Thursday, July 25, 2019

If You're Going to Strike at God, It Helps to Kill Man First

Picking up where we left off with the previous post -- in fact, let's continue downstream from its last sentence: "Indeed, this seething [politico-psychic] frustration is probably a permanent feature of deicide, as the murderers vainly attempt to force transcendence to be immanence, which is of course impossible."

Naturally, attempts at the impossible will result in frustration, and frustration is one of the causes of anger. Statements like that are why I have a PhD in psychology and you don't.

Come to think of it, another source of anger is "comparison," especially in a free country in which we are supposed to be equal. Ironically, there is less anger in highly stratified societies than there is in free ones, because in the latter you have no excuse for your failure.

Consider the race riots that only began in the mid-60s, precisely when the impediments to achievement were falling like dominoes. And the anger is only more institutionalized today, when economic prospects are better than ever for the disciplined and talented, irrespective of race. And why on earth would feminists be angry? (Hint: it has nothing to do with the world outside their heads.) Just because you fail to achieve, it doesn't mean you didn't have the potential to have done so with more prudent decisions.

Now, if one wants to make sure that God's not only merely dead, but really most sincerely dead, one must somehow go after and eradicate the psycho-pneumatic matrix out of which contact with, and experience of, God emerges. One must sow the divine ground with salt, so to speak, such that nothing grows and (equally important) nothing grows (i.e., the literal expansion of nihilism which we've seen over the last six decades or so).

For Marx and his contemporary heirheads, God can be nothing more than a fanciful human projection. Therefore, our proper task is to withdraw the projections and thereby reclaim the psychic substance we've dribbled away via this psychic process. In short, the best way to kill a god is to become one.

Ironically, both religion and anti-religion posit a new kind of man, a novel cosmic development. For example, in Ephesians, Paul advises us to take off the old man and put on the new.

Indeed, remaining in the old man's shoes is identified with mental futility, while shedding the old coot is both a cause and consequence of vertical renewal via our participation in the divine grace.

Just so, the (hello,) NewMan of the left isn't just devoid of religious delusions, but "has taken God back into his being. The 'non-man,' who has illusions, becomes fully human by absorbing the 'superman.'"

Hence the breathtaking arrogance of the left, which they truly cannot help. After all, when one is the center of the universe, it's a little difficult to hide one's light under a bushel.

An essay by Doctor Zero, The [lower case r] republican virtue of humility [deceased link] touches on this theme. You might say that the new man of the left barters away his abstract freedom in exchange for something a little more concrete -- power, cash, privilege, or other valuable prizes.

Doing so is "only natural," whereas placing ultimate value in something as nebulous as "negative liberty" (i.e., our sacred rights conferred by the Creator) is only supernatural. Thus, under our Constitution you can't choose to be a slave, but you can get around this by choosing to have masters. At the moment, some two dozen Democrats are competing to be your master (or mistress). Each wants to limit your constitutional rights in order to expand your unconstitutional ones, such as free college, free healthcare, and punishing or rewarding groups based upon a hierarchy of racial grievance.

Back to Voegelin. He writes (quoting Bottomore) that "The struggle against religion is therefore a struggle against that world of which religion is the spiritual aroma." (Note that we don't so much project into God as he does into us.)

This is why leftist culture is every bit as iconoclastic as the Taliban thugs who blew up those magnificent Buddhist statutes. The left does the same thing with language in particular. As I've said before, the first victim of the left is always the poor dictionary -- that is, the plain meaning of things -- but the dictionary is only an emanation of the logos, so we're back to deicide.

The left is a lexicographical tactic more than an ideological strategy.

And The progressive travels around among literary works as the Puritan did among cathedrals: with hammer in hand.

Again, fascism involves the violent rejection of transcendence; although I suppose we should qualify that, since Islamofascism -- or most any other kind of "religious fascism" -- involves a violent rejection of immanence.

In any event, for the liberal fascist, "once the world beyond truth has disappeared," it is necessary "to establish the truth of this world" (Bottomore, in Voegelin). Never mind that truth is always transcendent. That's none of your business. As the barbarians of the Jihad Squad might say, just grab your hammer and get with the pogrom!

For once the center of power has shifted from God to man, from transcendent to immanent, "it seeks not to refute but to annihilate" (ibid.).

And this is where the real action -- or acting out, rather -- begins, for "Here speaks the will to murder of the gnostic magician.... critique is no longer rational debate. Sentence has been passed; the execution follows" (ibid.).

The political platforms of the left are gradually transformed into scaffolds.

