Saturday, August 07, 2010

Space and Time, Harmony and Melody

This is music Saturday, which means that it's really more of an open thread, so you are free to ignore what follows, which is just a purely unpremeditated and improvised free association for the purpose of finding out where it leads.

I've mentioned before that in the course of writing my book, I had to race through so many other books that there are many I hardly remember reading. Actually, I remember reading them. I just don't remember much of what's in them. If they weren't useful for the purpose of mapping out the cosmic adventure, it was necessary to flush them down the forgettery, at risk of hopelessly cluttering my mind. Unlike a proper scholar, I only remember the things I need, and forget the rest.

A case in point is the book before me, Emblems of Mind: The Inner Life of Music and Mathematics. For Music Saturday, no particular topic popped into my melon, so I snatched this book from the shelf in the hope that perhaps it might cough up a worthy thought or two. I notice that the book is in my bibliography, but when you look up the author in the index (Rothstein), the name is there, but there are no page numbers afterwards. However, I used a quote of his on page 45.

All I remember is that the book, for some reason, did not address my immediate needs, which had more to do with the spiritual nature of music, and how the existence of music is sufficient to undermine any form of materialism for those with ears to see.

Hmm. Perhaps this is the problem: "Rothstein, who is both a mathematician and a musician, is currently the chief music critic for the New York Times." That's a pretty tough hurdle to get over.

As for the book's purpose, "In moving back and forth between the worlds of music and mathematics, he has frequently encountered the generally accepted notion that there are many connections between the two. This book attempts to explain why these connections are far from accidental or incidental and why they reveal something profound about the nature of each activity."

However, "for all his clarity, Rothstein does not ever really succeed in drawing them together." D'oh!

Let's see what some of the amazon reviewers say. You never know. Perhaps there's a Raccoon among them. This is helpful: "In all honestly, I have not read this book HOWEVER, let me tell you why I just purchased my copy!"

What kind of person.... never mind.

Here's another: "One way of defining music is that it's a... language for a lot of different things that people do with patterns of sound and silence. And one way of defining mathematics is that it's [a language] for a lot of different things that people do with pattern. By exploring the ways in which music and mathematics handle pattern, one is naturally pointed in other directions (weaving, art, science) that demonstrate how valuable it is to recognize and explore the inter-connectedness of apparently 'different' fields."

I don't like that way of putting it, because it's far too simplistic, even a kind of meaningless horizontal tautology: language = pattern recognition. So what? This pseudo-explanation must ignore the most shocking property of music, which is its ability to convey spiritual content through the medium of vibrating air molecules. In what kind of cosmos is such a thing even possible?


"It might be poorly written, but what can one expect from a mathematician?" Ouch. Important point, however, for there is no way one can write about the spiritual content of music unless one's prose is also able to directly convey a bit of that musicality and spirituality. In writing about such lofty matters, one's prose must literally "rise to the occasion," or else be "about" something much less than it purports to be.

Let's look at some of the passages I highlighted in the book. Here is a quote from the mathematician Marston Morse: "Mathematics are the result of mysterious powers which no one understands, and in which the unconscious recognition of beauty must play an important part. Out of an infinity of designs a mathematician chooses one pattern for beauty's sake and pulls it down to earth."

One could say the same of jazz improvisation, in which a there is a range of virtually infinite choice before one, and one must choose which path to follow, not just once, but on a moment to moment basis. Thus, it is more like "math in motion."

But to say that the process is "guided by beauty" is to take one well outside any realm reducible to mathematical mapping. Beauty is either spirit or it is illusion, just as the cosmos is either ultimately meaningful or it is absolutely meaningless. For the intellectually honest, there is no in between.

Music conveys things that mathematics never could. No one can use numbers to provoke a subtle spiritual state in another, or even a purely emotional state. There are no "sad mathematics," although I suppose one could argue that my tax returns qualify.

So right away the analogy between math and music is strained, because music uses math for the purpose of communicating things that are not math. No one is interested in purely mathematical music.

The materialized mind can touch the world of spirit, but cannot penetrate its own thick layer of ice. Of Beethoven, Rothstein observes that "in his late years, like a Newton," he was "voyaging in strange seas of thought, alone." Quite true, but what can this mean? What is this "strange sea of thought," and how is it possible for human beings to set sail for uncharted lands on it, to colonize new and unmapped areas which lesser humans can later inhabit?

