Friday, September 07, 2012

Obama is a Dream Come True. HELLLLLP!

It is a kind of harmonic convergence that we're discussing Voegelin -- that great diagnostician and pathologist of political disorders -- at the same time the DNC -- that roiling asylum of political pathology -- is convening. So many principles exemplified in living and breathing instances!

I mean, imagine misogynistic generals such as Ted Kennedy or Bill Clinton waging war against an imaginary war on women. No, you can't make this stuff up. Might as well have Jimmy Carter or Louis Farrakahn as your standard-bearer against anti-semitism, or have Joe Biden sing the praises of a public education.

It would be inaccurate and uncharitable to say that liberalism involves a collective hallucination. Nor is it a mere fairy tale.

Rather, what we are dealing with here is a collective delusion. It is a "dream of escape" that "intends to overcome the existential tension of imperfection-perfection" (Voegelin).

Consider, for example, how the DNC delegates respond to the suggestion that all corporate profits be banned by the state (in the PowerLine video linked above). This is not like, say, banning unicorns, because unicorns don't exist. So the liberal is dealing with reality, just in an unreal way.

Two elements are required in order for the liberal narrative to gain traction in the psyche and appear plausible. First, as mentioned above, it cannot be pure hallucination, but must at least have the appearance of being "debatable."

However, at the same time -- like an unfalsifiable scientific theory -- "it must be analytically obscure enough not to reveal its character of a dream image at the first glance" (Voegelin).

The elites at the top are aware of this, which is why they don't just "come right out and say it," so to speak. When they do reveal the full liberal monty, it's called a gaffe, because the actual principles of liberalism must always be hidden from view. You didn't build that is a prime example of the genre, or "government is the one thing we all belong to." Oops!

As Voegelin explains, "the dream story must intelligibly and persuasively refer to the real world as the medium of action." Because reality is frustrating, life isn't fair, and envy can always imagine something better, there never is, nor will there ever be, a shortage of existential complaints that may be pathologically converted to politics.

I mean, when even free birth control is elevated to a political issue, you know you've entered a fantasy world. Why not free anything? What's so special about condoms?

In short, there are always enough "grievances from which a revolt can start" (Voegelin). Once the sense of entitlement is stoked and grievances abound, the real fun can begin. The political savior will then suggest or intimate that "history as we know it is coming to an end," and that "the true history of perfection... is now about to begin." Yes, nothing prior to 2008 matters, because we are going to fundamentally transform reality.

But, just as when the dog catches the car, "conflict with reality is practically a matter of self-declaration." In other words, liberals imagine they have a beef with conservatives, which is true as far as it goes. But their real beef is with the structure of reality, perhaps the most important aspect being the reality of human nature.

For example, liberals complain of "corporate greed." They also insist that corporations somehow aren't people, but they're really talking about human greed. They seem to have the naive belief that human greed is somehow eliminated if the person works for the state instead of in the private sector. As if public employee unions aren't sufficient to disabuse anyone of such a naive belief about human nature.

Besides, if greed is all it takes to get rich, what are you waiting for? Go for it!

Thus, it is always critical to bear in mind that the best possible human order will still have a great deal of disorder in it, for the simple reason that there is no secular or state-managed cure for man. Plus, this is the world, not heaven.

Even if you believe there is such a thing as "free healthcare," that healthcare will do nothing for the person who is pneumapathologically crippled inside, at least not intentionally. Ironically, it may eventually cure the liberal, once the quality of healthcare sufficiently declines. But by then it will be too late.

Hence the sufficient reason for conservatism, which attempts to conserve the real order of things, which is again always imperfect (although the archetype it attempts to measure up to is perfect). Conversely, the leftist instinct is to conclude that this order is imperfect -- which it obviously is -- and therefore "fundamentally transform" it.

The problem is, even though these revolutionary dreamers are detached from reality, they are nevertheless a big part of our reality. We can't just choose to have Obama leave us alone, or tell him to go and inhabit his own private fantasy world if that is how he wishes to live his life. No, we are all stuck in his fantasy. We are all affected by people who refuse "to distinguish between dream and reality" -- to see that the chair is empty.

