Sunday, March 28, 2010

I Voted For the Messiah, and All I Got Was this Lousy T-Shirt

Today's post has an opening act. While rummaging around the archive, I found some old gags buried beneath a pile of overripe cherry-picked facts, right next to the revealed hunches and some old sneaking suspicions. A few years ago, Dupree had the idea of starting a company that manufactures political bumper stickers and t-shirts. He asked for my help, so I came up with the following ones for liberals. Unfortunately, most of them were too long to fit onto a bumper sticker, so the idea was scrapped.

--A fool and someone else's money can solve any problem. (The Liberal Credo)

--Whining isn't everything. It's the only thing.

--If life gives you lemons, file a class action suit against Sunkist.

--A person is known by the company he boycotts.

--A lie travels halfway around the world. The other half doesn't get CNN.

--Eternal vigilance is the price of paranoia.

--Like father, like, what's that?

--Don't count your chickens before they're aborted.

--Beggars can't be choosers. Rather, they're now called "homeless."

--Necessity is the mother of entitlements.

--Ask not what your country can do for you. Instead, steal it from future generations.

--It's not how you play the game, so long as no one wins or loses and gets their feelings hurt.

--Spare the forceps, spoil the fetus.

--When I was a child, I spoke as a child. After attending graduate school, it was even worse.

--Boys will be boys until Obamacare provides subsidized ritalin for every one of them.

--Regardless of your background, any American who really works hard at it can still become a victim.

--Those who don't learn from history must have majored in it.

--And a child shall lead them. Unless the GOP can get its act together before 2012.

--Freedom's just another word for nothing left to tax.

And some bumper snickers for Islamists and their fashionable sympathizers:

--Sticks and stones will break your bones if your words should ever humiliate me.

--If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try to blame the Jews.

--A penny saved will help finance a martyrdom operation.

--There's something rotten in Denmark. Free speech.

--Don't judge a book unless it's been approved by the Ministry of Vice and Virtue.

--Don't try to reinvent the wheel before you've even discovered it.

--Give a Palestinian a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and the UN will have nothing left to do.

--A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Period.

--One picture is worth a thousand riots.

--Ask me no questions and I will tell you lies just for the hell of it.

--The race doesn't always go to the swift, but to the sneaky and duplicitous.

--Good fences make it more difficult to kill your neighbors.

--If it ain't broke, that's a relief, because we have no idea how to fix anything.

--If you can't beat 'em, at least try to kill and maim as many of their children as possible.

--If you can't say anything nice, you should run for office in the Palestinian territories.

--It's not whether you win or lose, it's how much meaningless suffering you can inflict.

--It's always darkest before the dawn. So if you're going to sneak into Israel with a suicide bomb, that's the time to do it.

--What doesn't kill you won't kill any Jews either.

--Don't shoot the messenger. Torture his family in front of him.

--The road to hell -- or anyplace else, for that matter -- is paved with IEDs.

--Those who don't learn from history are respecting the will of Allah.


Now, on to today's post.

What does God's little theo-drama have to do with us? For Balthasar, it is not a doctrine but a reality, the reality of the trinitarian God. Your mission, should you accept it, is to "appropriate this reality," to "enter into it and become absorbed into it," and to make it your own subjectivity. At once, you assimilate it into yourself while at the same time you become assimilated into it. Be careful though, because apparently some disassembly is required.

Think of how the assimilation of culture works for the child. Is he assimilating it, or does it assimilate him? Or how about language? Do we speak it, or does it speak us? This might seem like an idle question, but as I pointed out in my book, the more alert you are to this process, the more you see that the average person is actually spoken by language. They more or less consist of a storehouse of disconnected memes they rewordgitate like prerecorded tapes, depending upon which button you push. Indeed, this is what makes them so boring.

A person who is actually alive to language and operating out of a "free center" is always a dangerous person -- dangerous to the establishment. Yes, I am a conservative hippie, but that's not exactly what I meant. "Establishment" is a term of art used by Bion to denote the "group container," as it were. It can only be understood dialectically, in relation to what Bion called the "mystic" or "messiah" (again, you need to strip these -- at least initially -- of their religious overtones).

Man is obviously a social animal who belongs to various groups. Believe it or not, the first group is infant-breast (or even mouth-nipple). And although it is becoming more of a rarity, some of us move on from there, while leftists pretty much live out their days in the shadow of the infantile teat they call government. Just as the infant doesn't initially realize that the breast is connected to a flesh-and-blood woman with her own interests, liberals don't understand that government milk can only come from productive, flesh-and-blood citizens.

