Friday, July 15, 2016

Collaborating with the Handicapped God

Continuing with yesterday's post, we left off with the idea that persons are subjects of consciousness and freedom. Person "signifies self-consciousness," such that the three persons of the Trinity "may be seen as 'distinct acts of self-consciousness making use of that one unrestricted power.'"

Now, "Self-consciousness is awareness of one's awareness" or "consciousness of one's consciousness" (Spitzer). Thus, "this remarkable power seems to defy physical explanation, because it can be in two relative positions with respect to itself simultaneously." In other words, it is as if the inner universe of consciousness may double back "on itself at an infinite velocity, so that it can be 'inside' itself..."

That is not as clear as it could be. I would say that with self-consciousness we are simultaneously conscious (in consciousness) and somehow above or "outside" it. But this can't be the case. There can't be any strict line between consciousness and self-consciousness, because the latter must ultimately be a mode of the former. Even so, they are quite distinct, and the distinction lies at the foundation of our humanness.

It very much reminds me of the distinction in psychoanalysis between the conscious and unconscious minds. We can talk about the two as if they are separate, but they can't be. Rather, it is more like the yin-yang symbol of the Tao, in which there is unconsciousness in every act of consciousness, and vice versa.

Or, it is like the wave/particle distinction in quantum physics: a particular thought is the precipitate of a wavelike flow of consciousness, in which our conscious mind is analogous to the "shore." We're just children at play along the infinite shore where the waves of eternity break upon the sands time.

We all attempt to use what we know to understand what we don't. In the past, I have mentioned my suspicion that there is something analogous to the conscious/unconscious distinction in God. However, this expresses it backwards. That is to say, it is we who are in the image of God; therefore, our conscious/unconscious structure must be a distant echo of what goes on in God. We are the way we are because God is the way He is.

And remember, when we say "unconscious," we certainly don't mean ignorant, or undirected, or sub-conscious. Rather, it is more like a supra- or hyperconsciousness -- like the total implicate field as opposed to the particulate point of selfhood. As the psychoanalyst James Grotstein expressed it in this decade old post, what we call the unconscious is in actuality

"a sort of alter-ego, or 'stranger within' that shadows our existence in a most intimate, creative, and mysterious way. Far from being 'primitive and impersonal,' it is 'subjective and ultra-personal,' a 'mystical, preternatural, numinous second self' characterized by 'a loftiness, sophistication, versatility, profundity, virtuosity, and brilliance that utterly dwarf the conscious aspects of the ego.'"

From the same post:

Grotstein sees the unconscious as a sort of “handicapped” god who needs a partner in order to accomplish its mission. The goal of psychotherapy is not merely knowledge of, or insight into, the unconscious, but something far greater. Rather, it is to establish a sort of dynamic collaboration between the phenomenal ego -- our conscious self -- and the “ineffable subject of being” upon which the ego floats, and into which it infinitely extends (for the boat is paradoxically made of the same water upon which it floats).

Through a creative resonance between these two aspects of ourselves, we are much more spontaneously alive, creative, and “present.” It is like adding another dimension (or two or three) of depth to our being, through which we become something that has never actually been, but is somehow more real than what we presently are. A new entity emerges, a “transcendent subject” that lives harmoniously in the dialectical space between our “foreground self” and this mysterious “background subject” that surrounds and vivifies it.

You might say that we help God come into being, or to transition from the implicate to explicate order. Could it be that something similar occurs within the Godhead?

This is what I mean by applying the Being/Beyond-Being distinction to God. Again, it is all just one flowing movement.

And now that I think about it, it is as if there exist vertical and horizontal in God; the distinction between Godhead and Trinity would be on the "vertical" plane, while the distinctions between the persons of the Trinity would be "horizontal." The Father is not "above" the Son or Spirit, but on the same level. But the infinite Divine Nature must be "above" them, in a manner of speaking.

Spitzer: "[T]here can be only one unrestricted power, but Christian revelation holds that there are three Persons in this one power.... This is not contradictory because [as explained above] an unrestricted power can accommodate multiple acts of self-consciousness.... The one unrestricted power acts as a single 'power source' for the three distinct acts of self-consciousness."

So, that's about it for today. To be continued...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Up and Down in Divine Space

I don't think I'll continue with the discussion of Heather MacDonald's The War on Cops. I try not to duplicate what is widely available elsewhere on the internet, and there is so much solid information out there about the deadly lies of the left (e.g., here), that it's just piling on. Whether it is "racial profiling," "disparities in the criminal justice system," "hands up don't shoot," or police disproportionately targeting black people, it is all malicious flapdoodle.