No, that was not a rhetorical question, for the Raccoon takes it quite literally: the worlds of truth, beauty, and virtue are real worlds. They are discovered, not invented. Or, to be precise, they are simultaneously created and discovered, much in the paradoxical manner that God creates.

Here's a useful passage. In reading music, it is not a "purely linear" exercise; rather, "it involves the vertical dimension along with the horizontal, the first presenting a form of musical space, the second the progression of musical time."

The author doesn't pursue this where it leads, but it is actually quite useful to think of the vertical in terms of harmony and of space, and the horizontal in terms of melody and of time. Our lives necessarily partake of both; that is, our life is the warp and weft of horizontal and vertical influences (which is why one's "area rug of life" comes apart at the seams -- or never pulls things together -- without both).

Note that the vertical is pure harmony, thus, situated outside time. It is "static," like a single chord, but with an infinite number of instruments with different timbres and tones. Time is the drawing out of the implications of the chord in time, again, very similar to jazz improvisation.

It is not at all straining this metaphor to say that this complex horizontal chord consists of the archetypes, angelic powers, transcendentals, and other perennial realities which guide man, and toward which he is drawn. In other words, they are both origin and destiny.

But each person is a unique melody played with this timeless chord (a spacetime harmelody). We revere artists who are most successful at combining the two, say, Shakespeare, who "uniquely" expresses truths that are anything but unique. In other words, like all great artists, he expresses timeless truth, only in a uniquely creative manner.

Out of timelessness.

Friday, August 06, 2010

The Myth of the Airy Godmother

To review where we stand in our full account and description of the cosmos: "we begin our metaphysical adventure before the beginning, with the necessary distinction between Being and Beyond-Being, or 'between the ontological and existentiating Principle and the supra-ontological essence' (Schuon). And the reason we begin here is because the Absolute is beyond name and form, untied by any tongue and untainted by anytroll."

So our first principle can't even really be Beyond-Being, since by definition it must also be "beyond principle" (or "the principle's orifice"). Thus, the first principle doesn't appear until Being, which one might say is the "first fruit" of Beyond Being (and don't think in temporal terms; this is all "taking place" in eternity, not unlike the relationship between Father and Son, in which the former is "prior," but not in time).

Not to immediately get all soph-referential on you, but you will note in the Cosmonaught section of your local Coonifesto, that in order to leave something to the imagination, the author takes a muddled position between respecting the veils of decency provided by mythological symbolism, vs. just "letting it all hang out." In other words, he presents it all in the form of a divine cosmedy, or Holy Joke, in which one is guided to truth by the higher knowing of the Guffaw-ha! experience.

This was also the playful approach of Meister Eckhart, although certain authorities obviously didn't get the joke. But not for nothing does the first black page of Cosmonaught: Before the Beginning not begin with a page full of nothing, and with Eckhart's orthoparadoxical wise crack about how "there is something in the soul which is above the soul, divine, simple, an absolute nothing; rather unnamed than named; unknown than known.... higher than knowledge, higher than love, higher than grace, for in all these there is still a distinction."

I think that last line about no distinction is where certain unimaginative types can miss the point, and, for example, conflate this teaching with, on the one end, vulgar pantheism, or on the other, complete merger with God. I don't believe that that is what Eckhart is saying.

Rather, I think he's just making the sane point we are, and trying to reconcile the fact that we can both know God and not possibly know him. In one sense, everything that is not God is nothing, but in another, anything that is not nothing is God. Paradox. Deal with it.

Revelation is an explosive transmission from the heart of O, addressed to man (the eros shot into his cardiac center). Being that it is addressed to man, we shouldn't get carried away with certain formal properties that must be veiled in such a way that man can comprehend the inner message.

For as Schuon writes, "To be shocked by the anthropomorphic character of the Biblical God is logically equivalent to being surprised by the very existence of man [boo!], for the Reality we call 'God' necessarily assumes a human character on contact with the human being, though of course this cannot be taken to imply that it is human in its own aseity."

Elsewhere he writes of the potential confusion "brought about by the fact that on the one hand theology envisages God anthropomorphically, as if He were a human subject and that on the other, it claims to take the whole of the Divine Nature into account, which is incompatible with the preceding viewpoint."

