Friday, August 01, 2014

Okay, Just Link to this Post Already!

Sometimes I *almost* think it's the convoluted titles that drive people away: "Encircling the Adversary in Metavangelism." Wha? Click. I should stop trying to be so clever and cute, and just get straight to the point: pay attention to me!

Usually the title just comes to me. But if I have to think about it, we often end up with a cumbersome one like that. Probably the same with posts in general. If I try to be more than the stenographer, I become an agenda-driven scribe unfaithful to the text.

That won't be a problem with this post, being that we're just playgiarizing with another man's aphoristic meditations. Interesting that Don Colacho's aphorisms are the compact distillation of a lifetime of contemplation, and here we are, reversing the process by unpacking them for all they're worth. Is there any excuse for this? We'll come back to that question later. Right now we have some thievery to do.

To remind the reader, we have been engaging in the verticalisthenic exercise of reimagineering tradition: reimagineering because higher truths must be nourished in the imagination; tradition because without its authority, we are just deepaking the chopra, or enlisting fantasy to rebel against reality.

Ah, beautiful: "To convince one who holds his own opinions is easy, but no one can convince one who harbors the opinions of others."

This is again why it is so fruitless to argue with a liberal, since most of their opinions are only backed by the Authority of the Now, i.e., they are utterly conventional -- not conventional wisdom but conventional ignorance, as in Dear Leader.

It would be difficult to arrive at a more pinpoint encrapsulation of Obama and his LoFo whackolytes: No one clings more to his views than the one who is only an echo of his era.

This makes Obama -- and we have made this point before -- the very incarnation of the pneumapathology of the times. He is everything that is wrong with education (degrees in higher bullshit), with religion (membership in the Church of Eternal Resentment), the economy (becoming wealthy and poweful for accomplishing precisely nothing), and with politics (post-constitutional liberal fascism). Obama is -- unfortunately -- a mirror held up to contemporary America, precisely what his skeevy supporters deserve.

"When handling today's events, the future historian will have to wear gloves." Or in the case of this toxic administration, a hazmat suit.

I don't mind Obama having his opinions. To each his own grandiosity. But the fact that he cannot disagree without distorting the views and condemning the motives of his opponents tells you everything you need to know about him, not to mention the indefensibility of his brittle arguments.

Yes, liberals are no doubt on the Right Side Of History, for "Political cowardice baptizes itself: 'I respect the sense of history.'" Progressives are the only people who try to tell truth by the calendar.

Not to re-belabor the point, but "Modern man does not imagine an end higher than service to the anonymous cravings of his fellow citizens." How could he? For the Darwinian fundamentalist, what is man but a high-maintenance ape, the genetic mutation from hell?

No, it's worse than that: "The human has the significance of a swarm of of insects if it is merely human." Or, to paraphrase Schuon, modern man is either merely human or all too human, which amount to the same thing, a big nothing-butthead.

Here is a subtle one: "Paganism is the Old Testament of the Church." This is true in the obvious sense, but we can also see how the modern pagans of the left are just Christian heretics, or else people who have failed for whatever reason to ascend to their properly divine-human station. Progressives are the Old Testavus for the restavus, i.e., what we must transcend, not what we should sink to.

I suppose one reason I love these aphorisms is that they effectively boil down what I've been bobbling on about for the past 2,500 posts, for example, "In the beginning was nothing and it believed nothing was god, and was made man, and dwelt on earth, and by man all things were made nothing."

Although this may sound like a parody, it is nothing more than an explicit expression of the ultimate principles of secular (sub)humanism: if materialism is "true," then of course everything is meaningless, of no possible significance. Man is the Evangelist of Nothing. You know, like MSNBC.

This begs the question of why he evangelizes, and, for that matter, why our trolls cannot stop themselves from commenting here. That's weird, isn't it? Is the troll's nihilism an adequate explanation for the compulsion? I don't see how. There is something else going on, almost like a misguided search for truth or something. As if he'll find it here!

"The stone is right, wherever it falls." Only man can be wrong, depending upon how far he has fallen.

Or in other words, "whoever speaks of error" speaks of freedom. Which means that freedom and truth are absolutely covalent, the one impossible in the absence of the other.

I might add that because freedom IS, truth IS, and therefore God IS. Likewise, to affirm that the truth sets one free is to affirm that freedom sets one on the path to truth. Otherwise life is just an endless night of bupkis, i.e., existence lost in the eternal bewilderness of being, a blandscape of many roads leading from nothing to nowhere.

