no words...or will they?

Not only do i not know what words mean i cant understand what meanings mean

womisi womwat

Gagdad Bob said...

Good quotation from Why Us?:

"Nobody has the slightest idea how anything material could be conscious. Nobody even knows what what it would be like to have the slightest idea about how anything material could be conscious."

ximeze said...

'itching to take another swing at the leftits?"

Cuz? Skully? Are you two already so hammered ya let that one slip by ya?

Van said...

"Which wouldn't necessarily be a problem were it not for the fact that these are shark-infested waters, and you are exsanguinating from the intellect. And meta-cosmically speaking, you're either in the game or on the menu."

♫ ♪ ♬ "...wind up selling fish,
to tourists in T-Shirts" ♬ ♪ ♫


Van said...

ximeze said "'itching to take another swing at the leftits?"

Real men lean towards rightits.

Van said...

“Scratch the surface of any leftist policy, and you will see this assault on the spiritual norms of western civilization.”

Every single one of them. Which makes it painful in the extreme to discuss anything with even with a casual leftist (and perhaps especially with such), because they so casually plop out one crude assault after another against the Good, the Beautiful and the True, completely unawares of what they are doing.

Picture walking through an art gallery with someone who is colorblind, and whose shirtsleeves and hands, unbeknownst to them, have been drenched in green paint, and each time they point at one priceless painting or wave at another, they splatter paint upon them which they can’t see; and they stare at your horrified expressions as if you are the one who is behaving inappropriately.


murray said...

Tough day at the monitor VanGone? You left out that leftists drive small cars.

Suck it up whiner. You gotta hold out 3 1/2 more years. For starters.

Van said...

murray said"Tough day at the monitor VanGone?"

No, at the car dealer...

"You left out that leftists drive small cars."

... buying a rather large SUV.

Did I also leave out that leftists tend to say the stupidest things? Sorry, gets tedious stating the obvious.

"Suck it up whiner."

Correction, I'm lamenting. You are whining.

You gotta hold out 3 1/2 more years. For starters."

Speaking of stupid, are you under the impression that the left will lose power and influence if they were to lose the Whitehouse? Or that 'the left', which politically means Progressives, are confined to the Democrat party (the first progressive president was a republican, Teddy Roosevelt… John McCain would have loved to be the latest)?

The least powerful arm of 'the left' is lodged in political office, the more powerful branch is enweeded into wacademia, and there are no term limits for the tenured.

murray said...

"I'm not whining, I'm lamenting." Split some more hair, gassbag. A carp by any other name would sound as shrill.

"Speaking of stupid are you under the impression that..."...I'm under the impression that you sound today like a dink hubby who can't find Rush on his new SUV's satellite radio.

Speaking of tedious, cont'd:
No one here needs a redraw of coonish leftism as per the hand of VanGone, but since when has lack of a good reason ever stopped you from exercising your right to pedantic bloviation?

wv: unceda. I know, I know. But I'm like an athlete who's mastered crunches.

Van said...


Hmmm... kinda like that. Thanks.

"I'm under the impression that you sound today like a dink hubby who can't find Rush on his new SUV's satellite radio."

No, my Wife's new SUV's satellite radio. Psst... Rush is on Mon-Fri, not Sat.

"...plit some more hair, gassbag. A carp by any other name would sound as shrill..."

Heh... what can I say to that, but I'm still laughing!

me me meeeeeeeee(cough)
maybe not.

will said...

"VanGone" - not bad.

How about "VanGouge"?







ximeze said...

VanGoGo gets my vote

murray said...

We'll take laughing over carping any time. Now go get some gas, Van der ledderhosen.

Van said...

Will said "VanGouge", "VanGoGo"

hmm... a vandamn tough choice....


Van said...

flurry said "ledderhosen"


But van vill you eggsplain yoor blue linky to gnOvair?

Van said...

flurry... vee vill vind you und eliminate you!

Anonymous said...


"you're either in the game or on the menu."

Reminds me of Firesign Theater's "Eat or Be Eaten" album, with "'re gonna get eaten.."

Van, your little gingle from that commercial had me laughing. HATE that commercial! :)

Bob, the (tongue in cheek) Why Us? Reminds me of the line in the now classic movie, "Gumball Rally" when the cop is frustrated at catching the '56 AC Cobra and the Ferrari.

He looks up at the clouds and says, "Why me?" "Why ME?"

Voice from the clouds, "Because you're an *sshole."

Now on a more serious note, there was a book, now OP, but findable, by a physcist at Cal Tech. (I think that is where he was at the time) Max Delbruk (two dots over the "u") - "Mind From Matter."

Intersting read.

Have a nice night..

VanGoGo? -does this mean when he is on a roll it is a Van-A-Go-Go?

Hard to picture Van in white go-go boots.


will said...

Ain't had me no gas in one long while,
And had me no gas in one long while,
Gimme that gas bag, then you be momma, I be yo long lost child -

Was standin by the crossroad, devil don' let me pass,
Was standin by the crossroad, devil don' let me pass,
I say, Scratch, roll it over, I got me a bag o' divine gas -

Van said...

Luke said "Hard to picture Van in white go-go boots."

Yes, ridiculous.

uhm... would you believe black, grey or red thigh-high swashbuckling pirate boots?

Hey, it worked.

Twenty something years ago....

Guess ya had to be there.

(Johnny Depp came wayyy late to the party)