Saturday, September 29, 2018

The Cosmos: Open for Isness

A Saturday bonus post, because I'd like to dwell on a subject less depraved than the left. Which consists of most anything and everything. However, we will inevitably come back to it, because we're talking about Hayek and the abuse of reason, and what is the left but the abuse of reason?

Actually, a lot of things: ignorance, stupidity, indoctrination, mimicry, mental illness, wishful thinking, demagoguery, moral insanity, envy, projection, lust for power, ideology, tenure.

Regarding ideology, I read a piece this morning that highlights a useful distinction between the mere lie and ideological lying. "Ordinary falsehood"

“stays in touch with the truth and knowingly distorts the truth,” whereas the “ideological lie, by contrast... seeks to impose a pseudo-reality upon reality. It does not depart from reality so much as [it] completely ignores reality and... seeks to disrupt our normal access to reality.”

Yes. As we've mentioned before, the ordinary lie is parasitic on truth. In order to tell this type of lie, one must be aware of the truth, and the purpose of the lie is to fool oneself or others into denying it. For example, does Obama really believe he and not Trump is responsible for our booming economy?

That actually introduces a third type of lying. You could call it a "twilight lie," because it is half-known and half-unknown. UnKnown, so to speak. In this case, Obama's lie is probably conditioned by his vanity, narcissism, and self-importance. Of course, he also lies for ideological purposes, but then he wouldn't take personal credit for the recovery, but would attribute it to leftist policies. That would be harder to do, since Trump has been systematically undoing Obama's leftist policies.

This picture depicts Obama's dilemma: twilit lie or ideological lie?

Interestingly, Obama chooses to sacrifice his ideology to his narcissism. A real ideologue will sacrifice even his self-interest to his ideology -- like Soviet communists who denounced themselves and became martyrs to the ideology.

In America, few ideologues go that far. The brainwashed masses certainly do -- they routinely sacrifice self-interest to envy, hatred, and resentment -- but the leaders never do. Rather, they monetize e., h., and r., as have leftists from Bernie Sanders to Al Sharpton to the Obamas. Show me the leftist leader who dies a poor man.

Truman said something to the effect that there is a name for a politician who enters office a poor man and leaves a rich man: crook.

Back to the linked article. The ideological lie not only ignores truth but creates a pseudo-reality:

The pseudo-reality “acquires a very peculiar but real strength,” Taylor said.... “It becomes reality itself, albeit a reality altogether self-contained, one that on certain levels may have greater weight than reality as such. Reality does not shape theory, but rather the reverse.

It can appear that “theory itself... ideology itself, makes the decisions that affect people, not the other way around,” the Skidmore professor said. “And so in this precise sense, totalitarian regimes, ideocracies, are inhuman” and impenetrable.

Yes². I'm particularly intrigued by what he says about reality becoming "self-contained." This goes to one of those permanent intellectual passions I mentioned a few posts back -- you know, the notion that every intellectual-type person is animated by one or two or three core ideas that they keep rediscovering. This is reflected in the gag that all philosophy is autobiography in disguise.

For me, one of the Big Ideas of my autobobography is that of the open system. My obsession with it can be traced back to my doctoral dissertation, which, now that I think about it, contains all of the Big Ideas that have been haunting me ever since. But let's focus on open systems.

Back in the day (1994), when my goal was to be a scholar and not a cult leader, I published an article called Psychoanalysis, Chaos, and Complexity: The Evolving Mind as a Dissipative Structure. I won't fascinate you with the details, but a dissipative structure is essentially a self-organizing, open system that exchanges matter, energy, and/or information with the environment. Obviously, all living things are dissipative structures, but my article showed how the human mind operates in the exact same way, only on a higher level.

Some of this stuff could have been written today: it both leads and points back to One Cosmos. Oldbob speaks of a desire to "unify diverse fields of science" and "attenuate the traditional boundaries that divide different 'departments' of learning." Elsewhere he raves about overcoming "the presumed distinction between the animate and inanimate" and "the contradictions between physics and biology, being and becoming, and freedom and determinacy."

