Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Liberalism: Come for the Hope, Stay for the Destruction

We left off yesterday with Cheetham's description of artistic creation, which is the precipitate of a two-way movement of ascent and descent:

"In creating a work of art, the psyche or soul of the artist ascends from the earthly realm into the heavenly," such that the result is like a "materialized dream" or perhaps dreamland-localized.

But the main point is that it is clearly in between. Michelangelo's Pietà, for example, is not mere matter, a chunk of marble. But nor is it pure spirit, since spirit is by definition immaterial. Therefore, it occupies a mysterious third area between the two.

However, everything human occupies this third area. It is just that, in the case of art, it is as it were hyper-focused, like a lens that gathers the rays of the sun into an intense point of light and heat. Thus, some zones and sectors in this third area can be more intense and meaningful, others bland, diffuse, and oppressive.

To some extent, it is as if any artist in any medium uses the common "substance" of this third area -- which is why activities as disparate as poetry, painting, and music all share the word "art." As Corbin puts it, true art thus "attains a super-reality"; it is "a crystal of time in imaginal space" (Cheetham).

Of course, much so-called art falls short of this standard, which can be discerned by its default to mere reality, so to speak. (Or, it is perhaps subrealism as opposed to surrealism.) The term "pornography" could be a more general concept that encompasses everything from Miley Cyrus to scientism to MSM news to liberal academia.

Note that in each case the third area is collapsed into a simplistic and vulgar literalism devoid of any ascending or descending energies. When people speak of the "mainstreaming of pornography," this is but a symptom of a far more widespread cultural decay -- more of an end-stage of the illness, or final common pathway.

The "culture war" is not between two equal and opposite forces, but rather, between the human and sub-human. It is the source of that suffocating feeling you've been experiencing over the past six years, now too intense and pervasive to ignore.

First and foremost, the progressive left is and always has been at war with the higher human realms. It is what they do. If you want to know why Bruce Jenner is a hero while American soldiers are baby-killers, this is why. The left follows its own insane logic in a completely consistent and predictable way.

Culture as such takes place in the third area, as does science, politics, and interpersonal relations -- in other words, everything from the macro- down to the micro-human. Polanyi might be the first philosopher of science to have appreciated this on a deep level. And ultimately this space is a function of trinitarian metaphysics, which posits a dynamic space of love, truth, and beauty.

The problem is, man cannot actually exile himself from the human space -- the third area -- for we are "condemned to transcendence," in Schuon's ironic formulation. Therefore, the left actually insists on transcendence, but only their own insane version of it. This is exhaustively described from various angles in David Horowitz's Left Illusions.

In short, not everything in the third area is sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows. Rather, some stuff there is "deceptive and dangerous," e.g., "earthly allurements clothed in spiritual garb." I mean, right? Who could not know this? And yet...

With the wrong approach -- of which there are many, cf. various deadly sins -- "we will be ensnared by lies and delusions and the inflation of spiritual intoxication." Is there anyone as spiritually intoxicated as a professional leftist?

In contrast, the correct approach involves little things like, oh, humility, prudence, sobriety, purity, etc. In the absence of prudence, for example, we may not know that "some of the forests are simply better off not exploring. There be monsters" -- for example, like the literally monstrous Caitlyn Jenner, "monstrosity" being something at odds with all nature, both horizontal and vertical. No offense, but such crankensteins are to be pitied, not celebrated. They are entitled to our compassion, not our reverence.

But in the upside-down world of the left, this is precisely what happens: instead of crystalizing the higher energies, they distill the lower ones. Ultimately, opposition to statist sub-humanism can only occur one person at a time, which is why they always have the upper hand, at least from a terrestrial standpoint.

The left relies on forced unconsciousness before all else, which has become the function of their media, their school system, their art forms, and their universities. Through this unyielding and pervasive cultural hammering, "our inner depths become opaque and we are barred from the Kingdom," for we are "cut off from the celestial pole" (Cheetham).

The left is always about destruction (change) and utopia (hope); the latter is a pretext for the former, the only thing the left is really good at, i.e., the relentless pursuit of perdition:

"There are always (and inevitably) two sides to the revolutionary coin. The first is negative and destructive, since it is necessary first to undermine the beliefs, values, and institutions of the old order which must be destroyed before a new one can be established. The second is positive and utopian, a vision of the future that condemns the present" (Horowitz).

Obama's credo might well be Come for the hope, stay for the destruction, for "Using good intentions to justify evil deeds is the first requirement of a utopian bad faith." But unfortunately, it would appear that "a lie grounded in human desire is too powerful for reason to kill" (Horowitz). The left will always be with us, for the impossibility of utopia will always justify its destructive impulses.


Gagdad Bob said...