So here again, in scriptural exegesis we must respect the distinction between Being and Beyond-Being, or what is traditionally regarded as the husk and the kernel, respectively. To take revelation only literally is to literally deny God, for one is isolating oneself on the human side of the distinction.

But again: Word becomes flesh so that flesh might become Word. This is the ultimate purpose of revelation, which is to say, salvolution -- which is nothing less than crossing the ascending bridge of darkness between natural and supernatural man.

And which is why it is written: Before caterpultering your buddhafly, lotus pray: last rung in's a written gag, so your seenill grammar and gravidad may not be malapropriate for my laughty revelation. If you can unpack that sentence, it truly contains within it everything we are discussing in today's post. See footnotes for assistance.

Also, note that a lotus is the beautiful flower that incongruously grows out of the filthy mud below, like wisdom from tenure (yes, I agree, but we exaggerate for didactic purposes).

Schuon points out that the Scholastics drew a distinction between an Infinitum absolutum and an Infinitum secondum quid, identical to our point, and similar to the distinction in Vedanta between Nirguna and Saguna Brahman, also the Kabbalistic distinction between the Ain Sof (the limitless Godhead) and the more distinct "God of Israel," so to speak.

Now, when we speak of "divine will," it very much matters whether we are speaking of Being or Beyond-Being. Looked at in a certain way, Beyond-Being is feminine, while Being is masculine; also, Beyond Being can be identified with the Infinite or the Divine Substance, while Being can be identified with the Absolute and with Essence (all in a manner of speaking, of course).

Therefore, following this ombilical line of thought, it is as if Beyond-Being -- the Divine Mother, the cosmic womb with a pew -- gives birth to Being, the Father, i.e., the Voidgin Boyth. Is this possible? Well, Eckhart certainly thought so. But even to this deity, people still don't get the yolk.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Silence About God Goes Without Saying

In order to understand the nature of the divine and human will -- and the distinction between the two -- it is absolutely necessary to get one's metaphysics right.

Indeed, if one does that, then in many ways the matter (and mind) clarifies itself, as certain consequences inevitably flow from one's first principles. Conversely, as Thomas wrote, "An error concerning the Creation ends as false thinking about God." Garbage in, tenure out.

These first principles are, of course, embodied in those tidings from the father shore known as revelation. In fact, this is one of the two central purposes of revelation, i.e., doctrine and method for the purpose of upward salvolution. In other words, revelation provides 1) an adequate representation of the cosmos in its vertical aspect, and 2) a means for ascending it back to the sOurce.

There was a time when it was unnecessary to spell it out in such a cutandry and wideawake manner, because man lived in an almost inconceivably different soul-environment (e.g., ancient or medieval times). Unlike Schuon, however, I do not necessarily believe that this premodern environment was "normative," partly because no terrestrial environment is going to be completely normative for man, who always bears within him traces -- or recollections, or memoirs of the future -- of paradise, i.e., Raccoon Central, or Toots' Tavern in the Sky.

This is why one can say without fear of cliché that it is always the best and worst of times. For example, while I deplore the backdoor judicial redefinition of marriage, I wouldn't even be here to see this fellatious judge's blow to the foundation of western civilization in the absence of modern medicine. It is always Even Steven.

My point is that there was a time -- just yesterday in world-historical terms -- that man was a qualitative being living in a qualitative world. Quantity doesn't really come into the picture in any appreciable way until the conclusion of the Middle Ages and the rediscovery of Aristotle. Again, Thomas's project in many ways involved trying to keep these two worlds -- empirical and spiritual -- from flying apart, but fly apart they did. As a result, man found himself living in an increasingly quantified -- which is to say, abstract -- world.

Thomas "emphatically accepted" the reality of this new, external world, and bent all of his intellect toward the articulation of a synthetic vision in which it could be harmoniously integrated with the vertical world, or the Great Indoor.

For it is not healthy for man to live in an analogical world of only symbols; but nor is it healthy for him to live in a barren world of pure quantity, stripped of its symbolic character. Rather, it is healthy for man to live in reality, which always includes both. After all, there is a reason why we have two very different cerebral hemispheres that resolve themselves into a Higher Third (or third I).

