Friday, November 26, 2021

... In the Same Life but on Another Level...

Let's begin with a mysterday passage that's worth coming back to, albeit on a different level:

The same basic questions keep coming back, at a new level, as we wind higher around the spiral, or as we drill more deeply into the mysterious abyss of being.

It's called human development, and it never ends, even though it has a telos without which Balthasar's description would lack any sufficient reason. But the description is true, and this truth has implications that lead all the way up to... let's just call it O, so as to not foreclose this fertile space.

Back in another lifetime, a late colleague (Dr. Grotstein) wrote a book called "... But at the Same Time and on Another Level...", ellipses and quotation marks included. I've never actually read it, only lived it. Perhaps I should have a look at it, for reasons of closure. Nah. For now let's just plagiaphrase the title.

The title alludes to the fact that the mind is (obviously) multidimensional, such that we can view most anything from a multitude of perspectives, or what Bion referred to as "vertices." I don't want to get bogged down in psychology, but it's very much like the text of a great novel, which can be approached and interpreted from various angles. Which is the correct one?

Well, if you're a postmodernist, the correct interpretation is that there is no correct interpretation, so let's dispense with that one right away due to its unreflective reductio absurdum.  Such absurdity doesn't necessarily prove its opposite is true, but it's a good start. 

For example, reductive Darwinism is another absurdity, so it goes a long way toward proving the existence of God, but only in negative terms. True, God is the opposite of complete idiocy, but this doesn't provide us with much positive information about him. 

What we really need to do is consider the implications of Darwinism at the same time but on another level... However, we've bored into this rabbit hole in so many posts that it's more than a bit boring. 

Suffice it to say, to the extent that our intellect comprehends natural selection, then natural selection cannot comprehend the intellect; in other words, either we contain it or it contains us. All we ask of reductive biologism is that its devotees be consistent with their own principles and commit intellectual suicide. Don't pretend you can embrace scientism and call yourself an intellectual (in the non-vulgar sense of the term). 

In the course of a long life we're bound to run into a bonafide genius or two. According to the google machine, between .25 and 1.0% of the folks are geniuses -- or one in one to four hundred. I'm inclined to the latter, but that's not the end of it, because there is hardware (genius) and software (the form or discipline in which it is expressed). 

Let me think... I suppose I've only known two genius-level intellects, one of whom was Dr. Grotstein. Unfortunately, he limited himself to the software of psychoanalysis, from which -- as is true of any manmade ideology -- there is no escape once one adopts it. Yes, there are always windows and doors -- thank God, literally -- but ideology blacks out the former and bolts the latter. 

Let's move on. Again, I just want to highlight passages from the Theo-Logic that hit me where it counts. These may or may not provoke additional commentary on my part.

Behind every answer there is a new question, and behind every reassuring certainty there is an expansive new horizon.

Well duh. On the one hand this is obvious, but few people stop to wonder not only why this is so, but why it must be so.  

In other words, the constantly deepening intelligibility of the cosmos tells us a great deal about the cosmos, about man, and about the Creator. 

It's getting late, so for the moment let's just stipulate that a good answer is the gateway to an even better question; and that one -- question or answer -- is no more important than the other. For without answers and questions there is no progress.  

Ever notice that progressives have all the answers? Now you know why they render progress impossible, and devolution inevitable. Barbarism is the opposite of civilization, but that doesn't mean that knowledge of Darrell Brooks, or Barack Obama, or Paul Krugman tells us anything positive about civilization.

This is a short post. You know why? Because last year I published 180 posts, while this year I've so far published only 141. For reasons that escape me, I'd like to surpass last year's tally, which means I will occasionally have to double up. So who knows, maybe another post will appear later today....


julie said...

Ever notice that progressives have all the answers? Now you know why they render progress impossible, and devolution inevitable.

And of course, the answers they do have are generally completely wrong. It's a satanic inversion, meant to close down thought and entrap minds. You can have all the answers you want, so long as you don't want the truth.

Tangentially, a metaphysical take on the Metaverse.

ted said...

One aphorism per post. That should break Raccoon records!

julie said...

Oh look, I just found a pic of anon

ted said...

@Julie: that metaverse article is great. These techno utopians always come up with their own evaluation criteria, which basically sucks, and it also lowers the bar of personhood so much. It's like when Stanley Kubrick was more worried about us becoming like AI, instead of AI becoming like us.

ted said...

Does this mean I have to buy bitcoin? I'm always late to the party.

julie said...

Bitcoin, ethereum, nfts... get yours now!

Funny, for nfts there have been a ton of job listings by people looking for artists to create nfts (must be able to create 10,000 variations!). At first, they were offering outrageous levels of pay (saw one that was promising $150 per hour), but now most are down to sub-minimum wage. The whole thing is utterly baffling.

ted said...

I find the whole thing baffling, but don't come to me for investment advise. I saw a video from Nassim Taleb a while ago, and he said the cryptos were worthless because there was nothing to back their value. I guess you could say the same of the gold-less dollar these days, but at least we got the corrupt cathedral propping that up. But I can change my mind. Still... I don't know much about history, don't know much biology (sing it Sam Cooke). I'm reading too many Raccoon books, and need to get with this new world. NFT's? Sounds like those things I use to get when I played skee ball at the arcade. Should have saved them!

ted said...

I sound like my grandmother when those AOL disks were sent to her in the mid-90's talking about this interwebs thing.

Van Harvey said...

julie said "Oh look, I just found a pic of anon"

No fair, you captured his good side. Not that he'll miss it.