Friday, July 26, 2013

Compulsory Utopia and the Lunar Eclipse of Reality

About the "inverse esoterism" of the left. In the real world, vertical space is characterized by the descending and ascending energies we call (↓) and (↑) -- or just say grace and effort, if you want to keep the arrows out of it.

But the purpose of the arrow symbols is to avoid saturating the space with concepts, so as to keep it clear for the acquisition of experience. In other words, the concept of "grace" is based upon an experience that billions of human beings have had. But if one concretizes the word, then one's preconceptions can actually interfere with, or eclipse, the experience.

More generally, everything about religion was originally rooted in experience. Or, put conversely, nothing about it should be inaccessible in principle to experience -- at least someone's experience.

For example, I am not personally a saint. But I am utterly convinced that some people are -- that they have undergone the process of sanctification to its further reaches. And even leaving the existence of the saints aside, we can all have the experience of the sacred -- or of purity, or of holiness -- so we have only to imagine what it would be like to more or less be in that space all the time.

Reality is what persists even if one doesn't believe it. Therefore, if the vertical dynamism of (↓↑) is real, it cannot disappear just because some ideologue refuses to acknowledge it. Thus, in the words of Niemeyer -- an acolyte of Voegelin who some say understood Voegelin better than Voegelin --

"Ideological activism, then, presupposes certain intellectual and spiritual movements which can be seen as two, going in opposite directions."

Fascinating. Tell me more.

"Ontologically, the first of these movements denies reality to the given world of experience and proclaims the reality of a phantasmal realm."

This is what we might call "false ↑," in that it is formally quite similar to the religious person's recognition that there is something wrong with the world, and by extension, himself. Thus, it sponsors the urge to transcend both self and world -- or to be in the world but not of it.

But the leftist reverses things: he is still proudly of the world, but no longer in it. Rather, he is now -- without realizing it, of course -- in philosophical fairyland, relaxing in the comfort and safety of his own ideological delusions.

Now, if he would only stay there, he wouldn't be such a pest. But just as comedians secretly long to do drama, tenured activists -- or the media-politico-academic industrial complex -- aren't content to orally gratify one another, but want to screw around with the rest of us.

In short, there is the matter of that second arrow, (↓). What happens to it? Niemeyer: "the second movement pulls norms pertaining to the phantasmal realm and its present unreality into the world of experience and orients activities by them."


It's the difference between evangelizing and compelling, or between religious freedom and tyranny. Say what you want about my jehovial witticisms, but when I knock on your door -- or rather, you on mine -- I don't drag you in and force you at gunpoint to accept my worldview.

Not so the meddling ↓deologue, who wants to rearrange your world -- and your head -- down to the last detail. Every hair on your head is counted -- and that's a threat!

You see, the leftist's (↑) has given him a special insight into the nature of reality and the destination of history, so it would be cruel and uncompassionate for him to deny us the benefit -- the grace (↓) -- of his vision.

Note that the leftist's orientation is the precise opposite of philosophy. True philosophy involves a love of both reality and truth, i.e., it is "philo-ontic" even prior to being philo-sophic.

But ideology is miso-ontic and therefore miso-sophic -- always involving hatred of the existing world and possession of its secret truth. And if you do not know the secret -- which you obviously don't, or you wouldn't understand this blog -- it is only because you have been brainwashed by -- by whatever is expedient, e.g., the patriarchy, white privilege, heteronormativity, imperialism, Christianism, etc.

In other words, the leftist -- as always! -- accuses others of precisely what he engages in, which is to say, eclipsing reality by escaping into ideology.

In the western tradition, politics is "a matter of action within a world which [man] knows not to have made himself" (ibid.). But the ideologue "fancies himself engaged in making a world that so far has not had any being. Teleologically speaking, political practice is switched from the time dimension of the present" toward "the making of a preknown future."

Therefore, from the warped perspective of these pestilent Emissaries of the Future, "the present is something to be removed" in favor of "the phantasmal future whose origin is in the maker" -- the human maker.

You can't say Obama didn't warn us: on the eve of the 2008 election he told us to prepare ourselves for a fundamental transformation of the United States.

Bottom line: we hold very different truths to be self-evident, i.e., those of the founders at the beginning vs. those of the gnostics at the end of history. For the gnostics, the founders are just old (and white and male and European and rich) and in the way.

