Thursday, December 31, 2015

Hope: Natural and Supernatural

This is a post from five years ago BUT it converges on the previous two posts, as it has to do with appropriate and inappropriate forms of hope, i.e., hope as virtue and hope as developmental arrest. It has also been edited and tweaked here & there:

Pieper discusses the quite natural relationship between hope and youth, noting that the two are "ordered to one another in manifold ways."

This almost requires no explanation, and yet, is quite important -- and now that I think about it, undoubtedly helps to explain certain well known psycho-spiritual political pathologies of youth. For example, when the florid hope of youth is combined with its intrinsic lack of wisdom and experience, it produces... well, you name it. Obama is only their latest gift to the world.

Why anyone would place their hope in politics and politicians is quite beyond me; then again, I have only to think back to my own youth to realize that it's actually quite behind me. After all, my first vote was for Jimmy Carter, and in 1980 he was too conservative for me, so my preferred candidate was Barry Commoner of the illoustrious Citizens Party, a socialist front that mainly spread hysteria about nuclear power plants.

Pieper writes that merely natural hope "blossoms with the strength of youth and withers when youth withers." Again, no doubt true. This is obviously a sobering reality, but again, I think it explains why older people who should know better cling to the callow political enthusiasms of their youth. How else could a grown man be taken in by Obama's vacuous hopey-changey rhetoric?

It seems to me that one explanation might be the attempt to revive the kind of exciting hope for the future they once had as adolescents. As they say, when you see an old man with a young woman, it's not her youth he's after.

Likewise, when you see an old fart like Chris Matthews getting all tingly upon hearing his boyfriend speak, the real source of the excitement is not Obama's vague future but Matthews' own specific past. Thus, his recent disillusionment with Obama is just the other side of the prior auto-illusionment. He has awakened to his own projection, and yet, has learned nothing, since he now blames Obama for failing to uphold his beautiful illusion!

Being that politics is a substitute religion for the left, it is understandable that liberals would be prone to creating earthly messiahs. In reality, the entire process obviously took place in Matthews' own fat and spluttering head, that is, the illusion followed by the inevitable disillusion.

Now, the loss of natural hope brings with it the growth of what we might call "natural despair." This only makes sense. In the absence of any transnatural form of hope, it is simply an ironclad law of nature that when we are young the past is essentially irrelevant while the future is virtually unlimited. It is so full of potential that it can be mistaken for O, and can easily serve as a poor substitute.

But as we age, the past grows long while the future inevitably shrinks to nothing. How could one not be quite literally dis-illusioned? As Pieper describes it, the "not yet" of youth "is turned into the has-been," and we become a kind of bittersweet repository of "memories of what is 'no more.'"

Perhaps you have to be of my generation, but for me, there is nothing quite as pathetic as when pledge-drive time rolls around, and PBS disinters the usual decroded hippies to croon the same seedy songs they did 40 or 50 years ago, in the same way, hopefully kindling the same rancid emotions. As if hope is the same thing as embalming fluid.

Can you imagine having to sing something you wrote at the age of 20, while expressing the same emotions you felt then, with conviction? It is no wonder then that these people literally haven't taken a new political imprint since 1967. Ironic too that this desperate flight into the past is called "progressive."

This whole sad spectacle can be avoided with properly ordered hope. Pieper is at pains to emphasize that hope in and of itself is no kind of virtue. Rather, it only becomes a theological virtue when it converges upon its proper transnatural target.

Likewise, hopelessness and cynicism would be quite appropriate in a wholly materialistic worldview, for what is there to hope for aside from the grim maximization of an ever-dwindling pleasure while pretending death isn't right outside the door?

This very different type of transnatural hope is by no means tied to natural youth. However, consistent with Jesus' statements regarding the importance of holy childlikeness, this hope "bestows on mankind a 'not yet' that is entirely superior to and distinct from the failing strength of man's natural hope."

Looked at in this way, adolescents are more than a little hopeless before they gain real wisdom, and especially hopeless, or pathetic, if the condition persists well into adulthood, as it generally does in our tenured and media retardentsia.

Now interestingly, properly ordered (supernatural) hope has the effect of re-infusing, so to speak, natural hope, hence, the cheerful optimism of the Raccoon. We have discussed in the past how (↓) has a kind of "rejuvenating" effect, and how, for example, people literally feel "lighter" after attending a religious service.

Indeed, if I wake up feeling "heavy," I always feel lighter after a post, which is one of the reasons I persist in these verticalisthenics -- to keep the existential pounds off, so to speak. I would no more give up the habit than I would stop exercising.

Pieper writes of "the enchanting youthfulness of our great saints," for "nothing more eminently preserves and founds 'eternal youth' than the theological virtue of hope. It alone can bestow on man the certain possession of that aspiration that is at once relaxed and disciplined, that adaptability and readiness, that strong-hearted freshness, that resilient joy, that steady perseverance in trust that so distinguish the young and make them so lovable."

Which is why we may say with Pieper: God is younger than all else.

And why we may say with Petey: Too old, older than Abraham, too young, young as a babe's I AM. The circle unbroken by and by, a Divine child, a godsend, a touch of infanity, a bloomin' yes.

For in the end, hope is nothing more or less than a trusting and childlike Yes! to the Creator, and the faithful certainty that his creation is indeed good.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Seven Principles, Three Streams, One Love

Referring back to those first three cosmic principles discussed in yesterday's post, they are -- in case you didn't notice -- the theological virtues: faith, hope, and love respectively. Faith is vertical openness, for which we even have a handy symbol, (o).

The second, hope, reminds me of an analogue of God's own kenosis, whereby he empties himself of himself in order to be here below; you might say that we must likewise empty ourselves of ourselves in order to be with God above, in a kind of perpetual movement "toward a fulfillment that cannot be reached in bodily existence."

This is close enough to the symbol (---), which means the attainment of silence, peace, stillness, and tranquility, such that the absolute may be made manifest in us. We must maintain this tension in order for the divine energies to be rendered operative.

The third -- love -- is again in imitation of the Trinity. Love is simply the fact of eternal intersubjectivity, mutuality, self-offering, etc. It is distinction without separation; or better, distinction for the purposes of a higher and deeper union.

Moving on to the next four principles, these are, as you might have guessed, prudence, justice, courage, and temperance, AKA the cardinal virtues.

The first one is huge, and among other things, undoes the subjective turn initiated by Kant, whereby we are trapped in our own neurology and therefore barred access to reality.

Consider: prudence involves making decisions and rendering actions based upon reality revealing itself to us. Ever since Kant, revealing itself is precisely what reality cannot do; thus the provenance of "perception is reality," which represents the precise inversion of prudence.

Yes, I am being slightly unfair to Kant, who would have been horrified at what people ended up doing with his ideas. Nevertheless, once you make that fatal choice -- of beginning with the subject instead of objects -- there is no stopping the eventual reductio ad absurdum of the tenured. As Pieper says, "Man's life is authentic only when he does not allow his vision of reality to be clouded by the yes or no of his own desire."

In short, when it comes to prudent thought and action, we must say Yes to the It Is, No to the I Wish. Note, for example, how most all of the troubles caused by our first postmodern president are due to his imprudent devotion to the I Wish of ideology. Simple as.

Although there are allied catastrophes, most notably, the gnostic cancellation of #2 above, i.e., collapsing the vertical space in order to force heaven upon us now. Ironically, this is what Obama calls hope, which is none other than the abandonment of proper theological hope oriented toward its nonlocal vertical object. Doing so is audacious. I'll give him that.

Speaking of the left, just as liberal hope represents the abandonment of (and by!) real hope, "social justice" involves the negation of our fifth principle, justice. Justice means "the art of living with others in such a way that [one] gives to each what is rightfully his."

Conversely, social justice means deploying the violence of the state to take what is rightfully ours in order to "spread it around" in a way that satisfies third parties. But theft is still theft.

Social Justice also involves the violence of the mob -- as in Ferguson or Baltimore -- to undermine the Is in the name of some mythic Wish. Likewise, there is no War on Women -- although there is surely a war on womanhood by the the left in general and feminists in particular, which represents another rejection of the cosmic Is.

Real justice requires courage, and it takes no courage to be a Social Justice Warrior raiding the public treasury. Is it courageous for Obama to have run up another 10 trillion dollars in debt in order to gift his constituents with other people's money? Yes, as courageous as it is for water to flow downhill.

In reality, it would require courage not to have done this (remember what was said above about saying Yes to Isness and No to Wishes). In contrast, the prudent man "knows that it is necessary to put himself on the line in order to realize the good in this world. He is ready -- with courage -- to accept loss and injuries for the sake of truth and justice."

Our seventh cosmic principle is temperance, "or self-discipline that protects [man] from the self-destruction of pleasure seeking." In a way, we come back to that cosmic turn to the subject and all it implies, for the last word in pleasure must involve being one's own god. In a stroke, this collapses the vertical space, places one in a loveless, narcissistic void, and authorizes desire as the law of the soul.

The very next chapter is another extremely compact one -- little more than half a page -- called Three Streams of Life. Let's see if it can put the finishing touches on what was said above. (I haven't read it yet, but I have a feeling it will be relevant, since all Principles must interact.)

Before we begin, note that around here we often speak of two streams of life, and by extension, a third, that is, (↓), (↑), and their prolongation into the horizontal world, (→).

