Wednesday, December 05, 2018


Or sabbatical, and I sure as sh*t don't scrawl on my sabbath. Besides, lately I've felt compelled to reread a lot of old foundational Coon Classics, so I'd be rebleating mysoph anyway. FYI, these books have included, for example,

--Josef Pieper: An Anthology

--Explorations in Metaphysics: Being-God-Person

--The Philosophical Approach to God

--The One and the Many: A Contemporary Thomistic Metaphysics


--Summa Philosophica

--Philosophers Speak of God

--The Divine Relativity: A Social Conception of God

--A Christian Pilgrim in India: The Spiritual Journey of Swami Abhishiktananda (Henri Le Saux)

--A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles

--Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism

--Introduction to Christianity

--Advice to the Serious Seeker: Meditations on the Teaching of Frithjof Schuon

--God's Gamble: The Gravitational Power of Crucified Love

--Freedom from Reality: The Diabolical Character of Modern Liberty

--The Mystical Thought of Meister Eckhart: The Man from Whom God Hid Nothing

And of course The Book of the SubGenius: The Sacred Teachings of J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs

Among others, not to mention various works of Schuon, which I'm always re-rereading. Now if I could only find a way to weave it all together into one continuous narrative -- or cosmic area rug -- like I did previously once upin a timeless, only in a newer and tighter spiral.

Come to think of it, what's a sabbath for but seeking the one in the many, eternity in time, the wisdom in the information, the Connector of Dots?


ted said...

Great reading! Have a slack-filled holiday!

ted said...

"I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." ― C.S. Lewis.

Van Harvey said...

'Seek and ye shall scrawl'


julie said...

Happy sabbatical, Bob :)

Anonymous said...

Hello All:

While on Sabbatical, why not visit the Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose, CA? Locate the reading library on the south end of the complex, and chat with the Librarian (quietly of course). Who knows what you might learn?

If you do plan to visit, it would be best not to share your plan outside of your circle of like-minded folk on the blog here.

Sincerely, G. Abrams

Jim Smalley said...

Rest, refresh, recreate well on your Sabbatical!

Hale Adams said...

Enjoy your sabbatical, Bob, and please come back.

We'll be waiting.....

(Yeah, I guess that sounds vaguely creepy....)

Have fun,

Hale Adams
Pikesville, People's still-mostly-Democratic Republic of Maryland

Joanne Griffin said...

Enjoy your sabbatical! And thanks for leaving us a Christmas wish-list to give our family.

julie said...

Joanne! Seeing your name reminded me, one of the funny things from when we were in Florida was that I knew a couple of people at my church whose names were right out of the OC comment section. There was a young woman named Joanne Varga, and we were very good friends with a Robert Godin and his wife (who was not Leslie, that would have been way too weird!). There may have been a couple of others, but those two stood out the most. Every time I saw Joanne at Bible study, I thought of you :)

Anonymous said...

Hello Ted, Van, Julie, Jim, Hale, Joanne, one and all.

During this holiday hiatus, let us remember that everyone harbors socialist sentiments from time to time, or may sympathize and support a Socialist cause or issue. That's OK; that doesn't make you a bad person. Being a Democrat is perfectly fine. Socialism, despite being maligned in some circles, is a respected and and time-honored way to view the world. It does not mean you are soft, deluded, or godless. So, let your inner Socialist out and forget any fear of peer disapproval, because many feel the same, too.

Yes, you can switch from Republican to Democrat party affiliation, anonymously. That's your right. Vote on the issues that matter to you, not to your party.

So if you are a conservative, but not everything about it feels right (and we all know that feeling), connect with you inner flower child. Feel the love. Don't you miss feeling the love? Lose the suspicion and fear. Socialism can be a part of your life again, and no one but yourself need ever know.

Your are loved and valuable.

Anna F.

julie said...

Respectfully, no.

No matter how "nice" the ideal, it does not and can never be aligned with reality; it is a lie based not in compassion but in envy, and ultimately ends in death, destruction and despair. Always. How many more millions have to die en masse and as part of the basic principle of socialism before it ceases to be a "respected and time-honored way to view the world"?

