Friday, January 21, 2011

Making the Cosmic Loop-d-Loop

We're continuing our discussion of how to stay out of the loop.

A loop is, of course, a curving line that closes upon itself. Physicists tell us that our universe is a closed system. What they fail to realize is that if this statement is true, then it is false, because it proves that the system is not closed.

If the universe were actually closed, then we couldn't possibly understand it, any more than a moth knows why it is attracted to the light or a troll understands why he is attracted to me.

To com-prehend is to grasp, as with the hand, in such a way that it encompasses, or contains, the object therein. Thus, to comprehend something is in principle no different than the manner in which our hand contains a rock, except in a higher space. Only things transcending us cannot be fully grasped.

Only human beings may know that "it is possible to act in error." Conversely, "if fate ruled everything, error would not only be impossible, but the very idea of it would have no meaning" (Bolton). Likewise, to entertain a single regret is to acknowledge that things might have been different if only you hadn't been such a jackass and made such stupid choices.

To say "better choices" is to say truer ones -- or decisions aligned with truth and therefore rooted in reality. If the latter is impossible then our behavior is truly arbitrary, and autistics and sociopaths would be our sages and saints, respectively. The autistic's inability to penetrate beneath the surface would actually be the highest knowledge, while the sociopath's inability to behave morally would be the highest virtue.

One may say that there is nothing above logic, but one would be wrong. Even supposing, à la Spock, that our life could be governed by pure logic, we would still have to choose for that to be the case. We would have to say to ourselves, "a life rooted in logic is superior to one that isn't, therefore I will choose the former."

But one could equally say with Nietzsche or Jim Morrison that it is more fun to plunge into the Dionysian world of impulse and desire. (You may recall that the hotheaded Captain Kirk was always there to save the day when necessary, by overriding Spock's mere logic.)

Recall from yesterday's post that if something is purely determined or purely accidental, then it cannot be caused per se. This is because if something is purely determined, it is just an immediate implication of what preceded it, and not truly separate from it except in our imagination. And if something is completely contingent, then there is no meaningful link between cause and effect.

Again, the world of spirit is one of freedom, whereas the world of matter is alternately determined or random. Human beings are the vertical link between those two realms, which is where our freedom abides.

In Kant's phrase, this is the "kingdom of ends," or what Raccoons call the cosmic telovator. For human beings, things don't inevitably come about as a result of fate, i.e., the past. Rather, meaningful human action is always guided by a future we wish to bring about.

In truth, nature is shot through with formal and final causation. What makes human beings unique is the ability to consciously partake of them, i.e., to enact a plan or pursue an ideal.

In both cases, you might say that the future flows into the present, whereas with the material and efficient causation of primitive scientism, the present is purely the result of the past, with no remainder (again, the closed loop).

Any number of conditions are fated by nature, among them death, embodiment, sex (male or female), gravity. As Schuon writes, these may be summarized as the "four accidents of our existence: the world, life, the body and the soul; or we might also say: space, time, matter and desire."

It is precisely these contingencies that we rise above and over which we may triumph in spiritual development. But please note that the physicist who pronounces on the cosmos covertly does the same thing, for surely a mathematical "theory of everything" would represent a triumph over space, time, matter and desire.

Again, hell is the quintessential closed loop, and we would never deny that many people choose to live there. Dante said (in Upton) that those living in hell "have lost the good of the intellect."

And what is the good of the intellect? Well, obviously its ability to know truth. After all, if it can't even do that, then what good is it? Having an intellect would be as pointless as, say, a liberal man technically possessing gonads.

As Upton says, the hellbound "may be 'smart' like cunning politicians and lawyers, but they have no intellectual intuition of higher realities." Translated to politics, our freedom is protected by the Constitution, which is not a document that "gives" us anything. Rather, it preserves our intrinsic freedom by limiting the power of the state.

And it is necessary to go back up to the Declaration of Independence in order to understand the ground of the Constitution, i.e., our sacred rights and duties that can only have a supernatural origin, as Lincoln knew so well.

