Friday, April 15, 2011

The Liberal Agenda, or The Idiot's Guide to Hell on Earth

Upon us may Thy Kingdom's peace descend, for if it does not come, then though we summon all our force, we cannot reach it our selves. --Purgatory, Canto XI

That is to say, while (↑) may be a necessary force, it is never a sufficient one; conversely, (↓) is both necessary and sufficient, if only because (↑) is already a mannafestation of (↓).

In reality, the two movements form the ascending spiral of the interior cosmos. When they are in harmony, then God's will is being done, and we are in Heaven. As Pope Benedict writes, "The essence of heaven is God's will," or "the oneness of will and truth." Virtue flows from this alignment; or, one might say that virtue is the truth -- and beauty -- of will.

Likewise, truth is both the beauty and virtue of intelligence, and beauty is the truth and virtue of creativity. A beautiful place to live, containing beautiful souls, would be heaven on earth.

The Pope agrees that "Earth becomes 'heaven' when and insofar as God's will is done there; and it is merely 'earth,' the opposite of heaven, when and insofar as it withdraws from the will of God."

While we cannot create heaven on earth, we should at least try to do so in our selves, our families, our communities, and on out from there. It cannot start in Washington DC and trickle up, for Wise politics is the art of invigorating society and weakening the State (Don Colacho's Aphorisms).

Indeed, the very idea that the state can create heaven on earth -- can cure man's Condition -- is at the root of the left's fantasies of omnipotence. Is there not a leftist who appreciates the irony that we are already living in the very country the left has bent all its efforts to forge over the past eighty years? And that more of the same can only make it worse?

The sophisticated leftist who would ridicule Genesis 3 is most desperately in need of its timeless wisdom, which is true, always has been true, and always will be true: you cannot prevent man's epic FAIL by pretending it didn't, doesn't, and won't happen. Every time.

Democrats can be divided into those who believe wickedness is curable and those who deny it exists (DC).

Only a leader who is systematically ignorant of the perennial truth of man -- perhaps one steeped in crapto-Marxist "liberation theology" -- could talk about "winning the future" with such fundamentally flawed troops. Mankind does not need Christianity so it can construct the future, but so it can confront it (ibid).

Besides, someone else has not only won the future already, but passed the savings on to you!

For how can one "win the future" without first winning the present? And to win the present requires mastery of the self. But to lavish the fruits of self-discipline upon undisciplined and disordered souls is a recipe for disaster -- for hell on earth, if you will.

Man is everywhen subject to Reynold's Law: "Subsidizing the markers of status doesn’t produce the character traits that result in that status; it undermines them."

But Unlike the Biblical archangel, Marxist archangels prevent man from escaping their paradises (ibid). Or, as Obama says, "legislate in haste, tax at leisure." The left passes the bills, and we pay them. This is their idea of "unity" -- of everyone being equally forced to subsidize the dreams of our spiritually deranged neighbors. Well, Perhaps individually men are our neighbors, but massed together they are surely not (ibid). My brother is not the mob.

Yes, we all want our daily broad. But do we really want her to come from the state? Really? For anything "given" to us by the state is instantaneously de-spiritualized and materialized. It is desiccated, mutilated, and exsanguinated by the time it ends up in our hands. This is how, for example, what begins as the "education establishment" ends in the establishment of stupidity.

Conversely -- and this is a key principle of Christianity -- because the Word has become flesh, flesh may attain to the Word. Or, as the Pope explains, "This extreme 'becoming-corporeal' is actually the real 'becoming-spiritual.'"

Again, (↓) is (↑), and vice versa. Thus, the essence of Christianity is a spiritualization of matter, which is the exact opposite of the left's cosmic movement, which involves -- always -- the materialization of spirit.

Consider, for example, this illustrative article on "income inequality," Gauging the Pain of the Middle Class. First, imagine the hubris of anonymous state officials "gauging the pain" of an entire "class" of people they have created in their own minds.