"The supernatural life in man," observes Pieper, "has three main currents." The first is "the reality of God," which "manifests itself to faith."

In other words, faith -- which is a supernatural inclination or preconceptual readiness to reach out to our nonlocal source -- is already evidence of its object. Just as we wouldn't have eyes were it not for the existence of light, we wouldn't have faith were it not for the supernatural light detected and gathered by faith.

The second stream -- love -- is the affirmation of "the Highest Good, which has become visible beneath the veil of faith." If the paragraph above is (↓), why then this must be (↑).

The third stream is hope, which I would say must have to do with the eventual fulfillment of (↓↑), i.e,, "comprehensive sharing of the triune life of God." But we already take a share in this via (→), do we not, for what is terrestrial love but another icon of the Trinity and the Life therein?

(All quoted material from An Anthology by Josef Pieper.)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

See More with Celestial Principles

When it feels as if there is nothing left to say, it is helpful to revert to first principles. This is like venturing back upstream to the source of thought, whereas down in the lowlands things can appear rather soggy and saturated. But at the source, the water is always fresh and invigorating.

Especially in this day and age, in which there is much more information than anyone could ever assimilate, we need simple principles to organize and reduce it to order and hierarchy (which amount to the same thing), but without distorting or occluding the facts on the ground. With our principles in place, we can see more, not less.

Schuon makes this point in a number of his books. For example, he writes that "Assuredly there are no such things as 'problems of our time' in the philosophers' sense of the expression."

In other words, "there is no thought that one could describe as 'new' in its very foundation," even if there are questions that "belong to our time" -- such as the relationship between science and faith, which wasn't really problematic prior to the so-called scientific revolution.

And yet, the question isn't truly new, and there exist "ancient principles" (for example in Aristotle) that are still as useful as ever in addressing it. Certainly neo-Aristotelian philosophy of science will carry you much further into reality than vulgar scientism or metaphysical Darwinism.

Here is the exact passage I was looking for, in To Have a Center: "There is the order of principles, which is immutable, and the order of information -- traditional or otherwise -- of which one can say that it is inexhaustible."

What I would say is that the expert is entitled to his inexhaustible information, while every man, as man, is entitled to the cosmic principles that render his life intelligible, meaningful, and fulfilling.

And this is the function of religion, not just to assure the latter three, but prior to that, to render the principles -- often in implicate, or symbolic, or mythic terms -- available to every man at every time.

God decidedly does not limit his wisdom to philosophers, intellectuals, and the tenured. Rather, it is equally available in principle to everyone, while addressed to the level they are at -- which is probably what offends the narcissism of the philosophers, intellectuals, and tenured.

Note the title of the book: To Have a Center. This center -- we call it Celestial Central, or Upper Tonga -- is the home of the Principles, or the Principles' Orifice, AKA O.

At the same time, embracing the Principles will help to "centralize" yʘu. These principles, since they are higher up in the cosmic food chain, illuminate what is below; for example, as God illuminates man, man illuminates the animal world. That the reverse is also true is only because of the first principle; in other words, man couldn't illuminate God unless God first illuminated man. As above, so below.

In another book, Schuon says that "To speak of religion is to speak of a meeting between the celestial and the terrestrial, the divine and the human" -- or the Absolute and Relative, the One and Many, the Eternal and Temporal, the Wave and Particle, etc. Speaking of Principles, one of ours is Complementarity, such that "To know what man is, is to know what God is, and conversely" (Schuon)

In a manner of speaking, of course. The principles do not precisely map the territory: "there is of necessity a gap between the expression and the thing expressed, hence between doctrine and reality." It is easy enough for the bonehead atheist to criticize religion, but "no doctrine can be identical to what it intends to express," and in the case of religion, we are trying to express the inexpressible (or translingual).

The point is not to drag religion down from the peaks to the plains and then understand the higher in terms of the lower. Anyone can do that! Rather, the principles under discussion "furnish a coherent scheme of points of reference more or less elliptical by definition but in any case sufficient to lead mental perception towards a given aspect of the real."

Or, just imagine, say, a three dimensional reality transformed into two. Each point on the plane will refer to a point in the higher space. This certainly goes to the problem of biblical literalism, which likewise reduces the higher dimensions to the lower.

So anyway, one of our favorite foundational texts is Josef Pieper's Anthology. Pieper is already as concise and economical as can be, and this anthology boils him down even further to the essence of the essence, or one might say the Principles of the principles.

For example, there is a chapter called Seven Statements, one page in length. It begins with the claim that "The wisdom of the West expresses the sum total of what man 'ought to' do in seven sentences."

Really? All wisdom reduced to seven sentences? That's what I'm talkin' about!, i.e., rendering this baffling world intelligible.

First: "Man, insofar as he realizes his meaning... opens himself by listening to God's word wherever he can perceive it."

This can be reduced even further by simply affirming that man is an open system on the vertical plane -- just as he is an open system on the level of physics, biology, chemistry, psychology, and everything else.

And in fact, these latter openings are only possible because of the first; they are all ultimately shadows of the Trinity, which is openness and relation as such.

Second -- and this is a biggie -- "Man is true to himself only when he is stretching forth... toward a fulfillment that cannot be reached in his bodily existence."

Or in other words, do not be tempted to collapse the vertical space between man and God, for this is where Real Life takes place. Both of my quotes in the comment box go directly to this principle, that man is always between, such that he cannot eliminate the betweenness without abolishing himself.

Third (and I am condensing): man "finds it good that God, the world and himself exist." Note that this is not a feeling but a principle. To understand it is to stand most of our usual concerns on their heads.

For example, while the existence of evil is a problem, an even more mysterious problem is the existence of good! In fact, evil is parasitic on the good, and we can only even recognize it because of our implicit awareness of the good. This same principle accounts for the beauty, rationality, and intelligibility of the world.

To be continued...

Monday, December 28, 2015

Man is a Bridge to Nowhere. Or Everywhere. Your Call.

I'm not yet prepared to get behind the wheel of the cosmic bus. Therefore, I've plucked a post from five years back, one of what now amounts to 2,773 possibilities. That's a lot of posts. I wonder how many book pages that would translate to? 10,000?


We begin with an invOcation:

Human destiny is to hear and respond to God's speech in creation and thus, as the principium in the created universe, to draw all things back to their ultimate source. --Bernard McGinn

Back to our free associations on Self and Spirit. Bolton puts forth the perennial idea that mankind is the mediator between God and nature, or creator and creation. Therefore, human beings are surely creatures, but they cannot only be creatures, since we transcend our creaturehood even while being rooted in it. Transcendence is an ineluctable cosmic category that pretty much blows Darwin out of the water. Gosh!

That is, our transcendence of nature would be an inexplicable absurdity, not to mention a bizarre nuisance, if it were not connected to, and explained by, its own source, which is "above" not below. In other words, we cannot begin our metaphysic by denying the consciousness that engages in metaphysics.

You could say that in man there is a union of two natures that produces a third thing.

Now, at this point I am going to ask you to use your imagination, since I don't know how to reproduce the images in the book. Just imagine a triangle, with the base at the bottom and apex at the top. At the top is the divine-human archetype, or let's just say that of which we are the image.

This bifurcates into the other two points of the triangle, which are male and female (the base below). In turn, the union of male and female produces their third. Thus, draw another triangle, this one the inverse of the above, with the apex now at the bottom. If you're still with me, God should be at the top and the baby at the bottom.

As I wrote in my book, the neurologically incomplete baby is not just the hinge of cosmic evolution, but the very point of entry for our humanness, the narrow neck through which we must all pass on the way to maturity.

As such, we have a novel way of understanding Bolton's observation that "the fourth element is in a sense a recapitulation of the first on a lower level, which also has some bearing on the meaning of childhood in relation to God."

For the baby -- the divine child, as it were -- is indeed a sort of earthly analogue of God, in that he knows no boundaries, is innocent and "omnipotent," and embodies a kind of infinite potential. I don't think it is any coincidence whatsoever that the baby Jesus is so central to Christian iconography.

Another way of considering the same triangle is to place God at the top, only now bifurcating into providence (or destiny) and fate, or perhaps freedom and necessity. Once again, place a second triangle below, with man representing the union of fate and providence.

Here again, this encapsulates the irreducible irony, as it were, of the human condition, which makes us simultaneously apes and/or gods, so to speak. How could one not laugh at the predicament? But once again, we see that the man below is an earthly analogue of God above. Man is the "cosmic baby," with all that implies. Like a baby, we are born with a kind of infinite potential (relatively speaking) that we may or may not fulfill. And to fulfill it, we must indeed "imitate the Creator."

Either way, we must somehow reconcile fate and providence. As the old gag goes, "the stars incline, but do not compel." However, as reader Will reminds us, they do indeed compel in the absence of insight, or self-understanding.

In short, as we discussed at length a couple of weeks ago, fate is precisely what interferes with our destiny. Or, to put it colloquially, if you remain on the path you're on, you're liable to end up where you're headed. Which could very well be a waste of a perfectly good cosmos. So if you see a fork in the transdimensional road, by all means take it. Or in other words, just say Yes to God.

