Friday, August 02, 2013

Obama's Credo: If You Can't Denounce Reality, What Can You Denounce?

Yesterday we spoke of our existential prison, in which we are seemingly bound by relativity, hierarchy, identity, and contingency: in short, we are not God, we float between the terrestrial and celestial, and we are who we are unless we are (more or less) someone else.

Of course, not everyone regards our cosmic home as a prison. There are other metaphors one could employ, for example, the Jewish idea of "exodus" (from slavery to freedom) or the closely related Christian idea of a "journey" (from man to God). There is also the Hindu/Buddhist idea of liberation from ignorance or awakening from illusion, or the SubGenius principle of increasing one's Slack.

Only the Gnostic -- in whatever form -- sees the world as a hopeless prison. Premodern gnostics attempted to escape the prison via radical transcendence, whereas modern politico-religious ones do it via radical immanence.

Looked at this way, one can appreciate the formal identity of, say, the ancient cult of Manichaeism and the modern one of Anthropocentric Global Warming.

In both cases, the cultist leaves his human limitations behind -- for he cannot tolerate the tension of living in the ambiguous transitional space of consciousness and history -- and imposes a definitive form on reality. For him, "The Beginning was a mistake to begin with and the end of the gnostic story will bring it to its End" (Voegelin).

Look how Obama, for example, keeps denouncing the very conditions he has aggravated -- e.g., unemployment, "income disparity," race relations, etc. He does this because he doesn't know any other way to engage the world except to attack it. Critique and denounce, critique and denounce, even if he is implicitly denouncing himself.

Remember a few of weeks ago, when Clinton denounced the Defense of Marriage Act that he had signed into law? Same deal. He also denounced the era of big government before he helped expand it to unprecedented size and intrusiveness by supporting Obama. Doesn't matter. He'll denounce it again when Hillary runs for president and needs to attack the future reality she helped bring into being.

Remember, it's not really the problem they attack, but reality. Who, for example, is naive enough to believe the left actually cares about racial discrimination, or education, or unemployment, or healthcare, or women?

In truth, there is always "ample reason to be dissatisfied with the order of existence" (Voegelin). We all want to improve things, but the Gnostic's "resistance to disorder transforms itself into a revolt against the very process of reality and its structure...."

And "at the extreme end of the revolt in consciousness, 'reality' and the 'Beyond' become two separate entities, two 'things,' to be magically manipulated by suffering man for the purpose of either abolishing 'reality' altogether and escaping into the 'Beyond,' or of forcing the order of the 'Beyond' into 'reality'" (ibid.).

The latter is the preferred method of modern political gnostics, and is their motive for the ceaseless critique of reality, even -- or especially -- when they are responsible for it. For example, the War on Poverty began in what, 1965? During a senate hearing, President Johnson's point man in the war, Sargent Shriver, was asked how long he thought the War would need to go on before eradicating poverty: oh, about ten years.

Instead, they have set up an ineradicable infrastructure for generating and perpetuating poverty, and with it, the assurance that they will always have that reality to attack.

It's the same with racial grievance: as soon as one differentiates group outcomes via statistics, one is assured another permanent reality to attack, for groups will always differ in outcomes.

Likewise, in a free society -- or in the absence of a totalitarian state -- income disparity will be inevitable, and so long as nature has a say in the matter, men and women will differ in fundamental ways.

Speaking of impossible realities, the remodeling pests are here again. I gotta get outta' here. To the park!


Rick said...

It's just like the War on The Below Average of Intellegence.
When will it end!

ge said...

Your use of 'Gnosis'--cant you come up w/ one of your descriptive font symbols??---Gnosis ['rigpa', jnana] in many writings ---Voegelin, you rat!--- = gift of God, not mistook worldview puhleeze.
"All true Gnostics find themselves enraptured by the light and gnosis which flows from the heart of God."
that's mas like it

+ my first album was Gnostic Songs ---catch the mirror wordplay?

julie said...

Remember, it's not really the problem they attack, but reality. Who, for example, is naive enough to believe the left actually cares about racial discrimination, or education, or unemployment, or healthcare, or women?

Speaking of which, via Ace:

But he said that for his daughters, “one of the advantages we have” is family members “who are poor” and can illustrate the how those not enjoying the perks of the executive mansion live.

Riiiight. As if his children are ever at any point in their lives going to live a mundane, middle-class existence. Especially since their daddy is working so hard to make the middle class disappear...

Rick said...

A Reality is a terrible thing to waste.

mushroom said...

In fairness, politicians always need a problem to fix. It's probably why the Libertarian Party can't get any traction. "We'll shut everything down and let you fend for yourselves" as a slogan appeals to me, but I don't think I'm the majority.

It's like the drug we were testing in clinical trials one time. It was supposed to help heal bleeding gastric ulcers. And, of course, it had some nasty side effects. But the reason the people in the trial had gastric ulcers was because they were taking heavy doses of NSAIDs. And they were taking heavy doses of NSAIDs because they had arthritis. So they were doomed to epic flatulence and diarrhea because of some shoulder pain.

julie said...

Mushroom, lol.

In fairness, I think the libertarians can't get any traction because they too often come across as people who want to indulge themselves in drugs and hookers without suffering any consequences. As though making everything legal would magically make it all groovy, and harmful only to the individuals who indulge.

mushroom said...

True, the burning issues of the Libertarian platform probably seem much more crucial when one is one toke over the line.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

It's all fun n' games 'till you OD on a hooker.

ge said...

Whaddaya Know, Sis?
-Matter is evil
Maya will trick you, samsara always let you down
This world is a hopeless prison
Our true Home is on high, not this temporary brief vale of tears

which ideas are 'gnostic', which Buddhist-Hindu, which Christian, which Voegelinian?

In this world we have our trials
sometimes lonesome, sometimes blue
but the hope of life eternal
Makes all old hopes brand new

And I don't want to get adjusted to this world, to this world
I've got a home so much better
and I'm gonna go there sooner or later
And I don't want to get adjusted to this world, to this world
Lord, I'm growing old and weary
and there's no place that feels

like home

even Wiki gets it good:
Gnosis is the common Greek noun for knowledge (in the nominative case γνῶσις f.). In the context of the English language gnosis generally refers to the word's meaning within the spheres of Christian mysticism, Mystery religions and Gnosticism where it signifies a "spiritual knowledge" or religion of knowledge, in the sense of mystical enlightenment or "insight". Gnosis taught a deliverance of man from the constraints of earthly existence through "insight" into an essential relationship, as soul or spirit, with a supramundane place of freedom.[1]

bottom line: Gnosis is good for what ails you [Grace by any other name]; historical hysterical """gnostic""" sects that revile existence or that want to Liberal nanny-State-it-up, aint!
-Gnossos Papadopoulis

Gagdad Bob said...

Left wing movie reviewer way beyond parody. William moonlighting?

julie said...

Funny. Speaking of William, is he still your biggest fan?

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Ha! Easily one of the batshit-craziest moonbats I ever heard. Looks like even most Salon commenters agree, and that's no small feat in the annals of the idiotic and insane.

Epic funny from Ace, LOL!

River Cocytus said...

Gnostics - converting esoteric to soteric since forever.

ge, I don't see any reason to defend the capital-g Gnostic - it's a term of art which we all are familiar with. 'gnosis' (knowledge) in the general sense does not itself save anyway, though 'being known' by God does.

Bob said...

I am going to do my best to refer Bill, Hillary, and Barack to you for therapy. How much will you charge?

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