Note that they can in no way gauge the countless sources of real pain in individuals, e.g., divorce, parental abandonment, stupidity, impulsivity, promiscuity, bad values, narcissism -- to say nothing of the existential pain that comes with man's very existence.

Rather, like the scientist who confuses reality with what he is able to quantify, the leftist confuses happiness -- or pain -- with some abstract quantity. They concede up front that "the costs of income inequality are notoriously hard to measure.... Although conventional wisdom has long held that a widening income gap is a problem, there has never been a practical way to measure its actual costs." But does this humble them? No. You cannot humble the shameless.

In order to justify what he is going to do to us anyway, the leftist rejects the common-sense idea that "well-being depends primarily on absolute consumption." Rather, he actually pathologizes the envy-free by assuming that "the context of that consumption is often far more important."

In other words, you must not be satisfied with what you have. Rather, you must compare yourself to neighbors with more than you, in order to be aware of the extent of your pain -- indeed, to indiscriminately lump together mere economic circumstances with psychological, spiritual, emotional, and existential pain. Pay no attention to that stupid commandment that counsels us to refrain from indulging in the very envy that feeds on human happiness.

Do you actually believe your cramped little hovel is adequate? Well, it isn't. Rather, it "invariably depends on the quality and size of other houses in the surrounding area." As the author of the piece suggests, this doesn't only apply to houses, but to everything, which means that in the perverse world of the left, we should nurture a kind of infinite pain as a consequence of our boundless envy. And they accuse conservatives of "greed!"

And for every superior person who is happily free of envy, there is a pained leftist elite who wants desperately to rekindle it in us. We distress them because Capitalism achieves that disgusting prosperity promised in vain by the socialism that hates it (ibid).

The upshot is that hell on earth is not just the consequence, but cause, of the spiritually vacant world of the left.

In reality, No social class has exploited the other social classes more brazenly than that which today calls itself “the state." Thus, Societal salvation is near when each person admits that he can save only himself. Society is saved when its supposed saviors despair (Don Colacho's Aphorisms).

So make a liberal miserable today: be happy!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hollowed Be Thy Name

One cannot help defining things, but care must be taken not to limit them too much in defining them. --F. Schuon

I don't know about you, but I'm still in Canto XI, in the midst of Dante's invocation and paraphrasing of the Lord's Prayer. The question is, why is the Name to be hallowed -- or praised, as Dante puts it?

Hallow: to make holy or set apart for holy use; venerate.

Pope Benedict has a helpful meditation on the subject in his Jesus of Nazareth. Please note that the reasons for preserving the sanctity of the Name are in no way sentimental, or "procedural," or merely customary, but very much rooted in metaphysical principle.

First, God -- the Absolute -- has a name. Secondly, we cannot know this name unless it is disclosed to us. It is not for us to name God; for one thing, doing so would presume knowledge of what we are talking about.

In other words, when we name something, it is founded upon recognition of a thing's boundaries -- how it is set apart from other things. But since the Absolute can have no boundaries -- nor is it a thing among other things -- it can have no personal name we could give it.

Furthermore, since the Absolute is One, it can have only one name. As the Pope expresses it, God is not "one among many; he cannot have one name among others."

In an important sense, God cannot actually have a name. Rather, he must have a name that is simultaneously no-name -- a kind of algebraic "place marker," or empty category, that we may use to talk about him, without pretending to know what we're talking about.

Thus, when Moses asks his name, God simply says "I AM THAT (or WHO) I AM"; but my friends call me "I AM" for short. This designation is "My name forever, and this is my memorial to all generations."

The Pope says that this name conveys the idea that the Absolute is "without any qualification": it "is a name and a non-name at one and the same time."

Thus, the icandescend Israelights were "perfectly right in refusing to utter this self-designation of God," instead giving Him the unpronounceable tetragrammaton "so as to avoid degrading it to the level of names of pagan deities."

And now you know, my children, why we prefer to call it O. This pneumaticon was first used by Toots Mondello, who was a little dyslexic, and thought it read "hollowed be thy name." Since nothing is more hollow than an empty circle, the unname stuck. But it serves its purpose, as Raccoons go one step further than Jews in preserving the name of the unnameable.

