Friday, November 19, 2021

My Head is a Landing Strip

Being that I am no longer subject to the constant deustraction of the Conspiracy, my head has become a full time landing strip for vertical murmurandoms. They're constantly buzzing my tower, but I'm just the air traffic controller. 

Here comes one now! 

Wait. I think this one must have been diverted from Deepak International. It's requesting to land in my head because his is completely full of it.

Let's see... Translating from the original sans-wit, it's telling me life consists only of moments, and that the human moment -- every oneavum for everyoneavus -- is the conscious bisection of time by eternity. 

Here comes another. It's been taxiing around up there for over 15 years, but no one will listen: 

Cap'n Huxley speaking: here & now, boys, here & now. Reverse worldward descent and cross the bridge of darkness to the father shore; on your left is the dazzling abode of immortality, on your right the shimmering gate of infinity. Return your soul to its upright position and exsanguish all (me)mories, we're in for a promised landing. Touching down in shantitown, reset your chronescapes and preprayer for arrisall. 

I don't know whether to be embarrassed or mortified. Better check for drugs. 

Now that this thought is siting on the tarmacbook, it occurs to me that most of the truly memorable moments we recall from life are recalled as moments for precisely this reason, i.e., because of the vertical crosscurrents that blew through them. It's what makes them memorable.

And it works both ways, for what is trauma but an irruption from below, perpetuating a hellish moment that retains echoes of hell long after the moment has ended? 

No one knows where thoughts come from, because such knowledge would constitute another thought and thus really bug the quester. 

But let's propose an answer anyway and suggest that to entertain true thoughts -- AKA Truth -- is to participate in God, which is to say, Ultimate Reality. 

According to Thomas, "The human soul possesses such an abundance of various powers because it dwells on the borders of spiritual and material being," and "our intellect in understanding is extended to infinity." Putting these together, we might say that Infinitude (the first side effect of the Absolute) passes the border between pure spirit and matter, and extends down into man. And here we are.

This is precisely why, as Thomas says, "the intellect is therefore naturally capable of knowing everything that exists" -- to which I would only add supernaturally naturally capable.

Indeed, to say nature is to say supra- or transnature, otherwise we could never say it. No joke! In other words, to recognize nature is to have transcended it -- analogous to the recognition that even the itsiest bitsy of living matter represents a shocking ontological break from the mayaterial world. From the perspective of vertically, not only does Life = Matter + X, but more importantly, Matter = Life - (minus) X.

So, what is X? Y, wouldn't U like to Z! 

I suppose I first encountered this way of looking at things in E.F. Schumacher's Guide for the Perplexed, which I must have read waaaaay back when this whole adventure started around the late discolithic era. 

Not only was I a puerplexed lad of 25, but I was a coors-carrying idiot, in the literal sense of being rude, simple, ignorant, unskilled, and unschooled. Indeed, I was literally an unskilled laborer, laboring in a supermarket until I was 33 years old. Or as they say today, a hero.

Of course, in the long run, my utter vacuity turned out to be an asset, in that I had little in the way of faulty programming to deprogram or indoctrination to undoctrinate. That actually came later, once I made contact with Planet Higher Education. There were... let's see... over seven years of overlap between the supermarket and graduate school, in that I paid for the latter via the former. 

Speaking of which, it turns out I worked long enough as a retail clerk to qualify for a pension, for which I just put in the paperwork. This will amount to an additional $700 a month. To celebrate this modest windfall, I used the first installment to upgrade my subwoofer in the slackatoreum, from an SVS-2000 to the SVS-3000. The former already changed my life, so I can't imagine what the latter will do. It arrives today. I'll keep you posted. 

I frankly don't understand how people can live without a subwoofer -- not any old thump-thump subwoofer, but a musical one which, among other things, renders the music present to the body. The music then reaches the soul via both the ears and the skin. 