I am not a socialist, because socialism is evil.

Don Johnson said...

A most reflective hiatus/slack/sabbatical to you, Bob, and thanks for all the dots.

BTW, We bought a Spiralizer awhile back (love it) and every time I use it I think of you. ;)

Don (aka robinstarfish)

Anonymous said...

Socialism evil? I think you may be confusing it with Communism.

All government services are socialist in nature.

The US armed forces are a socialist you feel they should be privatized?
How about your police and fire services? Privatize those too?
National Park service? Medicare/Medicaid?

Your faith in the for-profit business model is so absolute as all that?
Who will study fossilized Ichthyosaurs, when there is no profit in it?

The big thing on the table is space exploration, which is urgently needed right now. If that can be privatized successfully, perhaps we could do without socialism, now that I think of it. Wealthy people also do study the sciences without needing any government funding, that's how it went down in England to start with. Newton was non-government affiliated, if I'm not mistaken.

Sooo..point taken. Big money usually gets things done. I'm on the fence about it. A privatized military could work, I suppose. Just seems a little weird.


Gagdad Bob said...

Left wing logophobia in action: to say "all government is socialist" is to say none is.

julie said...

Bob, you got a mention over at Maggie's Farm today.

Gagdad Bob said...

The blog gets mentioned somewhere on the internet every few years. Sometimes even more frequently.

Well, I've completed my review of Year One (2005), and found virtually nothing worthy of eternity. (Only 38 posts that first year.) The quality had better pick up soon, or I'll have to lower my standards.

doug saxum said...

Nothing worthy of eternity you say?
Some truths are timeless and others are timely.
Some are both.
Why not just take a random post and throw it out here for us to nibble on?

ted said...

Bruce Charlton asked readers to post their favorite blogs recently, and I gave you a shout out.

In regards to not finding anything in 2005 worth mentioning, as they say, if you don't look back on your past self and cringe, then you're probably a leftist.

Gagdad Bob said...

--Why not just take a random post and throw it out here for us to nibble on?

I realized a while ago that that takes as much time as writing a new one. Plus there are 3,255 of them down there. It's a jungle! MInus the 38 from '05, that brings it down to 3,217. I've only looked at a little more than 1%, and I'm already sick of me!

Before moving on to 2006, I need a more specific idea of what I'm looking for. It can't just be "hmm, this still holds up." I thought that might work, but it's too general. A theme, a template, an organizing principle is needed. But nothing is coming to me.... Nor can it just be a random collection of essays. I've heard that readers don't like those kinds of books. I'm reading Krauthammer's new collection, and as brilliant as he is, much if it is pretty trite. In other words, not worthy of eternity.

As for the selection process, it reminds me of what Polanyi says about science: usually you can only "discover" what is already implicit in the mind, and I don't seem to have any implicit theme. Just as you need a good theory to see the facts it explains, I need a good book title to find the chapters constituting it.

Anonymous said...

Can this be a gardening blog instead?

I once had a libertarian garden. But it got killed by pests. I once had a socialist garden, but I killed it. So I tried a moderate garden. I let my plants do their thing and only intervened whenever there was trouble with trouble being defined, diagnosed and managed with the help of a careful study of many well-credentialed expert sources which themselves had much to lose if they couldn't accurately and clearly explain gardening realities to gardeners.

Then I realized that most people were still calling my garden libertarian, or they were calling my garden socialist. Apparently most people had completely lost their ability to understand anything about gardening at all.

We’re so screwed.

julie said...

With Advent in mind, there's always a subtopic of the trinitarian nature of the family. Probably just searching the blog for the word "trinitarian" would provide some good results...

ted said...

Book tile: "The Vertical Raccoon Church of Slack for the Orthoparadoxical Trinity"

Gagdad Bob said...

Some important ideas buried in this essay on When Supplements Become Substitutes -- or, one might say, when the periphery becomes the center, the relative the absolute, the parasite the host, the appearance the reality.