Besides, more interesting -- and important -- is the machinery of the whole phenomenon. How does one manufacture a class of dupes to passionately believe easily disproved lies? And why? First and foremost, it doesn't begin with blacks, but with white liberals. They are the ones with the power to either propagate the lies or correct them at the root. They are the transmission belt of culpable ignorance and stupidity.

Do they know they are lying? And do they care? Is it really just a cynical attempt to agitate blacks to turn out to vote in November? Or do they actually convince themselves that the lie is true?

It's very hard if not impossible for someone who loves truth to relate to the latter. I would never knowingly propagate falsehood on this blog, and I want to be corrected when I am wrong. But leftists think you are lying to them when you simply tell them the truth. You will have noticed that whenever the left accuses conservatives of something, it is always a projection -- an unconscious revelation of what they actually believe.

For example, they accuse us of racism, when they are the ones who want to discriminate on the basis of race; they accuse us of being "anti-science," when they are the ones who pretend that climate science is settled, or that IQ has nothing to do with genetics, or that an unborn baby is just a random clump of cells, or that the minimum wage doesn't harm the most economically vulnerable, or that homosexuality isn't dangerous to one's health, both physical and psychological, or that the sexes aren't fundamentally different, etc. The list is endless.

So, we'll change subjects. To what? To whatever strikes my fancy, as usual. In this case, it is an appendix to Spitzer's God So Loved the World: Clues to Our Transcendent Destiny from the Revelation of Jesus, called Making Sense of the Trinity and Incarnation. I haven't yet thought it through -- that's the purpose of writing about it -- but while reading it, it triggered many psychic depth charges. When this occurs, it is a clue that there is more here than meets the I. In other words, it is fraught with implicate meaning.

Best of all, Spitzer seems to understand the Trinity in the same way I do, although coming at it from a different angle. Of which there must be countless, since it is analogous to coming at a three-dimensional space with two-dimemsionsl arrows.

Two questions: "How can God be three in one, and how can the Son of God become human?" The early councils were extremely careful in explicating the answers, since it is very easy to fall into misconceptions in attempting to resolve the mystery. Many heresies are simply false solutions to these conundrums, e.g., that Jesus is all God, or all man, or a spirit being, or an enlightened sage, etc.

I am reminded of a Jewish relative who says she could never accept Christianity due to the strict monotheism of Judaism. Does she have a point? Yes! Spitzer: "How can Jesus be divine in human form? Isn't that a contradiction? It would be if the early Church had claimed that Jesus' Incarnation was 'divinity becoming human,' or 'the divine taking human form,' or 'the Infinite taking finite form.'"

Being that they were mostly good Jews, they knew as well as anyone that God is one -- hence the development of the Trinity as the solution to a metaphysical problem of the first rank. The Church "declared early on that it was not 'the infinite God' who became 'man,' but the 'Son of God'" who did. It did not claim God's infinite nature became finite, because this "would have been an obvious contradiction."

This leads to the distinction between "nature" and "person." The divine nature is completely unrestricted: it "would have to be unique (one and only one), because two unrestricted acting powers is a contradiction." If there are two, then one has something the other lacks, and is therefore not unrestricted. And if there is no difference, then they are the same, i.e., one.

So, the divine nature is still one. In reality it is "beyond" or "before" or "above" one, for we are not talking about any mere quantitative one. This whole line of thought rang a bell in me, because it reminds me of Schuon's fundamental distinction between Being and Beyond-Being. To jump ahead a bit, the Divine Nature must be Beyond-Being, while the Divine Persons are Being (not our being, but rather, the being-ness "within" the Godhead -- in divinas, as the Latins say.

Schuon explains this quite clearly in chapter one of Survey of Metaphysics and Esoterism, Summary of Integral Metaphysics. There he begins in the beginning -- or before the beginning, to be precise -- with the idea that "In metaphysics, it is necessary to start from the idea that the Supreme Reality is absolute, and that being absolute it is infinite." This Supreme Reality could never be incarnated without instantaneously shattering the world.

It is "at once solely itself and totally itself"; it "is not determined by any limiting factor and therefore does not end at any boundary..." And skin is bounded, so there you are. It cannot "contain" the one divine nature.

But again, within Divinity itself there is a kind of qualitative "distinction" that results from its own nature. For Schuon, there is a "pure Absolute" and a "relative Absolute," and although he doesn't say so, I would assign the Trinity to the latter.

Please bear in mind that we are deploying human categories to try to peer into the transhuman. In reality it is the other way around: relativity exists in the human plane as a kind of distant echo of what occurs in divinas, between Being and Beyond-Being. You might say that God manifests to himsoph as Trinity.

