Friday, June 28, 2019

The Political Gnosticism of the 20 (D)warves

"Mr. President, if you're listening, I want you to hear me, please. You have harnessed fear for political purposes and only love can cast that out. I'm going to harness love for political purposes. I will meet you on that field. And, sir, love will win." --Marianne Williamson

In his introduction to Science, Politics, and Gnosticism, Ellis Sandoz writes that Voegelin's new science of politics -- that's right, science -- "can be used to diagnose maladies of contemporary political existence and offer remedies within the modest limits of reason and science" (emphases mine). Or in other words, it deals with the cause and cure of various political sicknesses and pathologies.

Consider the analogy to medicine. In the West, we have settled on allopathic medicine as the most useful approach to the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. But there are also other systems: homeopathic, osteopathic, ayurvedic, humorism, traditional Chinese medicine. Each of these posits a different etiological, classificatory, and therapeutic system for physical illness.

Since the mind is obviously more ambiguous than the body, there are even more treatment approaches to the psyche, veering from the completely biological to the completely psychological, from the collective to the individual, and from theories that consider everyone neurotic to crazy psychiatrists who conveniently consider abnormality normal.

Body. Mind. What about spiritual disorders? First of all, you can disabuse yourself of the notion that there is "no such thing," because each religion -- like the different schools of medicine -- provides a kind of diagnosis and cure for man's spiritual condition. Sometimes these are presented in mytho-speculative language, but they are no less penetrating for it.

Consider, for example, the Bhagavad Gita, which is none other than a dialogue between the troubled patient, Arjuna, and the spiritual doctor, Krishna. Likewise, the Buddha clearly diagnoses mankind (the four noble truths) before offering the cure (the eight-fold path). In the Yoga Sutras Patanjali does the same, and Jesus frankly compares himself to a physician.

In short, all religions recognize that there is something fundamentally wrong with man. And in our view, one of the things that is fundamentally wrong with man is his tendency to become a closed system. Please note that this is true of every level of existence, the material, psychic, and pneumatic.

Of Voegelin, Sandoz writes that he "evokes the philosopher as physician of the soul." This is not philosophy as practiced by the tenured rabble, i.e., mental masturbation on a grandiose scale, but rather, a way of life; for it is "the love of being through love of divine Being as the source of its order" (Voegelin).

In this context, Sandoz notes that "protecting philosophy against perversion is vital to the larger task of protecting human existence itself against perversion and tyranny."

Especially in a free society such as ours, right thinking is our main line of defense against tyranny, which is precisely why it is attacked and undermined by the irrational and dis-ordered forces of the left. The left imposes a system in which lies either become compulsory, or in which the proper conclusions cannot be drawn from the allowable data.

The essence of modern tyranny involves prohibiting questions that might undermine the credibility of the system, which is why there is no place in America where speech is less free than on a college campus. No surprise there. [Update from seven years hence: the tech giants have surpassed even academia in their repressive intolerance of dissent.]

In the book, Voegelin outlines "three major types for whom a human inquiry has become a practical impossibility," including "socialist man," "positivist [e.g., scientistic, Darwinistic, reductionistic] man," and "national-socialist man."

Now, as there is philosophy (in Voegelin's sense), there is anti-philosophy. Political Gnosticism is an instance of the latter, which Voegelin defines as a perverse desire for "dominion over being; in order to seize control of being the gnostic constructs a system."

Thus, instead of a spiritually open engagement with reality and truth -- which is philo-sophy, or love of wisdom -- the Gnostic shuts himself off from this ground and constructs a closed system based upon the Answer known only to elites such as himself, quintessential examples being Marxism on the political plane or metaphysical Darwinism on the biological plane (and this is the kind of perverse and simplistic science -- i.e., scientism -- preferred by the left in order to bolster its enfeebled image of man).

Each of these denies transcendence up front, which has the practical effect of murdering man (and eventually men). As Sandoz explains, modern forms of Gnosticism are characterized by their "renunciation of 'vertical' or otherworldly transcendence and [their] proclamation of a 'horizontal' transcendence or futuristic parousia of Being -- that is, intramundane or worldly" salvation. In short, a dreamworld of hope and change.

But in imposing this absurd doctrine of worldly salvation, the parousia must be perpetually postponed. For the gnostic, it is always right around the corner, the endless Recovery Summer. The War on Poverty is not a Keynesian quackmire, but actually winnable with one last surge of obscenely profligate spending on our pet projects and political allies!