It was always presumptuous and wrong -- and defeated the purpose -- to convert the nameless name to the name "Jehovah." Such chutzpah!

As the Pope says, Israel always regarded the Name as "mysterious and unutterable." To treat it as "just any old name" is to drag the mystery of God "down to the level of some familiar item within a common history of religions."

This is, of course, the ubiquitous problem of atheists, who necessarily deny the existence of some pagan god of their imagination. They are correct to deny this entity, but presumptuous in the extreme if they pretend that this personal god is the Absolute -- the I AM.

The Absolute is. To deny that It Is is to deny that anything at all essentially is. It is to sunder the very possibility of knowledge and meaningful discourse at the roots. It is the cosmic nul de slack of Truth.

God is not the object of my reason, nor of my sensibility, but of my being. God exists for me in the same act in which I exist (Don Colacho's Aphorisms).

One of the metaphysical principles that flows from the Name is: I AM, therefore I think. Thought is posterior to, and rooted in, Being, not vice versa. That Being the case, we really can know reality, whether through science, aesthetics, mysticism, or other modes. The I AM guarantees it "to all generations."

It strikes me as a matter of some consequence that the more accurate translation appears to be I AM WHO I AM, which immediately suggests an interior, as opposed to THAT, which implies an exterior, or IT, that we can somehow place boundaries around.

Simply put, THAT is an object, whereas WHO is a subject. And to say "subject" is to say "relationship," for there can be no relationship in the absence of the subject, only external interaction, like billiard balls knocking together.

In the words of Don Colacho, If we believe in God we should not say, “I believe in God,” but rather, “God believes in me.” We cannot relate to God unless he first relates to us.

The Pope agrees that the Name "creates the possibility of address or invocation," and thus "establishes relationship." In other words, "God establishes a relationship between himself and us. He puts himself within reach of our invocation. He enters into relationship with us and enables us to be in relationship with him."

However, in doing so, he is creating the possibility -- no, the certainty -- that his Name will be dragged through the mud, man being what he is.

You know the mentality -- they build you up in order to tear you down. The worst offenders are without question the religious idolators who hijack the Name and essentially engage in cosmic identity theft.

Repetition of the "Jesus prayer" of Orthodox Christianity is considered the very essence of the faith, so long as one is aware of the underlying principle, which again comes down to a name God has revealed to us.

Schuon writes that the Name, "when ritually pronounced, is mysteriously identified with the Divinity. It is in the Divine Name that there takes place the mysterious meeting of the created and the Uncreate, the contingent and the Absolute, the finite and the Infinite. The Divine Name is thus a manifestation of the Supreme Principle, or to speak still more plainly, it is the Supreme Principle manifesting Itself; it is not therefore in the first place a manifestation, but the Principle Itself."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

On the Brothelhood of Man: Our Mater Who Art in Matter

For those of you keeping score, it's the top of the XIth canto with two men on first terrace, trying to make it home. At bat are the prideful, so it's not looking good. Frankly, they don't have a prayer.

Speaking of which, Dante begins Canto XI with a paraphrase of the Lord's Prayer, which, in a sense, can be more potent than the original, since the latter has become rather saturated with use -- indeed, just as the word "God."

But in order to grow in spirit, we must stay one step ahead of the dictionary, which inevitably domesticates the wild godhead. We must try to avoid this descent of Dogma into mere dogma.

Think of it: with the Lord's Prayer, the Creator himself is making it easy on us by teaching us not only how to pray, but what to pray for. I remember learning it back in Sunday school when I was five or so.

But in actuality, for me it was just a meaningless string of words, like the Pledge of Allegiance. By the time I would have been capable of comprehending the deeper meaning, it was already too saturated -- far too familiar to have any shock value whatsoever.

But if the Ultimate Principle calling you into his office and teaching you how to pray isn't shocking, then nothing is. You are a jaded soul.

Which reminds me of an aphorism: Every Christian has been directly responsible for the hardening of some unbeliever’s heart.

