Saturday, June 13, 2020

The Idiot's Guide to Your Head, or A Cartography of Spirit

I've never been this backed up in the brain. Usually there's a rough balance of tirade between input and output, but at present I'm so far behind the tomes that I count no fewer than a dozen of them with which we need to catch up. How did this happen?

Oh, I know. The quarantine. The increased slack resulted not only in a greater quantity of reading, but -- and maybe this was providential -- a much deeper quality of reading, what with the Voegelin binge.

As far as I'm concerned, he takes us as deep into the cosmos as we can go, at least from the noetic (i.e., pneumo-cognitive) side of things. The pneumatic (mystico-experiential) side is another matter. Perhaps we'll veer into that modality when we formally retire, which, with any luck, will be in about six months.

Until the quarantine, I'd been thinking that retirement would solve the enduring problem of the Great Sequel. But now I have to rethink that, because it is by no means self-evident that more free time equates to more containment of the Mystery, or taming of the bucking cosmos. No, it only aggravates the Mystery in an exponential way. I don't want to say that it leaves me more confused, because that's not it at all. More... how to put it?

It's more like, say, one hour of input requires three or four hours of output, so I need to either reduce the former or increase the latter. At the very least, I need to write every day just so as to keep from sinking beneath the waves. I guess I don't mind writing every day, but who on earth wants to read me every day? Isn't that a little tedious?

Whatever. Nothing I can do about that. In any event, let's try to knock one of these books from the pile. It's called Political Apocalypse, which sounds ridiculously timely, no?

I've told you before that when I do a deep dive into this or that thinker's body of work, I often *imagine* they're contacting me directly via the ether or whatever you wish to call it. "Nonlocal operators standing by, ready to assist you," and all that.

Now, if you really appreciate how weird this cosmos is -- and I've tried to tell you -- then this really isn't weird at all. Voegelin wishes desperately to be understood, and nothing about this has changed just because he's no longer with us biologically. (I promise to do the same once I leave earth behind and go looking for Bo Diddley.)

Remember when Jesus says "I am with you to the end of the age"? Not only is this not remotely implausible, he's not the only one. He may be the 800 lb guerrilla, but there are other spiritual warriors hiding in the burning bushes, trees of life, the mycelial network, etc. And look, they're everywhere, okay? True hallucinations. You just have to surrender to the process, and the process will come to you.

No, I'm not just in a queer mood this morning. Here's a passage I read just yesterday from Eric Voegelin: Philosopher of History. He's right here, sitting across the table and reminding us that

To the extent that men are actually philosophers in the original sense, they are engaged in an experiential, mystical ascent to luminous participation in existential truth.

Are we not men? Are we not philosophers? Are we not mystically ascending to luminous participation in existential truth? Are we not Coons? YES! WE! ARE! Someone has to do it, and it has come down to us. And it goes like this:

the movement of the soul into luminosity of existence is simultaneously a human seeking [↑] and a divine drawing [O, the Great Attractor].

That's pretty commonplace and experience-near, but here's where it gets a little more interesting:

the breakthrough is not simply a human endeavor; there is also a divine breakthrough or irruption into man, and there is no way that this can be predicted. It takes place where and in whom it will.

So there is the human (↑) into God or O; but this is necessarily complemented by the divine (↓) into man. Why necessarily? That's a largish subject, so at this point let's just posit it as a hypothesis and focus on the notion that God "irrupts" from time to time -- or timelessness to time -- in man. Is this even conceivable?

Wrong question. I would state it conversely: is it even conceivable that the human person isn't a vertically open system that receives and metabolizes divine energies? It only happens all the time (even if it happens quintessentially and fully only in the Incarnation).

Unless one closes oneself off from the divine energies, a pathological condition Voegelin describes in exquisite detail. The problem there is that once you've experienced it you need no further proof, and if you haven't experienced it, then no amount of proof is sufficient.

Here's another quote, selected more or less at random, or via lectio divina flippia:

The substance of philosophy is not to to be found in the philosopher's ideas but in the ascent that he enacts, in response to divine calling and grace.

But again, one can always deny the ascent and/or resist the pull. Free will. Or won't, rather. Closure against reality is always an option, but just know what you're not getting yourself into, okay?

The tension of longing may feel too painful; one may prefer an illusion of certainty to the challenge of epistemic existence in truth.... Where this willingness is lacking, one may avert one's gaze and seek refuge in opinions.