In other words, "The wish to silence, censor, and impede thought is just as strong a human emotion as the desire for free expression — especially when censorship is cloaked in rhetoric about fairness, equality, justice, and all the other euphemisms for not allowing the free promulgation of ideas.... A pre-Enlightenment Age is not just the absence of uncomfortable free expression. It is also a sort of groupthink acceptance of a lie in place of the truth on grounds of social utility.... The final symptom of an un-Enlightened age is the assumption that lies are truth because untruth offers collective benefits, while veracity disrupts social justice."

Gagdad Bob said...

This one explains exactly how the micro-destruction leads directly to the macro-destruction: "In corrupting and destroying the quality and caliber of the average American woman, these veritable communists have completely disincentived men from participating in getting married, creating families and forming careers. Men are getting married much later, and some, not at all because of the various legal and financial risks involved. Men are having less children not just because they can't afford it in today's economic times, but BOTH parents MUST have careers! Children be damned."

It's kind of like Genesis: the woman falls first, and drags the man down with her. But the converse is also true: she can be the first to point man upward, otherwise he seeks the path of least resistance.

mushroom said...

...collapsed into a simplistic and vulgar literalism devoid of any ascending or descending energies

"L-l-l-look at my $h1t. Now pay me, b1tch!"

I don't/can't listen to rap and all that long enough to determine if this is the case for every "song", but they do seem to like to "keep it real".

mushroom said...

Wow, I have to say that is pretty good analysis by Captain Capitalism. I can see that.

julie said...

I read both of those linked pieces this morning; can't argue with either one. Alas. All the more reason to show our children what a strong family and healthy male-female relationship looks like.


"In creating a work of art, the psyche or soul of the artist ascends from the earthly realm into the heavenly," such that the result is like a "materialized dream" or perhaps dreamland-localized.

On Rick's raccoomendation yesterday, I watched the Sagrada Familia documentary on Netflix last night. Very interesting. I'm not at all sure what I think of the cathedral from an aesthetic perspective, especially on the outside; there is so much happening and it's so huge that in a way it reminds me of an architectural Joyce novel. Everywhere you look it is dense with meaning and symbolism.

Anyway, what really grabbed me was the passion of the people who are continuing the project more than a century later, particularly the Japanese sculptor who converted from being a staunch Buddhist to being a devout Catholic. Though he might say that regardless, he was always a stonecutter, and Catholicism allowed him to express that in fullness whereas Buddhism required that he deny his desire to cut stone. Many great nuggets about creativity in the service of something higher, plus a couple of gnotes on the nature of Trinity, and overall a fascinating look at the process of creation as it flows from one man's vision and inspires further generations.

Proverbs 12:4 said...

"A woman of worth is the crown of her husband, but a disgraceful one is like rot in his bones."

No wonder so many men today would rather stay hame and play video games.

Gagdad Bob said...

Like Japanese boy-men, they're taking the path of lust resistance.

Leslie said...

"The great march of mental destruction will go on. Everything will be denied. Everything will become a creed. It is a reasonable position to deny the stones in the street; it will be a religious dogma to assert them. It is a rational thesis that we are all in a dream; it will be a mystical sanity to say that we are all awake. Fires will be kindled to testify that two and two make four. Swords will be drawn to prove that leaves are green in summer. We shall be left defending, not only the incredible virtues and sanities of human life, but something more incredible still, this huge impossible universe which stares us in the face. We shall fight for visible prodigies as if they were invisible. We shall look on the impossible grass and the skies with a strange courage. We shall be of those who have seen and yet have believed."
Heretics -Chesterton

Gagdad Bob said...

When talking about the left, sober realism and strict objectivity always sound polemical -- like "hate speech" -- to lo-fos and leftists. But you can hardly exaggerate their madness and all-around rottenness.

ted said...

This is funny: even the left are getting scared of the left. And now you got New York secular jewish liberals like Seinfeld who are saying they won't perform on college campuses because they are too politically correct. Could this be the beginning of a backlash, when people of their own ilk are going through a conversion?

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"But in the upside-down world of the left, this is precisely what happens: instead of crystalizing the higher energies, they distill the lower ones."

The gut wrenching mojo of envy n' bitterness. Talk about a horrific harangueover.

Joan of Argghh! said...

I dunno, B'ob. I think B'en is vying to be the punster laureate around here!

Gagdad Bob said...

Future causation. Sure, it works in reality, but does it work in theory?

It reminds me of Invisible Boy, who has the superpower of invisibility, so long as no one is looking at him.

julie said...

Nice. I never thought science would be able to prove that reality wouldn't exist if there was nobody to know it, but it seems I was wrong. It also reminds of the truism that a person is only a person in relation to other persons. If there were only one, there wouldn't be any.