Friday, April 21, 2017

Infrarational, Rational, Transrational

Just because something isn't rational -- or reducible to logical expression -- doesn't mean it isn't true (apologies for the triple negative). Nor, for that matter, is something necessarily true just because it is rational.

For example, many rational acts are immoral. But does this imply the converse, that moral acts are irrational? No, because such acts must comport with a higher logic -- i.e., they are transrational. Looked at this way, the immoral act becomes irrational -- or infrarational -- in the broader sense.

Some time ago I noticed that anti- or irreligious people tend to descend into a kind of sentimentality -- or that religious depth is replaced by emotional attachment. There is obviously nothing wrong with emotion, but by sentimentality I mean... What do I mean? A kind of cheapening -- a counterfeit, exaggerated, and arbitrary coloration.

That's convenient: I'm just now looking at an essay by Schuon called Reflections on Ideological Sentimentalism. In it he points out how, for example, a Kantian might imagine that his metaphysic is completely free of emotionality, when it is thoroughly rooted in it. For "its starting point or 'dogma' is reducible to a gratuitous reaction against all that lies beyond the reach of reason."

In other words, you might say that it constitutes the revolt of (mere) reason against the transrational.

But this revolt, no matter how superficially "rational" it may appear, is nonetheless rooted in passion, whether conscious or unconscious. For it is "an instinctive revolt against truths which are rationally ungraspable and which are considered annoying on account of this very inaccessibility."

Again, these truths may not be accessible to mere reason, but this hardly means they are inaccessible per se. I can't help thinking this is one more iteration of Genesis 3, with the temptation and fall having to do with the perennial attempt to enclose the transnational within the rational. Can't be done.

Speaking of which, for some reason I've recently been getting reacquainted with Kierkegaard, and I'm hearing rumors that his entire project must be understood in the context of a widespread Hegelianism that presumed to do just that, i.e., pretend that the real is rational (and vice versa). Well, it's not. Thank God. For if it were, then nothing could happen.

Which Kierkegaard means literally. There is actually a fleeting reference to this principle on p. 72 of the book of which this blog is an endless footnote. I suppose it's a kind of subtle point, but nevertheless important to understand: that the logically necessary "cannot come into existence, because coming into existence is a transition from not existing to existing. The purely necessary in fact cannot essentially change, because it is always itself."

The point is that real change is translogical. Admit it into your metaphysic and you've escaped Kant and anyone else who tries to confine you within its walls. For "novelty is truly creative and therefore contingent and unnecessary. If something is strictly determined, it cannot be novel or creative, for the same reason you cannot compose a symphony by merely applying a predetermined rule for the combination of notes" (ibob.). (One important implication is that evolution isn't logical, thank God again.)

Can't know the noumenal? Of course we can know the noumenal. If we couldn't, then life wouldn't be worth living.

Nor, for that matter, would life be worth living if we could actually enclose the noumenal within the phenomenal. Indeed, the whole freaking point of life is to apprehend and assimilate the reality behind appearances, not to do the opposite, i.e., confine reality to your puny ideas about it! That's crazy.

"There can be no such thing as a philosophical system embracing potentialities or meanings," because "a system presupposes a closed finality, while real life is something we are always in the midst of. We think backwards, but we live forwards..." And "he who clings to the external fact alone is content with an empty shell" (David Swenson).

Along these lines, here is an excellent orthoparadox: "The Truth is, not to know the Truth, but to be the Truth; to know the Truth only, is to be enmeshed in error" (ibid.). This goes to the distinction between (k) and (n): there is nothing wrong with (k) about the world, i.e., about appearances. But (k) about O -- or, to be precise, pretending to enclose O within (k) -- is just a total non-starter. Might as well try to give birth to yourself.

The Problem obviously has only gotten worse in our age: Kierkegaard "believed that [his] age suffered from an over-abundance of knowledge. Life was being made increasingly unreal, since living was being confused with knowledge about life. In this situation it would be superfluous and even harmful merely to increase the store of knowledge already existing.... this would only tend to promote the disease it was intended to cure."

God forbid that this blog add more knowledge to that steaming pile! That's what the other 152 million blogs are for. This one is for escaping all that (k) through the inscape of (n). I say, better to live by a transrational myth that proceeds from the weirdness of God than to subsist on the wonderless bread of absurcular logic.

What is crucial in Kantianism is... the altogether 'irrational' desire to limit intelligence; this results in a dehumanization of the intelligence and opens the door to all the inhuman aberrations of our century. --Schuon

Thursday, April 20, 2017

How Stupid Can a Man Be? And How Intelligent Should He Be?