I still want to get to the Political Apocalypse. With any luck we can knock that one off the desk in the next post.

Friday, June 12, 2020

No Amount of Walking Adds Up to a Leap

Have we hit the bottom (line) of the cosmos, or is there further to go? Yes and no. Although the truth of reality isn't subject to change, human beings we are always either approaching or fleeing from this Truth.

In other words, vertically speaking, the cosmos is asymptotic at both ends; recall the image from a few posts back with the horizontal time axis bisected by the ovoid vertical sensorium of human understanding. The larger and more luminous that space, the more of reality you understand (and not just know, which is a poor substitute for integral comprehension). And we do mean this literally, more on which as we proceed.

Actually, it's right there in the comment box, and has been for a number of years. In no sense is it meant metaphorically, poetically, mystagogically, or "in a manner of speaking." Rather, it's the way it is, and always will be in this life:

The quest, thus, has no external "object," but is reality itself becoming luminous for its movement from the ineffable, through the Cosmos, to the ineffable.

I want to say that Truth is eternal while Ignorance, Stupidity, and the Lie are sempiternal, the latter meaning they might as well be endless but are still located in time. Expressed another way, there can be only one Eternal, and it doesn't include fake news, secular idolatry, or tenured babble.

Also, far be it from us to try to convince anyone of our deuscoveries. We leave that drudgery entirely to the Marketing Department. This blog is all about pure R & D, while implications and practical applications are mostly left to others.

Put another way, we write only for... well, first of all for ourselves, and second for readers capable of understanding what we're going on about. But nearly all Bobjections come from people who haven't understood Bob at all, but merely imagine they have because they squeeze Bob into their own procrustean reality tunnel.

Having said that, we are always delighted to hear objections from fellow vertical travelers who do understand our perspective and our process, being that it is improvised on the spot and naturally can't have the finished elegance of a composition or score. Always check with your holy man to see if One Cosmos is right for you. Side effects may include second birth pangs, third eye strain, untimely chakra activation, ontological weight gain, existential bemusement, vicarious embarrassment, guffaw-ha experiences, and more.

Suffice it to say that we do not prescribe our medicine to horizontaloid beings for the same reason the Bible tells us that we shouldn't cast our spheres before circles, or Plato warns the free-range thinker of the consequences of assuming cave dwellers will welcome your insights about the Light from outside their cave narrative.

This no doubt sounds a bit abstract, so I will momentarily remove the coonskin cap and put on my psychologist's hat, and remind you that the human need for extra-biological transhistorical meaning is as intense and pervasive as any physiological drive or instinct.

We might say that while instincts are animal drives, the drive for meaning is the quintessential human instinct. It explains why all humans in every culture have come up with so many idiotic meanings, from human sacrifice to Marxism to BLM (but I repeat myself).

(Brief timeout and apology: I had had a proper subject for a post in mind, but I'm just going to continue with the free & loose associating and see where it goes. Who knows, it may eventually lead back to the subject I'd had in mind.)

Let's pull back and try to see what's going on here. And when I say "pull back," I mean 50,000 years or so. Or better, let's "pull above" and try to discern the patterns that continuously repeat themselves like currents in the oceans. Looked at this way, there is very little true "progress," mostly just a tail-chasing rat race on Sisyphus's own hamster wheel; nevertheless, there are, in Voegelin's terms, occasional "leaps of being" that are truly radical and revolutionary, for they change everything.

Looked at this way, a radical revolutionary such as, say, Marx, or Hitler, or Mao, isn't revolutionary at all, but rather, just the latest iteration of the regressive force that always pulls man and culture back to a more primitive and undifferentiated state.

Conversely, a conservative -- specifically, the American variety who wishes to conserve the radical leap in being expressed by the Declaration and given flesh by the Constitution -- is the counter-cultural radical. What we nowadays call the "radical" is but a reanimated fossil of the past, for he is an emissary of tribalism, relativism, animism and/or materialism (which are but two sides of the same dysfunctional ontology), etc.

From our vertical meta-cosmic perspective we see a number of outstanding leaps in being. In other words, these are "discontinuous," being that there is nothing in their antecedents that can account for or predict their consequences. I know, because I'm one of them. My life makes no sense in linear terms.