Gagdad Bob said...

It's as if the vertical structure of being collapses in on itself, such that the mortal Not Yet becomes the Right Now! Under these circumstances, Moses would not only have gotten to the Promised Land, but would have been bored stiff by it.

doug saxum said...

Chronic pain is what I have.
Nothing is killing me as far as I know but I am taking pain pills that are somewhat helpful.
If I don't have a steroid injection I suppose surgery is next.
I wonder, if the pain doesn't subside would I be considered an opioid sbuser?

Gagdad Bob said...

Have you tried an SNRI? They can work wonders without the downside of addiction.

julie said...

Depending on the kind of pain, turmeric may be helpful but it's important to check for side effects/ drug interactions. I started taking it for a type of arthritis pain a year or so back and it pretty much eliminated the problem. It has helped my SIL with nerve damage quite a bit, but she's cutting back because she's going in for a couple of surgeries soon and it also acts as a blood thinner. One of the things she's going to try is one of the nerve stimulator implants, in hopes that it will help her chronic pain.

Three adults in this house are having noticeably good results from the collagen; not sure how much has to do with pain relief and how much to do with just generally feeling better + faster muscle recovery, but it's good stuff.

Both of the above are supplements, but also the sort of thing that people used to get regularly as "food" (collagen from bone broth, turmeric as a frequently-used seasoning, etc).

doug saxum said...

What is an SNRI?

doug saxum said...

I'll try anything

I have two bulges discs and a disintegrated disk

Gagdad Bob said...

An SNRI -- selective norepinephrine uptake inhibitor -- is an antidepressant that has analgesic properties because the same neurotransmitters mediate depression and neurological pain. Just google "SNRI for chronic pain."

doug saxum said...

Thanks Bob.
I'll check it out tomorrow

Leslie Godwin said...

Doug, If you are in So Cal, I know an excellent pain management specialist. If not, see if one who is reputable in your area. Bulging discs can go away on their own, but usually within a few months. Otherwise, there is a minimally invasive procedure called a decompression that removes what is impinging on the nerve and stops the pain. Not sure about disintegrated disk, but I am pretty sure that surgeons can replace them so you don't have anything impinging on your nerves.

If you are waiting for surgery or if it will improve on its own and you need pain relief in the meantime, so other options besides opioids are steroids, steroid injections/epidural, and even medical marijuana if legal where you are and you don't have to take drug tests for your job.

If you need surgery, try to get off opioids because they won't work well after surgery, and you'll have a harder recovery. When I say surgery, I mean minimally invasive surgery.
Good luck. I hope you get some pain relief and long term help. It's hard to live with chronic pain, and worth trying everything you can. Don't give up and accept that is your fate.

Leslie Godwin said...

Julie you are so right about socialism! I write for a Catholic website about once a month called and it seems that every article seems to turn into a diatribe against Socialism and the far Left LOL.

Hope you and your family are well! Happy Advent!

julie said...

These days it's hard to avoid going on a rant against socialism. It's really astounding how much traction it still has after a century of failure and human suffering.

We are doing well :) The kids are looking forward to their first Christmas spent with family. Happy Advent to all of you, too!

doug saxum said...

Thank you Leslie. I've had injections for a few years and the results were good.
The one that I was supposed to have last year never materialized.
I'll shuffle through until the next one.

Anonymous said...

Hello All.

Sorry about your chronic pain condition, Doug. How are you holding up today?

Julie and Leslie have a dim view of socialism; we live in a mixed socialist/capitalist society, so we have all been, and are now, obligate capitalists and well as socialists. The challenge is to get comfortable with that reality. The right and left wing folk generally are not comfy, whilst the moderate population feels quite comfy.

America the Moderate, the great Nation of the Middle-of-the-Road, the Statistical Median Promised Land.

So, gnash the teeth all you want. We can't get out of it, because there is no food supply outside of societal control. Game is scarce, arable land is taken already, resources like berries and nuts are hard to forage for....and just try to harvest pigeons or squirrels in the urban setting. Instant trip to jail. were are, Kameradaten, or should I say "Stakeholders?" Must have dollars. Get to work.

julie said...


