Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Strange Things are Afoot: Malicious Software in the Human Brainframe

So, I think we've established that the body -- AKA Brother Ass -- is Not Guilty by reason of mental incompetence. Rather, the body (to the extent that it is naughty) is just shoved around by the malware that makes its way into the human mainframe:

"Malware, short for malicious software, is software used or created to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems." It "is a general term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software."

You mean like mind parasites?

Yes, it "includes computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, adware, and other malicious programs." "Sometimes known as a computer contaminant," it "is not the same as defective software, which is software that has a legitimate purpose but contains harmful bugs that were not corrected before release."

Are you thinking what I'm thinking? If so, that's a lot to digest.

First of all, how does the malware get into the hominid wetware? Where does it come from? If we stipulate that God didn't create it, then how does it get here?

And by "here" we are of course referring to Genesis 3, which is perpetually speaking to us from There to Here in vertical phase space, i.e., from Celestial Central to our 4D outpost at the edge of the subjective horizon.

Again, the real trouble can't come from the body, which only has a few simple needs and impulses that are easily satisfied. Indeed, since the body as such doesn't exist within the infinite subject, it doesn't even know about tomorrow (as is true of any animal).

However, it is incorrect to say that human beings "have" a body -- or even "have" a mind. Such thinking betrays an ontological (and ultimately Gnostic) dualism that just isn't there.

Rather, human beings are always a "bodymind." You can't even say that "we" are "embodied," because you've again separated the subject from its matrix in a way that we never encounter in the real world.

I think also that we need to widen out our conception of what it means to be embodied.

Language, for example, is an extension of the body. When we speak, we are simply using a thingy inside our necks to vibrate the air around us in order to tickle a bunch of little hairs within the listener's inner ear. In this context, it's a miracle that anyone understands a thing I'm saying (even leaving aside distortions resulting from the malware).

The question was raised in yesterday's comments as to whether our fallen condition is necessary or contingent. Was it inevitable that the humans would mess things up so badly? If so, how come God didn't foresee it?

There seems to be a genuine orthoparadox at work here, similar to the idea that we are created in the image of God, and yet, in need of redemption. The former would seem to obviate the need for the latter, but there you go. We all need a vertical lifeline.

Similarly, we are told that the creation -- man included -- is "good." Why then the mischief and mayhem?

Commenter Gandalin is on the bright track, noting that there must be some sort of "fall" woven into the very idea of creation, since it implies an existence separate from the Creator:

"And yet, in another sense... the material Creation is the apex and pinnacle and purpose of all of the 'higher' levels that progressively (or perhaps discontinuously) lead to Malkuth" (the latter term referring to the crystallized and coagulated material ghetto unhappyted by us I-ambodied malkutents).

But if I understand rightly, we actually inhabit the entirety of the Sephirot, at least implicitly or in potential (which is sort of the Whole Point). The Sephirot essentially maps the possibilities of Spirit, from top to bottom, Keter to Malkut.

Antother subtle point: the Sephirot may be thought of as a kind of manifestation of the unmanifest God. Behind it -- and totally infused by it -- is the Ain Sof, which I believe literally means No End. It is uncontainable, unimaginable, beyond all categories. It is utterly transcendent, for which reason it is also immanent in everything.

In other words, since it cannot be contained, it is present in every where and every thing. It is the mOther of all, the womb with all views and the mamamatrix of all Neovelty.

Wo! Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K!

Yes, you might call this ainsoferable mystery 'O' for short.

It just so happens that I am reading a book that hardy-har-harmonizes with these thoughts, Foundations of Christian Faith, by Karl Rahner. It's extremely challenging, so I cannot give a general raccoomendation -- like a combination of Heidegger and the Philokalia. If this is the Foundation, the mansion must be something else.

In discussing this "foundation," Rahner does just that: he drills all the way to the bottom, in the effort to establish the cosmic and ontological principles that make such a weird thing as Christianity possible. In other words, Christianity, if it is to make sense to human beings, must be in conformity with "the way things are," including all of the things that are prior to Christianity as such -- things like embodiment, for example, or having a language, or being a person.

For example, this word "God." Note that the apostles didn't first have to establish the existence of this entity, and then go about describing Him. Rather, they go straight to the description, and waste no time establishing the principle of God.