"Historically, white supremacy has venerated the idea of objectivity, and wielded a dichotomy of ‘subjectivity vs. objectivity’ as a means of silencing oppressed peoples. The idea that there is a single truth -- 'the Truth' -- is a construct of the Euro-West... This construction is a myth and white supremacy, imperialism, colonization, capitalism, and the United States of America are all of its progeny" (A Bunch of Illiterate Liberal Fascist Students of Color).

I realize that people believe these things, but still. Do they really believe them? Is this even possible?

Let's start with the existence of truth. If there is no truth, can there be such a thing as honesty? Obviously not. One can be earnest, sincere, passionate, etc., but honesty has to do with commitment to truth. So the dim bulbs who penned this screed are not, by their own lights, honest. They are just... screeching or howling, like any other animal that registers distress.

Interesting too that the authors assert that belief in the existence of truth and objectivity is a "myth." In the profane sense, a myth is "untrue." But what can it be in the absence of truth? Why pretend shadows can exist without light?

On a deeper level, of course, myths convey transrational truths that are timeless and universal, applying to all people at all times.

Have these students never had a course in basic logic? The question answers itself, but there is a Logic without which no coherent statements of any kind can be made. This logic -- AKA Logos -- is not explicit, but rather, implicit in all speech. It is why we have speech at all, and one of the coolest ways we are in the image of the Creator.

In short, only God and man possess speech. Animals and liberal college students can "communicate," but only in a predictable and repetitious way, on a very narrow frequency.

What is especially perverse about the claims of these liberal fascists is that they render man utterly worthless. Which fascists tend to do.

To put it conversely, "The worth of man lies in his consciousness of the Absolute" (Schuon). Now, this is the same Absolute that is implicit in all speech, even if denied. Which is why the speech of the liberal fascists is so utterly incoherent: it explicitly denies the Absolute while making all sorts of claims that are meaningless in its absence.

The bottom line is that you can't just jettison the Absolute and pretend nothing has happened. Truly, it is like the Titanic hitting the iceberg while everyone ignores the water flooding into the hull. A ship cannot float, let alone get anywhere, under such circumstances. Just so, without the boundary between true and false, language crapsizes and sinks into darkness.

Which raises another important point: that language is literally a conveyer of Light. Any lover of language appreciates this, as it is one of the more experience-near emanations of spirit. Great poems are not just gay sentences.

And speaking of "myth," In the beginning was the Word; without this Word nothing was made; and in this Word is Light and Life.

Those are metaphysical claims expressed in mythopoetic manner. Not only are they true, they are precisely true, even the basis of Truth. They explain how and why the world is intelligible to intelligence, why we can share this intelligibility with each other, and ultimately how man and world are mutually illuminating, since they are derived from the same Absolute Light.

In this majestic Light, how petty and impoverished are those proudly lightless Students of Color! Imagine rejecting the one thing that elevates you above the beasts!

It is especially ironic that African Americans would embrace an ideology that considers it "fascist" to make an absolute truth claim such as All men are created equal. Not to mention the fact that if there is no truth, then there can by definition be no freedom (unless the latter is conflated with being lost in permanent confusion).

Here are some more absolute truth claims. If they make me a fascist, then what can one say but God bless fascism?:

"The intelligence of the animal is partial, that of man is total; and this totality is explained only by a transcendent reality to which the intelligence is proportioned" (Schuon).

If the intelligence of animals is partial and of man total, then the stupidity of these students is complete and irremediable. They literally situate themselves beneath the beasts, since animals at least don't believe idiotic lies about themselves.

"Objectivity, whereby human is distinguished from animal intelligence, would lack sufficient reason without the capacity to conceive the absolute or infinite, or without the sense of perfection" (ibid.).

Animals can at least rely upon unwavering instinct instead of being plunged into the darkness of an absolute subjectivity that answers to no object.

"Truth is the reason for man's existence; it constitutes our grandeur and reveals to us our littleness" (ibid.).

Note the corollary: that deconstruction pretends to reveal our littleness while exalting man's pride -- for it is a proud man who claims to have "rights" in the absence of truth.

"Totality of intelligence implies freedom of will. This freedom would be meaningless without an end prefigured in the Absolute; without knowledge of God and of our final ends, it would be neither possible nor useful" (ibid.).

In such a world, freedom becomes a nuisance -- like these cognitively shipwrecked students who agitate for things that cannot be, and insist that other people are somehow obligated to respect their stupid claims.

"[W]ith intelligence, the curve springing from God closes on itself like a ring that in reality has never been parted from the Infinite" (ibid.). That eternal circle bisects every now, as every now bisects the circle.

