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).


mushroom said...

No wonder Obama hates some folks. We are harshing his mellow.

mushroom said...

Our problems are solved. Check out the picture of the new "ISIL czar".

julie said...

I suspect Mouravieff has the right of it. Not least because even the simpler passages of scripture tend to have layers of meaning. Makes for endless discovery, but also the possibility that one might mistake the meaning for lack of the other 90% of information. Come to think of it, this is the primary way that many non-Christians find it so easy to completely write it all off as a collection of talking snake stories.

will said...

Yep, Julie. I often think of Chesterton's "In truth, there was only one Christian and He died on the cross." Heh, I find this both inspiring and highly deflating at once. Inspiring because G.K.C. Isn't saying there can only be one Christian operating at full capacity - we all have the potential. It's deflating for the same reason - we all have the potential ..... and we continue to flush it away.

mushroom said...

Hi, Will!

will said...

Hey, mushroom!

Gagdad Bob said...

New title. That's better.

julie said...

Yes, that is better. Not that the original was bad :)

Van Harvey said...

"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..."

The transformative power of garbage viewed as Art. GIGO.

Van Harvey said...

[Taps watch. Taps foot] Christmas break?