Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Caste and Character

Change my mind:

Psychologically speaking a natural caste is a cosmos; men live in different cosmoses according to the "reality" on which they are centered; it is impossible for the inferior really to understand the superior, for he who really understands "is" what he understands (Schuon).

Elsewhere in the same essay (on The Meaning of Caste), Schuon writes that "the fundamental tendency in a man is connected with his 'feeling' or 'consciousness' of what is 'real.'" 

The idea of caste represents a quasi-mythological preconception of what we now understand about character, which is indeed very much inherited (e.g., neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, not to mention general intelligence, impulse control, time preference, and others).  

You could say that these more "granular" traits and tendencies go into the formation of more general categories and types such as contemplative, warrior, artisan, merchant, peasant, and schlub.

For example, our criminal class -- or underclass, if you prefer -- tends to be low in intelligence but high in time preference and impulsivity. 

Leftists are more emotional than logical, in large part because they are more feminine than masculine. A "male leftist" is a contradiction in terms, no matter the anomaly between zys legs. A happily married (to a man) feminist is another contradiction in terms.  

As to what is more real to this or that caste, for the contemplative (priestly) type it is the transcendent as such, whereas for the knight-warrior it is the transcendent ideal as instantiated in action and struggle: his imperative is to vindicate the ideal in battle. 

For the merchant "it is riches, security, prosperity and well-being that are 'real.'" I have some very successful businessmen in my extended family (billionaires even), but talking to them about anything transcending matter would be like discussing poetry with my dog. Indeed, they even have a kind of condescending and worldly cynicism about the transcendent, as if we are trying to put one over on them.   

We can see how this plays out in our elite merchant hive of technoid insects. The vertical Dunning Krugery in these inferior superiors is strong! These folks not only lack "the mentality of the higher, but cannot even conceive of it exactly," which results in an interpretation of what we are saying in terms of what they are capable of understanding, which isn't much. Certainly we see this in our trolls. Thus,

men whose souls are fragmentary and opaque pretend that they can instruct us in the "psychology" of greatness and of the sacred.

When this type of person becomes an "intellectual," the intellect remains tied to the opaque and the fragmentary, AKA matter. How could it not? As Schuon says, "caste can be lost but not acquired." People are who they are, and not someone else. Pretending otherwise is a great source of vulgarity -- for example, the editorial page of the NY Times, which features anti-intellectual lunatics posing as intellectuals. They are also full of pride, which is always a giveaway. 

There is an interesting inverse analogy between the man with no point (discussed in yesterday's post) and the pointless man, since both wander off the grid, so to speak. The "shudra" is like "a body endowed with human consciousness" and therefore "properly qualified only for manual work of a more or less quantitative kind."  

We are all familiar with this type of person, if only because we can see them on TV flooding our southern border. There is no question that our economy requires such people, but up to a point. You can't produce wealth by everyone being everyone else's gardener and nanny. 

I myself toiled in solidarity with this type for a good portion of my life, for not only did I work in a supermarket until I was 33 years of age, I fit right in. I was one of them -- a body endowed with human consciousness -- until some sort of light unexpectedly switched on when I was around 25 or so. Even so, I still consider my self a thoroughly blue-collar suburban shaman.

This is an accurate description of us: "it is bodily things that are 'real'; it is eating and drinking" or "the satisfaction of immediate physical needs" which "constitute happiness." You can usually trust this kind of person, because they are very uncomplicated -- like a man, only more so. 

At least so long as he is gainfully employed. This type can get into a lot of trouble without a simple job, which is why they have been among the primary victims of the global economy. A person who loses his factory job is not going to become an engineer or doctor or lawyer. More likely a fentanyl enthusiast. They don't deal well with the pointlessness.

10 comments:

neal said...

God makes the dead live, the blind see, and the wisdom of Man foolish.
Apparently He needs advice from you to judge the living and the dead.

You should send another memo.

Gagdad Bob said...

It's God's hierarchy. We only live in it.

julie said...

A happily married (to a man) feminist is another contradiction in terms.

To be fair, a happy feminist is a contradiction in terms, period.

Gagdad Bob said...

That's actually what I meant, but I was too lazy to change it.

And back to what Neal said or implied, there's always the intersection of grace and vocation through which one can transcend one's caste, so to speak, but that's a slightly different subject. At any rate, it is a great relief to know that I'm not the high man in the hierarchy! If not, then we are well and truly screwed.

julie said...

I have some very successful businessmen in my extended family (billionaires even), but talking to them about anything transcending matter would be like discussing poetry with my dog. Indeed, they even have a kind of condescending and worldly cynicism about the transcendent, as if we are trying to put one over on them.