Let's redirect Bob's wavering attention and dig out his old G. for the P'ed. Lots of notes in the margins & end pages, meaning it must have stimulated the noggin. Any notes worth mentioning, or are they all embarrassing juvenilia? 

Interesting: here are the traces of a sentiment that has haunted me up to the present, where I scribbled to myself:

Why start with physics? What is the essential difference between animate and inanimate?

What this signifies is the dawning awareness that physics isn't metaphysics, nor can metaphysics be derived from it. Rather, the other way around. Oh, it's round alright. But there's no logical reason to begin at the bottom of the circle, and every reason to begin at the top. 

And once we turn the cosmos back right-side-up and outside-in, we see that there is no rational reason whatsoever to believe that Life is reducible to physics. Nor is there any reason to elevate physics to our paradigmatic science -- as if anything that isn't physics isn't real, or that the most real reality is what is given to the senses. Nonsense! And not the perfect kind.

True, knowledge begins in the senses, but it doesn't end there unless you have a particularly nasty case of tenure. In fact, matter requires something immaterial -- in a Word, form -- to render it intelligibly real.

Let's end with some aphorisms from the Master, relating to our original theme of celestial thoughts and terrestrial airports:

God is the guest of silence.

In man’s extreme solitude he perceives anew the touch of immortal wings.

In certain moments of abundance, God overflows into the world like a spring gushing into the peace of midday.

The soul is fed from what is mysterious in things.

We only dig the channels for flash floods.

Mysticism is the empiricism of transcendent knowledge.

We are saved from daily tedium only by the impalpable, the invisible, and the ineffable.

At a given moment, the most important place on earth can be a palace, a pigsty, or a cell.

Man only has importance if God speaks to him, and as long as God speaks to him.

Things are not mute. They merely select their listeners. 

The steps of grace startle us like the footsteps of someone passing by in the fog.


Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Real and Fake Privilege

Forgive me if this post is all over the place. It has no preconceived plan. Rather, I'm just going to free associate in the hope that it will discover its point along the way. If it doesn't, well, that's mindjazz: sometimes your musical reach exceeds your improvisational grasp.   

Everyone can see that our culture has become feminized -- and emasculated -- over the past sixty years or so. Others can debate the surface causes and effects, but in this series of posts, we're attempting to elucidate the cosmic significance of this drastic change.   

Think of how differently fathers were depicted in popular culture prior to the ascent of the vaginocracy. Off the top of my head I can think of at least half a dozen TV shows with a father but no mother: Andy Griffith, Bonanza, The Rifleman, My Three Sons, Courtship of Eddie's Father, Make Room for Daddy, Bachelor Father... 

Andy Griffith and The Beverly Hillbillies featured Aunt Bea and Granny as mother figures, but it's difficult to imagine either one wearing a pussy hat. Nor would either one accept the notion that they were "oppressed," except perhaps by carpetbagging Yankee pussies.

But since the latter half of the 1960s, "Fatherhood, and the role of men," has been "under assault by feminist groups."

By the 1970s, fathers had become a central target for the media, especially entertainment. Fathers were increasingly portrayed as buffoons, even as evil, on prime-time television. Comedies, according to one study of thirty years of network television, presented blue-collar or middle-class fathers as foolish, although less so than portrayals of upper-class fathers (Schweikart & Allen).

One of the reasons for this is that men -- unlike feminists -- have a sense of humor about ourselves. We don't mind being caricatured, nor are we triggered by being teased. Comedy begins at home.

Back then (the '70s) the left was still capable of humor, so they were able to advance their agenda under cover of laughter. By the time conservatives figured out what was going on, it was too late:

Although it took about twenty years for sociologists to study the phenomena, scholars almost universally agreed by the 1990s that children of one-parent families suffered from more pathologies, more criminal behavior, worse grades, and lower self-esteem than kids from traditional families (ibid).