As I explained in my book, whatever else it is, culture is first and foremost a psychological container that can be more or less in touch with reality -- just like a person. Thus, an orthodox Raccoon would not ask why this or that culture is so crazy. Rather, he would ask why some are relatively sane. If you realize how crazy people are, then you understand why cultures are the way they are. Or, to put it another way, only someone who is completely blind to the dark side of human nature can proudly call themselves a "multiculturalist." Might as well boast that you have Multiple Personality Disorder.

Think of the thoroughly academically brainwashed Obama, who sees nothing exceptional about America. Palestinian exceptionalism, Iranian exceptionalism, North Korean exceptionalism, it's all the same. Except for Jewish exceptionalism. That's just the Zionist hoodlums hoarding their gold.

You could say that a culture is just a neurosis writ large, while a neurosis is just a private culture. And the latter is indeed a culture, because you don't have to be a clinical psychologist to know that the average person is at cross-purposes with himself because he is inhabited by various alter-egos with differing agendas (and from different orders of being), which we call mind parasites. Mind parasites generally operate unconsciously, while the conscious mind makes excuses for them in order to confer a spurious sense of unity upon the self -- a coherent narrative.

But this narrative is always a lie (more or less), as it is in the service of mind parasites, not Truth. Thus, to surrender to Truth is always a threat to the mind parasites. You might even imagine that you don't have any until you try to act in such a way that threatens them.

One of the reasons I enjoy reading autobiographies of genuine saints and mystics is that they always go into great detail about this -- about how they dealt with the rebellious mind parasites that were stirred up by virtue of their attempting to conform themselves to the Divine. So to enter the spiritual path is to declare war on your mind parasites, precisely. Or, you could just say that when you try to adequate yourself to what IS, you create a riot among those dedicated to what isn't. (Think of Jesus after his baptism; the very next thing that happens is the confrontation with the adversary in the desert.)

Again, the establishment features the identical defense mechanisms that are present in the most basic group, i.e., mouth-breast. These include splitting, projection, internalization, deification, evacuation, envy, contempt and triumph. None of these has any necessary relationship to truth. For example, a person who is projecting may say something that is technically true, but that isn't why he's saying it. Rather, for that person, the real truth is the function of his defense mechanism, which is to expel the bad from the psyche in order to maintain homeostasis. (Think of our anonymous troll.)

The mind is obviously an "order-seeking" organ. However, like all living systems, it is open and at disequilibrium. As such, it can never actually achieve homeostasis except when one is dead. And it goes without saying that one may continue biological life long after one is intellectually or spiritually dead, a point which is proven by the existence of the tenured. And our anonymous troll.

Therefore, all man-made intellectual systems, no matter how lofty, will have a component of the most laughty infantile anxiety, which comes down to the fantasy that I possess the breast (to be pedantic, this unconscious process is actually spelled phantasy, to distinguish it from conscious fantasy). And at its extreme, this is none other than hell, which constitutes the willful fantasy of radical self-sufficiency, closed off from the transcendent source of love, truth, beauty, and unity. For truly, in order to be somebody, you must be a big nobody. You know, Blessed are the poor in spirit....

To cite one obvious example, the naive Darwinian who truly believes that his ideology provides any kind of adequate explanation of the human station is really acting out of the most primitive defense imaginable -- just whistling past the graveyard of his intellect. Please note that this does not apply to someone who simply embraces the science in a disinterested way, knowing that it's only a scientific abstraction, not to be confused with reality.

According to the sadly out of print New Introduction to the Work of Bion, "Attempts to evacuate, deify, or dogmatize are defensive reactions in the face of catastrophic change," a principle that applies "to any scientific, religious, therapeutic, or social group."

Change. Where have we heard that before? Oh yes. It appears that we are in the midst of some catastrophic changes these days. And what does the catastrophic change elicit and call out from the deep?

Yes, precisely. The messiah. But of course, the political messiah is only the visible side of the moon. We all know that there is a dark side of the moonbat, consisting of the primitive defense mechanisms that have conjured the false messiah into being. It's all a big defense. Against what? Against reality, of course.

This is why in a creepily unprecedented way, the entire liberal media extablishment is working as a farce-multiplier for Obama's rapidly crumbling political deification. After all, no one is in the midst of a bigger crisis than the liberal media, who are in the process of becoming extinct, messiah or no messiah. Or, put this way: even the real God couldn't save newspapers. Nor would he want to, since one thing God cannot do is act contrary to his nature, which is Truth (among other things).

The genuine Messiah is exceedingly dangerous. He is not the cure for catastrophic change. Rather, he is its cause. He sets up his "death-jump" into history "as a model: he lures men from their limits out into the same inevitably deadly adventure. His fire is to burn on in others. Now and then he actually succeeds, like dynamite, in blasting a soul into the air, and far and wide the windows rattle and the foundations of houses quake" (Balthsar).

