We didn't get very far in the desk-clearing exercise, did we? So let's bear down and try to tie up some loose bleeping ends.
What could this note to myself mean?
Just say reality and appearances, and draw the implications therefrom.
I think I know: both are grounded in a principle: in the Absolute and Infinite, respectively. Reality is one but appearances are many, because of the intrinsic Infinitude of the Absolute.
More generally, to say "appearances" is to say "reality," and vice versa.
A dog, for example, dwells in a sensorium of instinct-bound appearances, but knows nothing of this -- i.e., that appearances are but the vehicle and veil of something deeper and/or higher. The dog does not say to itself: it looks like A, but on a deeper level it is really an instantiation of B.
To say, with our postmodern fiends, that "perception is reality" is to say, 1) that appearances are reality rather than of reality. Thus, they are literally stupider than our canine friends, because at least dogs don't grant each other tenure and Pulitzers for barking at shadows and calling them an "insurrection" or "Russian collusion."
Come to think of it, postmodernists have given postmodernism a bad name. For example, Michael Polanyi is one of my favorite philosophers, and he retains the good things about postmodernism while ignoring all the pratfalls.
What do I even mean by this, and do I really want to write a whole post about it? Might that not require some actual work? Here, this guy seems to understand exactly what I mean, and he's already done the hefty riffing: https://isi.org/intercollegiate-review/beyond-post-modernism-via-polanyis-post-critical-philosophy/
Virtually the entire body of philosophical work by Michael Polanyi was published prior to the emergence of postmodernism. As much of Polanyi’s work was devoted to criticism of some of the most fundamental assumptions at work in modern intellectual culture, it would seem reasonable to locate Polanyi as postmodernist or allied with postmodernism in some sense of the word....
Though he did not live long enough to be exposed to and become acquainted with the principal expressions of postmodernism, Polanyi’s work properly understood is, I believe, directly addressed to the core issues at stake. I think that Polanyi’s coinage of the term “post-critical” is an extraordinarily apt designation of what can move us beyond the dead ends and stalemates of post-modernism.
Don't ask me how that reversal happened. This is key: the writer correctly alludes to a constructive postmodernism and a destructive one. Here at One Cosmos, for example, we are very much in the former camp, which is precisely why we are at times so bleeping campy.
But (ob)noxious postmodernism is like catabolism with no anabolism, i.e., pure destructiveness -- like the Biden administration. Resident Biden himself is nobody nowhere, the appearance of a deeper reality; we're talking about whoever it is that is actually pulling the strings and causing all the damage to the economy, the border, education, law and order, supply chains, election integrity, race relations, ad nauseam).
I suppose we could say that Polanyi rescues us from postmodern idiocy, not by reverting to the modern intellectual dead-ends of positivism, empiricism, and reductionism, but by blowing past them to what he calls a "post-critical" philosophy -- one that is actually (although this was not his goal) compatible with the Aristotelian Thomism we should never have abandoned to begin with.
We might call this latter a "critical Thomism" -- as if Thomas weren't already the most scrupulously critical of thinkers anyway.
In a way, just as leftism is degenerate liberalism taken to absurd extremes, so too is destructive postmodernism just a decadent entailment of modernism (see Father Rose's Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age for the grusome details: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1887904069?ie=UTF8&tag=onecos-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=1887904069).
Or, just look at California for the Newsom details and lootsome retails.
There's no need for me to reformulate all of this in my terms. Just read the whole essay, because I didn't. Nevertheless, Petey gives it his Good Bleeping Guess Seal of Approval.
I've already moved on to the next bleeping squirrel, and am thinking to myself: how about a post-critical Christianity? But then I'm pretty sure that's what we already do around here.