At risk of boring the Old-timers, let's briefly run down some of the big leaps. There is, for example, existence itself, which is either created or it isn't. This is the Greatest Leap of All, even the greatest leap conceivable, and we mean this literally, because this is what creatio ex nihilo means.

Ask yourself: is there a greater conceivable leap than that between nothing and something? No, of course not. Compared to nothing, even something as vacuous as the quantum vacuum is of infinite significance.

The alternative metaphysic pretends the cosmos is self-sufficient and that there are no leaps. This view tends to be held in a consistent way by its flatland devotees, such that no subsequent leaps are seen or permitted either.

Nevertheless, to paraphrase Galileo, and yet it leaps. For example, the transition from inanimate matter to life isn't a line but a leap; likewise the leap from biology to intellect. And there's another vitally important leap from mere animal lineage to human history. Animals have a past but they have no history.

So history is indeed a leap, but what kind of leap, and into what? You might say that Voegelin spent his entire life exploring and answering this question. And the answer is quite multifaceted, requiring familiarity with...

Let's just say with everything; and not just what has occurred outside, but even more critically, what happens inside, which, after all, is the only thing of which we have direct and unmediated awareness.

Thus, for example, the transition from cyclical to linear time represents a tremendous leap forward; likewise the leap from polytheism to monotheism, or from collective identity to the individual, or from rule of man to rule of law. And if you personally haven't leapt into the space between immanence and transcendence, you are nowhere, literally. And yet, you are still a nuisance.

Does any of this touch on the news of the day? Yes, of course. But the clock has run out for today...

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Upped Jumped the Devil

At risk of captaining the good ship Obvious, let's call this crisis what it is: spiritual warfare, except with only one side fighting. Thrones, dominions, powers, principalities, the whole menagerie of nonlocal cosmic influencers are present and accounted for.

I suppose I've always regarded that passage as more of a poetic inventory, but this website defines principalities quite specifically as "one type of spiritual (metaphysical) being which are now quite hostile to God and human beings" (for hostility to God is always hostility to man, and vice versa).

Well, who but Petey and his ilk can really see the unseen with perfect clarity? We only have privy to the effects, while the exact causes necessarily remain obscure for us.

But that's true of purely human behavior as well. Obviously, no one has direct access to the mind and motivations of another person. Rather, we can only infer or deduce them. Nevertheless, this isn't nothing, and one of the privileges of the human station is the ability to distinguish appearances from reality, even if we can never fully grasp the latter on this side of the area rug.

Indeed, I was discussing this just yesterday with the young master. There are so many mysteries to which we simply assign words, as if this eliminates the mystery, but it only does so for the incurious and easily mollified -- as if anyone really understands the nature of, say, energy, or metabolism, or organism, or consciousness, or even just existence.

Back when I was in grad school and pondering a dissertation subject, one idea that occurred to me was something having to do with The Remystification of the Mind. We typically equate "progress" with demystification, and that is true to a certain extent and up to a point. But we must never forget that any demystification is always in dialectic with Mystery as such, so that to imagine the world has been demystified is a grandiose delusion and even grounds for tenure.

Imagine, for example -- even though it is impossible for readers of this blog -- the mind satisfied with "the selfish gene" as an adequate explanation for human existence and experience. Or dialectical materialism, or scientism, or any other ideology.

You all know the drill, so I won't re-belabor this dead horse. The bottom line is that Mystery isn't some peripheral nuisance to be eliminated at a later date, but The Perennial Fact of the Matter. Literally, because it dwarfs our modest area of illumination. It is a sea that always surrounds and permeates our isle of knowledge.

Which is in no way to celebrate obscurantism or ignorance or irrationalism. Rather, it is to highlight the permanent and ineradicable truth of the human situation, which is again -- as we've been discussing these past several weeks -- always situated in a developing and differentiating space between the mysteries of immanence and transcendence.

I've mentioned before that you can learn a lot about normality by studying insanity, because psychological defense mechanisms that operate more subtly in the normal neurotic become quite vivid and hypertrophied in the borderline or psychotic patient. These defenses don't differ in essence, only in magnitude.

Well, it's the same vis-a-vis spiritual warfare. It's always going on, except sometimes it's so obvious as to be undeniable. But if we lack the vocabulary to describe it, it will probably be ignored, or worse, mischaracterized in deceptive terms that will only make matters worse.

