Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It Is On: Christ vs. Mohammed

Just kidding. I don't want to be a sower of discord.

But must we be so religiously correct? Mohammed certainly wasn't. Nor was Dante. So let's clear the air between them. No holding back. It's healthy!

For Mohammed, Christians -- the "worshipers of three gods" -- are idolaters: God forbid that He should beget a son!... Those who say: 'The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son,' preach a monstrous falsehood...

And what happens to idolaters? Slay them wherever you find them... Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God's religion reigns supreme.

What, you think he was just kidding around? You know, referring to the "greater jihad," i.e., the struggle against internal demons? Yes, don't murder real Jews. Just kill the ones crawling around inside your head! If only. God's lips to your ear!

So the poet has good news and bad news for Mohammed. The bad news? No virgins for you! The good news? This is not the ninth circle of Hell. Only the eighth.

Let's go to our reporter on the scene. Dante, what do you have for us?

"Thanks, Gagdad. We're here in the eighth circle of Hell, among the sowers of schism and scandal. You'll be surprised to find out who we ran into here, coming up after the break!"

I beheld, / Cloven from chin to where the wind is voided. / Between his legs his entrails hung in coils; / The vitals were exposed to view, and too / That sorry paunch which changes food to filth. / While I stood all absorbed in watching him / He looked at me and stretched his breast apart, / Saying: "Behold how I now split myself! / Behold, how mutilated is Mohammed!"

Gosh. In real life, the Christian author of the book we've been discussing is married to a Sufi. Well, if Carville and Matalin can make it work....

But as you know, some of our best unknown friends are Sufis, so this obviously doesn't apply to them.

According to Upton, the souls here "tried to gain by creating conflicts that other people would have to live with; they believed that peace can be established by exporting war."

The mutilated bodies move in endless circles, which Upton likens to "an addiction to conflict, a failure to reach integration of the soul." "The split torso of Mohammed" suggests "the attempt to make one's way through life by creating and benefitting from conflicts that reach beyond oneself to others, though their original cause lies within one's soul."

The circular movement in Hell is simply a parody of integration, which, oddly enough, reminds me of Gödel. For Gödel proved that any formal system that is consistent will be incomplete, and vice versa. Thus, ironyclad logic proves the insufficiency of any scientistic doctrine, which can only move in an artificial, manmade circle that excludes the greater reality.

Science -- and atheism more generally -- is surely consistent, but at the price of completeness. And the price of incompleteness is Hell, as it were, for what is repressed and denied doesn't simply "disappear." In other words, spiritual defense mechanisms -- i.e., psychic defenses against Spirit -- don't actually eliminate God!

One such defense mechanism is a kind of "drawing back" that stops the materialist from reaching the inevitable conclusions implicit in his first principles. Thus, in the words of Don Colacho, What still protects man in our time is his natural incoherence. That is to say: his spontaneous horror before consequences implicit in principles he admires.

Again, incoherence, dis-integration, incompleteness, hell, Ø.

Don Colacho has many other aphorisms that apply:

--Intelligence should battle without respite against the sclerosis of its findings.

--Everything that can be reduced to a system ends up in the hands of fools.

--Man calls “absurd” what escapes his secret pretensions to omnipotence.

--For the last two centuries ago they have called a “free thinker” the man who believes his prejudices are conclusions.

And here is one Gödel would love: Only he who suggests more than what he expresses can be reread.

This was indeed Gödel's deeper point -- not that we cannot know truth, but that human beings have access to deeper or higher truths that cannot be proved with logic, which is a closed system. Therefore, anything that is true in a self-sufficient way is ipso facto false, again, because it will be incomplete. What is not deiform is deformed.

Atheistic imbeciles often point to the "inconsistency" of the Bible. Well, duh! What they call inconsistency, we call "bubbling over with infinite implications and higher syntheses."

Back to the sowers of schism. Say what you will about the Muslim world, but I detect a decided absence of integration, whether we are talking about lust, or violence, or envy, or hatred. Why?

In the book, I discuss my own theory of how one may assess cultural maturity (pp. 177-180). Short story even shorter, the key variables are integration of the psyche and actualization of one's potential.

To take an obvious example, how possible is it for a Palestinian to understand and integrate his primal hatred, instead of taking it out on Jews? Not very. This is a culture that celebrates and distributes candy upon learning that a Jewish baby just had her throat cut by one of their heroes.

Upton points out that the sinners in this circle of Hell literally have tongues "slit asunder," for "to speak with a forked tongue" results in a "kind of speech" which "is the exact opposite of the effect of a spiritual fable which integrates the scattered psyche by drawing many meanings from one -- as did the preaching of the Apostles on Pentecost."

In Islam, there is the well-known doctrine of taqiyya, which permits them to taqyyoutta both sides of their mouths.

PowerLine cites a recent example. To western dupes, Hamas announces that the are "not responsible for the murder of the five family members from the Itamar settlement.... harming children is not part of Hamas' policy, nor is it the policy of the resistance factions."

But for the Arab Muslim world, the message is rather different: "Five Zionist usurpers were killed the morning of Saturday, 12 March 2011, in a knife-stabbing carried out by a Palestinian in the usurper (settlement) of Itamar east of the city of Nablus."

