Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Conscious Freedom and Absolute Truth

I was thinking about the subtitle of Dennis Prager's The Rational Bible: God, Slavery, and Freedom. Freedom and slavery are obviously at antipodes, and yet, freedom ultimately means nothing in the absence of God: the Israelites were "liberated from Egypt to serve God," and many of the subsequent laws are designed to purge them of their slave mentality.

Indeed, even today many Jews still vote Democrat, so the degyptionization process is ongoing: "In every generation a person is obligated to see himself as if he himself has come out of Egypt."

Perhaps on Independence Day we should have something analogous to a Passover service, in which we recall being imperial subjects who miraculously became free citizens thanks to our God-inspired Fathers. As our mosest indispensable Father wrote to a Hebrew congregation in 1789,

May the same wonder-working Deity, who long since delivered the Hebrews from their Egyptian oppressors, [and] planted them in a promised land -- whose providential agency has lately been conspicuous in establishing these United States as an independent nation -- still continue to water them with the dews of heaven and make the inhabitants of every denomination participate in the temporal and spiritual blessings of that people whose God is Jehovah.

"The point is while liberty is necessary, it is not sufficient for a good life" (Prager). Indeed, "Whoever sees in liberty anything other than liberty itself is born for servitude" (de Tocqueville, ibid.). Prager continues:

In other words, while liberty is magnificent, the only thing liberty guarantees is liberty, not goodness, not morality, not integrity, etc. Liberty must be accompanied by higher values, because liberty alone will lead to moral chaos, and ultimately... servitude.

For example, serving the state. The state gets a foot in the door by "serving" those who are unfit or unprepared for freedom (we are not taking about the deserving poor). This creates a moral-political hazard, as -- very much in contrast to what God attempts with the Israelites -- the state rewards the slave mentality. Create enough slaves, and the rest of us are placed in the position of serving the state that serves its slaves.

Aphorisms come to mind. Remember Julia, the ideal Democrat woman who unashamedly spends her life in different forms of dependence upon the state? The modern State is a teacher who never grants his students a degree (Dávila).

In short, if you are trained for servitude, don't be surprised if servitude is what you're good at: liberalism pampers its beneficiaries until they have been turned into dissolute adults. Thus, Each day we demand more of society so that we can demand less of ourselves. For As the State grows, the individual shrinks (ibid.).

Think of "the resistance." Our founders resisted servitude, while these pathetic cases are resisting freedom! Thus, He who jumps, growls, and barks has an invisible collar and an invisible chain (ibid.). Trump -- of all people -- is not responsible for the chain. Rather, it is self-imposed. And the louder the bark, the stronger the chain.

Let's dig down to the metaphysics of it all: In any proposition about man its paradoxical fusion of determinism and freedom must emerge (ibid.). Agreed: except that it is orthoparadoxical, which is to say, a kind of necessary complementarity. Man is necessarily woven of freedom and determinism.

Which come from where? Maybe you have a better idea, but I'm with Schuon, who writes in From the Divine to the Human that liberty derives "all its reality, hence its efficaciousness, from principial Infinitude -- which coincides with All-Possibility..." Conversely, determinism, or necessity, must ultimately be grounded in "the Absolute, hence to the pure Real."

Absolute Real and All-Possibility, or Truth and Freedom, respectively. And we are the image and likeness. You might say that we are given freedom in order to comport with truth. There is a "Torah" and a "people"; or, Logos and man. Or just Consciousness and Absolute.


julie said...

Freedom and slavery are obviously at antipodes, and yet, freedom ultimately means nothing in the absence of God: the Israelites were "liberated from Egypt to serve God,"

All throughout the Bible, the metaphor is used of leaders as shepherds, both good and bad. Christ, the Good Shepherd, is so because he not only leads his people, he serves them, and calls upon us to serve one another. But this service isn't slavery, nor can it ever be forced or demanded from another. Rather, it is what we ourselves offer up for the good of others.

Christ washed the disciples' feet voluntarily; not only did they not demand it, they were distressed because he was assuming the lowliest of tasks for their sake, when they were expecting a king of kings.

Van Harvey said...

"Whoever sees in liberty anything other than liberty itself is born for servitude" (de Tocqueville, ibid.)."

Oh, that's good. Libertarians should tremble over that.

TheDarknessWithinRachelMaddow said...

It's always a hoot when the goyim think they are better at being Jewish than the Jews, who are apparently not smart enough to recognize that Pharaoh and Hillary and even Uncle Bernie are basically on the same side.

Gagdad Bob said...

It's not a matter of being Jewish but of having Jewish values. Secular Jews obviously tend to have leftist values.

Gagdad Bob said...

Most of my Jewish relatives are more Democrat than Jewish. However, the seriously religious ones are conservative.

TheDarknessWithinRachelMaddow said...

Maybe you just don't know the right Jews.

Gagdad Bob said...

I am well aware of the Meshuggeneh denomination.