Some of you may have detected something similar vis-a-vis family life. You will have noticed that it is always the burden of the sane one to adapt to the less-than-sane, because the latter cannot adapt to the former. Or, at least one must do this if one wishes to maintain harmony and avoid conflict.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Tweet Nothings

First day of school. Chaos. Traffic. Blah blah blah yada yada. The most I can do is toss out a dozen or so tweet nOthings or new tweetthings before heading out.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The DNC: Nowhere Men in a No-Man's Land

In view of the enormities of contemporary liberalism, it seems like a small thing. Yet, expunging the word God from their platform is both the cause and consequence of an agenda that must revolve around eliminating man in order to save him; or to make man as inconsequential as he can be in order to make the state as consequential as it must be.

It is also fitting, because reference to God in such a pneumapathic atmosphere is hypocritical, unseemly, and cowardly. Again: emulate Nietzsche, and accept the consequences of your nihilism. If you strike a king you must kill him! You'll still be an assoul, but at least you'll walk the walk and not just talk the schlock.

To oust God from the cosmos is to eliminate man. To the uninitiated this will sound polemical, but it is such a truism that it amounts to a banality.

Consider the many references to the Absolute in our founding document: God, Nature's God, Creator, Divine Providence, Supreme Judge of the World, etc. This goes to who we are as a people, unless or until we agree on a new Declaration.

"People" is a mere abstraction if severed from transcendent reality, with no interior unity or ontological reality. Again: in the absence of a common Father, brotherhood is just rhetoric of a more or less cynical nature. All tyrannies stress "brotherhood," "fraternity," "comradeship," etc., by way of compensation for the absence of the Father.

But a herd is not a brotherhood; although, in a certain way becomes one when it is being led to the slaughterhouse. People can suddenly discover their common patrimony under such extreme circumstances.

For this reason, I doubt we'll be hearing too many complaints from evangelicals about Mitt Romney's Mormonism. For inverse -- and perverse -- reasons, the left doesn't complain about Obama's deformed brand of Marxist Christianism.

It cannot be overemphasized that to attack God is to diminish man. Man exists in light of the Absolute. It is what defines man, and distinguishes him from the beasts.

Thus, to eliminate God is to render man an animal only. Is it any wonder that the left is the champion of so many modern vulgarities and animalisms? As witnessed yesterday, nothing excites more passion in a leftist than the prospect of diminishing the "right" to late term abortion and even infanticide.

From where does this right emanate, and when does a woman acquire it? In the womb? I don't think so, for few little girls -- and no normal one -- would choose to exercise it on themselves. Thus, it cannot be a right in the American sense. (And it is the last right Darwin's flatland nature would ever accord an organism, who has only an in-built obligation to reproduce and no right not to.)

Now, only human beings have rights. They have rights because they are human beings, and they are human beings because they live in the tension between relative and Absolute (from whom the rights originate, as set forth by our wiser Fathers).

You could say that animals have rights -- which they most certainly do -- but only if these rights are recognized (in both senses of the term) by human beings. The animal itself knows of no such thing, because it has no conception of the Absolute.

Every animal is a consistent Darwinian and nothing more -- an Is with no Ought. But even a man as intellectually impoverished as Moe Howard will still proclaim: why I oughtta!

A comment by reader Van just reminded me of another unappealing corollary of the left's godlessness: that "Government is the only thing we all belong to." Expressed in a grammatically correct manner, the almighty state is that to which we all belong.

This word "belong" troubles me. One can belong to a church, for example. But if one sours on the preacher, one can quit and join another one.

But when the leftist insists that we belong to the state, he is not speaking of a voluntary association but more in the mode of possession: we belong to the state in the same way my child belongs to me.

But even that is a mischaracterization, because I am not my son's owner, just a temporary custodian who is there to help potentiate his eventual self-possession. To the extent that he remains an immature dependent, then I will have failed as a parent. But when the state makes you an immature dependent, it has succeeded. Big difference.

There are certain intrinsic dualities without which it is impossible to understand man's existential situation. We have already spoken of relative <--> absolute, or man <--> God; there is also adult <--> child, male <--> female, husband <--> wife, time <--> eternity, sacred <--> profane, truth <--> falsehood, soul <--> body, and many more. Man always lives in the dialectical tension between the two principles, the most adequate symbol of which being the Tao (because I can't think of an adequate symbol for the Trinity).