Meanwhile, CNN asks, Can rabbit meat save Venezuela from going hungry?

More good stuff at Bookworm's place today.

doug saxum said...

Mornings are the worst.
Until the pain pills kick in to dull the torture, I'm really stiff.

Anonymous said...

Hello Panel:

I hope all are reasonably well today. Doug, I'm guessing, depending on time-zone, your morning is underway after medications. For myself, "wake and bake" is a way to blunt the existential angst.

So, what would we like to discuss? What's on your mind? Anyone want to share a personal story?

Also, I have an extensive trove of verified and unreleased information on secret societies, conspiracies, and UFO's. I'm open to all questions, except about the Bilderbergs (restrictd at this time).

As the the Flat Earth folks say, all we have to fear is sphere itself.....

Quentin Zoquatl, Junto Nuevo Mundial, Officina Regionale, Mexico, D.F.

Ohad Shab said...

Hey Bob, I’m eagerly waiting for your next book. Your first one was brilliant. Any ideas when will it be? :)

Gagdad Bob said...

Well, I'm going through the archive, trying to review one month of posts per day. This is challenging for the early years, when I posted every single day. I'm into April of 2006, but thus far have been unimpressed, and have found little that is bookworthy. So, we'll see. Hopefully the quality will pick up at some point.

julie said...

Leslie, I'm not sure if I ever thanked you for introducing me to Fr. Illo's blog. He has a good homily up today on the duty to be joyful; reminds me of Prager's observations about happiness.

Daniel T said...

The book demands a sequel Bob! :)

Van Harvey said...

I kinda wonder less about a sequel, than how the ol' OC book would look if attempted again from scratch? Betcha there'd be some interesting differences in depth perception.

Gagdad Bob said...

I've thought about a do over, but that would introduce a host of different problems. No, the answer must lie ahead, not behind. Something about slicing through the complexity of the world to the pure essence of truth, in such a way that it grounds, contextualizes, and organizes everything else. Skeleton keys to existence. Nothing short of this would really be worth the effort, since all the details are already well covered by others. The problem is integration and synthesis of all those particulars. Ideally it might be something like the aphorisms, only rendered in a systematic and hierarchical way, instead of in Davila's unorganized manner.

Gagdad Bob said...

One thing that really irritates me about the early posts is a lot of crypto-gnosticism. That's got to go.

doug saxum said...

Skeleton keys to existence.

The "why try" when we are destined for death without Christ?

Byron said...

Bob - what do you mean by 'crypto-gnosticism'? I can't imagine you ever being guilty of that!

Gagdad Bob said...

Oh, just a lot of pretentious blather about "higher states of consciousness," and all that. A lot of residue from my more free-wheeling pre-traditional days. It all sounds too new agey to me now.

Gagdad Bob said...

Reading through 2006, it's interesting that I only canceled my LA Times subscription that year, and that Little Green Footballs wasn't yet insane. Seems like the Stone Age. I'm still waiting for an authorial voice that sounds like me. I guess in 2006 I was still someone else.

ted said...

Recall Bob back in those days you were a Wilberite (it's what brought me here), and doing interviews with AC's magazine. How far we've come. Cringe-worthy, but worthy.

Gagdad Bob said...

Yes -- a lot of "evolutionary" thought at the beginning, as I transitioned from a more Wilberian perspective to a more Schuonian one.

Gagdad Bob said...

Here is a perfectly well written article on the weaponization of language to shut down debate. The author is pretty concise and economical, and yet, I was thinking that the piece can really be summarized with a single lucid and austere aphorism:

Reducing another's thought to its supposed motives prevents us from understanding it.

That's what I'm talking about: I no longer want to write from the inside out, in an expansive, wandering, and exploratory manner, but from the outside in, in a compressive, or crystalizing, or distilling way that eliminates all the fat. Like the Ramones did. To paraphrase, Johnny Ramone, people have lives. They have lots of other stuff they need to do. They don't have time for a 20 minute guitar solo. Thus, a two minute song is a matter of common courtesy. Likewise, a 200 page summa of everything.

julie said...