But as I said, Rahner digs deeper. Which is clearly necessary in our day and age, when so many people doubt the very existence of God. You can't just tell someone what God is like, if they have already rejected his existence. So we moderns have a lot more spadework in terms of building the foundation.

In practical terms, this means that it is much more difficult to be a believer today than it was 1,500 or 1,000 or 2,000 years ago. It's not even clear what sort of conscious "decision" was necessary to be a believer back then, since there were no unbelievers.

There is a kind of reverse analogy to contemporary times, since no one today has to make a conscious decision to accept science. Rather, you have to make a conscious decision to reject it, and even then you have to be more than a little crazy to do so.

Conversely, no longer can faith be "taken for granted" and "supported by a homogeneous religious milieu common to everyone" (Rahner). Look at the Islamists, who want to shove all this novelty back into the tiny bottle that existed in 800 AD. That's pathetic, and unworthy of any God deserving of worship.

Rahner wants to show that it is possible to live a Christian existence with "intellectual honesty," but again, an honesty that penetrates all the way down, deeper than both science and typical churchianity. This requires no less than an integration of everything, and you have to admit that there is a helluva lot more to integrate today than there was 2,000 -- or even 100 -- years ago.

But ironically, as we shall see, even the fact of so much new stuff to integrate speaks of the Hidden God alluded to above, who is again the source of novelty, and why things never get boring around here. Not only is God the cure for boredom, He is its radical antithesis. If nothing else, He is the highest form of entertainment.

Remember, we're not just talking about scientific developments, but "all the various non-scientific manifestations of the life of the spirit in art, in poetry, and in society..."

Rahner describes a kind of "anonymous" and preconceptual knowledge of God that is present in, and available to, anyone, theist and atheist alike. It is frankly why we -- and all cultures -- have the word "God," and why the word can never be eliminated from the human vocabulary.

Even if all people were self-described "atheists," we would still have this word, since the very existence of human beings is unthinkable without it. To put it another way, the moment we have persons, we are going to have the concept of God.

Why is this?

That's a big subject. To be continued...


mushroom said...

...a kind of manifestation of the unmanifest God. ... is the Ain Sof, which I believe literally means No End. It is uncontainable, unimaginable, beyond all categories. It is utterly transcendent, for which reason it is also immanent in everything.

This is so much more fun than talking about which moron will get to run the asylum kiddie train for the next four years.

swiftone said...

Wo! Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K!

Voting present for the moment. I've voted and there's no more to do wrt an election until watching the returns tonight. So meditations on malware? Sure why not! Carry on. looks like a great vein of ore.

Rick said...

"Again, the real trouble can't come from the body, which only has a few simple needs and impulses that are easily satisfied."

Which is why I claim: there is no such thing as meaningless sex.

A theory, which is mine.

Rick said...

"There seems to be a genuine orthoparadox at work here, similar to the idea that we are created in the image of God, and yet, in need of redemption."

Apparently, you can't give a gift and be All Gift at the same time. Somethugs got to fall.

But we do get that Return Paradise Authorization Number if we want to make the call. Heavenly operators are swording by..

Gagdad Bob said...

For people with no need of a human master, today is just like any other day, only worse.

Rick said...

And such small portions!

ted said...

"Conversely, no longer can faith be 'taken for granted' and 'supported by a homogeneous religious milieu common to everyone' (Rahner)."

While we may have a harder time accepting God in this day and age, it seems when we do, there is something deeper as to how we make it our own in a culturally relevant way. As you say, there is so much more to integrate, along with our highly individuated sophisticated selves. I would say that something emerges in that space today that never existed before. Not the nature of God, but how we relate to God in an ever more complex, emerging world space.

Gagdad Bob said...

That's true. There's a kind of "compensatory grace" afoot.

Rick said...

Btw, OT, this is an excellent interview of Jonah Goldberg -- especially today -- the last 20 minutes of it or so:

Uncommon Knowledge - Jonah Goldberg

Skorpion said...

Speaking of "mind parasites"....

Gandalin said...

Hi Bob,

You are on to some very good stuff here.

I think you are right about the presence of all of the Sephiroth.

Usually we translate Ain Sof as No Limit, rather than No End, but that amounts to just about the same thing.