Now, as mentioned a couple of posts back, whatever physicists may say about the universe, it is critical to bear in mind that they are not talking about anything ultimately "real" in the metaphysical sense, only abstractions they use to frame and understand their data.

But the cosmos is obviously very different from, and infinitely more than, this abstraction. No one lives in the cold and dead universe of physics.

Rather, the world of physics is just one of many departments in the University of Soul. As Bolton points out, the soul is "a sphere of consciousness which contains the physical universe in its own mode, and many more subtle realities besides" (emphasis mine).

Put another way, the soul is "the container of our world-representation." The ego is merely an adaptation to the world (both the objective and subjective worlds), whereas the soul is a microcosmos -- an ordered totality -- that both mirrors and cocreates the experienced world. Otherwise, there would be no cosmos, only a linear succession of disconnected perceptions and sensations.

This is entailed in one of our first principles, "as above, so below," i.e., "man is made in the image and likeness of the Creator." But there is image and there is likeness, and human time is the distance between the two, which is none other than the spiritual path.

This path is a kind of wider, extra-cosmic loop, except that it is a möbius strip, which means that its inside is outside, and vice versa.

Or, in Schuon's description, it may be thought of as "a spiroidal movement around a motionless Center," except that the movement travels in both directions -- in other symbols, (↓↑).

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lord Keep Me Out of the Loop

The loop -- or løøp -- is the world of purely horizontal causation. It is precisely this loop that free will is able to "rise above" and operate upon.

But clearly, there is nothing in nature that could have somehow willed itself to rise out of the loop. Rather, any apparent loophole would simply be another aspect of the loop. If one is a materialist, this is the way it is and the way it must be. But such reductiognostic sophistry is nothing more than a childish GIGO fit.

To be perfectly accurate, human beings do not actually rise above the loop. Rather, our means of inscape is a descent from above.

Again, we may think of this descent as a line in vertical space that connects us to our creator in the most intimate way. Which is why Eckhart was orthoparadoxically correct in saying that the eye with which I see God is the very same eye with which God sees I.

Note that this is another kind of loop. We call it the loopwhole, for it encompasses the All -- like the eye atop the pyramid on the back of your legal tender.

As the Rabbi expresses it, there is really only one source of light. The soul is not so much a "point" but more a "continuous line of spiritual being" that stretches from a general source to "the specific body of a particular person" -- and beyond, even into the darkness.

But note that this darkness is not and cannot be "intrinsic" or essential; rather, it is a function of the diminution of the light as it proceeds further away from its source, for shadows are a function of light, not vice versa.

We can all get caught up in closed loops of various kinds. For a human being, these are always pathological. Indeed, they are the quintessence of pathology, being that life -- and this includes spiritual life, not to mention psychic life -- must remain an open system in order to grow and develop. Once the mind is closed -- or in a loop -- there can be no true growth, only the illusion thereof.

This is for reasons alluded to in yesterday's post, that in a closed system, each event entails the next and is fully entailed in a previous one, extending back to infinity -- a false infinity, to be sure, but we cannot blame scientists for not being metaphysicians. They are not bound by the prescription, "metaphysician, whole thyself."

One could more accurately call it "hell," which is not eternal proper (which only applies to God), only "perpetual." Not only is hell closed, but it is the quintessence of ontological closed-ness. Not for nothing did Dante speak of "the circle of hell."

We'll get back to hell momentarily, but I want to continue with Bolton's discussion of the higher space of free will. And when we say "higher," we not only mean in the vertical sense, but also because this is a space of higher dimensionality.

Indeed, it is because of this higher dimensionality that we cannot comprehend the mind through any model of linear causation. Rather, the mind is in and of hyperspace, so it simply cannot be contained in any model derived from everyday Aristotelean space. Rather, the converse: the four-dimensional space of physics is contained in hyperspace, just as the circle is contained by the sphere (and this applies perforce to the circle of hell). We can only be in hell because hell is in us.

Bolton makes the subtle point that an accidental cause cannot really be thought of as a cause per se, in the sense that it "does not exist specifically for what it brings about." We are surrounded by such accidental causes, which are precisely the kinds of closed loops discussed above. In themselves, they are meaningless and always add up to zero.

