Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Matrices of Life, Mind, and Spirit

I want to tie up some loose ends from yesterday's post. In so doing, we'll no doubt loosen some tight ends, but that's how it is with thinking: it is always a dialectical process of loosening and tightening, or what I call mental metabolism.

You could say that it is analysis (breaking down, loosening) and synthesis (integrating, tightening), but these two poles are always necessary for any deep thinking. Really, it is what makes us human instead of computers or robots or ideologues.

Schuon touches on this somewhere. If I'm lucky, I'll find it right away. If not, I'll move on.

Damn. I'm looking for something totally unrelated, but it is as if the first book I pick up comments on what I've already said: "The image of man presented to us by modern psychology is not only fragmentary, it is pitiable." Quite true. Which is why it no longer interests me; or, it interests me, but only up to a point -- the point at which psychology shades off into theology (and vice versa, for the dimension of psychology is a prolongation of something higher; the converse -- that religion is reducible to psychology -- is a popular delusion).

"In reality man is as if suspended between animality and divinity," but "modern thought -- be it philosophical or scientific -- admits only animality, practically speaking."

Now, if you haven't understood that literally, then you haven't understood it. For what is man in the absence of divinity? Correct: he is an animal, nothing more, nothing less. What we call "man" takes place in the nonlocal space between animality and divinity.

Which touches directly on the Kavanaugh madness and on our civil war more generally. Since the 1960s in particular, the left has been attacking and undermining every human norm, including norms of sexuality. Mission accomplished. Now what?

Well, now we are bearing witness to an unleashing of all the primitive energy which the norms had previously structured and channeled. Note also that what had been a spontaneous order that was evolved in order to cope with this perennial and insoluble problem, now had to be an external order imposed by some top-down bureaucracy -- e.g., campus sex police.

It is no different than if we had abolished the civilizational norms that channel any other instinct, say, aggression. Which liberals also did. Only when he has eroded law and order does the ahistorical liberal discover why law and order were there to begin with.

Thus, the soft-on-crime mania of the 1960s was followed immediately by a hard-on-citizens mania on the part of criminals for the subsequent two or three decades. Criminals are stupid, but not so stupid that they don't know how to recognize and respond to incentives. The same pattern repeated with President Obama's ceaseless attack on police. As we know, inner city blacks were and are the predominant victims of the Ferguson Effect.

Anyway, man exists in a matrix; and not just one, but several. Now, matrix comes from mater (mother), which is in turn related to uterus or womb. If you really want to know what distinguishes man from woman (womb-an) -- or maleness from femaleness -- it would be this matrix. A matrix is a space of organic growth and development. You can actually turn this around and say: where there is growth and development, it is contained by a matrix, whether visible or invisible, local or nonlocal, vertical or horizontal, spatial or temporal.

For example, if you try to grow a pine tree at the equator -- or a palm tree in Alaska -- it's the wrong matrix. Nothing has changed except for the surrounding space, but this space is everything, in the sense that it a necessary cause of growth, whereas the genetic form is only a sufficient cause.

Well, it's the same with humans: humans require a matrix, beginning with the literal matrix, AKA womb. But that is hardly the last womb we inhabit! Early infancy is literally the attempt to recreate the conditions of the womb, only on the outside. Eventually the child moves on (in) to higher and more subtle matrices, and is contained by the symbolic worlds of language, culture, religion, etc. To be so contained is to be human; an uncontained human is a psychopath, literally.

It occurs to me that our republic is supposed to be contained in and by the Constitution. No American disagreed with this proposition until Woodrow Wilson, and the left has been disagreeing with it ever since. They do not wish for state power to be contained, structured, and channelled by the Constitution. Rather, they want it to be constrained by their own wishes and desires, which is no constraint at all.

Their judicial philosophy is by no means a mirror image of ours, in which case we would say "a pox on both louses."

Rather, to take one obvious example, there is nothing about abortion, pro or con, in the Constitution. Thus, the right and proper thing for SCOTUS to have done in 1973 would have been to turn it back to the states. But if constitutional conservatives behaved like the left, they'd invent something in the Constitution to make abortion a federal crime -- say, an infant's right to privacy. This guy provides additional examples:

WE DON’T HAVE A “RADICAL RIGHT-WING SUPREME COURT,” despite lots of mewing on the left to the contrary. Here are the sorts of things that would be at the top of the agenda for a radical right-wing Court: (1) ban abortion nationwide as a violation of the right to life protected by the due process clause; (2) rule that publicly-provided (but not funded) education is unconstitutional because it inherently involves viewpoint discrimination by the government, or at least require vouchers for those who object to the public school curriculum; (3) overrule an 1898 precedent and completely abolish birthright citizenship; (4) Use the First Amendment as a sword to require “fairness” in the left-dominated media.

Not only is the Supreme Court not about to do any of [these] things, I don’t think any of these things would even get one vote on the current Court. Moreover, merely bringing the scope of Congress’s constitutional back to where it was, say, in 1935, which was already much broader than the original meaning of the Commerce power, probably wouldn’t get more than one or two votes. What you are looking at right now is a conservative Court that will only affect society on the margins, not a “radical right-wing” Court.

