Saturday, December 11, 2021

Certitude 101: You Can't Transcend Transcendence

Continuing with the red pill / blue pill theme, man is presented with a -- TRIGGER WARNING -- binary choice that is as consequential as that between theism and atheism, because it amounts to the same thing. For to say that the cosmos is closed is to say that it is entirely self-sufficient, such that No Gods Need Apply. 

But in reality, it is impossible for man to transcend transcendence, since any attempt to do so already participates in it. 

Indeed, even to say cosmos is to have escaped the cosmos, because the latter is something that no one has ever perceived or experienced. We take for granted that there is a cosmos -- an ordered totality encompassing space and time -- but on what grounds? 

For a worm, for example, the cosmos reduces to what is sensed through touch. Supposing worms could think, they would no doubt think of the cosmos as a kind of infinite surface. 

Then, after a few thousand years, a clever Kantian worm would slither along and proclaim: The surface does not actually exist; what you perceive as a surface is only a form of your sensibility. Behind this phenomenal surface is the unknown and unknowable noumenon, an Ultimate Surface.    

But like our present day worms of tenure, this literal worm would possess insufficient self-awareness to realize it just transcended wormhood, for its opinions about the nature of ultimate reality obviously aren't material sensations, they're immaterial thoughts.

More to the point, Professor Kantworm just transcended the material cosmos. 

This is all very basic, but it only highlights contemporary man's crying need for basic training in Certitude 101. If we are to know anything -- I mean really know it, not just have opinions about it -- it must be grounded in absolute certitude, in what simply cannot not be.  

Let's go back to whether the cosmos is a vertically open or closed system: either it is or it isn't. Pick one, but then do not pretend to escape the consequences of your choice. 

If you say the cosmos is closed, then have the courage of your convictions and try to live that way: for it means, among other things, that there is no truth and man can't know it, that morality is entirely subjective, that life is utterly devoid of intrinsic meaning, and that there is no escape from the tyranny of relativism.

Nor from any other Ism, for that matter, for relativism is but the Sum and Substance of All Cosmic Heresies, e.g., materialism, naturalism, empiricism, positivism, reductionism, humanism, racism, utilitarianism, et al.

The Aphorist says that mysticism is the empiricism of transcendent knowledge, which is certainly true. But equally true is that even empiricism is the transcendence of any material conception of the cosmos.

Somewhere the Aphorist makes another vital point that touches on That with which we are in contact when we transcend the material world. What is That? 

That's a bit of a tricky questioner, because we can know only the effects, whether we call these effects grace or shakti or chi or revelation or whatever. 

The main point is that something is coming into us from above or beyond or behind, and it is definitely not us, rather an encounter with the Other, whatever or whomever this Other might be. Faith is an opening of the channels of communication, or often just "communing" with and in That, other to Other.

I have to run, but I should be able to complete this post later in the day, assuming I can transcend the lazy, which is by no means a certitude.


Thursday, December 09, 2021

You May Swallow Anything from the Medicine Cabinet, But Do Not Touch the Blue Pills

Let's face the ontological facts: the cosmos is either a closed circle or an open one, and everything hinges upon which one it is. 

Everything, because this is truly the ultimate red pill / blue pill situation. Deep down, no one really wants the blue-pill cosmos, and we all suspect -- but can't necessarily prove -- there's more. And Morpheus:

What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.

It sure seems like there are more things in heaven and Earth than are dreamt up in your philosophy class -- beginning with an earth and a heaven -- which is to say, horizontal and vertical, closed and open, terrestrial and celestial, blue pill and red pill, etc.

Now, not only must any functional -- or even dysfunctional -- philosophy account for Morpheus' splinter, but what if I told you that philosophy is the splinter -- and the attempt to remove it? 

In Christian metaphysics, for example, the splinter is called "original sin"; in Marxism, private property; in existentialism, "other people"; in progressivism, freedom and individualism; in psychoanalysis, civilizational repression; in leftism, reality; etc.

Now, what if I further told you that the very existence of freedom is sufficient proof that this is an open cosmos? 

To put it conversely, freedom would be impossible and even inconceivable in a closed world, in which effects are fully reducible to their causes. In such a universe, freedom is but an illusion and we aren't having this conversation. 

A closed cosmos means a fully self-sufficent one in which there are no outside or vertical -- AKA transcendent -- causes. If this is the case, then the fact that my fingers are at the moment hunting and pecking away at the keyboard is just a neurological tic caused by electrochemical impulses, which are ultimately grounded in the laws of physics.