It is also why "The freer a man believes himself to be, the easier it is to indoctrinate him." In other words, the cosmic heresy of freedom without truth results only in opinions, just tenured primates clamoring for attention and status with the latest and most fashionable nonsense.

What was this post supposed to be about? Imagination? "The redemption of reality is the function of the imagination."

Yes, but "The deluded are wordy."


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Encircling the Adversary in Metavangelism

To remind the reader where our head has been lately, it has been exploring the question of reimagineering tradition in general and Christianity in particular for the present age, without in any way fundamentally altering or diminishing the message. And before I was carried down some interesting byway, I was consulting with Elder Colacho, raiding his fridge for any tasty morsels on the role of imagination.

Of course, as soon as I do this, I am distracted by aphorisms covering other subjects, such as: "The world is explicable from man; but man is not explicable from the world."

This is precisely what I mean when I say, for example, that man explains Darwinism, and that therefore Darwinism cannot (fully) explain man. This is a simple truism that most anyone who hasn't attended graduate school should be able to grasp, and yet, profound in its consequences. Borrowing a geometrical analogy, either we contain Darwinism, or vice versa; either we can wrap our minds around it, or it encloses (literally) our minds.

The mind-altering conclusion, according to Elder Don, is that "Man is a given reality; the world is a hypothesis we invent."

No, this is not permission to go stark raving Deepak! But it does go to our reimagineering project, because the world we hypothesize today is quite different from the world hypothesized by our predecessors. The science is never settled, even if the principles animating science are.

Thus, beautiful though it may have been, none of us are able to enter the grand synthesis of the medieval mind and actually live there. Yes, we can visit it, like a museum or cathedral, but it simply isn't the world we inhabit.

As such, we need religion to address this here world, the world of big bangs and cosmic evolution and psychobiology and history and other religions and all the rest. It can be done. It must be done. It IS being done. Thy will be done.

Here is another Critical Idea, expressed with maximum concision -- meaning that the pounds-per-square inch it places on your head is quite high, like a diamond stylus in a record groove: "Homogeneity drives out God. Secondary characteristics are Jacob's ladder."

This is a hierarchical cosmos, with many vertical degrees. It is not just God and man, as, say, Muslims and certain modern Christian fundamentalists believe; nor is it matter and motion, as materialists believe; nor, for that matter, is it state and subject, as the left believes.

Another aphorism reads, "Although a hierarchical society does not necessarily educate, the egalitarian society can never educate."

Example? Here in California -- a failed state misruled by one party government -- it is the Law of the Bland that all textbooks must give equal time and treatment to blacks, homosexuals, women, Muslims, people who cut off their dicks, and any other self-styled victim group.

Thus, knowledge is not a function of truth situated in a vertical hierarchy. Rather, it is horizontalized and made the function of a perverse egalitarianism. Therefore, we end up with my truth and your truth, black truth and gay truth, penile truth and vaginal truth. Oh, except penile truth is an oppressive lie of the patriarchy. Castrate it from the textbook!

If there is a hierarchy -- which there is -- then it is conditioned from the top. In other words, exclude the top and you destroy the hierarchy, as you have descended into relativism. The Absolute is the only thing that saves us from the tyranny of relativism. Which is why it is so hated by the left. Our success is predicated on their freedom, whereas their success is predicated on denying ours. Not exactly a symmetrical war!

Remember: the egalitarian society cannot educate. Which is why the most educated (or indoctrinated) people in our society are the most foolish. Just ask yourself: what can Obama the Egalitarian teach us? That is correct: nothing. Or nothing but pompous and self-refuting lies -- lies like "Muslims helped build the very fabric (sic) of our country." Really? When was this? I know that Jefferson read the Koran, but only because he wanted to understand the mindset of our enemies. I myself purchased one on 9-12-2001 for similar Jeffersonian reasons.

Another aphoristic corollary: that the most important ontological category is person. At one end of reality is person; at the other is nothing. In the book, we symbolize this O and Ø. However, there is hierarchy in between, i.e., degrees of being trailing off into nothingness as they increase in distance from the source.

But orthoparadoxically, no matter how far from the source, the source still surrounds and interpenetrates us. The nothing-world of the existential left is just a hypothesized world taken to its absurd extreme. For God is not the "compensation for lost reality," but rather, "the horizon surrounding the summits of conquered reality."