It cannot be overemphasized that this quantitative world is not the real world, nor is it man's proper world. Remember what we said above about doctrine and method vis-a-vis revelation. The quantification that ends in the misosophy of scientism or metaphysical Darwinism begins in method, but then reifies the results of that method.

These human abstractions are then seen to be concrete, when they are anything but. Just because this or that scientific theory can explain the phenomena under its aspect is no proof of its truth. There are countless false theories that adequately explain some aspect of the phenomenal world. In fact, the progress of science involves the successive discarding of false theories. No real scientist would ever conflate this method with "truth." To paraphrase Thomas, the clarity of one's terms should not blind one to the inexhaustible mystery of stuff.

This grave subject is covered in my book, so I don't want to undertake a re-hearse of that corpse here, dig? The point is that man's true home is the imagination. But this imagination must be furnished with the proper materials in order to function as it should, just as our innate reason cannot function in the absence of material provided from the extra-rational world. In other words, the choice of what to reason about cannot be reduced to reason.

Now, it should go without saying that revelation speaks to man's divine imagination. Which is why, if the Real Estate of one's mythopoetic imagination is enfeebled or foreclosed, one will be barred from the nonlocal world disclosed by revelation.

Remember, revelation is a means, not an end. Religion is always about something that is not religion. What we call a "religionist" is just the flip side of scientism. One might call it "religiolatry," since it turns one's religion into God, when religion is the means to God. See "Islam."

As Pieper writes, "we simply cannot succeed in living" in a world "wholly divorced from all supramundane calls. It is likewise impossible for us to live, without uneasiness, in terms of a 'religionistic' religiousness wholly divorced from all obligations to the world." Man lives under the auspices of two great principles -- or a Principle and its existential prolongation -- i.e., God and world.

But again, because man -- at least postmodern western man -- finds himself in this alien quantitative world, he needs to have things spelled out for him.

Thus, we begin our metaphysical adventure before the beginning, with the necessary distinction between Being and Beyond-Being, or "between the ontological and existentiating Principle and the supra-ontological essence" (Schuon). And the reason we begin here is because the Absolute is beyond name and form, untied by any tongue and untainted by anytroll.

You may think that this deustinction is unnecessary, but Thomas himself drew a bright cloud between the God we may know vs. God as he is in himsoph, and he was entirely correct to do so: "This is what is ultimate in the human knowledge of God: to know that we do not know God." God is mirrored in the herebelow, most especially in man, but an image is not the thing itself. We are only dusty mirrorcles of the Absolute.


To be continued....

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Reinventing the Wheel of Karma

I suppose it is possible to deny free will, but only for someone who either denies or is unaware of the existence of the soul as causal agent. And I suspect that this is the true agenda of such a-souls or assouls.

For example, the soul is the greatest impediment to the left's inhuman agenda, since it means that man was made to be free, and that the purpose of his existence isn't just anything the state forces it to be.

This is the dreadful situation that prevailed for most of history: the state had the freedom and the power to rule over human persons, without having to bother with the consent of the governed. The state has never been at peace with this situation, and has been fighting back ever since to regain its prerogatives. Indeed, this is the common thread that unites premodern tyranny and the postmodern left. Extremists meet.

Offhand, I can't think of anything that proves the existence of the Creator more than free will. Other things are equal to it -- e.g., truth, beauty, virtue, beer -- but one routinely reads of hapless Darwinians who come up with theories to explain these away, lame though they may be. Free will is trickier, because one cannot prove it doesn't exist without proving it does. In this regard, I suppose it's similar to affirming that "truth doesn't exist," whereby the statement refutes itself (or the belief that all beliefs are a result of insecurity: TW Van).

It also reminds me of a story about Lord Kelvin, who was touring a plant that manufactured electrical appliances. His guide, who didn't know who he was, was explaining various properties of electricity. Lord Kelvin asked to be informed as to what electricity actually is, but the young man was stumped. "No matter," said Lord Kelvin. "That is the only thing about electricity which you and I do not know."

Just because we don't know what electricity is, that hardly disproves its existence, nor does it prevent us from using or abusing it.

Likewise, just because free will escapes quantitative determination, this hardly disproves its existence. Free will is by definition irreducibly qualitative, which I suppose is what irritates materialists so much. For one property that can never be derived from physics or biology is freedom, baby. It demands a metaphysic in which it plays a central role. Any metaphysic that denies freedom is a non-starter, because freedom cannot be reduced to anything less than itself.

