Tuesday, July 20, 2021

I Let a Song Go Out of My Head

When my son was two, or three, or four, we could always tell when he'd awakened, because he would immediately burst into song. Even before he could speak, he'd be scatting some improvised melody. Similarly, in his Boogie Chillen, John Lee Hooker relates how layin' down one night I heard mama n' papa talkin' / I heard papa tell mama, let that boy boogie-woogie / It's in him, and it got to come out.

Same. Woke up this morning with a head full of cosmic boogie. 

We're still preoccupied with upper case History. One thing is certain, however: man is to history as is...

As is history to man, I guess: no man, no history, and vice versa. For us, existence is a historical process; time isn't mere duration, but "developmental time," and this development is in the direction of "maturity" in various levels and dimensions, i.e., biological, emotional, interpersonal, intellectual, aesthetic, political, spiritual, etc. 

While everything else is in process too, human beings are the only processes in creation aware of being in process: man is a conscious process. From where? And to what? Or around what? Is there an axis? A telos? A ground? 

We can debate this all day long, but beneath or behind such debate there lurk different modes or implicit conceptions of Be-ing. One can't really debate a materialist, for example, because the materialist violates his first principle by embracing the immaterial ideology of materialism.  

Either matter cannot think, or we need to rethink what matter is; if vulgar materialism were true, we could never know it (nor anything else). So we can toss out any materialistic conception of history. 

Which is why we can affirm on such an a priori  basis that leftists are idiots, in the literal (etymologically speaking) sense of existing in a dis-ordered private world cut off from public reality.  

As they say, reality is that which, when we stop believing in it, doesn't go away. And no matter how hard man tries, he can never make transcendence go away. But why does he wish to make it go away, when it's where all the real fun awaits? That's another story -- or the same old story, rather, AKA Genesis 3 All Over Again.

Not to belabor that point, but what is the essence of man's fallenness but rejection of the transcendent absolute, even while covertly appropriating and immanetizing it? From the mythic Tower of Babel to the magic babble of tenure, the deep structure never changes. For which reason Voegelin never tires of reminding us that the essence of modernity is gnosticism.  

Well well well, here's a little something I found while looking up that quote: https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=2979

The theology of history asks the question of intelligibility about the unity and significance of man's historical record. This theology extends back beyond man to the cosmological problem itself and to God in His activity concerning man. "The point at issue," Berdyaev suggests, "is this: must man be interpreted in terms of the cosmos or the cosmos in terms of man? Is human history a subordinate part of the cosmic process or is the cosmic process a subordinate part of human history?"

As is true of such questions, they aren't vicious dualisms but generative orthoparadoxes: man and cosmos mutually illuminate one another in the luminous space between. God reveals himself in no fewer than two books, one of which is the Book of Nature. There is also the book of revelation, but neither can be read without the miracle of intelligent subjectivity emanating from the great I AM. Ultimately the Light is always a trinitarian spiral between Persons.

Schall continues: 

movements from the early Protestant visionaries who sought to set up the Kingdom of God on earth to rationalism, liberalism, communism, and fascism are basically gnostic in the sense that they attempt to set up a final order, a salvation order on earth which is based on humanity as its source.

Our leftist Gnostics are indeed "protestants," but what they are protesting -- always and everywhere -- is the nature of things, most especially human nature. If you can maim that, then everything else falls into place. You're doing Satan's heavy lifting.

We are engaged in a gnostic war, or a war on gnosticism. Same as it ever was, only now backed by big tech, or the state-media-cultural-big tech complex. 

 "All of these gnostic movements," writes Schall, "see themselves as absolutes, all qualified and commissioned to impose their vision of life on other men." Obama and Sharpton and AOC and Pelosi all know better than we do how to run our lives, because they have access to the Gnostic secret while we don't. While it's true that they're contemptuous of us, that's not the point. Rather, they don't need us but we need them, so we need to be grateful for their selfless service on our behalf.

More generally, political Gnostics "seek to reconstruct society through specialized scientific gnosis according to their own theories of what society should be like... projecting a world-view upon reality based upon [their] own idea of what reality is like."

The central psychic movement of our cretinous overlords "is precisely the attempt to locate the cause of order in an intellectual vision of the world centered in man and the categories of his thought. Correlative to this, there is always the attempt to reshape the world according to this vision."

But the real vision is the vision of the founders, which acknowledges the transcendent Other in whom our rights and duties are grounded, and with whom we are in permanent dialectic. Yes we are "conservative," but what we specifically wish to conserve is this radical vision of which there could be no more radical, for it is the Last Word on the subject of Who Man Is and what sort of government is appropriate to his unique cosmic status. 

Conversely, so called radical progressives are true reactionaries and metacosmic heretics, for 

heresies are always conservative and reactionary in spirit, merely echoing the predominant trends of the intellectual thought of the times, while the Faith faced with the same problems proves to be existential and dynamic in its approach to reality.

In conclusion,  

the structure of the world is not man's to form. Gnosis is just the opposite for it implies that the world is wholly open to man's intellect.... The result of this theory, in every form, is the reconstruction of a mythological world based on a projection of man's own views. Man no longer, therefore, stands to the absolute as receiver but as maker, he becomes, as Genesis tells, like god.