God is ALWAYS the God of the gaps, because God is the immanent reality who unifies them -- or in whom they are unified. The One and many are complementary, although the One is ontologically prior -- just as the Father is "prior" to the Son, even though the Son has never not existed. I would say the same of world and God. It's what a creator does, i.e., create. With God there is always a world, a creation, a hierarchy. Just not necessarily this one.

"Hell is a place identifiable only from Paradise." Which is why leftists cannot see the hell they are creating, precisely. It is also why they see and are even persecuted by paradise. The leftist lives in hell, therefore his life is organized around the attempt to transform this to heaven, which he believes he can do because of his prior flattening of the cosmos (due to the rejection of hierarchy). Remember the wise words of our Dear Leader: the white man's greed runs a world in need. Thus, get rid of these white European pests and voila, heaven!

Yes, like the pageant of heaven at our southern border, or in the Arab world, or in Africa, or in Detroit. See my egalitarian parade passing!

"Faith is what allows us to wander into any idea without losing our way back." And not only! Rather, it is what allows us to both see and situate a truth in the cosmic hierarchy. Without faith there is no truth at all, just opinions. Nor is any opinion higher than another, as in a California textbook.

Yuck: revolution isn't what it used to be. Alert humans will have noticed that it has been reduced to "an intoxication of the soul invaded by one's feces." Strong language, to be sure, but have you ever smelled the fragrant comments of our anonymous troll? Proof that in a farting contest there are only losers.

To paraphrase another aphorism, dying societies accumulate laws like a dying man does remedies. When even the Washington Post notices the lawlessness of our law-loving Washington pest... I'll let you complete that sentence.

But that's what leftism does: it is the never-ending attempt to "institutionalize what is uninstitutionalizable." This goes to the aphorism above about trying to contain the uncontainable, who is ultimately the Metacosmic Person and his reflections herebelow.

Which reminds me of a tossed off thoughtlet by the Happy Acres guy, to the effect that, in the face of liberal arguments, his mind instantly goes "meta" and starts running circles around them.

You know the feeling, right? It occurs for a number of reasons, first, because liberals have assimilated so may false first principles; second, because these principles are unexamined; third, because they fervently argue the implications of these crazy principles; fourth, because they have ready-to-hand revisionist bullshit to support the principles; fifth, because we rejected those things so long ago that we have forgotten how to be so stupid; sixth, because they have systematically closed their eyes to that reality which transcends, infuses, orients, and grounds us.

What I want to say is that a Raccoon should be a metavangelist of the divine imagination.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Reality: Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later

"The challenge to Christians in any age," writes Moore, "is to reinterpret the common mind in new circumstances, and to apply the model of an integrated vision... in times that always seem 'unpropitious.'"

His use of the term "common mind" follows Chesterton, who says that it refers to the "integrating tendency in human tradition." It is that upon which the minds -- the minds of the great -- converge:

"Commonness and the common mind are now generally spoken of as meaning inferiority and the inferior mind, the mind of the mere mob. But the common mind means the mind of all the artists and heroes; or else it would not be common" (Chesterton). Thus, he is referring to "a principle of integration, and integrity, in the nature of the human person, and in the nature of human society."

Come to think of it, Obama must be our first president who is completely outside the common mind. Due in part to an elite provincial education that seems to have successfully sheltered him from reality -- including the reality of his own mediocrity -- he either has no familiarity with our traditions or has undisguised contempt for them.

Obama's heroes are not our heroes, as seen most recently in his treatment of Israel. He obviously doesn't revere the founders, much less the unalienable rights they enshrined. He peevishly sent Churchill's bust packing. He has named two idiots to the Supreme Court whose minds who could hardly have less in common with ours, to put it charitably. His spiritual mentor is a man from whom a morally serious person would shield his children. And his son -- his image and likeness -- is any pot-smoking adolescent sociopath who resembles Trayvon Martin.

The common mind goes to a common reality. But multiculturalism boldly assaults our common reality head on, without apologies. And "when a society departs from sane norms, a heavy reckoning will have to be made before it is returned to them" (Moore). So, put on your seatbelts. We've got a ways to go before the Big Correction.

As to the left's thuggish assault on reality, Chesterton famously observed that every modern philosophy begins with the sacrifice of "a sane point of view," or the acceptance of "something that no normal man would believe."