As Stanley Jaki writes, just the intimation of free will is sufficient to belie mere material existence, "for in the final analysis, the elemental registering of free will almost exhausts whatever can be said about its reality." "Everything else is embellishment," because "it is irrelevant unless achieved and articulated freely" (emphasis mine). In other words, if there is no freedom, there can be no meaning. As Emerson wrote, "Intellect annuls Fate. So far as a man thinks, he is free" (in Jaki).

Some nagging trolls seem to be confused by the fact that freedom requires constraints, and is impossible in their absence. In an analogy we have used a number of times, the twenty-six letters of the alphabet are fixed, but not completely. As a result, we are able to use them as boundary conditions for the emergence of words. Likewise, words are the boundary conditions for sentences, sentences for paragraphs, paragraphs for plot and theme, etc. One could say the same of DNA or of the laws of physics, both of which are languages that permit the emergence of higher -- which is to say, freer -- realities.

Humans are the cosmic tipping point at which freedom trumps determinism, which then permits the conscious ingression of divine energies, or (↓). In man, God now has a conscious co-creator at the other end of the line (or "ray of creation").

And this is where all the love, truth, and beauty get in. Again, they do not -- and could not have -- come from below (i.e., the horizontal), only from above (the upper vertical). Like other fundamental transcendentals, the reality of free will brings one "face to face with that realm of metaphysical reality which hangs suspended in mid-air unless suspended from the Ultimate Reality, best called God, the Creator" (Jaki).

Free will introduces conscious purpose into the cosmos: no freedom, no purpose. Prior to the emergence of man, there can be only "God's purpose" or the purposelessness of laws of physics. But the Raccoon believes that these laws are not purposeless at all, but that they are analogous to the letters we use to create sentences (alluded to above). They are the cosmic scaffolding on which man will climb.

So the Raccoon takes a moderate position between necessity and freedom, law and adventure, harmony and improvisation. He denies neither side of the complementarity. Unlike the materialist, he does not deny the great realm of spirit, and unlike the naive religionist, he does not deny the great realm of matter, of manifest existence. Clearly, it requires both to make a man. This is hardly a new idea, as it was central to Thomas' metaphysic, in which body and soul go together like body and soul, hence, the significance of the Incarnation.

"... Thomas sees natural reality as divine creation which in the event of the Incarnation has been reunited... with its Origin" (Pieper). You might say that this is where the ↑ doesn't just meet the ↓, but where the two are intermingled in an inseparable manner; distinct with no divisions, you might say -- most importantly, between God and man. Thanks to the Godman, there is the cosmic possibility of the mangod, i.e., theosis.

Which will probably be misinterpreted by non-Orthodox Christians, for it hardly means that man becomes "God," only that he may participate in the divine nature. Or not. It's up to you. But it's only up to you because of your God-given freedom. In any event, we're talking about personal communion with God, not displacing him.

Here is how Father Anthony (Coniaris) describes it: "Thus, if we allow the dust in us to be animated by the breath of the Holy Spirit, then by God's grace we can rise from dust to image of God; from dust to likeness of God; from dust to sons and daughters of God," gradually (and endlessly) becoming (but not being) through grace what Jesus is by nature.

Interestingly, Father Anthony points out that anthropos is linked to a word meaning "to look up," while humanus is linked to a word that means "earth." This again speaks to man's uniquely dual aspect, of matter and spirit, freedom and necessity, dirt and divinity. As Gregory of Nyssa wrote, "Man's life is a strenuous and endless ascent toward God, that is, theosis." One could cite countless similar statements by the early fathers (as does Fr. Anthony).

This is the great Circle of Toots, of which Thomas was obviously aware, in which "there cannot be completion unless the last joins with the first.... Now since God himself is the first, and man the last among created beings," it is fitting that the completion of the universe involves God becoming man, through which the way is cleared for man to become divinized. Mission accomplished.

To be continued....

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Fate, Luck, and Divine Will

I've always been troubled by unambiguous statements about "God's will," as if it could be no different than human will, or as if we could know it.