For example, if you are a spiritually normal person, you will have noticed while watching the chaos play out on your TV screen, a very specific and ancient feeling bubbling up from your core (even if you never felt it before, it will still be familiar for vertical reasons related to species memory).

This needs to be given its proper name, and not transformed and renamed into something it isn't. But this is precisely what the left does, which is itself an important strategy in spiritual warfare, i.e., appropriation of the language.

Again, you will have noticed that once the Adversary has successfully seized, defined, and renamed the terms of debate, he has won the battle. Now everyone is talking about "police brutality" instead of brutal criminality. Everyone knows the statistics, for example, that a police officer is 18.5 times more likely to be murdered by a black criminal than the other way around, or that the greatest threat to black lives -- by orders of magnitude -- comes from fellow blacks. Such dangerous statistics are among the first casualties of spiritual warfare.

It reminds me of Pearl Harbor, a daring mission to preemptively decimate the US Navy before it even knew it was at war with Japan. With regard to the present spiritual warfare, it has been going on in its present form for decades, as the left has successfully softened the linguistic battlefield with its ceaseless campaign of logocide, such that merely conveying a banal truth is sufficient to to get oneself "cancelled" --which is to say, to become a spiritual battlefield casualty if not fatality.

Tucker Carlson has been on fire about this subject for the past couple of weeks, but even he can only go so far. Remember Patton after victory in Europe? I don't know if this was just in the movie, but he supposedly wanted to continue rolling right into Moscow and strangle the Beast in his nest. Which was more or less unfeasible even if his heart was in the right place. Turning on our "ally" would have been seen as a betrayal after so much propaganda had successfully transformed Satan himself into benign "Uncle Joe."

When is the last time we truly adopted an unapologetic No Half Measures approach to spiritual warfare? Nothing comes immediately to mind except the denouement of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, when the Manson girl gets it with the flamethrower. Or maybe Inglourious Basterds, when Nazis are reeducated with a Louisville Slugger vigorously applied to the cranium, and conveniently identified by a swastika carved into the forehead.

Does this mean Bob is advocating cruelty and sadism? Hardly. But let's understand whom we're dealing with. A little perspective is in order before we devise strategy and tactics. Going back to what I was saying about the exaggeration of psychological defense mechanisms in severe mental illness, we see a similar distortion in spiritual warfare.

In other words, certain activities we consider immoral under normal circumstances are sanctioned in war, e.g., violence, killing, and destruction. While we try to set limits on these, Satan honors no such limits. We see this in the French Revolution, in National Socialism, in communism, in Islamic terrorism, etc.

And of course we are currently seeing the same pattern play out with Antifa and BLM (which is a Gnostic ideological movement hiding behind race-obsessed white liberal guilt). Their violence has no limits -- which goes to that funny but distinct feeling you had in your tummy last week while watching the barbarian invasion. It's the same feeling St. Augustine had in 430, when Vandal Lives Matter sacked Hippo and looted the place.

Aw, look at me, I'm ramblin' again. I had intended to begin with this timely observation by Schuon, that

It makes no sense to believe in the devil and then each time, when he appears -- most often exploiting a specific situation [!] -- to deny that he is involved.

He also speaks of hypocrites "who secretly harbor grave faults" which break to the surface because they were never properly "dissolved by humility" to begin with, but rather, were simply "gilded with pride."

Which brings us to the very real problem of virtue signaling, which is nothing to snooze at, but rather, like political correctness, can be quite deadly.

A couple of aphorisms come to mind, that

1) The devil can achieve nothing great without the thoughtless collaboration of the virtues (i.e., gold-plated pride and hypocrisy),

and 2) Man does not call a solution the formula that solves problems, but the formula that hides them (which goes to the abuse of language which renders the actual problem unthinkable and unsayable).

But in the current maelstrom of willful ignorance masquerading as deep concern, one does well to remember that

Only the very intelligent man does not possess the solution to current problems.

For permanent existential problems have no political solutions, so pretending to solve them actually makes them worse. Or, if you do have a political solution to greed, lust, gluttony, laziness, anger, envy, pride, hypocrisy, ingratitude, racism, and the rest, let's hear it.

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

On the Acceleration of Politico-Cultural Insanity

The previous post ended with the question: "how did the obvious become controversial, and how did such anti-human buffoonery become the conventional wisdom of the media-academic complex?"