The left, of course, has a solution to each of these pathologies: normalize abnormality, decriminalize crime, eliminate academic standards, and instill pride based upon one's race (so long as it isn't Caucasian) and gender (so long as it isn't male).

It's all about privilege: the privilege -- actually, entitlement -- of growing up with a father married to your mother. There are "libraries... filled with books and studies about correlations between fatherlessness" and "various behavioral outcomes," proving beyond doubt that the privilege of having a father in the home is "more important to positive outcomes than race, income, or one's station at birth" (Eberstadt).

"Racial justice" is waaaaaay downstream from paternal justice. Not only are we not racists, but more importantly, we didn't abandon you and your mother, so don't blame white people.  

In fact, Eberstadt attributes the cancer of identity politics to the loss of real identity rooted in traditional family structure. As a former clinical psychologist, I rate this sentiment True-to-Self-Evident, bordering on Captain Obvious territory: I am a victim, therefore I am. But not really. It's a fake identity that evolved in order to patch up a brittle foundation of Being.

But progressive victims are always vindictims, i.e., bullies, for to say bully is to say counterfeit masculinity. Bullies such as Joe Biden or Barack Obama or Garlic Merman or Lil' Binger are the weak man's impersonation of a strong man.

Which raises an interesting question: why does the left always project? ( What is it about leftism that results in the pervasive projection of primitive sexual and violent material? Let's bear in mind that correlation is not causation, so we need to determine whether projection is a cause or consequence of leftism, or perhaps both. 

Spoiler alert: yeah, it's both. But let's read what Hanson has to say anyway:

The Left is addicted to projection -- the psycho-political syndrome of attributing all of one’s own sins to one’s opponents. The woke apparently do this out of some Freudian effort to square the circle of their own guilt or sense of privilege, by fobbing off their own fearful realities onto others. 

True, true, and true. How do we know? For the simple reason that we are precisely the ones into whom the left projects, and we know on a first hand basis that we are none of the things the left attributes to us, whether it is racism, sexism, insurrectionism, anti-science-ism, etc. 

They could just ask, but then I might not give the answer that you want me to. Oh well. 

I don't want to be a psychological reductionist, but psychology is nevertheless part of the answer. Everyone projects sometimes, but some people project all the time, e.g., psychotic patients. Is the left psychotic? I don't know. Does the left distort reality in a systematic way? 

Take for example, the worn-out charge of “privilege”.... This trope originates exclusively from the Left. Purportedly, it signifies a rigged system in which white males have gained, unfairly and undeservedly, “privilege” to exercise cultural, economic, political, and social control over the “other”....

How odd, given that by any indicator the political Left is the party of wealth and privilege. The wealthiest ZIP codes are found in blue states such as California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York. Twenty-six of the 27 wealthiest congressional districts, gauged by per capita incomes, are represented by liberal Democrats (Hanson). 


Is that all? No, there's more: the party of wealth and privilege pretends it isn't, by projecting the wealth and privilege into us:

Registered Democrats on average have higher incomes than their Republican counterparts. Democratic presidential candidates have vastly outspent Republicans over the last 20 years. Note that the old liberal saw about “dark money” has steadily disappeared from the left-wing lexicon (nothing is darker than Mark Zuckerberg’s infusions of cash to warp particular voting precincts)....

The most elite and wealthy institutions in America are predominantly liberal bastions: Silicon Valley, entertainment, universities, professional sports, Wall Street, the mainstream media, and foundations (ibid.).  

As they say, if institutional racism is a problem, it's got nothing to do with us, since we have no control or even influence over these institutions.  

Okay, but does this have anything to do with fathers, especially the missing kind? 

I have to admit that I'm a little envious of people with privilege -- for example, my son, who gets to grow up with me as a father. How awesome must that be? I think I'll ask him when he wakes up. Then again, he might not give the answer that I want him to. 

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Man Down and Woman Up!