Yes, but where do the laws of physics come from, and why are they so ideally suited to the emergence of rational -- i.e., free -- creatures?

Silence! Pay no attention to that mind behind your computer screen! Besides,

What is real? How do you define "real"? If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then "real" is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain (Morpheus).

 I have to leave in a moment, so let me end this post with a little fable:

Once upin a timeless there lived a man and a woman. Theirs was an open cosmos, both horizontally (to each other, i.e., intersubjectively) and vertically (i.e., in open relation to their transcendent source).

This latter advised the man that he was free to enjoy any fruits from their botanical garden, but to avoid the blueberries, for they would make him very sick and were possibly even fatal.

Now, it is admittedly a little fuzzy as to how he got there, but let's just say that there soon appeared a pompous creature of tenure who was more crafty than the humans, and he disingenuously asks the woman, “Did God really say, You mustn't eat the blueberries? Really? Because that seems arbitrary and probably patriarchal as well -- as if the creator of the universe cares about what you put into your mouth! If I were you, I'd frankly be more than a little triggered and resentful, and switch majors to Gender Studies. 

The woman responded to the silver- and forktongued professor that “We may consume any fruits we like, but God did say pretty clearly that we mustn't touch the blueberries, nor manufacture them in concentrated pill form. It's for our own good."

"Oh bullshit," said the professor. “They won't kill you, and besides, they're quite tasty -- so tasty in fact that this so-called God of yours just wants to keep them to himself.

Bottom line, she bluepilled and was suddenly in a very different world. And since in this world two wrongs make a right, she then bluepilled her husband under threat of cutting off sexual access, and boom!  
For what it's Wordsworth, a few lines of unacknowledged legislation come to mind. At first, 

THERE was a time when meadow, grove, and stream, / The earth, and every common sight, To me did seem / Apparell'd in celestial light, The glory and the freshness of a dream. 
Then the blue pill, and all of a sudden 

Shades of the prison-house begin to close

               Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
               He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
     Must travel, still is Nature's priest,
          And by the vision splendid
          Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.

In any event, next they hear what sounds like the Lord God walking in the garden. But they know it's him when they hear that familiar voice asking -- and pretending not to know --Where are you? Tell me you didn't bluepill, because if you did...

And the rest is history. 

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Here Come the New Hallucinations, Same as the Old Hallucinations

We concluded the previous post with a general description of the contours of Bonaventure World. Distilling this to its essence, we have O, (⇵) and ultimately ↺ -- or, in the parlance of his times,

This is our entire metaphysic: emanation, exemplarity, and consummation, that is, to be illumined by rays of spiritual light and to return to the Most High (Bonaventure).

In the parlance of our times we would say that 

Bonaventure was ultimately concerned with three questions: 1) Where have we come from? 2) What are we doing here? 3) Where are we going? (Delio).

Gosh. Does anyone even ask these questions anymore? And if not, why not? 

My spontaneous answer is that they do ask them, since these questions necessarily co-arise with the human condition. Really, one can't not ask them in some form or fashion, although for the multitude, both the questions and answers are implicit; one might say that the average person has all the answers without even having gone to the trouble of asking the questions. 

I know this is the case because I was very much one of these passive sheeplings living in the half-awake world of ambient liberalism. I had internalized all 613 progressive dogmas without even consciously knowing I had done so, but suffice it to say, I was every bit as kosher as George Soros or Noam Chomsky.

All I knew is that -- like any liberal -- I was more intelligent, caring, and virtuous than the deplorables -- who are always with us, since the mind of the leftist always requires a receptacle external to itself in order to dump unwanted impulses, emotions, and motives.

For example, last night during a commercial break on Tucker, I flipped over to Chris Hayes for a couple minutes hate. 'Nuff said. The experience was as disorienting as, say, hearing America described by Khruschev circa 1960. You realize you're just playing a one-dimensional role -- albeit a vital one, given the crude and emotionally charged language -- in their psychodrama. 

Clearly, they need us to be the way they perceive us to be. It is at once impossible to take seriously, and yet, seriously funny. Nor is it possible to correct their perceptions, as our trolls so adeptly prove.

The left's ubiquitous positive hallucinations are always mingled with equally fascinating "negative" hallucinations. 

For example, this morning I read a detailed NY Times analysis of why adversaries such as China, Russia, and Iran may suddenly be emboldened to behave aggressively. What could be the reason? It's a mystery! 