Two things are necessary to understand the symbol of the Tao: first is the encompassing circle, which signifies a deeper unity beneath the dynamic terms. For example, in Genesis this is conveyed via the idea that "God created them man-and-woman" (Plato expresses the same idea, albeit not as adequately).

In other words, man-and-woman is the proper unit of man in principle. But in the manifestation -- the herebelow -- we have the dynamic play between man and woman, through which each party perfects him/herself and reascends toward wholeness and unity.

"At the same time and on another level" (to reference the title of a book by Grotstein), there is the adult <--> child dynamism, through which children become adults and adults become children. Why the latter?

For a number of reasons. First, in order to understand the infant one must in a way "become" the infant, and this is only possible to the extent that one understands and tolerates one's own "internal infant." Much child abuse is a direct consequence of inability to tolerate the latter, who is then projected into the exterior baby and neglected, punished, abused, etc.

But more generally, man is characterized by perpetual neoteny, i.e., "permanent immaturity." Interestingly, volume one of the above-referenced work by Grotstein has a chapter entitled "the once-and-forever-evolving-infant of the unconscious." I couldn't have put it better, for man is always on the way to a perfected manhood he can never reach in the absence of fully realized sainthood. But who more than the saint realizes his childlike dependency upon God?

But infants also dream of unrealizable utopias, which is why they need to be in a tutelary relation to adults (both in the interior and exterior senses; in other words, a mature adult lives in a kind of permanent play with his unconscious/supraconsious mind).

Let's round this out with a little Voegelin, because he provides another perspective on the same reality (i.e., the philosophical, on top of the political, theological, and psychoanalytic).

As we know, the word "utopia" was coined by Sir Thomas More, and means literally nowhere. Among other things this implies that the utopian is a Nobody -- or a Nowhere Man -- who wants us all to belong to his nonexistent Nowhere Land. And ♬♭♫ isn't this a bit like D-N-C? ♪♬♩

How does the Nowhere Man acquire his pathological utopianism?

Voegelin concedes that "it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine in the case of an individual activist whether the suspension [of consciousness] is an act of

[1] "intellectual fraud

[2] "or of pervasive self-deception,

[3] "whether it is a case of plain illiteracy

[4] "or of the more sophisticated illiteracy imposed by an educational system,

[5] "or whether it is caused by a degree of spiritual and intellectual insensitivity that comes under the head of stupidity,

[6] "or whether it is due to... the desire to attract public attention and make a career."

There are, of course, other reasons. But just considering the current crop of regulars appearing on the DNC s*itcom, I would assign [1] to the fraudulent Debbie Wasserman Schultz, [2] to the androphobic feminist activists, [3] to the rank-and-foul delegate, [4] to the brains-with-stupidity of President Obama, [5] to the stupidity-without-brains of Joe Biden, and [6] to the sociopathic opportunist and political climber Charlie Crist.

That's quite a coalition.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

The DNC: Deinstitutionalized National Census

Democrats launched the deinstitutionalization movement back in 1963, after which state mental hospitals began closing one by one, and the chronically mentally ill began dispersing into the streets, under bridges, and into the faculty lounge.

So in this sense, the DNC is a welcome event, because it is the only time we have so many of these lost souls in one place, and can therefore get a handle on the depth and scope of the problem.

In other words, the DNC is an uninhibited celebration of florid pneumapathology, in which we are privvy to a rainbow of disordered thought concerning just about everything and anything, so long as there's a pot of government gold at the end of it.

Viewing the proceedings is very much like peeping through the two-way mirrors that were once deployed in state mental hospitals, through which patients could be observed without disturbing their spontaneous behavior. Your television is like the invisible fourth wall of the insane asylum. But you don't need the quadrennial DNC to peek in, since MSNBC is available five days a week.

We are all familiar with Einstein's theory of imbecility, which involves doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. And in the next few days, we will hear all about why voters should do the same Obama again, even while expecting different results.

Now, man is one. But in what way is he one? Genetically? No, that only accounts for a very superficial oneness of form, not content. Genetics never stopped anyone from bashing in the other guy's skull and eating his brain.

Rather, the true oneness of man derives from the Logos -- the transcendent Reason -- we all share. In the absence of this Logos, no agreement is possible because no unity is conceivable.