You could say that the false messiah rescues people from what is, while the true Messiah saves them from what isn't.


Retriever said...

Awesome post! The bumper stickers are great. Your message about false Messiahs, those primed to believe in them, and the real One who saves are great meditations for Passion Week. Best Palm Sunday sermon I've heard in a long time...

Musing earlier today on related themes:

Susannah said...

"You might even imagine that you don't have any until you try to act in such a way that threatens them."

Ain't that the truth?

Susannah said...

"For truly, in order to be somebody, you must be a big nobody. You know, Blessed are the poor in spirit.... "

Is anybody else familiar with the children's book *Mistress Masham's Repose," by T.H. White? It was one of my childhood favorites. Seems as if it might serve as a parable for some of Bob's latest observations.

maineman said...

Today I was introduced to the Stations of the Cross. Among the many things that were triggered was the thought of how precious little seems to have really changed in 2000 years. Yet to a secularist, it seems like every decade brings leaps and bounds.

Petey said...

Absolutely. Christianity addresses what is, and is always is. If it were susceptible to being was, it was never is to begin with.

Petey said...

It is the opposite of fashion, which endeavors to ascertain the contours of the near future in order to be among the first to lay claim to the latest was.

Anonymous said...

"Spiritually dead". That's not a very nice thing to say. I wonder what leads you to that conclusion? Can you point to something I've said that demonstrates spiritual deadness? It seems to me truly spiritual people try to appreciate and nurture the spirits of others, not deny their existence.

Or put it another way: do you seriously think that just because I think you're full of it, that I don't have a spiritual life? That would seem to imply that you are equating yourself to God, which is either heretical or psychotic or both.

Petey said...

Touched a nerve.

Whack Job said...

"Spiritually dead" is meaningless. All manifestation is spirit.

What Bob means to say is that a person may be very misguided and evolving in a wrong direction.

Bob wxes hyperbolic and histrionic in his negative praises of the misguided.

Anonymous said...

Mmmmm, whack job.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I'd say you touched more than a nerve, Bob, lol!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Mind parasites generally operate unconsciously, while the conscious mind makes excuses for them in order to confer a spurious sense of unity upon the self -- a coherent narrative"

But...they're so cuddly and they have puppy dog eyes!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

You could say that the false messiah rescues people from what is, while the true Messiah saves them from what isn't."

Good point, Bob! A pack of seeing irony dogs couldn't help one so enmeshed in phantasy.

Anonymous said...

Inmushed too.


Magnus Itland said...

It is possible to be active even if you are dead. This is what we call "zombies". Seen from the first heaven, humans on Earth are very much like zombies. They are ambling around, constantly trying to regain the life they vaguely miss by taking it from others, while they gradually rot on their feet. When someone moves with purpose and shines with inner light, he stands out, as seen from above.

Dear anonymous: Spiritual life can only be nurtured by Light, so why are you hiding in the dark? If there is still a spark of life left within you, come forth.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Magnus,

Good point about zombies. Zombies are also never satisfied, requiring always more brains to eat.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Retriever,

Thanks for the link! Good post! :^)

ge said...

clinton reno waco
obama holder...OC?

time to anonymize and demand the trolls take names

ge said...

"Last night I was in my lord Strathmore's company several hours, with several other honest gentlemen. My lord gave instances, which were very remarkable ones, of the king's being religiously punctual to his word. He gave instances of his modesty and chastity. He said, that his very looks shewed him to be a king..."

~the past was beautiful~

Susannah said...

In defense of Bob, the concept of spiritual deadness vs. life is hardly original to him--and to claim spiritual life is hardly a boast either, because it is a matter of grace.

"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians...

PeterBoston said...

the entire liberal media extablishment is working as a farce-multiplier for Obama

Yoo Hoo!

Worth the price of admission on its onesie.

Susannah said...

This is so rich, I just had to share it with y'all. A FB friend just posted this as his status:

"I have a feeling that the TEA Party is the last hurrah of the increasingly marginalized Germanic male hegemony in the West. The Visigoths who sacked Rome are feeling their mortality."

And apparently, he's not joking. LOL!

Retriever said...

Susannah--he must have just read this clown:

Gagdad Bob said...

Re Magnus' comment.

Exactly. This is why from my vantage point Anonymous looks spiritually dead, while from his vantage point I look psychotic. The difference is that I don't seek the approval of zombies, whereas he seeks the approval of a psychotic.

Susannah said...

Okay, FB friend says he's merely playing the "provocateur," so I'll extend the BOTD. :)