Here is the Schuon quote I was looking for, now that we're out of time:

Discernment is separative, and it is what "doctrine" refers to; concentration is unitive, and it is what "method" refers to; "faith" is connected to the first element, and "love of God" to the second.

Doctrine and method are as if two matrices, the first more spatial -- like a vast intellectual cathedral -- the second more temporal, like a growing plant. In both cases we are fed from above via love and faith. Call it the nonlocal umbilical cord without which we sophicate in mere animality.


julie said...

Doctrine and method are as if two matrices, the first more spatial -- like a vast intellectual cathedral -- the second more temporal, like a growing plant. In both cases we are fed from above via love and faith. Call it the nonlocal umbilical cord without which we sophicate in mere animality.

Linked this in yesterday's comments, but it applies here as well: http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/index.php/2018/10/09/leftist-male-feminist-training-in-toronto/

See also Bike Lock Guy, who received a slap-on-the-wrist sentence after assaulting several people with a bike lock (not the chain, the hard and heavy u-shape type), and the streets of downtown Portland this past weekend.

Sadly, a lot of people seem to yearn for a life of mere animality.

julie said...

clickable link

Gagdad Bob said...

Nostalgie de la boue, pardon my French.

Hillary Clinton said...

Civility can start again once Dems are in power.

Gagdad Bob said...

No doubt. I know for a fact that Russians were quite civil toward the KGB, as blacks were unfailingly polite toward whites in the Democrat Jim Crow south.

julie said...

If you'd only hold still for the jackboot, it wouldn't have to stomp your face quite so hard...

Gagdad Bob said...

There's a very funny line (a takeoff on Orwell) in the The Infernal Library:

"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a clown shoe stamping on a human face -- forever."

julie said...

Ha - good one.

One of the most surprising things I've learned in the past couple of years is just how horrifyingly ridiculous it is when the left indulges in their paganistic rituals. Just look at a collection of photos from, say, the latest Burning Man, or the Folsom Street Fair. They literally look like clowns, for the most part. Not sexy or scary, just completely and utterly stupid. Then to understand what they're actually doing under that guise... that's where the true horror lies.

Gagdad Bob said...

Just for shits & giggles, I'm attending a CEU seminar called Clinical Regression and Our Dark Times (i.e., our Trump & Brexit times). Looks like the presenter is a typical uninformed leftist, and I'll no doubt be be the only conservative in attendance, so it should be fun. If nothing else, I'll take notes and respond with a series of posts. Then I'll send him the links.

Gagdad Bob said...

Can't wait to "gain a psychoanalytic perspective on the resurgence of racism in America and nationalism in Europe," and respond with a psychoanalytic perspective on the resurgence of racism in the left!

julie said...

Sounds insultaining. To be fair, there has been a resurgence of racism. It came about during the Obama years, and has only increased as a result of constant attacks against straight, white, Christian males.

Joanne Griffin said...

I don't think many people realize that they are constantly building or seeking another womb. It's all just so much "Who Moved My Cheese" when the Left gets into high dudgeon. To suggest that, "Life IS pain, princess," is, in their world, to wound an unborn human. One can see the irony.

Alas, there is no great Conspiracy, for that would mean we could have a Great Answer to The Problem. We are strangely reduced to building relationships and hoping our bonds of Love are stronger, at the last battle.

Gagdad Bob said...

And as the Poet says, "there is no such thing as a Lost Cause, because there is no such thing as a Gained Cause. We fight for lost causes because we know that our defeat and dismay may be the preface to our successors’ victory, though that victory itself will be temporary; we fight rather to keep something alive than in the expectation that it will triumph."

Anonymous said...

* After his resurrection Jesus appeared to hundreds (1 Corinthians 15:6)
* There are no subsequent verses proclaiming he will never appear again. (no verses)
* Jesus will be there whenever people are gathered in his name (Matthew 18:20)

I’m suggesting that Van lead us all in prayer to make Jesus appear. If this doesn’t happen, Van will explain. (personally, I'd blame The Left)

Anonymous said...

Good gravy, anonymous. Skeptic verbiage of this kind went out of vogue in the 10th century.
You've embarrassed yourself. Children age six can throw down better than that. All they have to do is ask if there were dinosaurs on the Ark.

Write us another post to demonstrate you have what it takes to be a troll. From your comment, it doesn't seem like it. Try again, and put your thinking cap on.

FYI: Religious skepticism has been done, and how. Don't beat a dead horse, unless you want to bore your audience. Philosophy and politics will get you noticed.

Professor X-D

Van Harvey said...

aninnymouse longed "...I’m suggesting that Van lead us all in prayer to m..."

While I am once again available for performing spectacular concerts, I'm not available for making spectacles of prayer, and especially not for the benefit of an anonymous aninnymouse. Sorry. Might I suggest you contact Deepak?

Van Harvey said...

"Doctrine and method are as if two matrices, the first more spatial -- like a vast intellectual cathedral -- the second more temporal, like a growing plant. In both cases we are fed from above via love and faith. Call it the nonlocal umbilical cord without which we sophicate in mere animality."

Nicely put.