Recall Lincoln's gag, when someone asked him how long a man's legs should be: long enough to reach the ground. Similarly, how intelligent should a man be? Intelligent enough to reach the ground of truth, i.e., to intuit the principles without which truth is impossible and man sinks beneath himself.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Absolute Stupidity of the Left

"Strictly speaking," writes Schuon, "there is but one sole philosophy, the Sophia Perennis." In turn, this philosophy, extended to its outer and inner limits, must be the one religion (or the Religion underlying religiosity).

It is axiomatic that truth is one, the purpose of philosophy being to map this truth. The purpose of religion is to realize and assimilate this truth -- not just mentally, or on the plane of existence, but into the very fabric of one's being.

Indeed, this is what it means -- broadly speaking -- to be "saved": what is saved is unity from multiplicity, or reality from appearances, or eternity from time, or man from himself, etc.

In his pithiest and most aphoristic book, Echoes of Perennial Wisdom, Schuon puts it as succinctly as possible while cutting through thickly beclowned forests of tenure:

To claim that knowledge as such can only be relative amounts to saying that human ignorance is absolute -- or that a human being is an Absolute Ignoramus.

This is precisely the claim liberals make of themselves. Is there a reason why we shouldn't believe them? They invert the comment in paragraph one to say: "Strictly speaking, there exist countless philosophies, even one per customer. We call this the Imbecilia Perpetuum."

This profoundly anti-intellectual jumble, extended to its furthest reaches -- which aren't very far -- necessarily redounds to no religion at all -- or worse, to "anything at all as religion."

"Exaggerate much, BoB? You see, this is why your blog irritates me. One moment you're discussing some sublime mystical theology, the next moment you jump into the gutter with these preposterously partisan political polemics. Which is it, singing God's praises or flinging mud at the crazies?"

I already told you: there is only one philosophy, and it covers both God and politics plus everything else.

This preramble was inspired by an unintentionally fascinating and hilarious thinkpiece -- or feelpiece, rather -- in the New York Times, called Has Trump Stolen Philosophy's Critical Tools?

For the critical tool who has written the piece, truth doesn't exist, so it is impossible to understand how Trump can have appropriated it. The complaint is as logical as saying Private property doesn't exist, and you stole my cheese!, or Walls are racist and get off my beachfront property!

Come to think of it, liberalism is full of such thought-negating exercises, such as Gender is a construct and gays are born that way!, or Greed is bad so take more from the wealthy!, or Humans are killing the planet with fossil fuels so we need millions of illegal immigrants to come here and burn more fossil fuels!

Recall what was said above about philosophy going to the realization of truth, religion to its integration and assimilation. This distinction essentially correlates to doctrine and method.

Well, in postmodern philosophy, there is no truth, only method. Or, what is called "truth" is simply a method of exercising power, such that truth is just another name for oppression.

This is what the author "accuses" Trump of doing, but how can Trump do anything else if postmodernism is indeed "true"? Trump is only doing what he cannot help doing. On what basis can the author complain about cosmic necessity? Might as well spend one's life claiming to be a victim of gravity.

As an asnide, there was a time I too assumed that philosophy, like science, "progressed." Therefore, one could fruitfully study it by ignoring everything prior to the 19th or 20th century. Just cut to the chase and get right to the existentialists (or positivists, or deconstructionists, depending upon one's taste or emotional conflicts).

So among my first forays into philosophy were authors such as Sartre, Foucault, Nietzsche, and numerous other illuminutti that have long since been donated to the library, since my own liberatoreum scarcely has enough space for the truth, let alone its many alternatives.

I wonder: how much self-awareness can one lack before one's self disappears entirely? What makes me wonder this is author's opening salvo: "Truth is pliable in Trumpland."

Well, yes. It's pliable everywhere, to the point of being anything we want it to be. That is your first principle, Einstein. And now you're complaining about it?

"It often feels like Trump has stolen our ideas and weaponized them." Umm hmm. Anyone who claims to know the truth is simply asserting power. Therefore.... Trump is asserting power. As is this author. So, what's the point? One can hardly make an appeal to truth after one has claimed that it doesn't exist.

"Call it what you want: relativism, constructivism, deconstruction, postmodernism, critique. The idea is the same: Truth is not found, but made, and making truth means exercising power."

Call it what I want? Okay, I'll call it invincible stupidity. For example:

"Trump’s relationship to the truth seems novel, if only because he doesn’t try to hide his relativism." How can one have a "relationship" with something that doesn't exist? "For Trump, truth is always more about how people feel than what may be empirically verifiable." "For Trump, facts are fragile, and truth is flexible."

I think I know what's really bothering this author. His parents are forking over $50,000 a year for him to learn there is no truth, while he thinks Trump got this esoteric nonsense for free. That's not fair!

FYI, that was post #3,000.

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