To put it in more mythospeculative terms, men can only be brothers if they share the same Father. For the left, fatherhood is unnecessary and probably oppressive. A taste for patricide is not the cause of their exile from the Law; rather, alienation and self-exile render them patricidal, since they feel unjustly excluded from the father's table.

"The Logos," writes Voegelin, "is the common bond of humanity." In its absence there can be only a multitude of private worlds consisting of passion + imagination.

And since there is no father to come down and sort things out -- to pull the cosmic bus over and knock some heads together -- it leads to perpetual brother-on-brother violence -- i.e., sibling rivalry -- in which the more powerful brother prevails. And which leaves sisters completely out of the equation, except as booty. Or, women are acceptable so long as they are a flock of flukes, flakes, and flaks for a phony feminism that simply envies the brothelhood of vulgar menfolkers.

The Logos is the only light we have, or which illuminates us all. For Voegelin, there is inevitable conflict "between the men who lead a waking life and the sleepwalkers who take their dreams for reality."

"I have a dream," said Martin Luther King. It was an eschatological dream -- the same one that animated America's founders -- in which "one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."

Only a severe literalist would take this as a political program. But then the EPA would never permit such actions against hills, mountains, and other rough places.

Again, only brotherhood -- and therefore a descent from common fatherhood -- makes this dream even dreamable: "With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood" (King).

Obama and his fellow pneumapaths profess and practice precisely the opposite: only by provoking the jangling discords of racial resentment and class envy can his band of homeless (groundless) and fatherless (Logo-less) orphans secure power for another four years.

King's dream is not about the vulgar world of politics, but about the proper ground of politics. And "in turning away from the ground man turns away from his own self; thus, alienation is a withdrawal from the humanity that is constituted by the tension toward the ground" (Voegelin).

In other words, man, being uniquely aware of imperfection -- and therefore the superior and the Perfect -- lives in the tension between the way things are and the way they ought to be, the latter of which is articulated via the eschatological dream that lures us in its wake.

In The River, the political moron Bruce Springsteen asks, duh, "is a dream a lie if it don't come true?" No. It is a lie if it does come true, because a dream is a dream and reality is reality. When Obama tries to make the dream from his twisted father come true, it results in a multitude of private nightmares.

In other words, when a person insists that the irrational is rational, he is beyond help. Obama invites us to join him in his alienation from the ground, and to band together with fellow misfits to steal it back from whoever supposedly appropriated it -- millionaires and billionaires, Rush Limbaugh, Todd Akin, Paul Ryan, Ann Romney, or whoever is the personalized and frozen target of the week.

For Voegelin, those who represent the hostile rejection of reality "aggressively claim for their mental disease the status of mental health."

Even so, "man cannot live by perversion alone" (ibid.). We can only take so much harassment from malignant utopians and daydreamers in high places. These are the dangerous idealists who want to inflict their dream

"of perfection by violence on everyman's humanity. In the activist's language, Utopianism has become the great symbol that is supposed to justify any action, whatever its human cost, if it pretends to overcome the imperfection of man's existence."

But one thing you can say about the attempt to get to reality via unreality: you can't here from there. For

The man that is will shadow / The man that pretends to be. --Eliot

Monday, September 03, 2012

President Snowball: Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad

(PeoplesCube didn't build that.)

The Nightmare of Political Identity Disorder

Are we better off than we were four years ago?

I say yes. For one thing, unlike those folks, we aren't staring into the maw of a future with an empty suit occupying that vacant chair at the top. So we got that going for us.

But let's dig a little deeper and find out exactly where we were four years ago. It was here, in this post, which touches on thoughts and how they get that way, and on those political invertebrates we call "independents."

A few preluminaries before we begin. Like you, not all my thoughts come into the world fully organized and integrated with the rest. Rather, I have my share of strays, orphans and lone wolves that deserve to have their little moment in the sun, even if they can't make it into a full post. Open your Coonifesto, page 294, footnote 76:

"Evidently, we play host to about four thousand distinct thoughts in a typical day, one hundred million in an average lifetime. Now we know how many thoughts it takes to fill the average soul (I'd love to turn them off)."