Fortunately, there is a kind of cosmic compensatory agency at work, through which we encounter fools, such as yesterday's troll, who serve to sharpen our faith as a result of seeing the intellectual consequences of their childish doctrines. Been there. Dumb brat.

Indeed, these foolish ideas are their own punishment. Remember, when the atheist talks about the "origin" of anything, whether of the cosmos, of life, or of the human person, he is simply boasting about the arbitrary limit of his metaphysic.

So anyway, Dante's paraphrasing of the Lord's Prayer has the effect of de-saturating it for us. For example, he begins with Our Father, you who dwell within the Heavens, but are not circumscribed by them.

In this single phrase, Dante is telling us that the Absolute is transcendent (within the Heavens) and therefore immanent (not circumscribed by them). The One is simultaneously closer to us than our own being, and yet beyond our imagining.

Another way of saying it is that the One is simultaneously absolute and infinite -- which finds its analogue in the herebelow in a diversity of ways, for example, the wave (infinite) / particle (absolute) complementarity of quantum physics.

Or, on a different plane, Father (Absolute, the Law, Justice) / Mother (Infinite, Compassion, Mercy). Although these are horizontally equal, the Absolute must be vertically prior -- as indeed Adam is "prior" to Eve.

To conflate the Absolute and Mother always leads to a kind of hell on earth; indeed, its horizontal prolongation is the contemporary ovary tower liberalism through which we are swallowed up by the All-Merciful nanny-state.

Its sociological prolongation is the destruction of the tripartite family, and its displacement by the pre-civilizational (and biological) dyad of mother-child.

The exclusion of father leads straight to barbarism, as we have seen with the feminized left's successful undermining of the family. For the left, a family is any two people in love with the state.

Hallowed be thy name. Dante says praised be Your name and Your omnipotence, but this still strikes me as too saturated. For what is the purpose of praising God's name? It's not as if we need to bolster his flagging self-esteem.

In Jesus of Nazareth, Pope Benedict has a meditation on the Lord's Prayer, which explicates and illuminates its various dimensions. On the one hand, we need to recognize in the prayer "the thoughts Jesus wished to pass on to us." In other words, there is an exterior component to it.

But there is also -- and more principially, since the inner could never arise from the outer -- an interior dimension of the Prayer, which "reaches down into the depths far beyond the words." It originates from and memorializes the eternal dialogue between the first and second Persons of the Trinity.

Thus, it is an intersubjective prayer between what I would symbolize as O → (↓↑) ← (¶). The prayer takes place in the spiraling space between subjects.

Back to "our Father" for a moment. Clearly, to say "our Father" is to say "your child," so here again we are talking about a relation between subjects. And of course, its horizontal prolongation is the true brotherhood of man, rooted in the Absolute.

We can only be brothers if we share the same father. Otherwise we are all bastards in the universal brothelhood of man.

However, this again does not imply any leftist egalitarianism. To the contrary: My brothers? Yes. My equals? No. Because there are older and younger brothers.

I'm going to have to cut this off in midstream. I need to get to work.

"Yeah, it sucks, but at least we're all equal."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Freedom Will Die, Comrades, if the State Fails to Sacrifice Enough Babies!

Now entering purgatory proper, we must ascend seven terraces in order to reach ecstasy central. The seven terraces no doubt correspond to the seven deadly sins (or capital vices). And since the cardinal sin is pride, the first terrace is reserved for the narcissistic and vainglorious who are full of nothing but themselves.

Pride -- or hubris -- is the sin from which all others flow, as it essentially involves an overvaluation of the self (or ego) accompanied by a devaluation of the other. It is as if the pole God → man is displaced to Me → You.

In another sense, pride can have no reality; rather, it is a reaction to its positive counterpart, humility, which is an objective appraisal of the self in Light of the Creator.

One shouldn't think of humility as representing an exaggerated devaluation of the self, for this too can be a disguised form of pride. In a religious context, a race to the bottom can nurture the unconscious belief that one has scrambled to the top. But humility is the way, not the end.