For one thing, although human beings can surely will, they can never know why they will, at least not completely. You may will, but you cannot will whatever you wish.

For example, all the will power in the world will not make you attracted to people or things that don't attract you. Or, if you do will it, you will just be running roughshod over parts of the psyche that want other things. Man is usually at cross purposes with himself, but could this be true of God? It seems impossible that there could be one part of God that wants one thing, and another part that wants something else. There are distinctions in God, but no divisions.

Being that we are in the image of the Creator, there must be some manner in which our will is analogous to God's. Perhaps it is just that we possess free will at all, conflicted though it may be. All other animals may will, but they do not will freely. They do not consciously entertain choices, much less between good and evil.

But there is a part of man that transcends this or that choice of action, and chooses between them. It would be extremely problematic to attribute this kind of free will to God -- as if there is an array of choices before him, and he chooses this or that one.

To the extent that freedom exists, it comes from above, not below, for the converse is impossible. The higher we travel up the vertical, the more freedom; the lower down, the less. In all of creation, human beings obviously possess the most freedom, at least until the left vanquishes the last remnant of it.

Since the source of our freedom is above, this would imply that God is absolute freedom. But what could absolute freedom mean, and how is it to be distinguished from complete arbitrariness? In other words, absolute freedom seems to devolve to absolute nihilism, which is one of the central points of the existentialists -- that man is condemned to freedom.

John Duns Scotus concluded that "Because God is absolutely free, everything that He does and effects has the character of nonnecessity, of being in a particular sense 'accidental' (contingent)" (Pieper). In other words, since God is radical freedom, there can be no "necessary reasons" for anything he does, which begins to sound more like madness than divinity.

Indeed, as Pieper says, the word "arbitrary" is "almost too mild a term for this will, which is conceived as being completely unconditioned by 'grounds' in the sense of reasons." God is radically spontaneous, like a free jazz musician, with no chords and no melody and no fans.

This then comes close to the Islamic view of a God that is completely beyond any human ability to know, and who simply "doeth what he will." Perhaps not surprisingly, this also comes close to a description of the ontology of psychosis, in that for the psychotic person, each moment is a kind of catastrophic novelty that comes out of "nowhere" and never ends. In other words, it is "eternal catastrophe," if such an oxymoron may be permitted.

To a large extent, this is the dilemma that Thomas attempted to resolve, for ultimately it comes down to how we may reconcile the vertical and horizontal, faith and reason, heaven and earth, transcendence and immanence. For a brief historical moment, the cosmic center "held" in the synthesis of Thomas, only to fly apart again shortly after his death.

This has led to the general situation of, on the one hand, fideism without intelligence, and on the other, intellectualism without intellect -- or, to the needless polarization of scientism and religionism. This is the great battle of the concrete and literal-minded for the soul of man. Little do they know that they are pulling on the same end of the rope civilization is at the end of.

Dennis Prager's most recent column discusses the element of blind luck in one's life. He writes that the older he gets, the more he appreciates just how large a role it plays:

"Let's begin with life itself. Whether one lives to 62 -- or to 92 (my father's age) -- and whether in health or in sickness is largely a matter of luck. I strongly believe in taking care of one's health, but for most people, living long and in good health is a matter of good luck. My wife's sister died of cancer at 35. The brother of my radio show's producer died of a brain tumor at 57. Friends of mine lost their son at the age of 13."

For some reason, many religious people are uncomfortable with the idea of luck -- one will often hear the banality that "everything happens for a reason," or that "there are no accidents." If there were no accidents, then we couldn't know it, because we would be programmed like robots, with no freedom to even entertain that possibility. Conversely, if God is radical freedom, then there is no reason for what he does -- or certainly no reason man could understand, and we're back wid' allah 'dat nonsense.

"As a religious person myself, I reject this outlook. Are we to believe that God chose every one of Mao's 75 million victims to die? That He willed the deaths of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust? That every person who suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease or Multiple Sclerosis was chosen by God to suffer until death?

"That may indeed be the case. But for those of us who do not believe in such a God -- and I respect those who do -- all these people simply had terrible luck. I am alive because my grandparents came to America instead of staying in Eastern Europe, where they would have almost certainly been murdered in the Holocaust. They were lucky . And if one insists that they were wise rather than lucky, that somehow they realized that calamity awaited them in Russia and Poland, then my parents and I were lucky that they were wise" (Prager).