In the case of my thoughts, I actually wish two things for them.

First, I would like them to be internally related, or to cohere into a unified "whole," or seven-dimensional view of the cosmos, both internally and externally.

Of course that is impossible, but one never stops trying. What's the alternative, to live with a hundred million independent thoughts cluttering one's mental space?

No, that won't do. It's no wonder people hold so tightly to bogus religions and ideologies such as Darwinism in order to lend a false coherence to their minds. It's preferable to the anxiety of being persecuted by all those independent thoughts flying about. But this is also what makes leftists, or feminists, or metaphysical Darwinists so brittle, so unable to take a joke at their expense.

True, the purpose of material science is to reduce multiplicity to unity, but only insofar as it pertains to the horizontal. In the effort to forge unity, it a priori reduces the vertical to the horizontal, so that it necessarily ends in a forced pseudo-unity and therefore a false religion -- a graven image.

Now, the second thing I wish for my thoughts -- and it is impossible in the absence of the first thing -- is for them to ascend higher toward their ultimate source, which constitutes the Life Divine, as opposed to the Death Material. Our consciousness does not come from "matter," except insofar as consciousness is first involved (as in involution) in the creation.

No, this is not to build a Tower of Babel, which would be analogous to trying to ascend in a mechanistic or linear way, whereas we want to do so in an organic and organismic way, which is impossible in the absence of the divine telos that meets us more than halfway.

As reader Susannah pointed out the other day, we till the soil, remove the weeds, plant the seeds, etc., but there is an x-factor to all organic growth that is well beyond our pray grade.

And spiritual growth is most assuredly organic growth, only on the vertical plane. If it isn't organic, then you will eventually be headed for a fall, back down to your true level of spiritual development, which will have an intrinsic degree of stability and robustness. Which might be what happens when we die, i.e., our true level of spiritual growth is revealed.

Wait, I just remembered. There's a third thing I wish for my thoughts, and that is for them to actually be mine. Because I'm sorry to say that the average person never even has an original thought in his entire life.

Rather, it has been my experience that most people simply inhale thoughts from the atmosphere, thoughts which are largely mimetic -- meaning in plainspeak that they merely think what others are thinking. (This is one of the reasons the left was so demonically prescient in taking over the educational system, so they could normalize abnormal thoughts and turn them into conventional wisdom enforced by political correctness.)

It is critical to bear in mind that thoughts come from two broad directions. That is, they can emanate from O; or, they can come from Ø. The former are what Bion called "thoughts without a thinker." The latter have been precogitated by someone else, and are like viral memes looking for a human host, where they can settle in, reproduce, and infect other minds. The cultivation of the Silent Mind is our best defense against them, in which we repel them from our center. Boo!

Unfortunately, this is what is presently going on with both campaigns. As we know, there are people who are even more confused than liberals, and these are called "independents" or "moderates."

I mean, if you don't even know whether you are a liberal or a conservative, you are either an ignoramus or a nutcase. It's like not knowing if you're a boy or a girl. Here's a clue: if you don't know whether you're a boy or a girl, you're a liberal. Chas Bono, for example, like Obama, spent much of his early life a broad. That makes him a liberal, not a sexual independent.

There is no atmospheric meme that could induce me to vote for a leftist, as I am opposed to them politically, spiritually, philosophically, scientifically, cosmologically, economically, morally, educationally, psychologically, linguistically, culturally, ontologically, aesthetically, hygienically, and in just about every other -ally.

And I hope that, after 1074 2022 posts, you can see how all of the above categories are organically related -- which goes back to my own attempt to organize my psyche horizontally and vertically.

So the next eight weeks of the campaign are not going to be aimed at you or me. Tactically, that would be a foolish waste of resources, wouldn't it? Rather, the main strategy must involve courting these so called independents -- who are actually quite dependent upon accident and contingency.

In a way, it is quite sad, because what is a human being? There are other definitions, but I've never found a better one than this by Don Colacho: what we call a person is "the permanent possibilty of initiating causal series."

Or in other words, man is a local branch of the First Bank of the Unmoved Mover that is God.

But the independent allows himself to be moved by ephemera, trivia, rumors, wild accusations, passing fancies, drive-by shoutings, etc. Which, in a way, makes him the substance of nothing.

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