Thursday, December 02, 2021

Satan' s Limits

I recently rereread Schuon's last book of essays, The Transfiguration of Man (after that he published only poems). 

It's more of the same, although generally more compact, which is understandable, being that it is backed by lifetime spent thinking about these subjects, including all the Big Ones, e.g., God, Man, Truth, Thought, Art, Virtue, Sacrifice, Mysticism, etc. The book itself is short (125 pages) and some of the essays are a page or less. 

As always, Schuon expresses alarm at the degraded state of Man, in particular, the effect of the Modern World. But the latter is just an effect of man, one of his dreadful -- or, to be charitable, ambiguous -- possibilities. Predictably, human nature is full of surprises, but surprisingly, these are wearily predictable. 

This, from the Foreword, is a key point:

The image of man presented to us by modern psychology is not only fragmentary, it is pitiable (emphasis mine).

Being that psychology used to be my racket, I can confirm the truth of this statement. The fragmentation isn't a bug but a feature; this defect has been transformed -- transfigured if you will -- to a virtue. Somehow, the discipline of psychology distinguishes the psyche from every other organ, insisting that it has no formal telos, i.e., no objective end.

It would be as if we could no longer define a normal heart, and instead maintain that pathologies such as hypertension, arrhythmia, atherosclerosis, cardiomegaly, stenosis, etc. were all just different and equally precious forms of normality. 

This intrinsically heretical fragmentation of man goes by the name "diversity" -- or multiculturalism, "inclusion," "tolerance," equity, etc. 

In addition to meaning what they mean, even worse, these terms mean the opposite of what they mean. Ultimately they mean whatever the liberal wants them to mean, so "tolerance," for example, means both state-sponsored Drag Queen Story Time and a state-sponsored ban on conservative speakers on campus. It amounts to obligatory craziness, accompanied by the marginalization and persecution of normality.

Yes, human nature always disappoints, but I think it needs help from below in order to disappoint this badly. 

It reminds me of something Rob Henderson said about our genetic predilections. These might be necessary but are not sufficient conditions, for example, vis-a-vis criminality. Criminality is undoubtedly genetically loaded, and yet, most would-be criminals will exert remarkable self-control in the presence of a police officer.  

You've probably noticed that neither the left nor Satan respect formal logic -- or, they obey it to the letter. Regarding the latter, recall Chesterton's gag about the madman having lost everything except his reason. Thus, it is difficult to say if St. Fauci is merely a madman or in the grips of someone worse.

It's the same with regard to the law, which is why the QAnon Shaman gets 41 months in prison for wandering around the capitol building, while the worst among us, from Darrell brooks to George Floyd to to Kyle Rosenbaum to Hunter Biden to Barack Obama, run loose. 

As to ignoring logic altogether, this is the ultimate source of the left's ubiquitous "hypocrisy." One can point to their hypocrisy all day long long, but it is wholly ineffective and beside the point -- the point being that they are ultimately motivated by power, not by truth, standards, merit, logic, consistency, order, decency, or objectivity, so of course their logic, such as it is, will be subordinated to expediency. 

They can of course be "intelligent," but you will have noticed that their intelligence is always an accomplice of something less. In a properly human world, nothing is more privileged than truth, so this makes them anti-human at best.

This came up yesterday in the Supreme Court. Obviously, Roe v. Wade is no more logical than Dred Scot v. Sandford, and one will search in vain for any principle underlying these judicial... abortions, much less a constitutional one. The exorcist Clarence Thomas, in the role of Supreme Court justice, asked the Devil's Advocate a simple question:

"Would you specifically tell me, specifically state what the right is, is it specifically abortion? Is it a liberty? Is it liberty? Is it autonomy? Is it privacy?” Thomas asked.

"[I]t is specifically the right to abortion here, the right of a woman to be able to control, without the state forcing her to continue a pregnancy, whether to carry that baby to term,” one of the lawyers challenging the Mississippi law said.

"[I]f we were talking about the Second Amendment, I know exactly what we’re talking about. If we’re talking about the Fourth Amendment I know what we’re talking about because it’s written there. What specifically is the right here that we’re talking about?”

“It’s the right of a woman prior to viability to control whether to continue with a pregnancy.”

Similarly, the Dred Scott case hinged on the right of the slaveowner to exercise control over his property. Just as Sandford owned Scott, the mother owns her child.