But human beings have the freedom to respond in diverse ways to these accidental causes. This is because we partake of the higher Cause that can operate on the lower ones.

And this "is due to the presence in us of the 'weakness and slackness' of not-being" (Bolton) referred to in yesterday's post. Again, our space of freedom, or slack, must be a realm of non-specificity in order to be truly free. Specificity, or determination, is the opposite of freedom, and again places us in the loop.

Speaking of closed loops, I remember a period of my life in which I was trapped in a nasty loop. This was back when I first entered graduate school -- or it entered me, to be literal -- and was reading Freud. It shows you how internalizing a bad metaphysic can result in real despair. This absurcular loop resulted from taking to heart Freud's ideas about psychic determinism. There may also have been some herbal cigarets involved, which tautened the dread.

Long story short, if everything is caused by the primitive unconscious, and our conscious self is just a kind of derivative defense mechanism, then what is the point of life except the discharge of pure animal impulse? But I was already doing that. I surely didn't need graduate school to learn how to be a beast.

It was around then that I stumbled upon Ken Wilber's Spectrum of Consciousness, which succeeded in vaulting me out of that loop. He and I have since gone our separate whys, but I will always be thankful for what thy wilber done. Life is full of such offramps and inscapes. But once you exit the unfreeway, it doesn't mean you have to rely on the other guy's map. Indeed, to do so is to defeat the whole purpose of going on one's own bewilderness adventure -- just like Jesus did after his baptism.

When we deliberate, contemplate, meditate, or pray, we are out of the loop. For me, when I write these posts, I am out of the loop.

In fact, that's pretty much the whole point of this verticalisthenic. Actually, I am trying to relux into the more fruitful loop of the divine-human partnership, and just see what comes down. Re-pent is trancelighted from metanoia, which means to turn around. But in practical terms, it essentially means to turn around and get out of the loop. It is to leave the material thingdom for the divine kingdom.

Cooncidentally, this is beautifully discussed in Jennifer Upton's Dark Way to Paradise: Dante's Inferno in Light of the Spiritual Path, wherein she describes how the Inferno is a detailed description of the closed loop of hell. And while it may or may not apply to post-mortem reality, it undoubtedly applies to this life.

She also shows the necessity of hell, for it can be a "road to heaven." Along these lines, she quotes Martin Lings, who wrote that "the descent into hell" is necessary "for the discovery of the soul's worst possibilities." These "need to be recovered, purified and reintegrated" if we are to be fit for the upper storeys, i.e., the repenthouse. Anything incompatible with God must be left behind, like those boosters that fall off an ascending rocket ship.

Hell is also a static place, in keeping with its status as a closed system. Its unhappitants are "mired eternally in the form of their ruling sin," and "fixed in their stations": "they are chained to all the sins, the fears and the angers they simply could not face in life" (Upton).

In contrast, purgatory -- which you might say is where we live -- has in it the possibility of vertical movement, and is thus "the archetype of the spiritual Path" (ibid.).

In hell, "being itself is a burden." But we could also put it conversely: when we are burdened by being, we know we are in hell. Which is why Raccoons pray: O Lord, keep us out of the løøp!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Seize the Principle and Let the Dead Bury the Tenured

We left off yesterday discussing the interior space of freedom we all inhabit, only to a greater or lesser degree. It is within this space that the self is able to exert its will as a "first cause."

Obviously, if there is no first cause, then each cause is nothing but an effect, extending to infinity. And if that is the case, then nature is a causally closed system with no possibility of genuine selfhood and all it implies.

But if the cosmos is causally closed, then there are actually no causes and no effects, just the illusion thereof. Nor could there be time, since it would really be nothing more than chronologically extended space. In a monistic system, nothing is separate from the system, so no novelty is possible. This is discussed on p. 72 of the book, where it states that

"the necessary cannot come into existence, because coming into existence is a transition from not existing to existing. The purely necessary in fact cannot essentially change, because it is always itself. In other words, novelty is truly creative and therefore contingent and unnecessary. Conversely, if something is strictly determined, it cannot be novel or creative, for the same reason you cannot compose a symphony by merely applying a predetermined rule for the combination of notes."