For The cult of Humanity is celebrated with human sacrifices.

The new man of the left, because he has taken what can only abide beyond into himself, "experiences himself as existing outside of institutional bonds and obligations." Like Kamala or Bernie, it's Laws for thee, exceptions for me.

As in the French Revolution, things can get out of hand pretty quickly, as the will to murder lashes out in all directions, and the fickle finger of fatwa falls on whom it will. Every normal person and personal norm gets a turn in the progressive barrel. There's no logic to it except for the underlying will to annihilate. Remember that Satan is 1, a liar, and 2, a murderer, the second always justified and facilitated by the first.

Now, political correctness is fundamentally a War on Noticing, so no one is supposed to be cognizant of any of this, hence the institutional amnesia of the media-academic complex, which restricts consciousness to the momentary in time and the immanent in space, AKA the Narrative.

In the words of Voegelin, "the being of the world and ego is restricted to the knowledge of the immediate or existent." It isn't just "radically anti-philosophical" but "a work of magic."

On the grave of the murdered God the golem is celebrating a ghastly ritual.... The goal has been attained.... This is the closing act of the order of being when gnostic magicians lay hands on it. --Voegelin

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Nietzsche in Reverse

In his parable of the madman, Nietzsche implies that one must be both a little crazy and ahead of one's time to recognize that God is dead -- like a wild-eyed prophet, really, bearing the stark news that men are not yet prepared to accept:

The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. "Whither is God?," he cried; "I will tell you. We have killed him -- you and I. All of us are his murderers."

But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns?

Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying, as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.

How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us -- for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto.

[Comment from the future present: I had a guffah-ha! experience the other day while reading this excellent essay on Dávila, highlighting his link to Nietzsche, his twin aphorist from a different father:

For all his talk about the Church and civilization, why was this conservative and reactionary thinker likened to Nietzsche? For one, several of Gómez Dávila’s aphorisms seem to be responses pointed at Nietzsche’s philosophy: “The death of God is an interesting opinion, but one that does not affect God.” One student describes Gómez Dávila as an interlocutor of Nietzsche, because they are both confronted with the same problem of transcendence within humanity. According to Gómez Dávila, the suicidal factor of modernity to which society had become most accustomed consisted of “shooting a bullet into the soul,” killing God. Modern man had replaced God with a label, “humanity” that represented nothing: “Many love humanity only in order to forget God with a clear conscience,” he wrote.

But Gómez Dávila was no nihilist, though he was a cynic and Epicurean. He was sympathetic to Nietzsche, writing that “Nietzsche would be the only noble inhabitant of a derelict world. Only his choice could be exposed without shame to the resurrection of God.” For Gómez Dávila, Nietzsche’s inquiry was an honest one; it destroyed him and proved the importance of hierarchy: From Nietzsche’s commitment to criticize morality and uphold perspectivism came the possibility to recognize man’s finiteness, and this is represented in Nietzsche’s tragic spiritual collapse. In many ways, Nietzsche had correctly assessed the problems of modernity when he dismissed the importance of God: Gómez Dávila wrote, “Reading Nietzsche as a response is not understanding him. Nietzsche is an immense interrogation.”

It was Nietzsche’s nihilism, and the “suicidal” impulse of the West that chose doubt and cowardice over faith that paved the way for a true rediscovery of God, although we are still trying to get there. Gómez Dávila does not view Western civilization’s course as irreversible: His aphorisms demonstrate his view that there is hope for the future because it is connected to a redemption that can only come about through the questioning or outright denial of God. From this point, it is possible to bring about a resumption of the natural order of things. Perhaps this is the task that Gómez Dávila envisioned for the conservative, the reactionary, or the philosopher.

You might say Nietzsche was the last honest atheist. You might also say that honesty is one of the names of God -- or that honesty is of course ordered to the very truth that is unthinkable in the absence of God. No wonder he went insane. But insanity is one of the two honest responses to atheism, the other being suicide.]

Again, Nietzsche is refreshingly candid, not to mention poetic, about the implications of deicide. I'll take a deicidal literary genius any day over an atheistic mediocrity, because at least the former points up and out in spite of himself. In other words, to deny God is to have transcended the material world (and let us not forget that transcendence proceeds in both vertical directions, which is why man is the only creature who can sink beneath himself).

The problem with our contemporary atheists is that they are shaped by an altogether different culture than was Nietzsche, essentially the cramped world of scientism instead of the wider world of art, letters, and literature. You might say that the styleless style of contemporary atheism that flows from vulgar scientism is just too facile to be true. With a little education, anyone can believe it, which our trolls prove. To put it another way, nothing can be as easy as atheism, let alone everything.