Makes sense. The wandering exploration is a necessary part of the journey, but there's still a center to return to.

Gagdad Bob said...

You need to ramble around to find the principles, but once you've found them, you can stop rambling. Like Chesterton said, "The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.”

julie said...

Ha - yes, just so!

I'm reminded too of that one line from way back; can't think of the exact quote, but something about how to be deep one must also be wide...

Gagdad Bob said...

Or Churchill: " 'Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened."

julie said...

Ha - yes, and that's how we find the world in the state it is in.

Of course, sometimes hurrying off seems the safer option; noticing things can be dangerous to one's health...

ted said...

You can only change a mind that is ready to be changed. And then, they may still not really change.

Gagdad Bob said...

Speaking of integralism, I just read an old post that links to this website characterizing me as a "Blue-Orange rationalist with a vertical orientation" who is "endlessly frustrating in his limited thinking and belief that he, and only he, is right."

I'm not conversant enough with the lingo to judge the accuracy.

And then there's this classic. I like how the commenters accuse me of doing it for money -- which goes back to "Reducing another's thought to its supposed motives prevents us from understanding it."

julie said...

Those are hilarious. And the quote of yours that Kos picked out is evergreen.

I wonder, if they could have gazed into the future and witnessed, say, the rage of Trigglypuff, would they have checked themselves before wrecking themselves?

Doubtful, I know...

Funny to see Nagarjuna. I wonder if he ever pulled his head out of his rear?

Gagdad Bob said...

Impossible. But he could have stuck it so far in that it came out the other side, being that every now and then the fool who persists in his folly becomes wise.

ted said...

That's funny. I first heard your name on a weekend retreat with AC. This guy who sat with us during lunch was raving about your book, and how KW and AC endorsed it also. But then he went on about how challenging your blog was and how it was nothing like the book because you went on about your conservative politics too much.

ted said...

Blue-Orange rationalist with a vertical orientation

Basically means you;re a deplorable who looks up every so often.

Gagdad Bob said...

An aphorism just popped into my head while on a walk:

"Free will is a second chance the first time."

Gagdad Bob said...

And if there's no free will, then you don't even get a first chance. Only a first determination.

ted said...

Bob: ever watch/hear Jonesy's Jukebox? He's on a radio station in your area. I love his interview style...lots of slack in this man! BTW, he was the guitarist for the Sex Pistols.

Gagdad Bob said...

I'm aware of him, but I've never heard the show.

doug saxum said...

Merry Christmas all!

Anonymous said...

“An aphorism just popped into my head while on a walk:

"Free will is a second chance the first time."”

I like that aphorism!
Merry Christmas y’all!


Van Harvey said...

I hope all ye Raccoons had a very Merry Christmas!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello Panel:

We were able to get Schuon, Bion, and Davila together with the Four Horsemen of the New Atheism for a lively discussion. Bion was dominant throughout, as he has charisma, not to
mention all were in awe of his combat decorations. Hitchens distinguished himself as the most abrasive of the lot. Harris was clearly in over his head with this bunch and wisely said little.

After several rounds of libations, all agreed O was alright by them. The unknowable was something they could all accept.

Schuon pointed out the mystic proceeds on experience, and these experiences were empirically based, suggesting the mystic had a leg up on the faith based or intellectual thinker.

Those in attendance who had already passed on, were unanimous in stating mysticism was on the money. A little hint for those still completing their stint on Earth. Or planning on writing a book regarding Truth while completing their stint on Earth.

Regards, Interlocutor X

JWM said...

Good afternoon folks:
I have not dropped a comment here in quite some time although this is still a frequent stop for me on line.
I noted the mention of the old LGF. It has been a while huh? Bob, following your gags on LGF led me to following your writing here which led me to a complete overhauling of my views on life the universe and everything. That's a lot.
Thank you.