Rather, reality is comprised of nature and adventure; the adventure is possible because nature, while "stable," is infused with a spiritual element that is able to steer it in the same way we rely upon the unchanging laws of physics and chemistry to build a car. If both the automobile and its inventor are equally constrained by the laws of nature, then neither could ever have come into existence.

We are able to slip those surly bonds of physics every time we so much as smile at a friend, let alone think a new thought. To even suggest that thought is determined in the same way nature is... well, first of all, if that were true, one could never know it, because one would be indistinguishable from the very nature one is attempting to understand.

But more absurdly, it is to take the metaphor of science wayyyyy too far. Metaphors are tools, not the toolmaker, the big queer Homo, not the dandy little faber.

As we have said a number of times, the progress of science involves the reduction of multiplicity to unity. A good scientific explanation organizes a range of diverse phenomena under a deeper principle. The deeper principle is not "caused" in the same way the phenomena are -- say, the principles of higher math.

As Bolton explains, real knowledge -- which is to say, knowledge of principles -- "is what pertains to first causes." Thus, extending a horizontal sequence "to infinity would extinguish knowledge as well as causality."

Here again, ironically, both scientism and religious fundamentalism end in the identical nul de slack which eliminates the self, creativity, free will, real knowledge, and most everything else we care about.

Thus, our first principle is the Uncaused Cause (O), which entails within itself a number of other principles which we will discuss as we grow along.

A second principle -- well, to be perfectly accurate, we cannot call this a principle, for it would imply that the Creator was compelled to give it, which takes us back to determinism. We are referring, of course, to the gift of our deiformity, which we subsequently elevate to an explanatory principle.

Again, we believe that human beings are in the image of the Creator, which is why we have that palpable spark of the Uncaused Cause within us.

This interior spark is obviously not -- and could not be -- self-generated. Rather, it's like the pilot light in your furnace. I don't know about you, but I turn mine off from around April to November, and re-light it around Thanksgiving, when the weather gets cold.

The point is, the pilot is always there, but it is up to us to ignite it and become the conscious co-pilot of our lives. This is a more than adequate metaphor of the Uncaused Cause within us. It is a gift of grace, always there. But we must recognize, accept, and ignite it in order to benefit from its light and its warmth, or Truth and Love, respectively. And we have to watch over it just in case it is blown out by a stiff breeze or some other exigency.

Once we have established the principle of an Uncaused Cause, then, as Bolton explains, there is "no reason why there may not be many other, lesser kinds of uncaused causes."

In this regard, on the basis of pure metaphysics, I think it is infinitely more challenging -- well, impossible -- to try to imagine a cosmos with no uncaused cause. Again, this merely generates the "bad infinite" discussed by Hegel -- the dark night in which all cows are black. Nothing can be known in such a cosmos. You might say that knowledge itself proves the Uncaused Cause, again, since real knowledge is knowledge of principles.

Think of it this way. If we live in a universe of pure horizontal causation, then we are in the absurd situation of inhabiting (exhabiting is more like it) a cosmos that is simultaneously purely necessary, and yet, purely accidental. In other words, everything would happen for a reason, but for no reason at all!

This is why Aquinas was correct in equating the real with the knowable, and the knowable with the created, thus ending the temptation to ontological, existential, and epistemological absurdity with one swell whoop. So, whoopeeeeeeeee!

Reality is truth, and vice versa. In affirming the createdness of being, we are able to get on, in, and up with our lives, and let the dead bury the tenured.

Now, another, more subtle principle is that being must be posterior to non-being. Most religious folks don't bother with this principle, as it's not strictly necessary for non-metaphysicians. But the truth of the matter is that being is the first fruit of something surpassing it, which we call "non-being," only because it is beyond all human category, the broadest of which is being.