I can see that this is going to require a great deal of caution in order to say all of this correctly. In other words, it is probably easy to misunderstand what I'm saying, but be sure that I am doing my best to play within the boundaries of orthodoxy.

About Beyond-Being manifesting to itself as Being. Schuon notes that the Divine Principle "not only possesses 'dimensions' and 'modes,' it also has 'degrees,' by virtue of its very Infinitude which projects the Principles into Relativity..." Again, this is in God; you might say that creation partakes of the same extension, only "outside" God, i.e., ex divinas.

Back to Spitzer. Again, the early councils "were well aware that there could be only one unrestricted power, and therefore one nature in God, and so they knew that they would have to clarify how there could be three 'Persons' in that one unrestricted power and nature."

But since God cannot have "parts" per se, how are we to understand this? Well, what is a person? Spitzer suggests (following Jean Galot) that it is "the subject of consciousness and freedom." Person "signifies self-consciousness," such that the three persons "may be seen as 'distinct acts of self-consciousness making use of that one unrestricted power.'"

To be continued...

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Black Lives Martyred

Martyred to the breathtaking lies of the left, that is.

There is so much useful information in Heather MacDonald's The War on Cops that it's hard for this old brain to remember it all. Yes, Black Lives Matter is a total fraud, founded upon easily disproved lies and distortions, but what are the actual statistics? As an aid to myself and a friendly service to readers, I thought I might thumb through the book and pluck and out some of the more salient ones.

By the way, this is one of the most simultaneously exhilarating and depressing books I'ver ever read. Exhilarating because the truth always is. Depressing because it demonstrates how aggressively the left denies reality when its agenda is at stake. As the old gag goes, the first thing a man will do for his ideology is lie.

Which reminds me of Russell Kirk's axiom that one definition of conservatism is the absence of ideology. Unlike the left, we do not superimpose a secondary reality over the first, but rather, allow ourselves to be in-formed by reality. Or in other words, we stick with what is and what works.

The book is also depressing because we have a real problem on our hands, with no solution in sight. In an unprecedented historical experiment, the the left has destroyed the black family, and I have no idea what or how long it will take to put it back together, or if it's even possible.

The left's approach to the problem is to generate all heat and no light, in order to keep their most loyal voting bloc angry, dependent, and in the dark. They also ensure that if anyone talks about the real problems they will be banished as racist, thus sealing themselves in ignorance with weaponized PC rhetoric.

So, cheer up! Things are not as bad as they are going to be.

First the "Ferguson Effect": homicides in the nation's 50 largest cities increased 17 percent last year. This of course is after a fifty percent decline in crime since the mid-1990s. I won't get into all of the reasons for the decline, but suffice it to say that all of these truly progressive methods are under attack by the left, with predictable consequences, including thousands more black deaths.

In 2015 258 blacks were shot and killed by police, compared to 6,095 total black homicide victims in 2014 (the most recent year available), and the vast majority of the latter were murdered by other blacks. Of the 258 killed by police, most were in self defense, as in the Michael Brown case in Ferguson.

"[Y]oung black commit homicide at nearly ten times the rate of white and Hispanic males combined." Why on earth would a police officer not be a little more attentive to the activities of young black males? And why would the potential black victims of black predators not want the police to pay a little more attention to them?

It is precisely because of astronomical levels of black crime that police are in their neighborhoods. Police do not deploy their forces on a statistical basis based upon population, but rather, based upon crime. It has nothing per se to do with race, but with behavior. But when an inevitable statistical disparity in policing shows up, the left takes this as evidence of racism. Madness!

Conversely, Asians "barely show up in police-shooting data because their crime rates are so low." Thus, whites should organize a White Lives Matter group to protest this blatant discrimination against us in favor of Asians. Fight yellow privilege!

In New York City, "blacks are only 23 percent of the population but commit over 75 percent of all shootings.... whites commit under 2 percent of all shootings" despite constituting a third of the population. "Blacks and Hispanic shootings together account for 98 percent of all illegal gunfire."

Thus, it is no joke: the left wants to take our guns away, when the main reason we need them is to protect ourselves from their constituents. Or in other words, if we could just prevent guns from getting into the hands of Democrats, we would have murder rates (by shooting) comparable to Sweden.

Eh, I'll have to complete this tomorrow. It's a little crazy around here, being that today is the day the wife gets the new hip installed...

Monday, July 11, 2016

Is Liberalism Preventable?

What with leftism ending in what leftism always ends in — hatred, division, poverty, oppression, political violence, etc. — I was wondering over the weekend if there is any surefire way to prevent it. No, not via some form of censorship or reverse-indoctrination, but rather, to make sure it never plants its tentacles and takes hold of the soul to begin with.

