Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Politics is Downstream from Culture is Downstream from Crazy

If not for eyes, we'd have no idea there's something to see. But we do have eyes, therefore, -- wait for it! -- there is something to see. More generally, every sense is ordered to what it senses -- to something external to itself.

The Root Problem of postmodernity (which is just the the logical entailment of certain errors of modernity) is the inversion of this home truth, such that the object is made subordinate to the subject: the world is conditioned by consciousness rather than vice versa.

In reality, the sensed is prior to sense, just as the known is prior to the knower. Such observations used to qualify as banalities, the main point being that if knowledge is to be possible, then the object must be prior to the subject.

If the subject is prior, then the result -- either immediate or long term -- is a swamp of subjectivism from which there Is. No. Escape. You've made yourself into a god, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

We see a lot of this diabolicality in the New Age movement. For example, -- I knew Deepak wouldn't let me down! -- "since the human world is entirely mind-created, the [human/cultural] problem comes down to not knowing how our reality is made." So, in reality, "reality" is just a mental projection from the inside out:

The play of consciousness is how reality is made, both personally and for the entire human race.... We believe that gluons, quarks, galaxies, stars, force fields, even bodies and minds are “real” but they are human constructs for modes of perception and their interpretation in consciousness.... The next step in our evolution as a species is to become conscious creators of this reality, which can be called the evolutionary leap from human to meta-human.

So, if you think things are bad now, just wait until the arrival of the meta-humans!

Notice the hope for a miracle. The impossible kind. Or, if not impossible, then a radically dystopian kind, in which every person is a monad who is freed to inhabit his own private Idaho. What Deepak regards as the final liberation is a total narcissism.

For as a far wiser man once said, Upon finding himself perfectly free, the individual discovers that he has not been unburdened of everything, but despoiled of everything (Dávila).

Back to what was said above in paragraph two: when I say "logical entailment," what I mean is that the current cultural crisis -- our civil war -- has been long in the making, and is not going away any time soon. Rather, it will continue to worsen as a result of a split -- a violent rupture in reality -- that occurred several hundred years ago. War is inevitable given this maiming of reality.

Inevitable in the absence of a miracle. The good kind. Which I do mean literally, in the sense of a vertical intervention. Which has of course occurred at many hinge points in history, so there's no reason for hopelessness.

Aphorisms come to mind; for example, Intelligent optimism is never faith in progress, but hope for a miracle. Perhaps it helps to bear in mind that None of the high eras of history have been planned. Thus, In history it is sensible to hope for miracles and absurd to trust in plans.

I mean, if Trump isn't a miracle, then there's no such thing.

Back to our main point, which is the inevitability of our current civil war. This was brought home to me by an unexpecected source, as I finally got around to reading Judge Bork's Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline, which provided me with a slightly different angle on the subject. Normally I just trace the issue back to Genesis 3 and say to hell with it: man is what he is, and always will be.

That's fine as far as it goes, but Bork traces a specific intellectual genealogy that starts about a quarter century ago and leads straight to Ocasio-Cortez (or to the latest malevolent idiot of the day).

So, what happened? What went wrong? As Bork says, "politics is a lagging indicator" of certain baleful developments that "have been coming on for a long time and may be inherent in Western civilization" (emphasis mine).

At this late date, the error has been thoroughly embedded -- like a pneuma-cognitive virus, AKA mind parasite -- in the culture, which is why Breitbart was correct to say that politics is downstream from it. If we are downstream, where is the source of this toxic spring? We're already running out of time, so I won't be able to do justice the subject. Let's just hit some highlights.

(By the way, while reading the book, it occurred to me what a "Catholic mind" Bork had. An atheist at the time of his confirmation hearings, he entered the Catholic church a few years after the publication of this book. So, he didn't "convert" to Catholicism, but rather, discovered he already was Catholic. This is another iteration of the object being prior to the subject, only on a higher plane. In other words, the object is God.)

Here's a passage that lays out the source of the trouble:

Modernity, the child of the Enlightenment, failed when it became apparent that the good society cannot be achieved by unaided reason. The response of liberalism was not to turn to religion, which modernity had seemingly made irrelevant, but to abandon reason.

Hence, there have appeared philosophies claiming that words can carry no definite meaning or that there is no reality other than one that is "socially constructed." A reality so constructed, it is thought, can be decisively altered by social or cultural edict, which is a prescription for coercion.

And here we are, in a fight to the death between people who believe in reality and people who believe reality is what we wish it to be -- between truth and power, intellect and will, knowledge and tenure. Our hope is that what cannot continue will not continue, and that reality will ultimately Bork these tyrannical fantasists from our midst.


julie said...

So, in reality, "reality" is just a mental projection from the inside out

So if reality is disappointing, it’s all your fault.

Honestly, how can any serious adult actually believe this? For that matter, I wonder if Chopra even believes this, or if he just peddles it because there’s never a shortage of people seeking the most self-flattering and easy way out?

julie said...

As to miracles, they really do happen every day. It’s just that sometimes they come disguised as misfortune.

csanad said...

Boy, I thought I was behind in my reading list. Incidentally, the book currently on my lap is "One Cosmos Under God".

Gagdad Bob said...

That will put you ahead of your list. One of the side benefits.

Van Harvey said...

"Aphorisms come to mind; for example, Intelligent optimism is never faith in progress, but hope for a miracle. Perhaps it helps to bear in mind that None of the high eras of history have been planned. Thus, In history it is sensible to hope for miracles and absurd to trust in plans."

That is so spot on. Especially for those obsessively crying "Out, damned spot! out, I say!"

Gagdad Bob said...

As if one could plan the Renaissance or Industrial Revolution! When the left plans, Satan giggles like a schoolgirl.