These sacrificial insanities and inanities are everywhere, and you might say that political correctness is their liturgy. Here is a seemingly minor and yet thoroughly typical example of an otherwise decent reporter cluelessly passing along Hamas propaganda. Ho hum. The beauty of the left is that it permits people to embrace and support objective evil without even trying. The devil could accomplish little without enlisting good intentions.

Disintegration of the common mind is both "the cause and consequence of a fragmented society." How could it be otherwise? The question again is how to recover that common mind -- to reinterpret and reapply it in these novel human circumstances, to the "spirit of the age."

A more subtle point is that integration and self-rule are really two sides of the same reality, whether individually or collectively. One reason "communism" works in the family is that the family is the quintessence of integrated unity: I and my wife and my child are truly one.

But I am not one with Al Sharpton or Eric Holder or Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid or Rachel Maddow or Lois Lerner. Rather, they simply want to impose an impoverished oneness from on high, which is not unity but tyranny. You can't be one with people who have completely different values, let alone people who make you want to vomit.

Note also the critical point that the integrated oneness of the common mind extends into time, thus leading to the corollary that we live in a "democracy of the dead." Yes, we are disenfranchised in this world, but more importantly, so too are our illustrious ancestors who fought for and transmitted the common mind for us to pass along to future generations. High crimes and misdemeanors? Those are trivial things compared to Obama's treatment of certain dead white -- or black or Jewish or whatever -- males who surpass him in every way.

Thus we have infinitely more in common with the saints, heroes, martyrs, and geniuses of the past than we do with these idiots of the present. My heroes are not Obama's heroes because my first principles are not his first principles. Nor do I want to be One with him. Rather, I just want him to leave me alone. Is that too much to ask?

Yes, for a leftist it is too much to ask, because their first political principle is the state, not the individual. "The process of secularization in modernity," writes Moore, "involves the growth of state responsibility for, or control of, those areas of life which once belonged to individuals, or religions, or educational institutions or voluntary associations, or other bodies that are separate from the Government."

But all of this follows ineluctably from first principles, or from the initial insanity, if you will: truth is relative = there is no truth = man cannot know truth = there is no reality = there is only power. Obama is our first truly Machiavellian president -- I mean to his empty core -- for as Leo Strauss observed, the United States is the only country "founded in explicit opposition to Machiavellian principles."

Which are whatnow? A lot of things, but this will do for now: "Machiavellians are not motivated or even responsive to aspirations that posit universal justice, a social, political, and individual good." These latter but serve "to obfuscate the real issues about power and collective self-interest" (McAllister). Thus, you could say the Machiavellian runs in precisely the opposite direction of the common mind.

And it is a direction, not a static thing. McAllister writes that it runs counter to "partnership with what is common to all men, that is, with the divine nous or reason that transcends them all. Through participation in what is common, men become a community" (emphasis mine).

Thus, the first crime of the left -- and the one that makes all the others possible -- is the rejection of what transcends and therefore unifies us. That is why they hate God, because God blocks the way down.

Or, to quote an aphorism of Don Colacho, "All truths converge upon the one truth, but the routes have been barred."

But you can't bar every path, any more than the Berlin wall could stand forever, for "anything which sets itself up" in opposition to "God and created nature cannot endure long, since it separates itself from the universal source of life. So in the end, the state that relies more on power, the ability to coerce, will become an evacuated thing..." (Moore).

Let us hope and pray that this end is near and that we survive the Great Adjustment.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

God: 'I Am the Imaginator'

While we're on the subject of imagination, I thought I'd consult some of the elders, beginning with Webster. There is a very long entry for imagination, even longer if we include its many cognates, e.g., imago, imaginal, imaginator, and others. Interestingly, right before image is ilysiidae, a genus of burrowing snakes. After imago comes imam, and it's all downhill from there.

The first definition of imagination is the most useful: an act or process of forming a conscious idea or mental image of something never before wholly perceived in reality by the imaginer; or the ability or gift of forming such conscious ideas or mental images for the purposes of artistic or intellectual creation.

Mr. W. adds that it is "freer of derogatory connotations" than similar words such as fantasy, and also more "comprehensive," going as it does to "the power of creating." In contrast, fantasy "suggests the power of unrestrained, often extravagant or delusive, fancy." Thus it is not so much a power as a weakness.

In my view, "creation from nothing" is something of a pleonasm, since creation -- if it is truly creative -- is always from nothing, even if it is just a little bit of nothing.