I use the word “soul” advisedly, because I am convinced that leftism is first and foremost a spiritual disorder. Yes, leftism is irrational, but it’s more than that; it is anti-rational. Being that the mind is composed of reason and made for the purpose of exercising it, it takes great effort to subvert the natural process of seeking and loving truth.

Yes, leftism is fraught with daddy issues. Indeed, Black Lives Matter is unimaginable without these subspiritual and more banal psychological influences. If black lives mattered to their fathers, there would be no need to project the resultant abandonment and resentment onto white people, or police, or “structural racism.” But urban black children by and large don’t matter to their fathers, with predictable psycho-political consequences, i.e., various forms of acting out.

But here again, it takes real effort to not see the connection. This is what I mean by its being a spiritual disorder, in that there is a prior attack on truth before the mind even sets itself to the task of thinking.

In the past I have written about Bion’s concept of “attacks on linking.” Knowing an abstract truth requires a linkage of various ideas, concepts, and preconceptual archetypes and categories. If the mind can pre-emptively dismantle the supporting links that lead to a truth, this will be much more effective than having to deny each unwanted truth on an ad hoc basis. Cognitively speaking, it is the difference between a handgun and a nuclear bomb.

It takes great mental effort to believe the lies upon which Black Lives Matter is based. Or does it? Like Obama, its devotees certainly don’t appear to exercise much in the way of mental effort, so there must be something that makes it “easy” for them to arrive at such absurd and unsupported conclusions.

You might say that Satan’s yoke is easy but that his words endarken.

But how do minds become so easily yoked in this fashion? And is there any way to inoculate a person against such motivated stupidity? Satan never compels; rather, he only tempts and seduces. What is it about leftism that makes something so fundamentally ugly appear so attractive? Consider the fact that in one generation we have gone from “winning” the cold war to nearly nominating a socialist, mostly thanks to the young and stupid.

But are they only young and stupid? That can only account for so much. I think about my 11 year old, for example. He is already a bleeding-brain conservative, and I don’t foresee any possibility that he will be seduced by leftism as he gets older. You know the old gag, that if you're not a liberal when you're 25 you have no heart, and if you're not a conservative by the time you're 35 you have no brain. However, in my son’s case, it is precisely because he has such a big heart that he could never embrace leftism.

For example, his heart informs him that good and evil are objective realities, that there is a vital difference between them, and that life is an unending struggle between the two. Likewise, he knows that truth exists and that the purpose of the mind is to know it.

You’d think everyone would know these things, which again only goes to the left's success at inverting the psyche before it even begins to think. It is analogous to a fighting force that softens the battlefield via airpower before sending in the troops. I would say that public education — supplemented by the media and culture in general — softens the battlefield of the mind until the university troops go in and finish the job. Then the mind becomes occupied territory, usually for the remainder of one’s life.

Why else would Bernie Sanders want “free college” for everyone?

Here is a typical piece plucked from somewhere this morning, Universities’ War Against Truth. Just think about the perversity of that title! We all know it’s happening, as is the “artistic war on beauty” and the “ethical war on morality.” Again, this is why I am forced to conclude that a hostile spiritual power is at work, because how do you explain how an institution designed for the very purpose of pursuing and exalting truth has become precisely the opposite? Give the Evil One credit. That is an amazing accomplishment.

"Young people today are very reluctant to assume that anything is certain…” But why, and how? How can one not know that there are certain absolute truths without which thinking isn’t even possible?

"Whence came this ubiquitous hesitation? As I understand the matter, it has much to do with the new ideology of non-discrimination. Modern education aims to be ‘inclusive’, and that means not sounding too certain about anything in case you make people who don’t share your beliefs feel uncomfortable.”

Of course, this fails to convey the obnoxiousness with which the bogus conviction of having no convictions is held. Thus,

"Speaking or thinking in the wrong way does not mean disagreeing with the beliefs of the students — for they have no beliefs. It means thinking as though there really is something to think — as though there really is a truth that we are trying to reach, and that it is right, having reached it, to speak with certainty. What we might have taken to be open-mindedness turns out to be no-mindedness: the absence of beliefs, and a negative reaction to all those who have them.”

To paraphrase Chesterton, there is one thought that should be declared off limits, and that is the thought that stops thinking. For the left, the Forbidden Thought isn’t a bug but a feature. It is their foundation, their self-evident truth.

Last week I read a relevant comment at Happy Acres, that “To find out what is destroying your culture, discover which ideas are considered beyond criticism.”

That is the real purpose of the regime of political correctness: it is all about forbidding the very thoughts that facilitate thinking about -- and conforming ourselves to -- transcendent reality.

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