Now, Bolton makes the interesting observation that Adam and Eve are created on the sixth and final day of creation, after the rest of the creatures (which, when you think about it, is entirely consistent with an evolutionary worldview, only in a higher key). As such, "on this basis, the human being can be taken to be resultant of divine action and the created natural order as a whole." Human beings are last because they are first; or first because they are last.

In any event, the point is that humans, and only humans, recapitulate the whole of creation within their very substance, which you might say is "two natures" in one being. We are simultaneously fully animal and man, with two distinct wills with which we must grapple and try to reconcile.

Which may well be why Freud came up with the idea of id and superego to talk about the lower and higher selves. "Id" is simply the German word for "it." We are all inhabited by the It, are we not? Usually, a mind parasite is a kind of unholy union of the It and a purloined piece of our subjectivity. Come to think of it, you could draw another triangle on that basis, which is why our mind parasites become the equivalent of "unconscious gods," if you will, or even if you don't.

There you go: Bolton notes that the lower realm (remember, human beings necessarily embody all realms) "represents the life of instinct which attaches to the body, ruled by pleasure and pain, because its higher possibilities depend on its participation in those of the soul." In short, we must baptize the It in order to redeem its vital energies.

Now, you could say that man was and is a cosmic necessity, in the sense that only he binds the higher and lower. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it: "Unless there was such a being as man, comprising both archetypal and material reality at once, Providence and Fate (or nature) would have no means of relating to one another." Man's primary vocation is therefore "bridge builder," or "universal pontifex," "so long as it is understood that this function is a potentiality in need of realization."

Where does this leave Christ?

"[T]he mediation of Christ as Redeemer is both the prototype of man's cosmic mediation, as well as being the revealed basis of salvation." He is the fulfillment of what would otherwise be only a kind of unfulfillable longing in man.

It is in the cosmos of natural kinds that the fulness of the Being of the world must needs unfold and manifest itself, and man is the being in which this fulness becomes fulfilled and comes into its own. This is precisely the reason why God's absolute fulness of Being can choose man as the being and the vessel in which to reveal his own inner fulness to the world. --Hans Urs von Balthasar

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Thread was Void and Without Form, and Darkness was on the Face of the Blog

I suppose posting will be sporadic to nonexistent this week, which is another way of saying open thread. Actually, all threads are always open anyway. This just makes it official.

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Oldest Profession

This morning while making the rounds, I noticed that Happy Acres linked to a link to an old post from 2009 which I barely remember, which got me to rummaging around the arkive (a lot of good stuff that year), and now there's no time for a new post. Instead, an old post from 2009 that expands upon Al Pacino's satanic dialogue with his son at the end of the film Devil's Advocate. It's insultaining while making some solid points:

--Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven, is that it?

--Why not? I'm here on the ground with my nose in it since the whole thing began. I've nurtured every sensation man's been inspired to have. I cared about what he wanted and I never judged him. Why? Because I never rejected him. In spite of all his imperfections, I'm a fan of man! I'm a humanist. Maybe the last humanist. --Dialogue from The Devil's Advocate

Satan. What can one say about the archfiend that hasn't already been better said by Dante, Milton, Shakespeare, or Al Pacino?

Now first of all, the Serpent is a genial fellow who is always willing to "work with us." After all, he is the prince of this world -- a man of wealth and taste, a cultured man, an aesthete and silver-tongued littérateur. He never forces the issue, but meets us where we are and presents us with what he calls "options," but what are for us "temptations." He is a seducer and flatterer, always.

--Is this a test?

--Isn't everything?

His Satanic Majesty would probably even request that we not call him "evil." Rather, he would turn the tables and suggest that good is evil -- like his clerks at the ACLU, he would argue that every cop is a criminal and all the Sunnis saints. So please, have some sympathy for the Anti-Christic Luciferian Union, or they will be pleased to meet your ass in court and lay your solvency to waste.

--Cut the shit, Dad! Why lawyers? Why the law?

--Because the law, my boy, puts us into everything. It's the ultimate backstage pass. It's the new priesthood, baby. Did you know there are more students in law school than lawyers walking the Earth? We're coming out, guns blazing!

After all, our courts are characterized by the Adversarial system, in that they are the one place where the Adversary can have the most influence. This is why it is so vital that the Adversary pack the Sssupreme Court in hisss image.

Old Scratch is never more pleased than when one of his deep darklings argues that he is just a figment of your imagination. Like alcohol, he doesn't make you do anything you don't secretly want to do anyway. When prancing around on stage like a Kansas City you-know-what, he has been known to shout out the rhetorical question, "Who killed Kopechne?," when after all, it was Ted Kennedy and the voters of Massachussetts.

According to Tomberg, the "day aspect" of history represents our collective coming to terms with the three temptations in the wilderness. If you will recall, there is the temptation of worldly power, the temptation of abandoning oneself to the lower vertical -- to an unconscious life of instinctual gratification ("cast yourself down from the pinnacle") -- and the temptation of materialism and horizontality ("change stones into bread").

Yesterday I mentioned that all forms of leftism are satanic, but in a way that no leftist would understand or even be capable of understanding. But looked at in terms of the three temptations, we can see that in each instance, the secular leftist has been seduced, but then turns the seduction into a virtue -- which is a great source of satisfaction to the Father of Lies.

--Who in their right mind, Kevin, could possibly deny the twentieth century was entirely mine?

The leftist yields to the temptation of secular power as a result of the rejection of transcendent truth. That is, truth is the most important societal value. It is the non-coercive glue that binds humanity together and draws it "upward" toward the prior unity that dissolves our differences.

But if truth is undermined or relativized, then we have lost our ability to appeal to something outside human whim, which therefore leaves us open to the barbitrary usurpation of power.

Thus, the only way for the leftist to succeed in his will to power is to first confuse us with pseudo-sophisticated intellectual temptations such as deconstruction, moral relativism, multiculturalism, "diversity," "the living constitution," "critical race theory," earth worship, etc. Once these are embraced, there is a "bait and switch," for there is then no way to stand up for Absolute truth. If you do so, then you are branded an "absolutist" or "authoritarian" or "eliminationist."

--What are you?

--Oh, I have so many names...

For the secular left, truth is "multiple" -- if such a diabolically self-refuting notion may be conceived -- and no truth is privileged. This creates the massive void into which the leftist asserts his power. This is why the most intellectually unfree places in all of America are leftist university campi -- as someone once said, they are islands of repression in a sea of freedom.

Step one: all truth is relative. Step two: my relativism is absolute. Step three: I control what is permissible to think. "Political correctness" is the Wicked One's all-purpose Swiss Pacifist Knife. He even loves the name -- "political correctness" -- because it sounds so petty, so trivial, so benign.

But it is as benign as a stage IV brain tumor, for it is the end of the soul's intellectual life and its displacement with the will to power. Ultimately it is a wedge between man and God that with time only increases the distance between them -- which, of course, is the ontological opposite of Christianity, in which God descends in order to bridge that very gap.

It follows that the secular leftist fails the second test by yielding to the temptation to cast himself -- and humanity as such -- from the pinnacle of creation into the pit of animal unconsciousness. There is no higher or lower, no absolute good or evil, just authentic depravity or genuine hypocrisy.

But man is not a mere animal -- or, to be precise, he is the only animal proportioned to the Absolute. As a result, his summa vocation is to perpetually transcend himself in light of the Permanent Real. All other animals merely are what they are, but a man who fails to transcend himself isn't a man at all, but only a beast among beasts -- a monster even, for the monstrous is any perversion of the Cosmic Plan.

--You know, I'll tell you, boy... Guilt... it's like a bag of fucking bricks. All you got to do is set it down.

The secular leftist fails the third test by vainly trying to turn stones into bread, or quantities into qualities, the horizontal into the vertical. As such, the "good life" is replaced with "more life," which is to say, more death, because the world of stones is the realm of death.

To tyrannize man with the reign of quantity is to efface man as such, to remove from existence the very arena where man may become man -- which can only occur in the vertical realm that runs perpendicular to the flatland void of secular fundamentalism. It is the ontologically real world of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, which lay at the One end of our being, vs. the dark world of "sub-matter" slaying at the other's end.

In other words, if the vertical hierarchy of the human world results from the Sovereign Good radiating from the cosmic center to the existential periphery, mankind stands halfway between the Everything above and the Nothing below. We are pulled in both directions -- or let us say that there is a sort of gravity that operates on the human soul. We may humbly "surrender" to the higher, or be "seduced" by the lowyer.

--I'm peaking, Kevin. It's my time now. It's our time!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

One For the Holodex

When I wrote the book of the same name, it was intended only to sketch the broad outline -- like flying over the cosmos from a very high altitude or state of mind.

Complementarily, you could say that the purpose of the blog over these past ten years has been to fill in the details.

More to the point, the book was intended to be written once and for all. I didn't want to get into one of those uncomfortable situations where you write something and then you turn out to be, you know, wrong. That would be embarrassing. And a disservice to readers.

So the book was structured in a circular form. Ideally it would be spiral bound, like a rolodex, such that later insights or details or updates could be inserted in the appropriate section. In the past I've called it the Holodex Principle.

This dodgy and soph-flattering principle came to mind while reading the book Evolution 2.0: Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design.

The book covers in 300 pages what I tried to convey in a paragraph or maybe even just a sentence. I well recall the sentence. It is as follows (it's actually from Robert Wright's Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny):

"In the beginning was, if not a word, at least a sequence of encoded information of some sort."