Why not just announce what you believe, as conservatives do? You will have noticed that we don't have to keep changing our name as soon as the reality of what we stand for taints it. In contrast, lying is and must be intrinsic to the left -- which is why, for example, NPR is in trouble for accidentally speaking the truth to a wider audience outside their little closed circle of affluent white liberals.

The godless are always disintegrated and closed to reality -- as are the godful who fail to integrate is and ought, horizontal and vertical, heaven and earth. Now, if they could just keep it to themselves instead of inducting us into their pneumadrama...

It's just a flesh wound!


philmon said...

"What still protects man in our time is his natural incoherence."

"I can't help but be
Ruled by inconsistencies
I'm not unique
Just distantly in love"
- Jimmy Buffett

julie said...

I hadn't realized her husband was a Sufi. I did wonder why she felt it important to list some of Mo's good points at the end of that chapter.

Some good eggs aside, even with Sufism I have to wonder if there's enough essential truth within Islam in any of its forms for it to ever be a force for good. It strikes me that the presence of sages within its tradition may not speak so much of the benefits of the tradition, but the benefits of the rare individuals who follow it. For instance, Schuon would still have been Schuon regardless of his outward affiliation. Being a Sufi didn't make him a saint. Rather, his sanctity infused his Sufism.

Judging Islam by its fruitcakes, I can't help thinking sometimes that giving it credit is akin to praising an evil for an inevitable particle of goodness.

julie said...

Heh - Jihad barbie.

Gagdad Bob said...

Very true about Schuon. He was simply a "religious genius," so the outer form didn't matter. Conversely, the outer form, no matter how sublime, becomes foolishness in the hands of an imbecile.

I remember realizing this back in graduate school. I had many teachers, but only one was a genius. All were teaching "psychoanalysis," but only one infused it with something much deeper. It occurred to me that psychoanalysis was simply the medium for the articulation of his genius.

Gagdad Bob said...

I wonder what old Dr. Panajian is up to these days? Haven't seem him in twenty years.

"Psychoanalytic relationship that is based on wisdom challenges the boundaries between the patient and the therapist. Openness to the living and to the dying brings about a truly shared experience between the patient and the therapist. Hidden pains in both, along with creative and destructive forces, develop a field that is complex and unknown to both. In this presentation, Dr. Panajian will explore the challenges that confront the therapist in respecting the boundaries that are needed for psychoanalytic work."

julie said...

Wow - that must have been a great presentation.

Gagdad Bob said...

He would go into a sort of trance as he lectured. Never once used notes.... It was all straight from O, so he was demonstrating while elucidating, my first living proof that it was possible!

julie said...

That must have been an amazing class. I wonder how many of his students properly appreciated what they were seeing?

Gagdad Bob said...

He is the reason Leslie came out west. She was visiting LA, and the relative of a boyfriend invited her to one of his classes. She instantly decided to move here and attend graduate school. Amazing what can happen when you don't plan ahead!

julie said...


Meetings and marriages...

Gagdad Bob said...

Just mentioned it to Leslie, and she now believes the whole thing was set up in advance by Tristan.

julie said...

I'll buy that. I'm pretty sure Sean and I met up in Vermont for similar reasons; the future was calling...

Gagdad Bob said...

Great events cast their shadow back in time. Or so we have heard from the wise.

Van said...

"The godless are always disintegrated and closed to reality -- as are the godful who fail to integrate is and ought, horizontal and vertical, heaven and earth. Now, if they could just keep it to themselves instead of inducting us into their pneumadrama..."

Just wanted to see that again... been running up against so many this applies to, right and left... nooo mo' drama! Please!

Van said...

Gagdad Bob said "Just mentioned it to Leslie, and she now believes the whole thing was set up in advance by Tristan."

Heh, darn kids are always getting between Mom & Dad.

(It'd be an odd looking triangle without 'em)

Cousin Dupree said...

Children bring couples closer together because they provide a common enemy.

Northern Bandit said...

Tell me about it. Especially when they manage to clamber up onto the table in a restaurant and launch themselves in anger into the Caesar salad...

Matthew Casey Smallwood said...

Scientists don't like being told Godel's theorem applies to all theories, even mathematically second order theories like biology or physics. I don't see why it wouldn't. Is there a good argument for why it wouldn't? My understanding is that the theorem applies to any logical argument that can be articulated (if it can't be articulated fully, then it is already "incomplete")?

Rod said...

Gagdad Bob, if you're still a practicing therapist I'd like to make an appointment. One of the biggest impediments to therapy for me is the rather typical human failure of the therapist to be able to integrate the various dimensions of our life, our living. That in turn leaves the patient tuned into a narrow band of self revelation. What your professor said about therapy shows that when practiced at the highest level it can be a rather spiritually rigorous process for both sides, a little like vicariously taking onto oneself the psycho-deformities of the other, or conversely being compelled to rise to the level of the other. I live in LA. and I'm more familiar with the topography and weather of hell than most, because as you know, hell has been outlawed in the "elevated" discourse of the media world. So, how do I make an appointment? (Iamrod@gmail)

Gagdad Bob said...

Rod -

I'm actually trying to reduce my workload. I might recommend a referral through the Jung Institute in West LA.