As you know, I don't like to just read a book -- in this case, James Schall's The Modern Age -- and toss it aside without further re-flection. The following are just spontaneous impressions, not any kind of formal review. Some of them go to yesterday's comment thread, in which the question was raised as to whether man is evolving (in the vulgar Darwinian sense) or whether he has a fixed nature.
Our position has always been that we are orthoparadoxically evolving toward our fixed nature, both in general (i.e., "humanness" as such) and individually (i.e., a deepening of our unique personal identity, which is ultimately only possible within the intersubjective space between person and Person, ¶ and O). Man's puzzling charge is to become who you are! (emphasis God's).
True, there are other theories, but they don't interest me because they don't account for my life and my experience. I concede that these theories my well apply to insects or bats or atheists or progressives.
Which reminds me -- one of the literary touchstones of the 20th century is Kafka's The Metamorphosis. Its famous deadpan opening line very much expresses the bleak existential tenor of the times, and proved to be an eerily prescient meta phor the nightmares to come:
One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug.
Yes, one of those days. Or centuries, rather. Or administrations.
"What's happened to me," he thought. It was no dream.
Devolution in action! Or evolution, rather, because if metaphysical Darwinism is "true" (which it cannot be, but just for the sake of argumentativeness), then man has exactly the dignity and value of an insect, no more, no less. In that case, Kafka is not just a neurotic schmendrick with terribly low self-esteem, but a prophet.
Millions of European Jews of the 1930s woke up with exactly this experience, having been transformed overnight by evolutionist Nazi ideology into "monstrous verminous bugs."
But the Jews, as always, were the canaries in the world-historical ghoulmind. In the long run -- as promised by the Creator -- things never turn out well for those who persecute the Jews.
Indeed, a very handy way to locate the center of evil is to find out where Jews are being persecuted and dehumanized. Today it is within Islam, academia, and the international left.
Unfortunately for us, the disease has now spread to the White House -- unfortunate because those who curse the Jews are cursed in return. What a way to fritter away divine protection. And for what? So jihadis and liberal fascists will finally love us?
The bottom lyin' looks like this, which I just randomly stumbled upon while looking for an image of Gregor. Just say no to Bob!
No O, no I. No me, no thee, no we, no three. No ʘ and no pilcrow (¶) either.
The only way to retain our Slack and cultivate our Higher Sanity -- and avoid being transformed into an insect -- is to completely reject and bypass the postmodern Creepy Crawler bugmaker machinery.
My son is at that age -- almost eight -- when he is really into dinosaurs. We've been reading dinosaur books at bedtime, but it has never occurred to me to remind him that the ultimate lesson here is that human beings are no different from the dinosaurs, just another meaningless freak of evolution that will soon enough depart from the terrestrial stage, only to be replaced by another freak. And with any luck, this freak will be less destructive to the Mother Gaia than human beastlings are. You know, as if it matters what the fuck happens to the planet if we aren't here to enjoy it.
In other words, I don't transform him into planetary vermin. Which is what would surely be happening if he were being subjected to a secular brainwash in one of our intellectually and spiritually devolved public schools, where one learns how to be a compliant insectoid member of the statist hive.
All of the above occurred to me -- implicitly, anyway -- upon reading a sentence from The Modern Age. Schall makes a passing remark about the forced materialism of the Soviet state, and about how this compulsory misosophy "is a sign of imprisonment in this world not only by a coercive regime but by modern thought itself" (emphasis mine).
One might as well say: One morning, while sitting in poli sci class, Gregor Samsa was disabused of his humanist fantasies of dignity and meaning, and told that an infallible herd of half-educated tenured apes had determined that he was a random and meaningless product of natural selection.
Or: One dreary November morn, Gregor Samsa was dismayed to learn that he had been changed overnight into an anonymous cog in Obama's collectivist machine.
Or: One morning, Gregor Samsa was roused from holy innocence and charged with the vague thought crime of being a guilt-stained and verminous Enemy of the People.
Again, I'm trying to spare my son from all these idiocies, and from an infrahuman fate more generally, i.e., forced materialism. For the truth is much, much stranger. Something like:
One fine morning, as humanoid primates were just waking up from some weird enough prehistorical dream, they discovered that they had been transfigured into an image of God, with all this implies.
Or: One morning, Gagdad Bob awakened to an empty procrustean bed and realized that his professors had been lying to him, and that he wasn't an insect at all. Rather, he woke up to the surprising deuscovery that he was a hooraysurrected mirrorcle of the Abbasolute!