That sentence appears in a section that is subtitled Come for the Order, Stay for the Novelty, and goes to the difference between design and purpose, for the former doesn't always imply the latter.

A snowflake, for example, has an intricate design, but the design doesn't seem to have any particular purpose. Each design is unique, but one is no better than another. So far, anyway. Perhaps in the future, a race of super-snowflakes will emerge from the existing one.

You could say that mere order exists in space -- it is nontemporal -- while emergent novelty occurs in time. One such novelty is Life itself, which is inconceivable outside the arrow of time.

Now, DNA is a code. But does it code for "life?" No, not at all. Rather, it codes for certain proteins, and moreover, the code must be read by an organism that is already alive. Marshall asks the wholly reasonable questions, How do you get a code without a coder? and How can code write itself?

Put it this way: between Life and mere matter there is a kind of infinite abyss. In order for something to function as a code, it must contain little information itself; it must be high entropy, such that no particular arrangement is more likely than another.

Take, for example, the alphabet (this is actually covered on pp. 71-72 of the book). In order for it to function as a code, the arrangement of letters must not be determined on its own level, but available for use by a higher level in order to form words. If the order of the letters were determined, then we couldn't use the alphabet to say anything meaningful.

It's the same with money, by the way. The purpose of the Fed -- ha! -- is to make sure that currency functions as a high entropy channel of information. It is not supposed to contain surprises like inflation, bubbles, and panics.

As Gilder writes, "the success of the transmission depends on the existence of a channel that does not change substantially during the course of the communication, either in time or space."

It is precisely "Because the channel is changeless, the message in the channel can communicate changes. The message of change can be distinguished from the unchanging parameters of the channel" (ibid.).

When randomness enters the channel, this is called noise. Which goes to what Marshall writes about Darwinian evolution: how can mere noise in the DNA code result in progress, adaptation, upside surprise, etc?

Yes, there is the principle of natural selection, which weeds out the successful noise from the unsuccessful. But is that sufficient to account for the phenomena?

For example, no matter how many times I scratch a CD -- which is likewise encoded information -- I'm not going to end up with superior music. Rather, noise always results in less information, not more.

Radical Darwinists like to pretend this isn't a problem, but this is only because they embrace a metaphysic that makes the problem go away. That is, somehow, some way, information emerges from randomness. But no one has ever explained how this could happen, even in principle.

Unless in the beginning is the Word, however you wish to conceptualize it. In ether worlds, the word is ontologically prior to the alphabet, just as the sentence is prior to the word, the paragraph to the sentence, the chapter to the paragraphs, and the novel to the chapters.

What is the novel? Why, it must be the Theo-Drama -- all five volumes and 2,500 pages (and much more) -- speaking of overwhelmingly complex information that can be slid into a high-entropy channel, in this case the Holodex.

To be continued...

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Naughty Self-Esteem vs. Nice Self-Objectivity

Just a short post. Still recovering from this cold...

Where the Conspiracy teaches self-esteem, the Raccoon practices self-objectivity. Imagine, for example, if for just one moment Obama could be objective toward his (false) self instead of in love with it.

Does anyone think he could tolerate the shame? In fact, shame-intolerance is at the heart of narcissism; the false self of the narcissist is specifically erected in order to bypass shame. The shame is still there, only denied and projected.

For example, when Obama claimed that his political opponents treat him like a dog, that is projected shame. At the same time, shame is easily fungible to racial terms; in other words, the interior shame is projected into fantasized racial animus. It is far less painful to be persecuted by imaginary racists than to endure dysregulated shame.

Mouravieff discusses this from a number of angles. For example, he says that it is necessary to "go back carefully through the film" of our lives, in order to 1) "distinguish objectively... between permanent, eternal elements and temporary karmic ones"; and 2) "stimulate a strong desire to cross" what he calls the "second threshold" (which basically involves freeing ourselves of those worldly and horizontal 'A' influences discussed in last Thursday's post).

The person who attempts this "will see himself objectively, as he is, with no make-up, without the least justification or compromise, and with no possibility of evasion."

You could say that this is analogous to how God sees us, without so much as a fig-leaf of self-deceptive auto-pullwoolery. Consistent with what was said above about Obama, Mouravieff suggests that "For the unjust... this vision of oneself seems terrifying."

All of our customary defense mechanisms and rationalizations and self-justifications are stripped away: "all the buffers, all the auto-tranquilizers must be broken and thrown away. All debts must be paid in the proper coin."

So, it's a dark night thingy. But "If he runs away from this monster -- in which he must recognize himself -- this will be the fall, full of the worst dangers."

I'm pretty sure that every man is given the opportunity at least once in his life to visit this crossroads and make his adjustments accordingly. You can run away, but please be aware that you will be chased. And if caught, you will actually be given another opportunity to repent.

I suppose most people will simply project their demon, as does Obama: "Weak and pitiful, yet demanding and cruel, exterior man always blames other people or circumstances for his lack of success. Everybody and everything are at fault except himself."

This is the inevitable result of the left's victim culture, in that the victim always comes for the weakness but stays for the cruelty, e.g., the campus crybullies (who likewise start with the crying and end with the bullying). All tyrants start with victimhood -- by Jews, by the bourgeois, by the Patriarchy, by White Privilege, whatever.

Such an exterior man is "only a child," and "in most cases, a naughty child." And you don't really leave the naughtiness behind until you extricate yourself from the 'A' influences and rise into the orbit of the 'B.' This is the only real revolution, because again, it represents a reversal of the original Fall.

Perhaps "revolution" is the wrong word, since a revolution is simply a circle, whereas what we want is the spiral: "The curve of life, which for exterior man does not in practice differ from a circle, transforms itself into a spiral and does not end..."

This is the achievement of vertical liftoff, whereas the exterior man simply changes the sets and rearranges the furniture in his film in order to give himself a temporary feeling of being alive with novelty.

Interestingly, we often have to live out our movie until it ends, in order to see its futility. Lucky is the man who can look ahead and see where the script is leading!

I've always remembered one line from this book -- that man must "go in search of the being without whom he is not real." Just as the baby is "made real" by the mother's loving smile, you could say that a man is only made real by his relationship to the nonlocal Father.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Left's Permanent Institutionalization of Man's Fall

I don't remember how we veered down the path of Gnosis, but we might as well finish what we've begun. As I've said before, at least half of what Mouravieff writes strikes me as batty, but maybe a third of it seems quite sound -- at least if translated into the proper terms.

For example, what he calls "esoteric evolution," I would just call spiritual development. Everything in this world is subject to development, and spirit (in man) is no different. How then does this not make me a relativist?

Because all development takes place in the context of the Permanent Real, AKA God, or O, or the Great Attractor. I am not a relativist but an absolutist; however, we are all related to the absolute, and vice versa. In between are the Vertical Energies, more on which as we proceed. (I might add that these Energies can take the form of information, or love, or creativity, or other modalities.)

Let's take the example of our primordial calamity, the so-called fall. From what or whom did we fall? It seems to me that in some general sense, we fell out of the orbit of the Great Attractor. Recall from Genesis the idea that the "unit" of mankind is man-woman. We are created to exist in passionate and intimate relationship, not as autonomous units. Therefore, as we are created twogether, so in twos do we fall.

In other words, not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but a primary manifestation of our fallenness will appear in the man-woman relationship (and indeed, much of John Paul II's theology of the body goes back to this idea).

Therefore, as Mouravieff says, spiritual ("esoteric") evolution, "by its nature, is evolution that involves both man and woman." That is, "the fall was not, as we say today, the fall of Adam, but of Adam and Eve together, each having fallen in their own way."

Therefore, the return must in some sense involve both. Certainly this would appear to touch on the necessity of Mary's role in salvation history. Most heresies contain an element of truth, and so it is with the idea of Mary as co-redemptrix.

In a certain sense -- and I'm just thinking out loud, plus I have a cold that is affecting my thinking, so don't hold me to it -- it is as if Mary is the necessary condition (the without whom) while Jesus is the sufficient condition (with whom). Certainly the whole thing appears to be predicated on Mary's prior and freely given Yes.

And doesn't this follow the pattern of the fall, i.e., Eve as the condition without whom, Adam as the condition with whom? In any event, this is how Mouravieff sees it, that "the role of a woman, on the ascent to Redemption, must be comparable to the part played by woman in the Fall."

In both cases there is a kind of "conception." In Mary there is the conception of God, but to what does this parallel in Eve? "Having conceived in her fertile and artistic imagination the notion of Illusion, the woman, after tasting its fruits, offered them to her husband..."

Here I think it is useful to think of this in symbolic terms, as something that takes place in the psyche. The story is told in mythic terms to relate a much deeper truth of being seduced out of the Great Attractor and into a realm of illusion. Each of us has Adam and Eve within; or, they are names for more general principles and trends.

But there is also a quite literal dimension. For example, this is how the left destroyed black culture, by using the state to drive a wedge between man and woman, and to offer them perverse incentives that literally institutionalize the fall.

Woman, instead of being oriented to her complementary partner, forms her primary relationship to the state (remember "Julia"?). And a man will tend to sink to the level necessary to maintain sexual access. Having first turned from God and lost his orbit, he simply plunges after Eve. Thus, instead of God --> Man --> Woman, the order is State --> Woman --> Man.