Exactly which anti-human buffoonery? There's so much of it, the average person is unable to distinguish between the shallow and trivial buffoonery of academia vs. the genuinely important and revolutionary buffoonery that threatens -- or promises -- to undo the cosmic progress of millennia.

In nearby Santa Monica, for example, progressive rioters can destroy in a weekend what had been taking years for progressive politicians to destroy.

And the discernment is only more difficult if one has attended college, since college is precisely where explicit indoctrination into the religion of radical secularism takes place.

Sr. Dávila says something to the effect that for most adults, their intellectual capital consists of a modest inheritance or small lottery won in adolescence. Think of someone like, for example, Obama, who hasn't taken a new cognitive imprint in 40 years, and still thinks and speaks like a stoned college student -- or worse, a sober college professor.

(Did anyone see the Laurel Canyon documentary on Epix? One of the most interesting things about these seedy musical legends is how every single one of them passionately believes the same vaporous cliches at 75 they did at 20!)

An added complication is that in recent times the harmless buffoonery is transitioning to destructive buffoonery at an increasingly rapid clip. In other words, moral and intellectual insanity are redefined as sanctity and political correctitude so quickly, who can keep up? Most people are unable to discern exactly when to denounce themselves, or even to conduct a daily ideological inventory to know what to denounce.

I, for example, still believe in tolerance, merit, and racial colorblindness. But all of a sudden, such beliefs are the quintessence of hatred, oppression, and "white privilege."

Similarly, it took a few years for the redefinition of marriage to go from the lunatic fringe to mandatory acceptance and celebration. Afterwards it took a month or so for the insanity of transgenderism to go from profound irrelevance to The Civil Rights Issue of Our Time. But it has taken only a week for police defunding to go from unthinkable to un-vetoable in Minneapolis.

At any rate, your common sense doesn't deceive you: the madness is accelerating. Indeed, even my 15 year old notices it. He's nostalgic for simpler times, when he was 11, and the politico-cultural insanity seemed a little more treatable if not curable.

For there is no human -- let alone political -- cure for this spiritual malady, in part because the very essence of the disease is the conviction that politics can cure it -- which in turn is the essence of leftism itself.

What I mean to say is that the left specializes in politicizing the existential and even ontological, which is why Progressivism Inc. will never go out of business, because existential and ontological problems will by definition always be with us.

To cite only the most obvious ones, there is and always will be economic scarcity, the infinitude of desire, the unavoidability of sexual differences, the ineluctability of the Bell Curve (e.g., half the population is always of below average intelligence), inequality of outcomes, the terror of freedom, the mystery of existence, the inevitability of death, et al.

Me? I'm not a misanthrope per se. Rather, I just have high standards. Leftism can only succeed if we 1) eliminate all standards, 2) pretend human nature doesn't exist, 3) and empower the state to cure the incurable.

Back in the old days of the blog, puns would spontaneously and intrusively pop into my noggin. I think I mentioned that nowadays -- no doubt because of the influence of brother Dávila -- aphorisms come in unbidden. I'm not saying they're as good as his, but the post has to end somehow.

Just as leftists who love mankind in the abstract hate and mistreat actual people, those who love blacks in general hate blacks in particular and do them great harm.

If there's something more ecstatic than violence rendered legitimate by belief in a lie, Satan kept it for himself.

Thankfully for the left, there is nothing in the Constitution about separation of idols and state.

The left would be far less influential if its ideas were sane.

Look on the bright side: if they defund the police it will be the first time Dems have ever ended a government program.

Sunday, June 07, 2020

No Lives Matter

Unless God exists, in which case all lives not only matter but are of infinite value.

Indeed, where do people think this radical idea came from? Karl Marx? Oprah Winfrey? Marx believed the opposite, and rightly so, given his fundamentally anti-theistic principles: "The critique of religion is the presupposition of all critique."

Why might this uber anti-idea be so foundational to the whole project of the left? A number of reasons, but certainly because it undercuts any claims to truth, and thereby clears the field for the exertion of raw power and unapologetic violence, the old libido dominandi (which isn't just the pleasure of physical domination, but the perverse joy of intellectual and spiritual domination, in case you haven't noticed). As Lenin so eloquently expressed it,

Why should we be squeamish about the sacrifices to our righteous cause?... It does not matter if three-fourths of mankind is destroyed; all that counts is that ultimately the last quarter should become communist.... Later centuries will justify the cruelties to which circumstances have forced us. Then everything will be understood, everything.