Much of this is addressed in the Sermon on the Mount -- Mount being the operative term, since the sermon is being delivered from the top of the purgatorial mountain we happen to be ascending.

You know, blessed are the poor in spirit. Or, when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray on TV to be seen by men. And When you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as they do in congress, to be honored by the state-run media.

In fact, the Sermon on the Mount can be seen as a set of "impossible" ideals which are to guide our ascent, for nothing less than the impossible can serve as the celestial attractor.

If this ideal were something easily attainable by man, it would only lend itself to the pride it is attempting to vanquish. Thus, as Dante says, Don't dwell on the form of punishment but consider what comes after that.

In other words, Dante urges us to keep our eyes on the divinized, those effigies of true humility. No, they are not down here in purgatory. Rather, we see their forms engraved upon the rock and carved in marble. This is to signify that they are in time but not of time; people come and go, but these celestial clueprints -- or icons -- will endure:

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. Eternity is down here in time -- and more importantly, in flesh.

So Even when we know that everything perishes, we should still construct our temporary shelters with granite. For Values, like the soul, are born in time, but do not belong to it. Therefore, To search for the “truth outside of time” is the way to find the “truth of our time.” Whoever searches for the “truth of his time” finds the clichés of the day (three of Don Colacho's Aphorisms).

Dante passes by three celestial archetypes of humility, first Mary, then David and Trajan. Mary is the one who turned the key that had unlocked the highest love, while David is both less and more than king.

What a marvelously succinct description of the perfect ruler, whose humility makes him less than a king, but whose wisdom and magnanimity make him more than one. This is in contrast to the typical contemporary ruler, who is simultaneously infrahuman and all too human. Such rulers bring only change we can bereave in.

Note that each terrace must be successively smaller as we ascend toward the peak. Therefore, the first terrace is going to be quite commodious; as a matter of fict, it is the commodius vicus of recirculation in the first and last paragraph of Finnegans Wake. It is the meandyouring riverrun past Eve and Adam, from swerve of shore to bend of bay. In the words of Petey, it is the winding binding river of light that empties to the sea and cures us of plurality.

So, Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.

But according to Dante, the soul's aberrant love would make the crooked way seem straight. This is a critical point, and one of the reasons why Love cannot be higher than Truth.

For a love that loves the inappropriate object is still love; but "knowledge" of falsehood is no longer Truth. It is obviously the same with virtue; for example, it is possible to "courageously" defend the morally indefensible.

To say "truth" is to say "objective" is to say "disinterested." This is the spirit in which we are to understand humility: not as harsh and excessive judgment on the self, but an accurate and objective insight into it. Get over yourself. You are not the worst person in the world, only one of the worst.

Schuon has many wise statements about pride and humility. For example, "A humble person is not interested in having his virtue recognized, he is interested in surpassing himself; hence in pleasing God more than men."

This is another way of saying that the Raccoon's primary orientation is in the vertical and toward the Absolute. And the ultimate in humility would be represented first by Mary and then by Jesus, both of whom "emptied" themselves in different ways. This unattainable degree of humility is nevertheless our celestial telokenosis.

This emptiness -- or what we call (o) -- is the essence of humility. God's quintessential humility -- or kenosis -- is represented by the Cross. Here again, the true King must be both less and more than a man -- and more through the less (or even least).

Now, one reason why the left is unnecessary is that no one is incapable of appreciating what he doesn't have. In other words, no one needs to be taught how to envy, which is, to a large extent, pride in action.

Note that the left invented the term "social justice" to conceal the envy at its foundation. But "social justice" is just another way of saying "state mercy," to which we are entitled. Which would not be so destructive if it didn't intrinsically involve the administration of injustice to others.

Thus, it is not enough that we respect what he wants to do with his life; he demands, in addition, that we respect what he wants to do with our life (DC).

You don't want to be compelled to fund abortions, even though the Constitution plainly says you must? Oh yes, The leftist screams that freedom is dying when his victims refuse to finance their own murders (DC).

No, it's not a graven image but a marble clueprint. Vive la deference!

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