Being is the most general category we can conceive, so all we can say of this principle is that it is beyond being. Some people just call it nothing, while others call it O, or the Tao, or the Godhead (Eckhart), or shunyata, or the Ground, or the ain sof (Kabbala).

Now, here is the subtle part: the uncaused must partake of non-being, which is to say, total "non-specification." Again, it is the "empty space" out of which free will operates.

Some of the most straightforward and orthoparadoxical explanations of this principle are found in the Tao Te Ching, e.g. the idea that We hammer wood for a house, but it is the inner space that makes it livable. We work with being but non-being is what we use.

It is no different with regard to the space of mind. You might say that knowledge is what we use to build this mansion, but that the resultant inner space is what makes it livable.

I'm sure that as my readers have grown spiritually -- which is to say, expanded the nonlocal space in which they live -- they find it more and more difficult to be around people who live in their cramped little spaces of scientism, or materialism, or secularism, or feminism, or leftism, or any other spiritual straitjacket. Man is the microcosm, not the micro-ism.

The point is that non-being is a kind of pure space. It is quite literally the origin of our cosmic slack, which is to say, the "place" where we are free from any determination except for what God has willed us to be, which is to say, a unique spark in the dark in that park before time. You know, paradise.

This spark at the center of non-being is symbolized ʘ.

To be discontinuously continued....

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Aliens Among Us and the Final Frontier

As we were saying yesterday, free will is an acquired taste. You might say that it must be freely chosen; it is only offered, never forced upon unwilling victims.

It is also on a continuum, and is essentially indistinguishable from spiritual growth, the reason being that the latter expands the "space" from where free will arises. Free will may be thought of as a spark of the uncaused cause within. It would not be inaccurate to call it the "caused uncaused cause" or the "created creator."

In Foundations of Free Will, Bolton notes that we begin life being almost "wholly determined by the external." However, some of us move on from there. By transforming ourselves, these external causes no longer act on the same entity; a kind of "break" is created in nature, where linear causation becomes discontinuous.

It reminds me of Leonard Cohen's line: There's a crack in everything / That's how the light gets in. Indeed, Bolton writes that "every breakdown of a culture is also an opening through which a way back to its spiritual foundation can be found by those who are alert for it."

Which is why, as bad as things might appear to be at the moment -- and they are bad indeed -- it is nevertheless an auspicious time to be alive for extreme seekers and off-road spiritual aspirants. Law of Compensation, and all that.

I discussed this somewhere in the Coonifesto -- here it is, p. 233, amongst the commanishads and upanishalts. Believe it or not, it falls under the heading of the Second Law of Reversed Thermodynamics, right after the self-tautology that there is no O but O. Being that there is no O but O, you shall not deify Ø, much less (k).

I won't remumbo the entire jumbo here, but there is also some relevant material on p. 236, on observing the sabbath speed limit: "ultimately the sabbath must be internalized, so that the very real and tangible presence of the world cannot sink its teeth into you and remake you in its image." Various Raccoon techniques for accomplicing this include lowering the Zone of Silence, internalizing the the PortaPew, mastering the UnderReaction, achieving TimeDilation, and of course, installing the DePakinator.

Now, just because we are subject to external and internal causes of various kinds, it hardly means that we lack free will. For one thing, we couldn't be aware of these causes unless they were pushing against a part of us that may or may not be happy about it, and is capable of resisting.

This is why only human beings may become neurotic, which essentially means that they may be at cross-purposes with themselves, and subject to internalized causes that clash with the will of our true self.

As we mentioned yesterday, it is critical to understand how truth and freedom are intrinsically linked, and how one is strictly impossible in the absence of the other. As Bolton explains, freedom cannot occur in the absence of truth, because if our actions are based upon falsehood, we cannot say that they were free in any meaningful sense.

In other words, if I believe something that is utterly false, and then organize my life around that falsehood, no freedom can result. Rather, freedom results from acknowledging truth and acting upon it. Conversely, actions can "always be made involuntary by ignorance of matters of fact" (Bolton). We are only free to act on truth.