As a last asnide, the idea that human beings may gang together in the form of a state and redeem history on their own might be the most impressively pathological one in man's cognitive toolbox. It has certainly been the most deadly.

Related: "There is a puzzle before us. We are at the beginning. What are the steps to re-instill an aspirational and moral culture to all our people?... And how do we keep the vandals from ever-scrambling our efforts?

".... [P]erhaps we will have to teeter at the abyss before there can be an American Awakening.... A rejection of the addiction of dependency. An embrace that all your neighbors and countrymen are at Liberty to pursue their own happiness without your interference...."


mushroom said...

But ideology is miso-ontic and therefore miso-sophic -- always involving hatred of the existing world and possession of its secret truth.

As we might translate "fundamentally change":

"Youse guys got a real nice whirled here. Be a shame if sumpin happened to it. Maybe youse should wise up to our way a'doin' tangs."

Gagdad Bob said...

Sometimes the clever gnostics pretend to sympathize with the founders in order to dupe idiot gnostics like Obama.

Douglas said...

I visited your blog as it was mentioned as one of 50 best spirituality bloggers. I'm sure there's something remarkable in there, but it's a little too complicated for my feeble brain!

mushroom said...

Shoot, Douglas, I've been getting my skull stretched here since 2007. We're pretty much all up the same tree -- raccoons staring at headlights.

Join the party.

julie said...

Hi Douglas, as a starting point I'd recommend Bob's book (available in the sidebar on the main page). If it doesn't leave you thoroughly muddled and wanting more, you'll know you're in the wrong place...

As far as digesting today's post goes, those of us who read here regularly find it useful to pick something that either resonates or leaves your head spinning and start a discussion.

julie said...

Now this is interesting. Apropos the post, the shopper interviewed at the end of the article thinks it's better not to work Sundays; instead of just choosing a job where he himself is not required to work Sundays, he prefers that the stores should [be forced to] remain closed.

Gagdad Bob said...

One of the recurring themes of this excellent anthology of conservative thought (see sidebar) is that trying to fine-tune society to the last detail via law creates disorder, not order (cf. Obamacare for another example). The unwritten laws that actually make civilization possible are so numerous, that trying to reduce them to written form destroys the fabric of society.

ge said...

-Been years since i saw this magazine but found a good interview w/ Snowden's journalist connection

"But interestingly the most vicious and vehement attacks on my reporting have come from Democrats. Democrats and progressives are the ones who were my loudest cheerleaders when I was writing this stuff about the Bush Administration, and they’ve become the primary source of hostility and contempt now that I’m writing the same exact stuff about Obama.

Is it disheartening to see such a 180-degree turn from former supporters?

I remember I would go around in 2007 and 2008 giving speeches about the Bush Administration, and people would sometimes say to me, “Don’t you realize that once Democrats get into office they’re going to do these same things, and all your allies who are now cheering for you are going to support those policies?” And I would say, “I don’t believe that’s true” — like their dignity would not allow them to spend eight years shrieking about the horrors of these policies, only to turn around and support them because a Democrat was doing it. I turned out to be totally wrong...."

ted said...

Only a top 50 spiritual blogger? Hell, if Bob ranks after the Deepakin the Chopra types, then that list has improper orientation and organization.

julie said...

Bob, I was just thinking recently about how the great strength of America was its culture of trust - a culture which is being systematically destroyed before our very eyes. Mushroom left a pertinent comment the other day about "peak money." In a culture of trust, there is no peak; money - or rather, the economic success which it represents - is limited only by the willingness of individuals to trade the fruits of their labors with the fruits of other people's labors. In a culture of trust, there has grown a dependable expectation that one is trading value for value, and people know that there is a reasonable likelihood that trading will benefit all involved.

However, it doesn't take much to erode that trust. Endemic government corruption and a system of over-regulation will do the trick quite nicely, and suddenly every transaction and every interaction carries with it an element of danger and the potential for even the most seemingly innocent activities to become rife with excessively burdensome complications. Renovating a pool, for instance. Ultimately, a culture without trust can only exist in a state of chronic dysfunction, until you wake up one morning to find that nothing works, and nothing is expected to work, and realize that somehow it's the dark ages all over again.

Vanderleun's commenter had the right of things, to some degree, only I don't have the faintest idea how a culture can re-establish trust once it has been lost.

julie said...

Well, short of a cosmic depth-charge, anyway...