But certainly it must have something to do with the machinations of Emmanuel Trumpstein. Indeed, it is axiomatic: 

the U.S. itself can’t seem to decide how strongly it feels about democracy, with a former president and his allies around the country mimicking the playbook of autocrats willing to subvert election results. 

Yes, that must be it. Maybe too the smelly Walmart shoppers who refuse to get vaxed:

Americans, after all, have reacted to the pandemic with division and anger, which has fueled widespread refusal to take lifesaving vaccines and continuing chaos in schools (sic). 

No, not the teacher's unions, stupid! Rather, the terrorist parents who for some reason suspect that for children -- boys in particular -- the vaccines are more dangerous than the disease.

F.J. Brandon has even "issued stern warnings" to our adversaries, and yet, they seem to fear him even less than they did the equally intimidating F.B. Hussein. Why, our enemies are so brazen, it can only be compared to the outrageous "interference in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump’s campaign."

New hallucinations aren't enough, so the Times is trying to resurrect the old ones from five years ago. Will they work?

Of course they'll work, because the entire Matrix is at stake. I mean, if you can't see that the president is a cognitive husk of his former empty shell, is there anything you can't not see? If weakness is provocative, a president with Alzheimer's is a Please Tread On Me flag.

Well, that post went in an unexpected direction. We'll resume our Bonadventure after a brief time-in. 

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

A Study in Contrasts, Part 2: Roundblog Day

In the previous post we discussed Nietzsche. Obviously, much more could be said about him, but I have no desire to say it. Nothing against Nietzsche, but life is too short to argue with people whose principles are in -- and give rise to -- another universe. Literally.  

I suppose it's controversial to say it, but there is only one cosmos (just as there is only one One Cosmos). In other words, perception is not reality, rather, reality is reality. If reality isn't reality, then nothing is anything and everything is nothing.

This might sound as if I'm dealing in tautology and anti-tautology, but you'd be surprised. We're starting to veer into a deep tangent, so let's cut ourselves off and just remind ourselves that to say reality is to say principles, and that the former is an effect of the latter. In short, this isn't 'Nam. There are rules!

The point of life -- a point of life, anyway -- is to discern these principles -- whether implicitly or explicitly, mythologically or metaphysically -- and to conform ourselves to them. One such principle -- and just try to actually live your life without it! -- is the principle of identity: that A is A. 

The same idea is expressed in the principle of non-contradiction, which is to say that A is not B, nor any other letter. Mark it A!

Nevertheless, there exist a multitude of learned pests who will tell you that women are men, that the minimum wage isn't zero, that government spending is free, that "equity" can coexist with freedom, etc. Here again, there are rabbit holes and tangents aplenty, but let's focus on Bonaventure.  

If, as I do, you spend enough time wandering around the 13th century, you're bound to bump St. B. While Thomas gets most of the attention these days, Bonaventure serves as a kind of complement; where Thomas is Aristotelian and systematic, Bonaventure is more Platonic and mystical. I would further speculate that where Thomas likely wore briefs, Bonaventure preferred boxers.  

As A is not B, (B)onaventure is not (N)ietzsche, to put it mildly, for they're not just different or even contraries, but rather, absolute contradictions. Thus, we could say: if N, then B, and if B, N. Here again, this cosmos isn't big enough for the both of them, albeit with certain qualifications.

For there is a sense in which Nietzsche speaks the truth, but in order for it to be true, one must eliminate all the upper storeys and inner stories -- myths, parables, revelations, mystical testimonies, etc. -- of the cosmos. 

For example, imagine you live on the bottom floor of a highrise, but don't know it. You've never been outside, and although you have windows, you can only see out of them, not up. Indeed, you can even see people outside gazing upward. What are they looking at? Who knows and who cares. You're happily contemptuous of them in your Nietzschean Supermancave.

In my view, Bonaventure lives in the real world -- the cosmos -- whereas Nietzsche lives in a world of his own making, and I'm not just talking about "after" he went insane. 

For what is insanity, really? It is living in an imaginary world (or sometimes not living in one, but that's another storey). But again, there's only one cosmos; or, to be precise, there are 7.753 billion angles on this one cosmos, but the multiple perceptions are nevertheless of the one reality.

Let's begin with the overall contours of Bonaventure's world. The following passage really caught my third eye, because it reminds me of... you tell me:

the figure of the circle attests to the perfection of bodies both in the macrocosm and microcosm.... But this figure is not complete in the universe. 
Now, if this figure is to be as perfect as possible, the line of the universe must be curved into a circle. Indeed, God is simply the first. And the last among the works of the world is man. Therefore, when God became man, the works of God were brought to perfection. This is why Christ, the God-man, is called Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end.