One of the saddest stories I know is the man who was ridiculously rich and successful, had a wife and son, nice house, etc.; ended up a severe alcoholic and pathological liar who burned all his bridges and died alone in a hospital because nobody in his family would come to see him.

Re. Neal's comment, I'm not even sure where he got that from what you wrote. Must have struck a nerve somewhere, I guess.

Anonymous said...

This is a great post, provocative and controversial. Bob is back on point. He is laying out the insultainment on a grand scale.

As a troll my knee-jerk response would be something like "your respect for other people really shines in this piece (of mierde)."

Damn it sir, you are arrogant. Ironically, that's the way I want you to be.

Now, you've thrown in a sop comment to make us believe you are humble "At any rate, it is a great relief to know that I'm not the high man in the hierarchy! If not, then we are well and truly screwed."

I call BS. You do consider yourself the high man in the hierarchy and you know it. Admit it.

Anonymous said...

There was once a blog (long forgotten) where their only claim to fame was they’d “discovered” that "conservatives are more thinking while liberals more feeling". I remember all the conservatives bleating over their newfound logic. I also remember all the liberals bleating over their newfound concern for others.

But I was an expert in MBTI. The thinking<>feeling pole correlates most strongly with agreeableness. IMHO, the logical disciplines is actually disciplined logic (not easy for either "feeling" or "thinking" to master) which has no MBTI or Big 5 correlation.

The temperamental poles described by said website were actually ENFP for liberals and ISTJ for conservatives. Feel free to search up descriptions for your own interpretations. The ones I find make good horse sense. My hat's off to that long forgotten blog.

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid I too, labored in the supermarkets while going to school to be a drafter. Then I labored as a drafter while going to school to be an engineer. Then I labored as a contract gigger while going to the school of hard knocks. Then I labored as an actual contractor after going to the school of really hard knocks. Then I found out that my experiences were quite common for my generation and that such ample opportunities don’t exist for the current generation anymore. At least not without crippling student debt. So at least there’s that.

I tell the younglings my tales of just driving into an unknown service station and getting a full tune up or brake pad change for just $200 in today’s dollars. Or how I got 20 stitches in my split lip stitched up by an expert plastic surgeon (practically invisible scar!) for $450. Or how any yahoo who stayed off the drugs could retain a job for life, or even get a job decent enough with no education whatsoever to buy a house and keep a wife (and mistress!). Even a house with a brand-new boat, which my grocery store coworker friend actually did.

Today I don't trust mechanics or doctors or employers. I do all those things myself thesedays. Thank God for Youtube videos.

With most of the fertile ground having gone overseas and into our not-very-economically-patriotic elites pockets, I offer the younglings advice. Go into medical, tech, or real estate. Or possibly finance serving the medical, tech or real estate folks. Failing that, go to a Trump superspreader event, catch the covid, and take it home to rich grandpa. After gramps dies (hopefully without the six figure hospital bill), use your inheritance money to go into medical, tech or real estate, or possibly finance.

The sad thing is we now have that dangblasted Biden, which might screw up my advice for the younglings.

(Reposted from the Onecosmos container ship blog, where this was mistakenly first posted)

Anonymous said...

I come from the time when inner city mayors had names like Cleofus Jackson and Luther Johnson. So today we have Tishaura Jones of St. Louis. I have trouble with the more exotic black girl names like D'Ebony-thedicia.

I also have a niece who’s half Asian. But they don’t make any half-asian dolls apparently. So my niece got a plain dark-skinned doll instead. She named it Shaniqua. She loves her doll and proudly introduces it to people everywhere she goes. Her mother then shrugs her shoulders and says “Diversity” afterwards. For a time I’d thought the dolls name was Shaniqua Diversity.

Most blacks are Leftists. And other minorities, women, gays, and now some major toy corporations are too. I still think the leftist focus should be on economics with a nationalistic slant, instead on naming girls and dolls unusual names though.

julie said...

You can usually trust this kind of person, because they are very uncomplicated -- like a man, only more so.

At least so long as he is gainfully employed. This type can get into a lot of trouble without a simple job, which is why they have been among the primary victims of the global economy.


We live in a nice neighborhood just downhill from a big and growing Indian Casino. The homes of tribal members sprawl up the hillside. For the most part, they are very good neighbors, but they have a lot of problems within the community thanks to drug use and ridiculous amounts of money in the hands of young people who did nothing to earn it besides exist. There's a small group (probably only a couple guys, but it sounds like a horde) whose favorite pastime is cruising the neighborhood in very loud vehicles all night long. And of course, being tribal, there isn't much anyone can or will do about it. As I understand it, there are some rules in place to encourage the young to do something worthwhile with their lives before they get handed the big money and a house on the hill, but I don't know how much it really helps.