Rick said...

Peak Money is a riff off "Socialism is great, until you run out of other people's money." A sort of finite non-natural resource that you recover with weapons and other valuable surprises.
A culture will re-stablish trust when they get sick of paperwork. I'm there. Call it Peak Paperwork.
Bill Gates received that vision in 1989.

ted said...

I just wanted to share this great 2 minute video by Dan Siegel that sums up a significant cause for materialism (and most other pathological ism's) via attachment theory.

Gagdad Bob said...

That clip of Siegel is great. His books are well worth reading -- at least the ones I've read -- as he is able to express cutting edge psychoanalytic ideas in a reader friendly way, without vulgarizing.

I suspect daycare has a lot to do with the phenomena he describes. How could it not?

And Francis Fukuyama wrote a good book on Trust about 10-15 years ago. It is one of most critical elements of the interior collective infrastructure -- as important as intelligence. Without it, it's as if the arteries of society become completely clogged.

Gagdad Bob said...

Failure to colonize that interior horizon really does turn people into zombies or human animals. It's where Life takes place.

The things flatlanders seem to enjoy doing are pure tedium for me. And the things I enjoy, they don't even know about.

Gagdad Bob said...

This book, The Eyes of the Skin, seems related to the discussion (haven't read it yet). Like Alexander, he tries to account for the ugliness of the human world. In order to create such ugliness, the creators must be somehow cut off from interior reality. They are aesthetically autistic, unable to live in the depth engendered by a harmonization of the senses.

As the description says, "the suppression of the other four sensory realms has led to the overall impoverishment of our built environment, often diminishing the emphasis on the spatial experience of a building and architecture’s ability to inspire, engage and be wholly life enhancing."

Gagdad Bob said...

Speaking of being in desperate need of maternal confirmation, funny and astute article about Carlos Danger. Includes this:

'This week, the Onion featured a particularly timely satirical article: “Unambitious Loser With Happy, Fulfilling Life Still Lives in Hometown.” In the piece, friends express mystification at a happy man’s strange lifestyle choice: ”Sources close to Husmer reported that the man, who has meaningful, lasting personal relationships and a healthy work-life balance, is an unmotivated washout who’s perfectly comfortable being a nobody for the rest of his life.”

Gagdad Bob said...

Trust. The left not only erodes it, but creates its opposite: a culture of paranoia.

Leslie said...

Love this. Humbled that I get it this blog...sort of.

Rick said...

That Roger's Rules piece hits the nail.
I believe the point of it all is the intimidation. So you will know your place.
Recently at the airport I witnessed the attendence of a number of authority personel make an old, very shakey lady get out of her wheelchair and stand, alone, in that scanner with no help. How she didn't collapse I don't know. It was absolutely foolish, and wreckless. She was not at all pleased. She looked frightened from fear of falling. It was disgusting. It was a scene. Everyone was watching.

ge said...

STUDY: Coffee Drinkers Less Likely to Kill Themselves... [drudge]

'Hey [have some] Joe where you going with that gun in your hand?'

meanwhile over in ol' Italia,
hey lighten up!

mushroom said...

I can believe that, ge. There are days when coffee is my only reason to live.

Gagdad Bob said...

This is interesting: explains how and why political correctness makes one stupid, even if one wasn't stupid to begin with.

Olden Ears said...

Douglas - I echo mushroom and Julie. Don't go away. Read the book (I read it slowly, twice). The blog will make more sense - sometimes. "As iron sharpens iron, so does one man sharpen the wits of another" (Proverbs 27:17)

Open Trench said...

All of what we don't like in the world God has willed.

This is hard; but without acceptance we can't grow.

There is nothing but God. Repeat from morning until night.

Rick said...

From Bob's link:

"Surveying the modern intellectual scene, the world of public discourse among the educational elites, I conclude that dishonesty does not only reduce the efficiency and effectiveness of thinking - but it actually reduces applied intelligence - probably by re-wiring the brain.
What I am suggesting is that, although the fundamental efficiency of neural processing is an hereditary characteristic which is robust to environmental differences and changes...habitual dishonesty...will generate brain changes, and a long-lasting...pathology..."

This brings to mind a recent commentary by Father Barron on the movie World War Z where Barron sees a similarity to the Council of Trent teaching that original sin is transmitted with human nature, "by propagation, not by imitation".