Now, "repent" comes from metanoia, which means literally to "turn around." And it is a literal turning around, from world to God, or from illusion to the Great Attractor. Here again, our proximity to the nonlocal goal is the measure of our "evolution":

"whatever guides him towards his proposed goal, helps him to attain it, or contributes to this attainment, is for him a Good; whatever turns him away, retards him, stops him, takes him backwards, and in general anything that creates material or psychological obstacles on the path that leads him toward the goal he seeks, is for him an Evil" (ibid.).

Think about how the dominant liberal culture is nothing but this EVIL writ large. This occurred to me while reading a piece linked at Happy Acres, called Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out. I believe I've posted my own variant on this very meme, but the idea is to turn around, tune in to the Great Attractor, and drop out of the death culture of the left. The whole machine only works because people do the opposite, which is to say, repeat the fall.

The other day I mentioned how it has occurred to me that the left's war on civilization is entirely bound up with sexuality. This book on The Global Sexual Revolution wasn't exactly what I was looking for, as it goes more into how the soul-destroying machine works than why.

But as Kuby writes, central to the re-education (and re-orientation) is abolishing "the habit of distinguishing men from women" and "extinguishing the fundamental truth that mutual sexual attraction between man and woman forms the basis of humankind's" existence.

Mess with that, and you are messing with the very foundation of civilization. The left knows this. And it does everything in its power to make sure that no one else does. But again, their goal is a permanent institutionalization of the Fall, such that the order of the cosmos begins with the State -- not only instead of God but as God.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Are You Using Only Five Percent of God's Revelation?

You know the old crack about how we only use five or ten or whatever percent of our brain potential? There is of course no way to know the actual figure, since we can't quantify something of which we are by definition ignorant.

Let's just say that most people are underachievers in light of what they could & should be. They fail to achieve their potential, which is to say, explicate what is implicate in or to them.

Indeed, what is the brain, really? At bottom, it seems to be an organ for translating the implicate to explicate order. Like right now: there is a post somewhere "inside," and I'm trying to help it come out. In so doing, it is as if certain foundational beliefs and principles are tools to aid in the translation.

More generally, I try to keep as many tools in the box as possible -- biological, psychological, theological, metaphysical, historical, economic, political, etc. Consider what happens when you have only one tool to accomplish the translation, as does our intellectually challenged demagogue in chief.

When your only tool is the hammer of leftism, every problem looks like a nail of class warfare. Even when he appeals to Christianity, it is a Marxist version, not the real thing. Likewise, he can't see Islam except through the prism of White European Oppression.

As applied to psychoanalytic theory, Bion had a name for this: rigid motion transformations. By way of analogy, think of a jazz musician performing a solo. The accomplished one will constantly "say something new," in a kind of non-stop flow of musical conversation, while the lesser one will rely more on a hackneyed catalogue of memorized licks.

This is precisely why Obama has always been so dreadfully boring. He is incapable of uttering something new or creative or witty or spontaneous. It always comes out the same. Everything out of his mouth is spiritually stillborn.

A rigid motion transformation in the mind leaves "invariant more or less permanently certain meanings and other characteristics." I recently read a book on World War II from the German perspective, and it is rather astonishing how they could always find a way to blame the Jews. Clearly, in Hitler's case the Jewish obsession was a rigid motion transformation.

Assuming Obama is not just being cynical -- i.e., that he is sincere -- one would have to say the same of his rigid transformation of global jihad to a gun control issue. Presumably he would find nothing amusing in this image (yoinked from Ace of Spades)-->

This is not to say that rigid motion transformations don't have their place. Indeed, they make everyday communication and even civilization possible.

To cite one obvious example, our constitution is supposed to function as a rigid motion transformation that translates, as it were, our power into the specific and enumerated powers of the state. But in that case, look at how the left's transformations are no longer so rigid! Rather, you could say that they improvise on it like a stoned jazzman. Legally speaking, it is analogous to free jazz, in the sense that it is free of any musico-legal constraints.

At the extreme other end of rigid transformations are what Bion called transformations in hallucinosis. These have some similarities with extremely abstract art. To you, maybe it looks like a child's fingerpainting, but the artist tells you it's, I don't know, a seascape. Try as you might, you can't identify the invariants in the transformation. Rather, it just looks random.

Well, I challenge anyone to examine the Constitution and see there a power to redefine marriage or to force us to buy a state-approved product, or the right to a dead baby. To the extent that a leftist sees these things there, it is a transformation in hallucinosis. We can all see their "end product," but we have no idea how it was produced -- just as we have no idea how the abstract artist came up with that seascape.

Now, whether one realizes it or not, every living moment is a transformation in O. Indeed, that is what gives "life" to the moment. Otherwise we are just living a script or caught up in some rigid motion transformation. Indeed, what is the Conspiracy but one big rigid motion transformation? And what is slack but transformations in O?

I see that there is a whole chapter here on transformations in hallucinosis, but I'm not sure how much more deeply I want to get into the subject. This is intriguing:

"[T]he person who uses this type of transformation believes that his 'creations' are the result of his capacity to surround himself by a universe generated by himself to provide an 'infallible' method of avoiding the pain of frustration."

I can't help thinking of how Obama uses this method to seal himself in his own omniscience. It is a "complete freedom from the restriction imposed by reality" and thus "superior" to actual freedom, as it were. In other words, we all know that fantasy has some significant benefits over reality. But maturity requires us to forgo imaginary benefits for real possibilities.

"In other words, the patient in these conditions has to deny the existence of an external reality that restricts, oppresses, and threatens him with the pain of frustration." Thus the capacity to tolerate the pain of frustration is a key to maturity.

Oddly, through a kind of ontological reversal, such a person forces what cannot exist to exist (e.g., homosexual "marriage") while dispatching what exists to a shadowy realm of nonexistence.

Of course, what exists nevertheless exists, so it still haunts and persecutes the person who has rendered it "nonexistent." The point of the transformation is to render the person "free" from his persecutors, but he just ends up enclosed in them. (Think of how the campus crybullies or Black Lives that Matter are utterly enclosed in their persecutory world.)

Really got sidetracked here. It all began with a passage in Mouravieff to the effect that "our level of being does not allow us to contain the relevant knowledge" of revelation. In other words, it is a kind of translation of an infinitely larger world, so we can only pretend to contain it with various rigid motion transformations (some of which are God-given and therefore entirely valid).

But you don't want to reduce the whole existentialada to a handful of rigid motion transformations, for this is to have the rigid letter but miss out on the flowing spirit of the thing. The former are supposed to assist in the latter, not prevent it. In any event, here is the exact quote that provoked this post, but which will now end it:

"It would not be an exaggeration to to say that only five to ten percent of the true content of the Scriptures is used, even by specialists" (Mouravieff).

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Tossing Thoughtcrimes through the Overton Window

Mouravieff goes on to say that we inhabit a Mixtus Orbis, which seems to be a fancy way of saying that ours is an ambiguous world ruled by good and evil. Worse, it is a place "where we find real and imaginary facts and phenomena inextricably intermixed."

I say "worse," because every great manmade catastrophe is predicated on a foundation of lies. A great evil is usually the result of the ruthless application and pursuit of a lie. But the person who embraces the lie virtually never regards it as such.

Rather, his moral fervor results from the fact that he regards the lie as true. While I don't like the word "radicalized," this is pretty much what it means, i.e., to embrace the lie with all one's heart, intelligence, and will. In this regard, Islamists are no less radicalized than Obama.

How and why do people become so confused between the two? "The difficulty in separating them is due to the fact that the Imaginary resembles the Real in the same way that the space beyond a mirror reflects what is actually present on the facing side." In other words, when we look "into" the mirror we see a space, but it is the space behind us.

And "When surrounded by mirrors, we can easily lose all notion of what is real." The real problem is that the imaginary "closely resembles the real," a good example being "homosexual marriage." It does not exist and cannot exist, and yet, millions of people insist that it can and does. But it is only a fake image of the real thing.

In the past we have discussed the idea of 'A' and 'B' influences. You could say that 'A' influences are horizontal at best, imaginary or demonic at worst. For example, whenever I watch television with my son, I point out all of the 'A' influences that are going on. After all, that is why television exists: to influence you, and not just to part with your money by purchasing things you don't really need.

Rather, the most sinister part is the 'A' influences coming from "left wing culture," or whatever you want to call it. These influences are relentless, which is one of the reasons why they can appear "real." In other words, the bombardment is so constant, that it can eventually convince people that the imaginary is real.

Along these lines, yesterday on Ace of Spades I read of a useful concept, the Overton Window. It "refers to the range of acceptable political discourse on any given topic":

"The Left -- dominating the media, the academy, and pop culture -- is unmatched at moving the Overton Window. Consider gay marriage, a subject once so far outside the mainstream that less than 20 years ago, Republicans and Democrats united to pass the Defense of Marriage Act to define marriage under federal law as the union of one man and one woman. Now? That view is such an anathema that it’s difficult to get -- or retain -- a job in entire sectors of the economy if you openly hold to the traditionalist position on marriage."

So the left effectively moved the Overton Window to the point that the imaginary -- homosexual marriage -- is officially real.