Or, check this out. Somehow it slipped past the peers and into a sober journal: "life is not simply an anomalous refugee from the laws of physics, enjoying a brief triumph over the ineluctable necessity of entropy. Rather, life is understood to be an intrinsic expression of the type of universe we happen to inhabit. Similarly, 'mind' is considered immanent, not in solid spatial structure (like a mind mysteriously 'contained' in a brain) but as reflected in the process through which all systems self-organize and renew themselves."

And no, I wasn't just deepacking the chopra. Rather, I proceed to describe in detail exactly what I mean. All of it still holds up, only my perspective has widened and deepened since then. Or rather, I now know explicitly what I only en-visioned then implicitly.

So yesterday, while driving, the phrase pops into my head "open cosmos." That is truly the ultimate question: is the cosmos an open system, or is it closed? Something tells me we've posted on this subject before, but in any event, here it is again.

The bottom line, since we're getting to the bottom of the post, is that the cosmos is indeed an open system. Open to what? In a word, God. Until quite recently (far less than 1% of our existence), man has been intuitively aware of this openness to a transcendent source. Yes, it has often been expressed in mythological terms, but the myth is a linguistic transformation of the intuitive experience, or awareness, or vision.

For me, it is obvious that truth, love, and beauty (for starters) cannot be reduced to anything wholly intra-cosmic. Indeed, the cosmos itself cannot be explained by the cosmos, but the main point is that man is a vertically open system and that revelation, for example, is a quintessential expression of this.

Wrapping up, you could say that the symbols (↑) and (↓) in the bOOk go precisely to this: they are whatever it is to which we are vertically open, from grace to truth to love to salvation to beauty, etc.

Put it this way: the cosmos is either an open system or it is closed. But if it is closed, you've got a lot of explaining to do. And yet, no matter how detailed your explanation, it amounts to nothing -- the bad kind. It is a massive ideological lie, the most massive manmade object conceivable. It is superimposed upon reality, which may be comforting for awhile -- until your little closed system results in ontological asphyxiation and starvation.

9 comments:

Leslie Godwin said...

“(the) ideological lie, by contrast... seeks to impose a pseudo-reality upon reality. It does not depart from reality so much as [it] completely ignores reality and... seeks to disrupt our normal access to reality.”

If God is always revealing Himself to us, and throughout history this revelation was encountered/responded to to varying degrees, modern man seems to have created an ideological lie to deny the existence of a Creator that is still creating existence.

This is such a helpful idea and explains so much. Everyday, there is something the Leftists do in their ongoing effort to destroy our civilization that I reflexively ask, "How can they believe that?!" or "How can they not see they are lying?!" (Kavanaugh is evil but his accusers are worthy of being believed, for example. It is like they have a spell on them that hides the truth, but first they reduced the truth to everyone has their own truth, then they don't have to wrestle with that inconvenient concept and can get right to the ideological lies.)

I hope instead of indulging in the futility of asking those questions that instead I can pray for those who are lying to themselves to open themselves up to truth and God and join the fight against the Left before they can destroy our culture.

julie said...

Amen to that, Leslie. I know so many who are truly decent people, yet they are fooled; sometimes just because they naively believe the "authority" of journalism, and sometimes because to believe it flatters their own sense of self. For instance, "I was abused once and never reported it, therefore she must be telling the truth." Nevermind what actually did or didn't happen in this particular case.


For example, does Obama really believe he and not Trump is responsible for our booming economy?
To be fair, if everything bad that happened during his presidency was Bush's fault, it follows that everything good happening after his presidency must be his fault. At least he's consistent...

Put it this way: the cosmos is either an open system or it is closed. But if it is closed, you've got a lot of explaining to do. And yet, no matter how detailed your explanation, it amounts to nothing -- the bad kind. It is a massive ideological lie, the most massive manmade object conceivable. And it is superimposed on reality.

To what end?
That's a whole lot of trouble to go through, to convince people that nothing matters.
Not disagreeing at all, simply musing. It's almost as if there is some... adversary... that wishes to oppose this open system and replace it with something more stagnant.

vanderleun said...