Being an intellectually consistent atheist poses as much -- if not more -- of a challenge than being a consistent theist. After all, a theist has the aid of heaven, whereas the atheist must accomplish his promethean -- not to say sisyphean -- task on his own. (Interesting that no matter where man goes, myth has been there first, from stealing light to rolling stones. Myth always comprehends man more than man comprehends myth, unlike, say, science, where this relation is reversed.)

In a way, the mythic situation sketched out by Nietzsche parallels the situation of Adam, or, if one prefers, the first man who awakened to his manhood and thereby became one. These questions confront any man qua man, e.g., Where are we moving? Is there any actual direction, or is this a meaningless question? Is there any up or down, or any vertical at all? Are we not floating, as through an infinite nothing? And how shall we comfort ourselves? What means of atonement, what sacred rituals shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of man too great for a mere man, an unimpressive biped who learned to yap just yesterday and hasn't shut up since? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of our manhood?

If it is true that myth shapes man -- that there exist preconceptual categories through which thought courses -- then each man is heir to the ontological inclinations of all men, irrespective of whether one calls it theism or atheism. Thus, we have "prophets of atheism" such as madman Nietzsche, who has more in common with a prophet of God than with the contemporary atheistic scribbler.

Now, man in his natural state is spontaneously oriented to God. This is something no one could deny, because the anthropological evidence proves there is no culture without the conception of an absolute that accounts for the genesis of the cosmos, the purpose of existence, and the means of salvation.

That being the case, in order for the madman prophet of atheism to succeed, he must not only murder God, but destroy the very conditions that make God necessary. Because if he doesn't eliminate those conditions, then they will continue to evoke God.

Consider a physiological analogy. You can ban sweets, but so long as human beings have a sweet tooth, they will keep discovering and being drawn to sweets.

Continuing with the analogy, the dietary madman can't just ban sweets, but must flood the world with anti-sweets propaganda, so that a kind of unnatural aversion is superimposed over the natural attraction.

Ideology functions in the same way, for example, vis-a-vis the LGBTQETC agenda. In order to transform something everyone knows is unnatural into something natural, the instinct of aversion must be displaced, which is how and why "homophobia" was invented. I suppose there are a handful of true homophobes with psychological issues of their own -- people with an infrarational (and not transrational) animus toward homosexuals -- but the real purpose of the homophobia accusation is to shame and pathologize normalcy. Similarly, if Islam really means what it says, why wouldn't someone be Islamophobic? (And recall that phobos is fear, not hatred.)

So in order to truly eradicate God, we must amputate, excise, or in some way annihilate that part of man that is spontaneously oriented toward his creator and source. We have seen how this works in America over the past seventy-five years or so, whereby the legal system now functions in this overtly destructive manner.

To take just one absurd example that comes to mind, a few years ago the County of Los Angeles was forced (not that there was any resistance on the County's part) by the court to remove a tiny cross from its official seal, which required millions of dollars to track down every last seal on every car, every office door, every building, every piece of stationery. The cross had always been there, as it is a banal historical fact that the territory was settled by Spanish missionaries, but as always, history must bow before ideology. Plus, you know, the government has so much money anyway, we don't know what to do with it. After all, we only have 60,000 homeless people living in Los Angeles alone...

In Science, Politics, and Gnosticism, Voegelin explains how it all goes down. It is the task of the ideological historian,

once the world beyond truth has disappeared, to establish the truth of this world. Thus, the critique of heaven is transformed into the critique of earth; the critique of religion, into the critique of law; the critique of theology, into the critique of politics (Bottomore, italics in original).

Note that this is no longer a disinterested quest for truth as we have come to understand it, but a kind of mental or psycho-spiritual activism; it is no longer theory, but practice:

Its subject is its enemy, which it seeks not to refute, but to annihilate.... It no longer acts as an end in itself, but only as a means. Its essential emotion is indignation; its essential task is denunciation (ibid).

Boy, is that true. In another book I was reading this weekend, I came across this little wisecrack, that "Indignation usually erupts into exaggeration." Over the past three years we've seen how the Trump-derangement of the left has transformed its seething hordes of simpleminded imbeciles into even simpler imbeciles convulsed by even more hatred than usual. It hasn't worked thus far, so expect the seething to be cranked up to 11 until the 2020 election and beyond. Indeed, this seething frustration is probably a permanent feature of deicide, as the murderers vainly attempt to force transcendence to be immanence, which is of course impossible.