When did my mother stop owning me? I don't know. Probably when Dred Scot was overturned by the 13th and 14th Amendments. 

In a recent newsletter on the nature of evil, Rob Henderson writes that 

Evil begins when someone crosses a moral line. Therefore, anything that makes the line fuzzy or unclear can promote evil.

In this regard, "ambiguity is a key factor in the escalation of violent acts," and "is centrally involved in getting someone started in harming others."

Ambiguous, like a constitutional right to do anything one wants with one's body. Islamists would like to blow up their bodies in public. Some pregnant woman would like to put fentanyl in their bodies, but this isn't allowed. By virtue of what principle? 

"Dangerous ambiguities can become apparent in the absence of clear laws," adds Henderson. "For instance, we in America take our Constitution and laws for granted. In the Soviet Union, judges operated without clear or explicit laws."

Yes, the Soviet Union had a living constitution, good and hard. But if the constitution is alive, then the rule of law is dead. Besides, it's not the constitution that's alive, rather, the scheming minds who will read into it what they need in order to justify the exercise of power.

Here is a note to myself that says -- and I don't know how I would know this, but here it is anyway --
Fortunately, there is not only spiritual warfare between good and evil, but within evil itself.  

This is apparently because evil must be subordinated to its own principle of fragmentation. It explains why the office of the Vice President is in such disarray.

I have to drop off the boy somewhere, so to be continued. I'll leave off with a few tweets from Happy Acres Guy that pushed me down this rabbit hole:

The incoherence we see around us is the direct consequence of multiculturalism (aka no culture)

Be assured that this madness will change -- progs in their restlessness tire quickly of things; tomorrow they could be saying the opposite

The Left pattern of denouncing money while demanding more money has always caught my eye

The Left doesn't know what it wants, believe it or not



julie said...

Here is a note to myself that says -- and I don't know how I would know this, but here it is anyway --

They always turn on their own, sooner or later.

I guess that's an issue when they are legion; each one is adversarial as such, which means they not only fight against a common enemy but against each fractal fragment of themselves, as well.

I don't know how I know that, either, but there it is anyway.

EbonyRaptor said...

Evil only has this world. Love is experienced in fragments in this world but owns eternity. God wins. Evil loses.

julie said...

I've been slowly rerereading Anthony Bloom's Beginning to Pray, and in a chapter called Addressing God he discusses relationship and anonymity; this section seems to have a wider relevance today, especially when you start to consider the attack on the pronouns:

A relationship becomes personal and real the moment you begin to single out a person from the crowd. That is when this person becomes unique in his own right, when he ceases to be anonymous. Someone has spoken of "the anonymous society" in which instead of having names and surnames and qualities and personality, we are defined in general terms like "the ratepayers", and so forth. In our relationships with people there is very often this element of anonymity: "they". We speak in the third person when we feel that someone can easily be replaced by someone else, because the relationship is functional, not personal, and this function can be fulfilled by someone else, while this person would not be replaceable by anyone else.

It is somewhat ironic, then, that some people today are willing to transform themselves into a they in an attempt to single themselves out as special individuals; it is as though a man has intentionally decided to become a mere object instead of an actual person who is capable of healthy interpersonal relationships.

And of course, they are legion...

ted said...

This is such a lovely talk about a Christian conversion.

julie said...

Speaking of the impersonal they, Alec says he dindu nuffin. The gun did it, all by itself.

I'm reminded of Dalrymple's description of his long experience evaluating criminals in British prisons; the perp almost never says, "I killed her." Rather, he says, "the knife went in." It somehow took on a life of its own and did this terrible deed. Thus, the man has a clear conscience.

Or just like the Minnesota massacre; the car did it, and the conditions in which the driver is being held are inhumane. If only he had enough services, this never would have happened!

EbonyRaptor said...

So much hypocrisy - like humoring yourself out loud in a crowd. The emptiness. Lost.

EbonyRaptor said...

I pray I go where the Lord leads me. I believe the best way to heal is to help others heal. I fight against my pride to go my own way, constantly. It is only by His strength that I will overcome.

ted said...

Bob: Not sure you can top Allen's objectors, but I do see overlap.

Gagdad Bob said...

Definite overlap. He's zoomed into my top 5 favorite bloggers for sure.

Dougman said...

“ backed by lifetime spent thinking about these subjects, including all the Big Ones, e.g., God, Man, Truth,”

Not necessarily in that order?

Dougman said...