With his comment about the dangers of Muslim immigration two days ago, Donald Trump tossed a brick through the Window, and look what happened -- complete hysteria in the media. It looked as if it were coordinated, but that is just an illusion, like when you lift a rock under which ants are living. Each ant knows only one thing, which is to protect the queen. It's the same with the liberal media. They run around like ants because they know only one thing: protect the (illusory) narrative.

So, if nothing else, Trump performs the vital service of vandalizing the Overton Window -- which is really more like a wall or prison: "he is useful for plowing through the... dead hulks of leftist thought that clog the trade-routes of political expression and debate."

The problem is, while Trump does a fine job of dropping bombs on the 'A' influnces, he has no 'B' influnces . Rather, unfortunately, he is, as Ace says, "a boorish and crude demagogue." We obviously need a candidate who does both: attacks the 'A' influences while channeling the 'B.' Now that I think about it, probably the only candidate who effectively does both is Ted Cruz.

Remind us, exactly what are 'B' influences? Here is a summary and contrast between the two:

"'A' influences are illusory in their nature, although the effect of each one of them is real, so that exterior man takes them for reality."

Importantly, they come at us from every which way and pull us in every direction, so that the sum total of their effect is zero. Think of the chaos of the left, which is chaotic because it is not oriented toward any telos and therefore undermines meaning, purpose, and real progress.

In reality, everything on the left cancels out something else on the left, which is what is going on, for example, with the left-on-left silliness of the campus crybully movement. Ultimately leftism is completely self-destructive and self-consuming. At least everywhere it has been tried.

Conversely, 'B' influences emanate from Celestial Central, AKA, the Great Attractor. They are not from this world, nor could they ever be. We are always subject to them, but only if we open ourselves to their influence. Few people are really completely cut off from them, or their souls would asphyxiate. Even atheists revere truth in their own way. Even materialists fall in love. Even Richard Dawkins transcends his genes. I think.

Now, "since 'A' influences neutralize each other, 'B' influences actually constitute the only reality." Thus, if a fellow should spend his days failing to distinguish between the two, then he has officially wasted his life, because it has added up to zero.

Also, as one assimilates the 'B' influences -- and this is very experience-near -- it is as if they accumulate and create their own "magnetic center" within, which is in turn magnetized toward the Great Attractor. Which is why, as we grow in spirit, we are less easily influenced and seduced by the 'A' influences and more drawn toward God -- just as the earth, small as it is, exerts a gravitational attraction on the sun.

Out of time.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

The Truth Will Set You Free from Your Perverse Understanding of Freedom

Now that we're on the subject, this question of transformation functions keeps popping up everywhere.

For example, I'm reading a book about the architect Christopher Alexander, and it seems to me that he is on a quest to identify these transformation functions in the aesthetic realm, i.e., simple rules for explicating beauty -- which is latent everywhere -- in this world.

If I recall correctly from previous books of his, he believes that space everywhere is latent -- or implicate -- with life and beauty, and that it is up to the architect to explicate it and render it manifest. In fact, I'll bet you right now that if I look up David Bohm in the index, he'll be there.

Well, there's no index but there's plenty of Whitehead and Bohm. Indeed, here is a footnote: "In a series of meetings between the two of us...., Bohm told me that what he defines as the implicate order, and what I define as the wholeness, are essentially one and the same thing." So we're all spinning in the same attractor.

And I would certainly agree that "the most important discovery of modern physics" is that "subatomic particles cannot be viewed as isolated elements which only interact mechanically with other elements through the medium of forces and collisions." Rather, "their existence and their behavior are controlled by their relation to the wholeness of the world around them."

In short, we live in a cosmos of interior relations, in which everything is interior to everything else. This explains so much that is otherwise inexplicable, everything from the intelligibility of the world to the existence of life to the human interior itself. With the paradigm of wholeness -- or of process philosophy, or of pataphysical coontology -- the universe begins with interiority, so the existence of the human interior doesn't present us with such an impenetrable anomaly that unexplains everything else about the cosmos.

Rather, this is exactly what we would expect the creation to look like if its Creator is trinity, AKA, irreducible interior relations. It is alive -- or Life -- and it is conscious -- or Person -- so the fact that we are Living Persons goes from being the most annoying mystery conceivable to the most joyous Mystery possible. Woo hoo!

This is the Fact of facts about our existence. All facts are subordinate to it, and no fact can transgress or transcend it. It's the Way It Is and the Way Things Are, the latter following from the former.

What is Christianity, really? It is 1) Trinity, 2) Incarnation, and 3) Resurrection. Here again, these latter two are really founded upon the first. When our idiot-in-chief goes on about how all religions share the same universal values... well, you haven't really understood what he means unless you literally want to vomit.

Again, the left is subject to a pathological transformation function between implicate and explicate orders. It is pathological because it is a lie. Actually there are several lies. Is there one Big One that organizes all the rest?

I don't usually discuss things here until they are at least fully half-baked, but lately I have been nagged by this idea that it all revolves around sex -- which is why sexuality was and is such a vital aspect of their war on civilization. Then, just yesterday, I received an email from a publisher about this new book called The Global Sexual Revolution: Destruction of Freedom in the Name of Freedom. I took it as a cosmic sign, or friendly metaphysical nudge, and ordered the book straight away. Oddly, it seems to explicate exactly what I had been thinking the day before, but with one side of my brain still in the implicate:

"The core of the global cultural revolution is the deliberate confusion of sexual norms. It is the culmination of a metaphysical revolution as well -- a shifting of the fundamental ground upon which we stand and build a culture, even a civilization. Instead of desire being subjected to natural, social, moral, and transcendent orders, the identity of man and woman is dissolved, and free rein given to the maximum fulfillment of polymorphous urges, with no ultimate purpose or meaning."

(?!), he thought to himself.

"Kuby surveys gender ideology and LGBT demands, the devastating effects of pornography and sex-education, attacks on freedom of speech and religion, the corruption of language, and much more.... she documents in meticulous detail how the tentacles of a budding totalitarian regime are slowly gripping the world in an insidious stranglehold. Here on full display are the re-education techniques of the new permanent revolution, which has migrated from politics and economics to sex."

All in the name of freedom!

Which is surely one of their Organizing Lies. Think about it: all of the freedoms the left has stolen from us have been in the name of freedom.

Fiendishly clever.

Back to Mouravieff: "Lies gravely affect our mind; they distort the undeveloped organs of the Personality, upon which depends the effort that must lead us to the second Birth." If we think of this life as another womb (AKA matrix) in which a kind of development is taking place, "Each lie attacks and distorts" our developing nonlocal organs.

Indeed, lies make us "go backwards," in that we willfully exile ourselves from the influence of the Great Attractor which pulls us forward, inward, and upward on wings of grace. When you listen to Obama and think to yourself: what a coarse and graceless clod!, this is why. His lowborn gracelessness exudes from every pore. As is true in general of any true leftist. The marks of bad nonlocal breeding are everywhere.

So, when a leftist calls himself "progressive," you can see that this represents a total inversion of the facts. What a clever disguise, hiding under the rubric of precisely what they attack and prevent.

Note that for an Obama to stop lying to us, he would first have to stop lying to himself, and what are the chances of that? That would require reaching the evolutionary stage of moral blankruptcy, such that the second birth may take place.

In other words, he would have to see the dark pit to which "Obama" has lead, turn around toward the light, and begin the "work" of auto-abandonment to divine providence. Hello, New Man! I don't see it happening in this life. He is far too damaged, and the more damage he causes, the more his denial hypertrophies. He is spinning in the vortex of that malevolent attractor at the other end of the cosmos, AKA hell.

It is painful to stop lying to ourselves. Doing so means that we "will sometimes feel bitter regret as [our] beautiful dreams vanish." However, God doesn't just leave us in the pit: at the same time, the person "will feel himself more and more liberated." You know, you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

Mouravieff suggests that Jesus specifically chose the word "free" in the context of a culture in which slavery was so widespread. Therefore, the truth shall set you free from a psychic and spiritual slavery.

However, it seems that until one is living in freedom, one can't necessarily appreciate it. This would explain how and why most of the world doesn't value or long for real freedom. For Mouravieff, one must attain "a certain stage in his internal liberation" to "understand the full value of the magical power expressed in the word freedom."

Consider the campus crybully movement, or Black Lives Matter, or radical feminists. Does the term "freedom loving" come to mind? Of course not. These are people who are completely subservient to their own mind parasites, projected into the external environment. It is as if they are trying to escape their own psychic slavery by doubling down on the very conditions that enforce it.

When we say that they forge their own fetters, what we really mean is that they are subject to a pathological transformation function that keeps them in an absurd prison of their own making.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Obama the Miracle Worker

Continuing with yesterday's theme, we were discussing lies that aren't so much superimposed on reality, but rather, are analogous to the transformation function between the implicate and explicate orders.

First of all, what is a transformation function? Easy:

"In mathematics, particularly in semigroup theory, a transformation is any function f mapping a set X to itself, i.e. f:X→X. In other areas of mathematics, a transformation may simply be any function, regardless of domain and codomain."

Okay, but how about in plain Coonglish? I don't know if I'm using the correct term for what I'm describing, but it is like a constant or invariant that translates one domain into another, in this case, implicate to explicate.