To be continued....

Monday, August 02, 2010

Israel Has No Right To Exist!

For this extensively rewordgitated repast, I'm retching waaaaaay back four years ago to a perennial internet favorite. In fact, according to my site meter, at least one disappointed anti-Semite googles their way to it every single day. It has only taken on more significance in the interim, what with a president who is so hostile to Israel.

One of the reasons so many Jews remain Democrat is because of a kneejerk fear of Christianity, which was perhaps once understandable. But the worst anti-Semitism obviously took place in Europe, and American Christianity is quite distinct from European Christianity, which has almost died out anyway. Now the European left is able to express its anti-Semitism directly, without the veneer of Christianity.

Conversely, the only Christianity Jews need fear is the kind practiced by Obama during his two-plus decades in Rev. Wright's Wee Church of Greedy Jews Run the World. And the most steadfast defenders of Israel are American Christians -- for which reason the left has put out the meme that this is only because some snake-handling yahoos think the apocalypse is around the corner or something.

As I have said before, the war between Israel and those who wish to destroy her is not just ideological, or about territory, resources, or any other tangible entity. Rather, this is a war that is taking place on a deeply spiritual level within the collective consciousness of the world; it is against principalities and powers, as one wag put it -- which is to say, it is archetypal. Indeed, you might even say that it is between "heaven and hell," or between celestial and sub-terrestrial forces.

You needn’t believe me when I say this. Rather, just apply it to the situation as you would any mundane academic theory and assess its explanatory power. In my view, the models and story lines we are given by the MSMistry of Truth and by the usual leftist academics are ridiculously inadequate to explain what is going on.

Israel is surrounded by enemies, both literally, in the form of her bloodthirsty Arab neighbors, and ideologically as well. Many on the left openly question Israel’s right to exist, deeming it an “historical mistake” (Richard Cohen) or the actual source of all Muslim grievances -- as if Muslims wouldn’t simply be at each others’ throats if Israel were obliterated, or as if Israel has anything to do with Muslim violence in the Philippines, Darfur, Malaysia, Spain, India, Singapore, and everywhere else in the world!

At bottom, the conflict between Israel and her enemies is easily explainable, and yet, this simple explanation exceeds the boundaries of human reason properly so-called, since it is irrational in its nature and infrahuman in its consequences. In other words, the explanation is not “beyond reason,” but prior to it. Quite simply, it is because the enemies of Israel are absolutely steeped in lies. They believe things about Israel that are not only untrue, but cannot possibly be true, to such an extent that the word “lie” is hardly sufficient to describe the phenomenon.

In this case we are not simply referring to “erroneous information,” or to something that is susceptible to being corrected. Rather, we are dealing with an ontological and spiritual lie that is at the very foundation of the culture -- and, by extension, personality. You might even say that we are dealing with “the father of lies,” in the sense that it is a primordial lie that then perpetually generates its own lies.

Therefore, just as with the left, it doesn’t matter how many lies you dispute on the surface, because a new one will rise to take its place. One can well understand why the Passover Haggadah -- the special prayer book for the Passover Seder meal -- says that "In every generation there are those who rise against us to annihilate us... " Those are always different people but representatives of the same spiritual force.

Grotesquely anti-Semitic scholarship is routinely produced by the academic left -- for example deconstructed historical narratives that blame Israeli actions for the irrational hatred directed it. But this worthless scholarship does not actually prove anything to anyone, any more than communist tools such as Noam Chomsky and communists full-stop such as Howard Zinn proved that the United States was responsible for the Cold War.

Rather, the only purpose of this propaganda is to serve up chicken soup for the anti-Semitic assoul. Anyone in their right mind knows that a Juan Cole or Edward Said are not real scholars, but that they simply fill a marketplace niche for anti-Semitic “product.” In this regard they are more analogous to political pornographers who cater to the market for anti-Jewish lust.

Let’s take the example of Mel Gibson. I don’t care about him as a person, and I have no interest in his particular case. Rather, I want to dispassionately focus more on the content of those things he uttered in his drunken rant. Where did they come from? How could such ideas -- which correspond to no reality -- even exist? But they do exist, and they have existed from the foundation of the world.