Think of a courtroom scene in which false evidence is offered in order to convict someone and send them to prison, thus eliminating their freedom. But the identical thing happens if we convict ourselves with false evidence. We end up in a prison of our own making.

This must also mean that the free act is "one which is motivated toward the intelligible good" and which "must have a final cause in something higher in the scale of values in respect of truth and moral and aesthetic value" (Bolton). Thus, we are only free to do good. Those who do evil are slaves, irrespective of how it may subjectively feel to be operating outside the Law.

We all know that our liberty is rooted in the rule of law. But terrestrial laws are (or should be) merely instantiations of celestial ones, eg. don't murder, steal, bear false witness, etc. If theft is legal -- as, for example, under socialism -- there can be no freedom (or a severe limitation of it).

But nor can there be the free pursuit of truth under socialism, because the state must prevent certain threatening avenues from being explored. Thus, it is no surprise that the state-run media is on the warpath against those of us who simply want to diminish the power of the state. They are only acting in their perceived self-interest, which comes down to power, not truth.

Speaking of which, is it not ironic that a new hero of the left is "a septuagenarian white sheriff from Arizona with a hostility to free speech"? Here again we see a tool of the state bearing false witness, ultimately in order to diminish our freedom.

Sheriff Dupeschtick is a quintessential sleazy reicher. As Bolton writes, "the typical result of such actions is for the will to become the prisoner of other wills." In other words, to the extent that one agrees with the Sheriff, one become a prisoner of his lies (just as the left remains a prisoner of the lie that "Bush lied").

To withhold our assent to the Lie is to commit a flagrant act of freedom. Conversely, "evil actions are therefore never more than semi-free at their inception." And they only progress from there, "toward states [that are] are ever-increasingly under the power of alien causes, owing to which their freedom would tend almost to disappear" (Bolton).

Now, what is an "alien cause" but a mind parasite? To be perfectly accurate, the latter is an internalized alien cause. We are all subject to alien causes all day long, but it doesn't mean we must act on them. Just because I hear neo-Marxist rhetoric from my government, I don't have to believe it.

But if I do assent to these liars, then I have internalized a vicious and self-defeating mind parasite that now has influence over me, and is limiting my freedom. Then one's life is given over to fate; we have sunk beneath ourselves into the world of these lower causes, so that one is dragged along on the Darwinian monkeygoround instead of rising upon the spiral stairs / That lead up to that heart of light.

In short, what would have become your individuated self "will remain a more or less undifferentiated part of the macrocosm, and will not develop into a microcosm" (Bolton). You have committed a self-administered celestial abortion.

And this also explains how the key to state control is in the Lie. You must assent to lies in order to give control over to the state. As Ronald Reagan said, "A government cannot control the economy without controlling people," which means lying to them -- not accidentally, but essentially.

Nor can there be socialism without unhinged moralizing. The left doesn't actually offer economic arguments, but substitutes moral arguments in the space where economics should be. You only have to read a single column by the left's most influential economist, Paul Krugman, to understand this. Instead of thought, we are treated to another bout of encopresis, fecal smearing, and political tourette's syndrome.

For the Raccoon, the interior "space of freedom" is the final (and only) frontier. Of it, Bolton writes that "ignoring the 'empty' aspect of the soul-life is by no means immediately evident, but it inevitably leads to relations with alien wills and forces in which one's own will has less and less relevance."

These alien powers and principalities are what we call the "tissue of mind parasites," or the conspiracy to rob you of your slack.

To be continued...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Free Atlas, Great God Almighty a Free Atlas!

I just finished reading Robert Bolton's Foundations of Free Will, which touches on many of the sane themes we've been discussing lately.

For example, Bolton agrees that freedom and necessity are not opposites but complementary, and that one would be impossible (and even unthinkable) in the absence of the other. Necessity relates "to free will as the earth with its fixed shape and cardinal points relates to the direction-finding of a traveler" (ibid.).

If we remove such constraints we are "free," but in a way that is just as meaningless as being fully determined. Without these constraints, freedom devolves to "just another word for nothing left to lose."