So don't ask why BLM doesn't care about murdered black police officers and looted black-owned businesses, not to mention the chronic pandemic of black-on-black crime: the media will justify the cruelties to which circumstances have forced them, nor do we have to wait centuries, rather, seconds. Progress!

We should also point out that in the absence of our God, persons don't matter, being that the discovery and elaboration of personhood itself was one of those differentiations of consciousness discussed a couple of posts ago. It represents a tremendous advance -- a leap in being -- over its atheistic, materialistic, and primitive religious alternatives.

Incidentally, "secularization" for Voegelin is "a polite word for 'deculturation'" (Webb). Deculturation? That's another word for "deformation," an impolite word for the intrinsically pathological "destruction of the order of the soul," which can only be properly formed in and by "the love of transcendental perfection inherent in the fundamental tension of existence," i.e., in vertical openness to the Beyond (what we call O).

To repeat a formula I must have mentioned almost 15 years ago (October will mark 15 years of blogviating -- the "g" is silent), "there is a soul within and a grace above, and this is all we know or need to know."

Yes, it's a slight exaggeration, but not by much, for the soul is that by which God is known, and grace is that through which God reveals himself. For example, "revelation" is one thing, but in the absence of a graced intellect, it is a closed book. As is the world, but forgive the tenured, for they haven't a clue.

To make it even more abstract, just say there is a supra-vertical transmitter and an intra-vertical receiver, and that if there isn't, then nothing can be known about anything, period. There is no truth because there is no intellect to know it. And if you want to take it one step further, both poles -- grace and soul, truth and intellect, intelligence and intelligibility -- are of a single differentiating substance. We'll return to this idea in due course.

Some of the quotes above are from a book I read yesterday called Political Apocalypse (not really recommended because the other books on Voegelin we've been discussing are better). In it Voegelin points out that

the substance of society is psyche. Society can destroy a man's soul because the disorder of society is a disease in the psyche of its members.

This is in no way an exaggeration, polemic, or distortion. In order to appreciate its literal truth, one must only try to imagine what it would be like to live in the deformed and derailed world of the MSM, with no friction or cognitive dissonance. You can't.

To cite just one out of millions of examples, you can't possibly see Fredo Cuomo equate the barbaric thuggery of Antifa with the liberation of Europe and say to yourself, "yes, exactly!" Give Fredo credit though. He obviously paid attention in history class. It even sounds like he may have majored in history, for in the words of the Aphorist, There is an illiteracy of the soul that no diploma cures.

And yesterday I learned that Dostoevski was "among the first to understand that the modern political movements are secular religions ('irreligions'), aping science, dedicated to the destruction of God and the humanity of man, and at bottom are spiritually and intellectually bankrupt."

In other words, the left is bankrupt in every way except financially, but they're working on it.

You and I understand all this, as does any normal person, albeit intuitively and not necessarily philosophically or metaphysically. Which led me to ask myself: "Bob, this didn't used to be difficult, nor was it reserved for scholars and specialists, let alone fringe bloggers. What happened? Why the eclipse of the obvious? Why is half of America so bereft of common sense?"

I'll go further: Voegelin correctly observed that "the essence of modernity is Gnosticism." But I'll bet if some spiritually obtuse and ideologically deformed egghead were to happen upon this blog, he'd say something to the effect of "what a bunch of occult and grandiose nonsense!"

The question is, how did the obvious become controversial, and how did such anti-human buffoonery become the conventional wisdom of the media-academic complex?

The answer may surprise you! But only if you've forgotten everything man has learned about man over the past 50,000 years or so.

About the title of this post. I'll leave off with some aphorisms that shall never pass away, even if they are forever banned on grounds of constituting racist hate speech:

For God there are only individuals.

Only the theocentric vision does not end up reducing man to absolute insignificance.

Modern history is the dialogue between two men: one who believes in God and another who believes he is a god.

If the soul is a myth, genocide is a simple problem of effective anesthetics.

Hell is any place from which God is absent. --Dávila

UPDATE -- same attractor, slightly different angle: America in the Aftermath of George Floyd: Between Paganism and Christianity.