Thus, in their Gnostic lust for power, each of the 20 dwarves insists that we ignore what has actually happened to the economy and country over the last four years. Rather, look ahead, to the glorious future that is promised by... well, by Marianne Williamson, for example:

What we most need now is a political visionary -- someone with a deep understanding of where we have been and where we need to be going....

My campaign provides the American people with the option of choosing another way -- not just a better version of same old, same old politics, but a genuine pattern disruption that allows for breakthroughs and possibilities that will not otherwise occur.

We need to address the deep emotional and psychological dynamics within the average citizen that have led to the erosion of our political system. In order to have a moral and spiritual awakening in America, we need a leader who is a moral and spiritual awakener.

I believe I am that person.

As a psychologist, I am intimately familiar with narcissistic grandiosity. But Voegelin understood that the grandiosity of the left is on another plane altogether, and requires a deeper explanation.


Gagdad Bob said...

What a strange article. Williamson

"is not here to brag about herself; she is here to help you bring forth your best inner citizen.... what makes Williamson so captivating onstage is that she talks less about why a person should vote for her and more about what the act of voting does for the inner life of the individual. Voting is self-care.

"folks go pin-drop silent as they listen to her pull from her knowledge of history and quickly detail the path the country has taken to get to these troubled times. She exudes emotional intelligence without roiling the waters in which she swims....

"She is bringing the language of self-assessment to the town square - not the woo-woo, light-a-scented-candle variety, but the kind of loving punishment that might be doled out by a parent....

"How are you feeling, America? Deep down inside? Williamson doesn't look like the other candidates, and she doesn't sound like them. But that's more than OK because there are 20 people on the debate stage across two nights, and they each have a Day One to-do list and a First 100 Days to-do list and a Here Are the Reasons Why I'm Fabulous list. Williamson will surely have her lists, too. But hopefully she will do as she has done before: Wear something subtly jarring, refrain from shouting and make us all take a few deep cleansing breaths. Because America is not feeling so well."


Anyone can be a bad writer, but you have to be somewhat intelligent to write that poorly.

ted said...

Ha ha, oh boy.

Maybe we can deepak the cabinet while we're at it.

Anonymous said...

The POTUS is a hard, dangerous, and thankless job. The pay is good but not great.

Every President within the last 80 years has been pretty good, in my recollection (I'm very, very old).

People talk Presidents up and down. What Presidents all have in common is a desire to serve the people. The office comes with many restrictions so we can fear not despotism. Each has seen the nuclear football and refrained. Let's hope that continues.

All things considered, the choice of President is a prominent but not a huge factor in the common weal, except in regards to the football.

The global centralized government, established Oct 15, 2016, the NWO, has an equivalent office which is always shared by three persons. These have all been upstanding Masons also wishing to serve the common weal.

The governing body of our galactic arm (not sure how this is divided up), are pretty laid back. We are located in some kind of a wilderness area of the galaxy, is my understanding, and there are few ordinances leveled by this body other than the dictum others should stay out of our territory; said dictum does get flouted occasionally but less and less often. The zone is getting more civilized and respectful. Our Masons are on top of the situation and keep tabs on that stuff.

Well, there's my two cents worth.

Stephen Greybeard, Pomona

julie said...

Re. the Williamson article, it is disturbingly reminiscent of how people talked about Keith Raniere, who dubbed himself the “smartest man in the world.” Or L. Ron Hubbard, for that matter.

Gagdad Bob said...

This book on Clarence Thomas's judicial philosophy is one of the best I've read in a long time. Short but hardly a wasted word, and full of profound insights on how we have arrived at this sad state of affairs. What a hero.

Anonymous said...

Jimmy Carter couldn’t handle the OPEC caused stagflation without resorting to Volcker who raised interest rates until the economy tanked, to then slash rates in his attempt to kick start the economy again. Reagan continued Volcker and threw in severe austerity measures along with incentives to big military and new tech. Obama eventually used Volcker on his economic recovery advisory board.

But who cares about all that.

Few evangelicals remember Volcker or his reactive economic statism or our spoiled American dependence on oil or that the KSA (now “our friends”) had ruined us with the power position we consumers had gifted them or that we consumers have gifted atheist socialist China with yet another threatening power position.

All they remember is that Carter was bad and Reagan was good and Obama was bad but Trump is good... even though all of them claimed to have been divinely inspired.

Van Harvey said...

Gagdad said "This book on Clarence Thomas's judicial philosophy is one of the best I've read in a long time..."

My copy arrived today, Woo-hoo! Hands down, the best Justice on the Supreme Court, in at least a century.