Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The De-partment and Re-Wholement of Wisdom

On the macro level, truth -- and therefore intellectual honesty -- is the highest value. As Dennis Prager says, this is not necessarily so of the micro level, where there is no reason to be brutally honest at the cost of damaging relationships. In fact, we might say that on the micro level the most important value is love in its various forms: caritas, eros, and agape.

This goes to one of the fundamental inversions of leftism, as the moonbats among us often behave as if Love is All You Need on the macro level. Isn't this how Obama is treating the Mullahs? Just be nice to them, and they'll be nice back to us. When new age leftists talk about a global shift in collective consciousness, this is what they're referring to: replacing hard truth with gooey luv.

"Taking this perspective into the political realm, [Marianne] Williamson has advocated a Department of Peacebuilding and has created a group called the Peace Alliance to bring this about."

Sounds a little vague, even gooey. How would it work? "[O]ur country’s way of dealing with security issues is increasingly obsolete.... We cannot simply rely on brute force to rid ourselves of enemies.... The only way to make peace with your neighbors is to make peace with your neighbors.”

Now that is profound. It only looks like a vacuous tautology.

Williamson actually ran for congress in my district in 2014. I say this to remind you just how lonely and isolated I am here in Comedy Central. One of her ideas is "to establish a U.S. Department of Peacebuilding that would examine 'non-violent problem-solving options' to global conflict."

Dennis Kucinich is on the same page of the coloring book: "The intention is to develop an organized approach, tapping the intellectual and spiritual power of America to develop programs that would include teaching children the principles of peace: teaching them peace giving, peace sharing, mutuality, seeing the other person as an aspect of oneself, of teaching the inner equality of all people."

Here again, those are all fine goals on the micro level. In fact, we used to teach these things in public schools before the Supreme Court declared Christianity unconstitutional.

This goes to Jesus's crack about being innocent as doves and wise as serpents. You could say that on the macro level we need to be at least as wise and cunning as the serpents with whom we are dealing: Iran, North Korea, Putin, ISIS, the IRS, et al. However, the Obama left is innocent toward our foreign enemies but cunning and cynical toward domestic opposition.

We need a Department of Peace so that the left might examine non-violent solutions toward dealing with conservatives, instead of using the power of the state to harass us and limit our speech. Liberals need to see conservatives as aspects of themselves, and appreciate our inner equality.

Think about how truth works. Truth is always a kind of "opposition," at least to the extent that we haven't internalized it: there is truth, and there is what I believe, and there is no way to simply "love away" the difference ("iron sharpens iron," in the words of Solomon). One cannot make peace with truth by finding some middle ground between What Is and What I Want It To Be, but rather, by submitting to it.

But the modern education establishment is like a Department of Truth. And like the Department of Peace, it pretends to solve a problem by defining the terms away.

Think, for example, of their holiest of holies, Diversity. What is diversity but the insistence that we make peace with multiple truths, which is (literally) no truth at all? Therefore, job one of our federal Department of Truth is to use the power of the state to outlaw truth -- just as a Department of Peace would assure perpetual war (at least until our surrender and defeat).

It comes down to Wisdom and her diverse liberal alternatives. "Aristotle," says McGinn, identifies wisdom "as the habit of knowledge that puts things in their proper order."

Thus, "Ordering and judging are rooted in the essential act of wisdom, that upon which all its ordering and judging depend, namely, contemplation" (McGinn). And contemplation "considers the very object of happiness, the highest intelligible being"(Aquinas, ibid.). Thomas enlists Paul as a wingman, who says in Corinthians that "The spiritual person [i.e., the wise person] judges all things."

This, of course, has nothing to do with judgmentalism, let alone ontological or epistemological closure. Rather, it means forming a living relationship to the highest intelligible being, or O. Thus, it is the quintessence of dynamic openness, its very source and possibility.

In a manner of speaking, it is not as if we are made in the image of God once and for allah, but rather, ceaselessly being remade -- similar to how one's body retains its identity while undergoing constant change. To cease changing is another term for death.

Note also that Wisdom is what orders science. It is superior to science, and allows us to put all of the many individual scientific disciplines in their proper place: physics, biology, chemistry, neurology, anthropology, psychology, etc.

The fraudulent metaphysic of scientism is really a bad imitation of wisdom and theology, because it surely orders the universe in a hierarchical manner, but does so in a precisely upside-down manner, placing physics at the top instead of at the bottom or periphery.

In contrast, Christian metaphysics places person at the top (and center), such that this is the sort of cosmos we would expect to see, given the necessity that persons exist in it. By dis-inverting the cosmos and seeing it from this proper perspective, we can eliminate a lot of the mystification -- not mystery -- from the world.

This goes to one of the Prime Directives of the Raccoon lifestyle, which involves the demystification the world in order to re-mysterize it. Doing so requires a kind of skepticism at one end -- wise as serpents, you might say -- and open acceptance at the other -- innocent as doves or children.

This goes to the born and born-again cycle, or the continuous remaking alluded to above: "Such wisdom follows the model of the most perfect form of movement, circular motion, by beginning from principles, arguing to conclusions, and returning to the principles with deeper understanding" (McGinn).

There are many ways to express this perfect nonsense, e.g., Returning to the Oneself, borne again to the mysterious mamamatrix of our birthdeath, our winding binding river of light empties to the sea: as it was in the beginning, same as it ever was... same as it ever was... same as it ever was...


julie said...

This goes to one of the Prime Directives of the Raccoon lifestyle, which involves the demystification the world in order to remysticize it. Doing so requires a kind of skepticism at one end -- wise as serpents, you might say -- and open acceptance at the other -- innocent as doves or children.

Yes, just so.

I am trying to learn how to work with animation software, for a number of reasons having little to do with making animations, but the essence of it - of creativity in general, really - lies in first understanding, and then using that understanding to create something mysterious. Sipp put it another way, as well:

"Nobody understands that you have to be able to do it first. You can't deconstruct a goddamned thing until you can do it, and if you could do it, you wouldn't get the urge to deconstruct it. Frank Gehry can't design a proper two-holer so he designs giant monstrosities to hide the fact."

mushroom said...

The micro/macro opposition is insightful. I love people. I don't care much for the people or mankind. I am easily moved to help my neighbor, but the greater good can go pound sand. The left will cut up individual babies in the name of a macro abstraction.

julie said...

Well said, Mushroom.

Speaking of individuals, anyone heard from Ben lately?

Van Harvey said...

No, is he near the fires in Washington?

julie said...

I don't think so, from what I can tell. Hopefully, he's doing okay. If his computer is offline again I don't think I have his phone number.

RW said...

The greater good can go pound sand."

Should go into Bartlett's. What a discovery this blog is!