Magister said...


Charles Taylor agrees.

julie said...

I dreamed of Sephiroth once. I couldn't take it all in.

Gagdad Bob said...

Raccoons don't have to read the article to know that O + O > O, even while O + O is always O nonetheless.

Gagdad Bob said...

or, from the human standpoint the horizon of O is always expanding....

julie said...

Yes, it is soph-evident. Always nice when science agrees, though.

Jason T. said...

Man, that post was phenomenal. I especially liked this:

" Not only is God the cure for boredom, He is its radical antithesis. If nothing else, He is the highest form of entertainment."

This is so true. When one reaches the point of true self consciousness and takes on the burden of responsibility that comes from their own human re-cog-nition, ones bodymind becomes an expression of infinite depth, vertically and horizontally. I, personally, have reached a point that the seeking out and eradication of mind parasites has become better 'entertainment' than any television show or movie, because I am gaining understanding of Reality and Nature through the illumination of my own misapprehensions. On the flip-side of that, dwelling in Him (or Her) becomes a joy that manifests through my own lifetime idiosyncrasies, like God is supercharging my past through the vehicle of my imagination and offering me a glimpse of His Genius through this highly individualized container.

Literally, I am participating in Him and with Him. Simply incredible.....

julie said...

What is it about the fallen nature of mankind that makes humans so happy in their chains?

I suppose I should be glad that Americans still break fairly even; think I saw something this week where Europeans favored Obama roughly 90%.

Jack said...

The question is, regardless of the outcome tonight, how much longer we will be able to continue to still break even?

A Romney Presidency might be able to buy us a little more time. We will know soon enough.

julie said...

Perhaps I'm being overly pessimistic, but if that many people are willing to be blind to Obama's presidential faults, then he is simply a symptom. Frankly, I think we're passed the tipping point.

Also, as DH predicts, after this the Democrats will never again run a straight white male candidate...

mushroom said...

You're right, Julie. Obama is just a symptom. The Matrix is appealing as long as you've got your electronic drugs and your illusions.

There's always a remnant. It won't be the majority.

julie said...

Yeah, I know. Way it is. DH and I were just talking about that, about the kind of world our kids will inherit. This doesn't change anything about how we will raise them. If they are part of the remnant (ha-autocorrected to "eminent"), that is all we could ever wish for, no matter what happens herebelow.

Jack said...

A small measure of hope?

julie said...

Apropos your comment over at Gerard's, I lost much hope after watching my family (for the most part) go all out for Obama. They're all mostly decent people, but they are also simple-minded people who still trust the MSM, and they still believe (all evidence to the contrary) that Democrats are the Good Guys and Republicans are the KKK. There is just nothing you can say or do to convince them otherwise; unless it is stated by CNN, it isn't real. And they still think Obamacare will save them.

julie said...

(oops-that was apropos Mushroom's comment...)

Jack said...


Van Harvey said...

We have been given the gift of living in interesting times. Enjoy!

ge said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ge said...

chris christie: croak on a chicken bone! ya rat bastid

Rick said...

I've distilled it down to this:

Romney lost last night
He didn't have the good sense
To get neck tattoo

Jack said...

So the inevitable and obvious question would have to be: what next?

There is quite a bit of "survivalist" sentiments being expressed on conservative websites. Even with my tendency to pessimism, I don't want to believe that it has, in fact, finally come to that.

So I keep looking at my basic assumptions, at my reasoning, at the evidence that I have used to present my case with the intention of finding where I've gone wrong.

Yet, it seems largely inescapable given all of that i.e. it's hopeless. A large scale correction --by Reality--is inevitable. I can't see that being pleasant at all. Are we all then best advised to become survivalists?


Any clarity would be appreciated.

Magister said...

Pretty much disaster all around. I'm shocked. I had faith that even lefties would see the limb being sawn off from under them. Well, I was wrong. They want to fall into the arms of the State, just as they do in that horrendous mess, "Europe."

Country boys will survive.

ted said...

Like it or not, this country is becoming ever more postmodern. I think Obama can pull off a surprising second term. Remember: "Only Nixon Can Go To China."

Chris said...

Soft despotism is insidious.
Huxley's Brave New World should be standard issue.