It is not about the Jews, but about what the Jews represent and symbolize. Because of what they symbolize, they attract and literally generate their opposite. Truth has no need of the lie, but the lie needs the Truth on which it is parasitic. Being parasitic, it takes its life-force from Truth, but then distorts it into its own image. Think of how the worst regimes in the world, say, Iran, still pretend that they are democracies. Same idea. Democracy does not need tyranny, but tyranny needs the illusion of democracy.

Gibson: “Fucking Jews... The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." Again, not only untrue, but obviously impossible. On the other hand, because of the thought-blocking effects of political correctness, it seems as if people are incapable of making the banal observation that Islam is quite literally responsible for most of the wars in the world. As Samuel Huntington observed a few years back in his Clash of Civilizations -- and this was before the horrors that have been unleashed since 9-11 -- Muslims were participants in twenty-six of fifty ethnopolitical conflicts, and two-thirds to three-quarters of intercivilizational wars. Huntington concluded with the colorful statement that "Islam's borders are bloody, and so are its innards.” But try saying that in a typical leftist university.

Again, Israel is hated because its enemies are not just liars, but so immersed in the Lie that they might as well be demon-possessed. Consider the charter of the PLO, which reads that Zionism is a "constant source of threat" to the entire world, "racist and fanatic in its nature, aggressive, expansionist and colonial in its aims, and fascist in its methods." It is "strategically placed" to combat Arab liberation and progress, whatever that could mean. During a typically psychotic televised sermon, a Palestinian cleric taught that among the evil deeds of the Jews was the Holocaust itself, which was "planned by the Jews' leaders, and was part of their policy" (

Similarly, the demonic charter of Hamas informs us that wealthy Zionists have taken over "control of the world media... they stood behind World War I.... They also stood behind World War II.... They inspired the establishment of the United Nations and the Security Council... in order to rule the world by their intermediary" and "liquidate Islam." I am sure that most Americans don’t even have a clue about how desperately sick in the soul these people are -- including Islamist fronts such as CAIR, which masquerades as a "civil rights group."

One wonders if the average anti-Semite even knows that there are fewer than 15 million Jews in the entire world, which represents a whopping .227% of the population. Look at Afghanistan. It’s probably safe to assume that they are just as anti-Semitic as any other Muslim country, and yet, there is exactly one Jew living there. His name is Sy Goldberg, and he is very lonely and frightened. And yet, he has complete control of Afghan banking and media, and nobody can get a decent pastrami on rye without going through him.

In a column a few months back, Dennis Prager cited perhaps the most tragic statistic that haunts the human race. Throughout history, so many Jews have been murdered for being Jews, that “While the world's population is about 30 times larger than 2,000 years ago, the Jewish population has barely doubled. Had Jews been left alone to procreate at the same rate as others, there would be about 180 million Jews in the world today.”

“So what,” you might say. “People are people. It’s a tragedy when anyone dies.” Yes, but not all tragedies are equal in their cost to the advance of humankind. No one but their immediate families would mourn if all of the Iranian mullahs, Saudi princes, and CAIR spokesholes dropped dead tomorrow.

But in a recent post, I cited the evidence of Charles Murray, whose book Human Accomplishment demonstrates how, in nearly every important human endeavor -- biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, medicine, visual arts, literature, music and philosophy -- Jews are staggeringly over-represented given their small numbers. In mathematics the actual-to-expected ratio is 12:1. In philosophy it is 14:1. In physics 9:1. In medicine and biology, 8:1. Remember, these ratios are not just measuring the raw numbers of doctors, scientists and artists, but the number of truly great and significant ones.

So, what has the world lost due to its Jew hatred? A new source of energy? A cure for cancer and other deadly diseases? A key insight into the structure of the cosmos? God only knows.

Satan -- or whatever is responsible for the primordial rebellion against the light -- couldn’t be more pleased. Few things further his interests more than anti-Semitism.

Israel doesn't have the right to exist. Rather, it has the obligation to exist -- not for her sake, but for ours. And yes, for the sake of the genocidal fanatics who wish to destroy it, for the sun shines even on the wicked. I mean, even Juan Cole and Pat Buchanan like polio vaccine, right? And Iran isn't making Hitler's mistake, as they can't wait to develop a practical application for what he derided as "Jewish physics."

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