Of note, I first encountered the concept in an obscure book on psychoanalysis called Transformations, in which the author uses it to illuminate what must happen in the movement from unconscious to conscious (or from O to [k]). I probably haven't looked at it in over 25 years. Let's see if it can offer us any guidance this morning.

But before we do, let's highlight something Mouravieff says about the types of lies. To plagiaphrase, there is lying to others; lying to oneself; useful lies; and useless lies.

To this list he adds two more, hypocrisy, which is "the pretense of virtue" for purposes of deception; and the... I want to say father of lies, but that's already taken. He calls it the integral lie, which characterizes the person "who, from a habit of lying and cheating on every occasion, ends by believing his own lies and thus loses all sense of truth."

This would be Obama-level lying. It is beyond Clinton-level, since a Clinton usually doesn't believe its own bullshit. They are like bullshitters who lie to preserve the bullshit, while Obama is a liar who bullshits to preserve the integral Lie.

A garden-variety lie isn't necessarily rooted in the personality. Rather, it may simply be an "occasional lie," one that is in the moment and for the moment.

The integral lie runs much deeper, and is more like an epistemological cancer that has taken over the host. Mouravieff claims -- and surely he is correct -- that no spiritual progress can take place for the integral liar. So much for being a progressive, when that is the one movement that is a priori barred the integral Liar.

Yes, liberals lie by definition, but lately I've been noticing the really systematic lying that is more like the transformation functions noted above -- for example, the canard that "97%" (or whatever it is) of scientists believe in catastrophic manmade global warming.

I say, if something is true, why do you need to lie about it? It makes me, you know, not trust anything else you say. This week we've heard similar systematic lies about gun violence and about the Religion of Peace. Again, if Islam is so peaceful, why do you need to lie about it? I actually purchased a Koran on 9-12-2001 to find out for myself, so I'm always shocked when I hear the lies about what's in it. Don't try to tell me the Islamists don't know their Koran.

The Secret tends to protect itself from the integral liar, who, according to Mouravieff, will rarely have much interest in spiritual development anyway. Or, to the extent that he does, it will be for Oprah- or Chopra-esque reasons of narcissistic development, the one conflated with the other.

Remember in 2008, all the talk about how Obama was some kind of Ascended Evolutionary Being of Light? Are they still saying that? And if not, have they engaged in a little introspection to figure out how they could have been so deluded? Doubtful. A lie of that magnitude must itself tend toward the integral.

Yesterday O'Reilly was debating Charles Krauthammer over whether Obama was simply incompetent or ideological. Krauthammer made the host look like an ass -- not a high bar -- because O'Reilly simply has no grasp of the integral ideological Lie. This Lie is so formidable that you can be quite sure that where you and I see abject failure, Obama sees stunning success -- just as communist revolutionaries did. A Lie of that magnitude cannot be contradicted, only confirmed. It is that with which he sees -- like an intense darkness with which he "illuminates" events.

Getting back to transformation functions, I would say that we are all prone to distortions of various degrees between the implicate and explicate orders, or between "heaven and earth," if you like. Presumably, in the case of Jesus, he would be subject to a completely smooth and harmonious translation between the two -- which is what it means to "do the will of the father," or to be at one with him. You could say that where we have vague vertical recollections, for Jesus they are vividly present:

"For our word is not yet a word of Truth. If they had the power of the word of Jesus," then our lies would take on a "miraculous power, [and] would actually have improved the facts.... This sort of lie could be defined as an attempt to perform a miracle with insufficient means" (Mouravieff).

Now, that is some deep stuff, because it seems to me that this is a crock-bottom description of the integral Lie of the left: the attempt to perform a miracle with insufficient means. Works every time, in that it never fails to fail, Obama being just the most recent case.

Now, despite the failure of the Lie, the Lie will never go away. It will always be with us. What is that about?

I think this goes to its primordial nature that makes it much more similar to (perverse) religiosity than to any merely secular thought. Only a kind of insane religious fervor could prevent a person from seeing Obama as he is and his policies as they are. It is why these surrealists see us as the party of satan.

I don't have time to get into Transformations, but it is as if the liberal begins in the O of primordial (implicate) religious experience, but transforms this into (an explicate) secular ideology. In the transformation, something is altered but something is unaltered. In between is the invariant transformation operation of the ideological Lie -- which is, in my experience, grounded either in hatred or in lovelessness (feeling unloved or that one's love is toxic).

Monday, December 07, 2015

An Implicate War in Heaven?

"We live in a world ruled by lies," in which "lying and stealing are the dominant elements of human character..." (Mouravieff).

Yes, you could toss in envy as well, but that is always prelude to a swindle. And idolatry, but that's just the Lie of lies, as murder is the ultimate theft.

A bad lot, these humans. I thought about this while skimming this essay by Victor Davis Hanson, Liberal Nihilism in a Nutshell. Ho hum. The truth about liberalism is well known and understood. What else can one say? It has zero effect on them, which is maybe the most frightening thing about our world, for civilization cannot long survive without truth.

They are not moved by truth, nor can they be shamed. Now, animals have no sense of shame and are not moved by truth.

But a shameless human who rejects truth is not just an animal -- rather, something much worse. Elements of his personality will obviously become animalized, but other aspects will become monstrous; and the monstrous is not a category of nature.

Where is it then, and from what does it derive its energy?

Paul famously remarked that we don't so much wrestle "against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

True, but he doesn't really define these dark principalities and powers. Perhaps they were just taken for granted. One commentary says that "a struggle, a 'battle of life' must be assumed at once by all who look at the world as it is; the question is whether it is against flesh and blood, or against a more unearthly power of evil." Another says that we do not wrestle "with feeble men, but we have to contend with the diabolic powers."

Perhaps, like us, they worship a father. Of lies. This father's power is "real, but limited and transitory, able only to enslave those who 'yield themselves' to it, and destined to be overcome; and it seems to refer especially to the concrete power of evil, exercised through physical and human agency."

Another commentary adds that "The spiritual hosts of evil are described as fighting in the region above the earth." Maybe it's like being in an unhappy home, where one can hear the parents duking it out upstairs.

I don't have the time to read all those commentaries, but I do have time to make up my own.

Humans exist as individuals. We can all see that. However, what we maybe don't see is the Total Cosmic System that makes this individuality possible. I might compare it to David Bohm's Wholeness and the Implicate Order. Bohm's central point is that the phenomenal universe -- the explicate order -- is only the outward precipitate of a totally flowing cosmic whole.

As it so happens, my doctoral dissertation was on the subject of how Bohm's paradigm may be applied to the human mind. Perhaps this post involves applying it to the much wider spiritual space of which the mind is only one aspect.

The first reviewer notes that "Bohm treats the totality of existence as an unbroken whole." The "implicate order" means "that any independent element in our universe contains within it the sum of all elements, i.e., the sum of all existence itself. He describes an enfolding-unfolding universe with consciousness playing a central role."

And crucially, in between the implicate and explicate orders are "hidden variables," which are like relatively stable transformation operations. In short, something in the explicate order can look completely stable and concrete, but it is nevertheless the "end result," so to speak, of an infinite number of processes. Not to go all Deepak on you, but this is surely what quantum physics "shows," i.e., its overall vision. And this vision is precisely what Alfred North Whitehead tries to develop in his postmodern metaphysics of process.

As an aside, some people say that you really have only one or two ideas that you keep flogging in diverse ways. Here I am, back to the same place -- the same attractor -- where it all started.

Back to the subject at hand, perhaps this "war in heaven" is really a war in the implicate order. We mostly deal with its effects in the explicate order, just as, say, a neurotic person deals with explicate symptoms that are really a consequence of pain and conflict in his unconscious-implicate order. Someone suggested as much in a paper published back in 1991. Oh, right. Me.

I wonder if there's anything in there that can help us today, in our search for the implicate powers and principalities that render the left so hopelessly fucked up?

Bohm "begins with this notion of an underlying, undivided wholeness, and then attempts to show how, amidst this wholeness there may exist the 'relatively enduring subtotalities' available to our senses and scientific instruments."

In another hint of things to come, "Language becomes problematic at this point," because its structure "presupposes a universe of individual parts in external relationship to one another." But underneath the explicate order of conventional language is "the vast multidimensional sea" of quantum-linguistic potential which "forms the constantly unfolding common ground of the manifest cosmos." From here it is but a step to the implicate and generative linguistic order of the Cosmogenesis and Cosmobliteration sections of the Encirclopedia.

I am flat out of time this morning. I'll have to leave it to readers to explicate this idea that there is some kind of nonlocal war going on in the implicate heavens, and that we're just the collateral damage. Spookulate away!

Man... lets himself be bound more and more in life: his faculty for lying gives him the marvelous impression of being able to arrange [read: explicate] things for the best in difficult situations, but he forgets that lies, once uttered, put him under obligation. Imaginary facts... demand [an implicate] context which... must support the circumstances within which we live and act... a serious lie unfailingly leads to a catastrophe commensurate with the importance of the problem. --Mouravieff

Friday, December 04, 2015

Coming to a Theater Near You, Your Life

In a comment, reader Magister suggests that life is analogous to a film, but to what is a film analogous?

Hey, I should know this because back off man, I was a film major. Yes, like the esteemed James Taranto I attended Cal State Northridge, the Harvard of the west San Fernando Valley. Except in my case I bothered to graduate. By which I mean they let me slide with a "gentleman's BA."