Bolton also reminds us that man "is situated on the dividing-line between two realms, those of nature, where necessity rules, and of the spirit, where freedom rules." Thus, without objective epistemological and moral constraints -- i.e., truth and virtue -- we could be no more free than a person floating aimlessly in space with no orientation whatsoever.

And this, of course, leads to one of our core Raccoon principles, that freedom is a function of truth, and vice versa. If truth does not exist -- or, if man cannot know it -- then freedom is strictly impossible and even inconceivable.

Conversely, because man was made to know truth, he is created to be free; or, in an even higher sense, he is created to create, which combines the most felicitous union of truth and freedom with their fair sister beauty. For the superior man, nothing should be done artlessly.

This is not a principle that should be passed over lightly, for it is one of the keys to this whole existentialiada with free holiness on the side. For it entails its corollary: that those who embrace the Lie are not -- and cannot be -- free. Lies can only ape a facsimian of freedom, for freedom is obviously not free if it is oriented toward error.

If you spend your life in subjugation to the Lie, you will have wasted the uppertunity of a lifetome, for you will have lived as an illiterate slave. Might as well not have been born, except at least your bad example can serve as a tutelary tale and cautionary tool for those who are tempted to believe that truth is relative or a mere cultural construct.

We all know people who spend their lives buried beneath themselves in a tomb of illusion, which is why the unexhumined life is not worth living.

Think of those cardinal points alluded to in the first paragraph. What if there are cardinal points all around, but they all arbitrarily point the wrong way? A person will rely upon them to guide him through life's journey, even though they lead precisely nowhere.

Therefore, this person's subjective sense of freedom -- irrespective of how "real" if feels -- is completely illusory. Such is the "academic freedom" of the tenured, which is supposed to be a means, not just a deadened nul-de-slack. Severed from truth, such faux freedom perishes with each vain publication.

Bolton also agrees with us that freedom cannot be an either/or proposition. Rather, it exists on a coontinuum, and not just because of the evil and lie-bound assouls who would deprive us of it.

Rather, in a free society such as ours, obstacles to freedom are clearly situated primarily within. As we ascend vertically, we can flush away these impurities, which is why man is his own best enema.

At any rate, freedom "is a possibility which develops out of an originally unfree state" (Bolton). And unless the reality of freedom is emphasized from the outset, "most human beings will not bother to develop their natural capacities to the full" (ibid.), as we see in the Islamic world. Since they believe everything is fated by Allah, why bother trying to improve oneself?

The same spiritual illness afflicts the left, in that their principle lie is that human beings are mere objects who are defined by race, class and gender, and who react in a deterministic way to the environment around them.

This leads logically to their theory of government, which posits a large and intrusive state to manipulate people toward its preferred ends. Of course, they never explain how the elites who determine the preferred ends are able to escape the chain of epistemological causation and freely perceive a reality unconditioned by their class-based "false consciousness."

You don't even have to believe in free will in order to know it is real. Bolton uses the example of two people, one of whom believes in free will, the other of whom does not. As a consequence of believing in it, the person will conduct himself quite differently than the one who does not. One little spud will endeavor to actualize his potential, while the other will remain a half-baked potato too lazy to even invent the couch.

Thus, we see how belief of any kind enters the causal chain to alter human reality. Again, this is rather obvious when we consider cultures that cherish freedom vs. those that deny it. Ye shall know the latter by their fruitlessness, both individually and collectively.

Unfree cultures tend to produce worthless people, as in the Palestinian terrortories or the New York Times idiotorial board, to cite a couple examples of low-hanging fruitlessness.

If providence subsists prior to fate, this must be analogous to what we were saying the other day about entropy being parasitic on order. Obviously we could not speak of disorder in the absence of order.

Therefore, no matter what physicists say about the priority of the second law of thermodynamics, God exists prior to the world, not just in the horizontal past, but in the descent of each vertical moment. If there is any order, there is only One transcendent order and one theography course to pass through. And that's an order!

So don't just recycle that free atlas the Creator issues us at birth, for it is a map to the stars.

Theme Song

Theme Song