You might say that the more creative the person, the greater the nothing. Thus, when we say of God that he creates ex nihilo, it is a matter of degree, not kind. Nor do I think for one moment that this detracts from the divine majesty of the Big Nothing, since everything ultimately arises from this ancient groundmother.

Speaking of whom, imagination is "the power to conceive." You parents out there will relate, because I couldn't possibly have conceived or imagined my son. An individual person never existed before and will never exist again.

The imagination is the fertile ground (or womb) into which religious imagery falls and takes root. If it fails to do so, either there is something deficient in the imagery or in your imagination. But I'd check the latter first.

As we have said before, only because of God is anything and everything intelligible; but only because of God is nothing totally intelligible, except to the creative intelligence of God. Follow anything back up or down (it doesn't matter which) to its end, and you reach the threshold of nothing. Thus man understands, but he can never understand even the simplest thing completely. Everything is inexhaustibly intelligible because it partakes of the Divine Nothing.

Imagination goes not only to things nonexistent or never seen, but to "things perfected or idealized"; and if the things do exist and are seen, there is still "the genuine artist's gift of perceiving more deeply or essentially and creating the interestingly and the significantly new and vital."

Thus, imagination isn't only central to creation but to the magic of renewal; it is why we do not die of boredom, or why some people aren't compelled to become political activists, conceptual artists, or community organizers.

It is also bound up with childhood, or rooted in a quintessentially childlike mode of cognition. The entry has a passage from H.G. Wells, who observed that "all youth lives much in reverie; thereby the stronger minds anticipate and rehearse themselves for life in a thousand imaginations."

There is another useful crack by F.A. Pottle, that imagination "gets at relationships that are true at the deepest level of experience," and one by Roy Pascal that it is "a means of deepest insight and sympathy." It allows us to grasp "a deeper, more organic reality" (G.D. Brown).

Yes, yes, and yes: imagination gets at deep experiential truth, which is experienced in the body as in-sight and sym-pathy. Insights are sights inseen, while sympathy is feeling infelt. Each relies upon a kind of intersubjective resonance from person to person; it is what allows you to think what I'm thinking and for me to feel what that patient or baby o' mine is feeling. And both operate vertically and horizontally (or horizontally because vertically), or with God and man.

The adjectival form, imaginative, means "created, inspired, guided, or drawn from the imagination and not from known facts or sources." And an Imaginator is A Person Who Creates.

Well, I hope that wasn't too beastly pedantic. But I wouldn't have gone on anon if I hadn't found it helpful; or, I would have stopped if it had ceased being provocative and informative. For what immediately occurs to me -- and I imagine you as well -- is that God must be imagined as Imaginator in Chief.

Over the centuries, God has acquired a lot of useless and misleading baggage. All of this baggage, of course, comes from man. It originates in fantasy, or fancy, or thought, or feelings, and is then projected onto God, who may or may not comport with the mental product. Some of it sticks while some of it falls away, but it seems that even the best of it may be contaminated with a bit too much from the human side.

This, I imagine, is part of what God has in mind with the Incarnation: no, no, no, you've got it all wrong again. Here, let me come down and show how it's done. Thus, Jesus is God's imaginative icon of man and man's imaginative icon of God, so we may meet in the middle.

The next elder I would like to consult is Don Colacho, whose pithy aphorisms are the quintessence of imaginative resonance (≈). Here, this one goes to the antiseptic and soul-killing ideals of secular fundamentalism: "When things appear to us to be just what they seem, they soon seem to be even less." And "History exceeds what merely happened." How much more does it exceed what liberals think happened!

"The devil comprehends everything, but is not able to create anything." With which you could have a Butterfield day with the following headline: Smartest President Ever Hasn't Created a Damn Thing.

"Genuine atheism is to the reason of man what the ten-thousand-sided polygon is to his imagination." For as we have said before, it is impossible to imagine atheism (it is more a passive fantasy); and with a fully functioning imagination one is unlikely to be an atheist.

"Creation is the nexus between eternity and history." Oh My Yes. Or between vertical and horizontal. It is irreducible to anything else, for it is where the cosmic arteries of nothing and everything converge in the heart of the imagination.

That's about it for today. I got nothing.

Monday, July 28, 2014


I can see by the unforgiving clock on the wall that a new post is not in the offing. So, the best we can manage is a tweet or two. Meanwhile, an open thread, the difference being that ONLY anonymous commenters may participate. Everyone is free to chime in, so long as we don't know your identity -- you know, like a masquerade ball.