This post may end abruptly, so do not be alarmed. The grinding sound you hear is just me tearing myself away from the fabric of extra-cosmic being and returning to sub-atmaspheric flight.  

Let's continue our exploration of the Mammals & the Pappals. Yes, the latter is a stupid sounding word, but it's too late to change it now. Besides, it's good enough to get the job done. Do not suppose the Principle can be tarnished by my verbal indiscretions.

To repeat: there are thousands of mammal species but only one pappal: that would be us, AKA Homo sapiens.

This is not to say there is no spiritual component to motherhood -- obviously -- only that the latter arises (chronologically, not ontologically) from the "bottom up," so to speak, and is a vertical prolongation of an antecedent biological reality, AKA nurturing and all this entails and implies on the human plane. Without this lengthy extrauterine nurturing the species would literally die, so thanks for the mammaries.

In contrast to motherhood, fatherhood begins as a spiritual reality and is prolonged "downward" into biology. It must be received from above and accomplished herebelow. In turn, this is a distant reflection of the Incarnation itself, through which the Son assumes the form of human nature. 

The main point is that a man, in order to be one, must achieve something; or know something, be something (someone), conquer something, etc. 

And please put down the rolling pin: nothing about what we're saying, or about to say, is a denigration or devaluation of the Feminine. If it is necessary to defend ourselves from the feminist rolling pin, we will do so with two words: Margaret. Thatcher.  

Wait -- put down the knife!

Ultimately a human being, qua humanness, is always both: maleandfemale he created them. But darn it, it isn't good that maleandfemale should be allone, so He splits them up. A central purpose of marriage is to consecrate their reunion. Unless you have a better idea.  

Note that the Logos begins as pure spirit, which drills down, so to speak, into biology. People who wonder why the Father can't be a mother, or Jesus her daughter, or priests women, just don't have a clue. It's like wondering why the Mother of God couldn't have been a man. Such fantasies are violations of the whole divine-human economy -- like "Admiral" " Rachel" Levine.

Also, in relation to God, the soul itself is feminine, since God is the agent and we the receptacle. Such schemes are full of nuances and qualifications, being that ours must be an "active passivity," but let's not veer into another topic. The point is, this dynamic obviously mirrors what goes in inside the Godhead in that our own little Yes to God is an echo of the big Yes that the Son says to the Father -- or Mary to the Holy Spirit, Abram to the Lord, Moses to I AM, etc. 

I suppose if man were a reptile, then the Savior would have to be a good egg. But we are not reptiles, or at least we don't have to be. Even Adam Schiff wasn't born that way. He looks and behaves like he was hatched, but the choice of devolving and living under a rock was his to make.

Which brings to mind an important point about our fallenness: not only can it not be understood outside the context of our deiformity, but in my opinion, it is a commentary on it. Although the Fall is always present, it cannot be a complement of our deiformity, since it is a privation. Nor is it literally a necessity, since to say necessity is to say eternity, and the good news is that we aren't necessarily eternal under-achievers. 

With these flourescent prelumenaries out of the way, let's go back to Rob Henderson's pneumagraphical essay. In it he notes that at the age of ten, 

my adoptive parents got divorced. My adoptive father, angry at my mother for leaving him, decided to stop talking to me as a way to get back at her. 

What kind of man would do this to a child? No kind of man. Except a bad and inadequate one.

But sometimes there is a hero. I won't say man, because the hee-ro could be Margaret Thatcher. But  

if I am honest, the teachers who had the most positive effect on me were usually men. Perhaps, after being shunned by both my biological father and my adoptive father, some part of me was seeking a male role model -- though, at the time, I never would have understood or admitted this.

Lucky for us,  

during my senior year, a male history teacher, an Air Force veteran, encouraged me to enlist. He knew my grades were awful -- I graduated in the bottom third of my high school class, with a 2.2 GPA -- but saw something in me, potential that I hadn’t yet discovered or maybe didn’t even want to.