Hey... Gagdad.... I say HEY GAGDAD!!.... Putz.... time, LONG PAST TIME, to pull some of the best of this page over the years out and into one two or three collections.

Get CRACKING!

Gagdad Bob said...

Said the voice in my head. Every day, for the last ten years.

Anonymous said...

Hello Dr. Godwin and Blog Participants:

You describe the pathological antics of the Leftist opponent, as you have done at great length and many times, but this leads to a suspicion you don't quite believe your own assertions. Whistling in the dark.

Could it be there is some jewel hidden in the Leftist slop trough? I think you know there is. Find it.

If the conservative viewpoint is right and natural, then why is not universally adopted? Could there be some poisonous nut hidden in the healthy conservative salad? Maybe....toss it more and look.

You have not been as thorough as you need to be, to find the truth you strive to express.

That being said, I toss a topic out there which relates and could hold vital clues. That is the practice of medicine in the USA, from the viewpoint of the physician. What is it like to practice medicine these days?

Professor X-D.



Leslie Godwin said...

What is the part that leads you to believe that those here don't really believe our assertions? Please be specific and give an example or two. How can you seriously ask why the conservative viewpoint is not universally adopted? Have you not noticed that the Left attacks truth, e pluribus unum, in God we trust, and capitalism and controls the media and education? They are devious enough to capture young hearts before the minds are formed and promise them they will feel virtuous while getting free stuff, then gives them an enemy to blame when they are depressed and feel their lives are meaningless because they don't have to grow up, marry, raise children, get a job and deal with reality in the way all previous generations have? Either be specific or at least spell out your point.

Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie:

The blog author laid out a case that Leftism was pernicious, and why. The causes were described in meticulous detail, as well numerous specific events which supported the case. The case was solid and convincing. Readers commented in agreement. All was well.

However, the blog author went on to describe the same case in several hundred consequent posts, going over the same evidence in a myriad of slightly different ways. Why would this be necessary? One explanation would be, he doesn't feel like the case had been adequately proved, and is massaging the evidence, or adding new instances, to make it ever more convincing to readers, all of whom are in no need of convincing.

Additionally, the blog author has never forwarded or endorsed any remedy for the Leftist menace. He has tried and convicted the Leftist, but has recommended something to redress the situation
. If the Leftist is guilty, then there should be a corresponding action plan, it stands to common sense. Action plans can be carried out under the rule of law, and are generally directed towards peaceful means for change. Evangelists are a perfect example.

Unless...there is some concern about the solidity of the conviction, and therefore a hesitation to recommend an action.

It's all just suspicious, nothing really definite here.

Leslie Godwin said...

So you're saying that a blogger wrote a convincing article with lots of evidence and details, then proceeded to write more articles with more evidence and examples, and that leads you to suspect that they don't believe their assertions? Writers write. They see more examples of what they are explaining, and they write about that. That's a strange way of arguing that you are using. Not to mention, you don't understand that having a blog means writing on a regular basis.

Van Harvey said...

aninnymouse said "...However, the blog author went on to describe the same case in several hundred consequent posts, going over the same evidence in a myriad of slightly different ways. Why would this be necessary? ..."

What 'necessary' substitutes for, in the aninnymouse mind, is 'Interest', of which it has little or no conception of. In its mind, shiny things grab your attention. Some positions are useful, and some not. There is nothing there to hold that 'mind', so once noted, it moves on, as noting 'the sky is blue', would be unnecessary, boring. Why the sky is blue, is carefully barred from entering the mind.

The concept of being interested in the truth of a point, and the unlimited ways in which it can be examined, probed and explored for ever and still more depth, is inconceivable to the aninnymouse mind, as is reflected in the mechanical style of writing that this particular variant on the theme, mechanically cranks out here, day after day, failing each and every time to express an interesting idea.

Having no regard for Truth, it has no grasp of, or use for, such a thought as 'Interesting...', and cannot fathom the non empiracle nature of the effort.

IOW: Boring is, as boring does.