Something here I'd like to share. This last August an old friend of mine, an artist by the name of Pete Hampton passed away. He was painter of nature, a story teller,and a mad genius in the true sense of the word. I have come into possession of his complete body of work, and I am now photographing, and cataloguing it all.
I am keeping an on line chronicle of my progress. Yes, this is a shameless plug, but it's a plug for Pete, not for me. Come have a look.


julie said...

Hi JWM, thanks for sharing that. Your friend had some amazing paintings! What a beautiful way to remember his life and share his work.

Joanne Griffin said...

Wow! That's some lovely and amazing art and what a sweet labor of love from you, JWM.

Hope all the brethren and sistren under the pelt have an amazing New Year, filled with meaning and blessings.

God bless us, every one!

julie said...

Amen to that - Happy New Year, everyone!

Gagdad Bob said...

JWM, that is some really compelling and evocative work. What a worthwhile endeavor. Carry on!

(Hard to pick a favorite, but I love the colors in this one.)

Gagdad Bob said...

(Link doesn't go to the painting, but it's Looking east toward Turnbul Canyon with the orange-yellow-blue-purple sky.)

JWM said...

Thank you for the kind words. I've barely scratched the surface with this. The best work is coming, and the web of coincidence stretches into amazing places. Last night at a New Years party I was talking to an acquaintance, a man who is a local artist, WWII vet, and one of the movers and shakers in the art world around here. I was telling him about the project. It turns out he was one of Pete's high school art teachers. it just keeps going like this.
Best to all of you in the new year.


Gagdad Bob said...

I want one for the cover of the book I'm pretending to work on!

Anonymous said...

Yesterday, Trump defended Russia's '79 invasion of Afghanistan saying Russia was "right to be there." No conservative or liberal has this opinion, only Putin and former Soviets have this opinion. Trump also said that Macedonia, which recently entered NATO, is dangerous and has "very strong, very aggressive" people that could cause WW III. The only person aligned with Trump in this view is ... not conservatives, not liberals.... guess who? Putin.

O'Reilly - "Putin is a killer"
Trump - “There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers. Well, you think our country is so innocent?”

“We do not have to invade the United States, we will destroy you from within.”
-- Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev

Putin's approval among Republicans has doubled since 2015.

Trump's base, white evangelicals are the most fearful and most easily manipulated. Trump is using and manipulating evangelicals simply to serve himself. He's even convinced them he's a 'christian,' not unlike Putin who has used the Russian Orthodox church as a vehicle for his propaganda. Ex KGB like Putin certainly know how to exploit a vulnerability, like Maria Butina at the Nat'l Prayer Breakfast.

Helsinki Summit
Jeff Mason, Reuters: President Putin, did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that? [The words in red were omitted from the White House transcript]

PUTIN: Yes, I did. Yes, I did.

"Of course, there are those on the Christian right who have made a show of holding their noses while supporting Mr. Trump to advance their aims of stacking the Supreme Court or ending abortion. But we are kidding ourselves if we think their continuing support for him is purely transactional. I have attended dozens of Christian nationalist conferences and events over the past two years. And while I have heard plenty of comments casting doubt on the more questionable aspects of Mr. Trump’s character, the gist of the proceedings almost always comes down to the belief that he is a miracle sent straight from heaven to bring the nation back to the Lord. I have also learned that resistance to Mr. Trump is tantamount to resistance to God. This isn’t the religious right we thought we knew. The Christian nationalist movement today is authoritarian, paranoid and patriarchal at its core. They aren’t fighting a culture war. They’re making a direct attack on democracy itself."

“For white evangelicals who see the sun setting on white Christian dominance in the country, the wall is a powerful metaphor,” said Jones, who has spent many years analyzing the attitudes of religious voters, and published the book “The End of White Christian America." Jones added that this metaphor embodies a white evangelical view of the world “as a dangerous battleground” made up of “chosen insiders and threatening outsiders,” as well as an “embattled minority trope that is rooted deep within southern culture,” such as the “Lost Cause theology following the Civil War,”