Why did I major in film? Because I couldn't think of an easier subject. Except for PE, and even I have more self-respect than that.

Turned out to be more difficult than I had imagined, but it goes to show that some things never change, in this case, my basic temperament. I've just never been able to take the Conspiracy seriously. Things it regards as important are malevolent or silly to me, whereas things I think are important are attacked or devalued -- if noticed at all -- by Big Con.

My whole life, at least from the age of nine or so, has been focussed on outwitting the Conspiracy. I've had some wins and some losses, but overall, I would say I've been able to preserve my sacred eccentricity and thus my Slack. So, open your Encirclopedia to page 261 and let's say it together:

Do the monkey bone, do the shingaling, get your slack back & take a trip, slip, lose your grip, & turn a backover flip and say: not the god of the philosophers, not the god of the scholars!

You know, like Pascal.

Back to the subject at hand: yes, your life is like a film. But what is the film really about? There are characters of course, conflicts, a crazy plot, and also a theme. What's yours? I already told you mine: Slack vs. Conspiracy. Everything else is a subset of that.

We've no doubt discussed this in the past, but I don't recall what I wrote, and besides, readers come and some even go, so it won't be a stale bobservation for one or two of you.

Volume One of Gnosis by slack hustler Boris Mouravieff has some helpful things to say. Indeed! I just opened the book to a random page and out popped this:

"... [S]omeone who has studied esoteric science can and must better understand the comedy of life, in which pretentious blind men lead other more modest blind men towards an abyss which will engulf both" (italics in original).

This is so true it tickles and hurts at the same time -- unless you just can't think of a Pretentious Blind Man who is leading our nation toward an abyss.

Now, the term "esoteric science" is a bit pretentious and bordering on the conspiratorial itself. For our counter-conspiratorial cult, the Cosmic Raccoons, "esoteric science" is just the way things really are. It's "esoteric" in the same sense that Bob is "abnormal" while actually being normal.

In other words, for the Raccoon, the most esoteric thing of all is a little common fucking sense.

Thus the false esoterism of the tenured, which is just more blindness from the pretentious -- systematic myopia masquerading as another -- and superior -- form of vision.

Real vision is of course 20/, which really means that the Raccoon can perceive the Infinite from any angle or distance, even its Fine Prince.

You might say that seeing the Infinite Abyss prevents us from falling into all the manmade ones.

Still, we must be cautious, as there are snares everywhere: "He who studies esoteric science must watch, and take care not to return once again to the crowd, nor, 'like everyone else,' to follow that broad way that leads to the abyss" (Mouravieff).

This is reminiscent of that fine prince's remark to the effect that He who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for service in the Kingdom of Slack.

Blah blah yada yada, time has seven dimensions, the last one being O, which is the Alpha and Omega: "It is not the void. It is the seed and end" of all that exists. It is source and destiny. You can't actually get out of it anyway -- that's a tip-toptical delusion, right? -- so you might as well be in it.

Put it this way. What we call "science" -- I mean the whole existentialada, not just this or that discipline -- tries to account for the whole of reality. You might say that it superimposes its vision over O, and does a pretty decent job of it, or at least metacosmically blind folks fall for it.

Nevertheless, there is always a gap between this and reality, and this gap is infinite. Or better, as Mouravieff terms it, there is a "zone of illusion" between us and reality, AKA O. Grace is here -- among other reasons -- to get us over that hump, i.e., to swim the moat.

In fact, here is where I differ with Mouravieff (and there are many such differences), because no amount of effort on our part can propel us over the void. To believe so is... the last temptation, as it were -- the sort of thing to which Jesus was tempted in the desert.

The Raccoon "takes the easy way out" by following the Law of Attraction instead of the Law of Force. But orthoparadoxically, it obviously takes a lot of effort to give up and trust God, no?

Another important orthoparadox is that what they call "civilization" is really a great wilderness, whereas genuine civilization is always out here in the bewilderness. For it is here where all the inaction -- the evolutionary non-doodling -- takes place. It is in this space of bewilderness -- unplugged from the conspiratorial grid -- that we may float upstream on wings of Slack, AKA grace.

The conspiracy loves its own. Therefore it hates us. But the tool's reproach is a kingly title, is it not?

I might add that the conspirator is in a cage, so he can't even really get at you. He needs you for food, but if you just ignore him he'll starve. Atheists, for example, need us. We don't need them, except maybe to toy with and sharpen our arguments and insultainments.

Ah, here's the part I was looking for: "between the limits drawn by birth and death" is a film representing "the life of each of us, all the beings we have met, and the ensemble of material and moral circumstances which surround us."

We watch -- or experience -- this film through a little slot we call the "present." Now, it seems that this present can't really be a part of the film per se.

Rather, it must somehow be outside or above it, right? Or at least more or less so. We all know people who are so immersed in their film that they are unable to stand back and see where it is going or what is the point of it all.

So, the Present has a kind of breadth and depth, does it not? And isn't the Conspiracy always trying to compress this slot and draw us into the agitation and drownian emotion of its urgent nihilocracy? That's the function of the liberal media, to force us to play roles in its low budget film-narrative.

Note that one is either in or out of this narrative. If you are in it, you are not permitted to be out.

Which is why a liberal, for example, is not permitted to watch Fox News, or not permitted to question global warming, or not permitted to doubt vulgar Darwinism.

But once outside the narrow slot of the Conspiracy, one awakens to the wider world -- the expansive cosmic bewilderness. It's so roomy here, who would want to leave?

To reiterate, the "essential aim" is to broaden "the individual slot that opens directly on the Present" (ibid.). Do that and you can read the Signs of the Times like a lesser man reads the clowns of the Times.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Freedom: Divine, Human, and Anti-human

For Hartshorne, God is still omniscient, in that he knows infallibly all that can be known. It's just that he can't know what can't be known in principle.

In a similar sense, he is obviously free, but not to violate his own nature. Like any other person, he is constrained by who he is!

It really comes down to freedom and creativity -- whether these words really mean what they mean, or are just nice sounding platitudes.

Is there freedom in God? Then God is undetermined to himself. Are we free? Then we are (at least partly, but genuinely) undetermined by and for God.

Thus, "Either we determine the divine knowing, in some degree, or we determine nothing at all.... if we cannot do this, then we have no freedom whatsoever."

Not only does this touch on freedom and creativity, but love and truth, for what is the merit of love if it is determined and therefore compulsory? What is its value if it isn't freely given? Is it even love anymore?

In this context, what does it mean to say God is love, if love operates like an inanimate machine? Again, it is reduced to a kind of meaningless platitude.

In my world, truth is the virtue and light of the intellect. If our beliefs are determined -- if we are not free to discover and devote ourselves to truth -- then what is its merit? Eliminate freedom and we eliminate truth.

So, all of these things -- freedom, love, truth, creativity, relationship, and goodness -- are densely connected in the divine hyperspace; each is a necessary reflection of the others. Not one of them is understandable without its sister transcendentals.

When we say that "God is unchanging," it means that he is unchanging in these necessary attributes. His love, for example, is steadfast, but steadfast is not the same as static, for how can love ever be static?

What happens when the Divine Freedom confronts the human freedom? Yes, the Incarnation, but when God incarnates he does so as man, and not just a man. Or, at the very least, we are free to participate in that ultimate drama of freedom.

I suppose there are millions of self-styled Christians who don't believe in the Trinity. To which I would say, if God isn't Trinity, then to hell with it. Who needs him?

For me, that sort of God is literally equivalent to no God. It's certainly not a God I can relate to, because there would be nothing relative in him.

Does such a vision of God limit his power or glory or supremacy? Well, what is power? Or, what would it mean to exert power but not respond to what is produced or brought about by the power?

Isn't this like a dictator or tyrant, all Who and no Whom? Yes, it's "power," but is it divine power? Which type of leader is more like God, the autocrat or the servant-leader who is intimately related to his subjects?

This touches on a quintessential difference between Christianity, on the one hand, and leftism or Islamism on the other.

For the latter two, God, or ultimate power, comes down to authority and obedience. Freedom -- and therefore truth and love -- doesn't enter into it.

Allah, whatever else he is, isn't especially lovable, as far as I can tell. Seems to me he's more interested in respect than love. And he certainly doesn't care about freedom, for in every nation dominated by Islam, freedom is conspicuously absent.

Freedom is a Christian value. Even the left's perverse version of it could only exist in a Christianized person who has simply severed it from its sister transcendentals (in particular, a prior moral responsibility without which freedom is not only inconceivable but toxic).

God is creative -- it says so in the first sentence of the Bible -- therefore he contains alternatives within himself. The world isn't necessary. He could have created another world.

But I would suggest that he cannot not create, any more than he cannot fail to love.

Again, when we speak of God's "changelessness," I think this is what we are referring to. Creating is necessary. This or that creation are contingent.

As it so happens, all this far-out Christian Duddism we've been discussing lately has profound links to Evolution 2.0, that is, the real evolution, not just the watered down Darwinian variety.

For with the God we have described above, creative evolution becomes necessary instead of an impossible absurdity (which it is for both creationists and atheistic Darwinans).

But that's the subject of a different post, one that will appear "necessarily," even if the contingent details are not worked out at this time.

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