This passage also reminds me of why my book is circular and had to be circular. The new book, supposing it is ever written, will also be circular, but in a more precise way, because there are good circles and bad circles. 

Come to think of it, Nietzsche himself thought we were consigned to a bad cosmic circle, AKA eternal return, or an absurcular Goroundhog Day without end or escape. 

Well, I was up late last night, so the mind is fuzzy. It's hard to focus on details, so let's end with another big-picture view of Bonaventure's universe, which, unlike Nietzsche's, has a skylight. 

As the previous passage reminded me of O, this one sure reminds me of (⇵) and ultimately of ↺: contemplation is a "twofold moment," or "ascent and descent": 

"This path of ascending and descending in union with Christ is the path to contemplation"; its "interior movement is a continuous deepening within whereby one moves ever more deeply to the center of the soul, and thus, into the image in which the soul is formed."  

Mark it , or you're entering a world of pantheism!

Monday, December 06, 2021

A Study in Contrasts, Part 1: The Superman

Over the long weekend -- which began last March and will end on a day of God's choosing -- I read two antipodal books, one about St. Bonaventure, the other about anti-St. Zarathustra. 

I hadn't read the latter in some 40 years I reckon, and wanted to go back to the source of so much retarded atheism, even though Nietzsche himself was at least a clever and witty atheist -- or anti-theist, to be exact -- not to mention honest enough to draw out the implications of his misosophy, all the way to the madhouse. 

Gives new meaning to intellectual commitment.

Z-man is very much like Jesus, only upside-down & inside-out:

When Zarathustra was thirty years old, he left his home and the lake of his home, and went into the mountains.

Eventually Zarathustra wearies of being allone with his wisdom, so he deicides to go down into the world and share the news, which is good or bad -- gospel or gaspiel -- depending on whether you are faster than a speeding bullet or more powerful than a locomotive, i.e., a Superman. 

If not -- and 99.9% of you won't make the cut -- then you are at least suited to be part of the anonymous soil that will sprout a handful of Supermen. 

The first person Z. encounters on the way down is -- ironically -- an old saint. I suppose this sets the pattern of people who aren't particularly congenial to his message of liberation, in particular, from Christianity:

When Zarathustra was alone, however, he said to his heart: "Could it be possible! This old saint in the forest hath not yet heard of it, that God is dead!"   

Inconceivable!

Then he wanders into town, where he again gets the cold shoulder, even though, hey,

I teach you the Superman. Man is something that is to be surpassed. What have ye done to surpass man? 

For Superman is to man as man is to ape; and the latter is

a laughing-stock, a thing of shame. And just the same shall man be to the Superman: a laughing-stock, a thing of shame.

Yeah, well, who's laughing now? 

Okay, that was a low blow, but here we are, 135 years later, so we've had plenty of time to assess all the would-be Übermenschen of the previous century. What's the verdict on those explicitly anti-Christian men who presumed to surpass man?

No, we're not blaming Nietzsche, since none of the Überjivers you're thinking of would have been sufficiently intelligent, ironic, or self-aware to appreciate him. As if Hitler lay in bed savoring and chuckling at Zarathustra's astringent proverbs and parables!

Who among you can at the same time laugh and be exalted? He who climbeth on the highest mountains, laugheth at all tragic plays and tragic realities. 

The earth, said he, hath a skin; and this skin hath diseases. One of these diseases, for example, is called "man."

No, not Jews, man -- all men, except the Über kind. 

Z. had no use for progressivism either -- unless it is the individual progress from man to Superman:

ye preachers of equality! Tarantulas are ye unto me, and secretly revengeful ones!

But I will soon bring your hiding-places to the light.... Therefore do I tear at your web, that your rage may lure you out of your den of lies, and that your revenge may leap forth from behind your word "justice"....

[Y]our most secret tyrant-longings disguise themselves thus in virtue-words! Fretted conceit and suppressed envy... in you break they forth as flame and frenzy of vengeance.

Nailed it: in their hearts progressives know that men are not equal, if only because of their own moral and intellectual superiority, which they can never stop signaling to the bestavus.

He also nailed the media:

Just see these superfluous ones! Sick they are always; they vomit their bile and call it a newspaper.

And he saw right through the state, which is -- of course --

the coldest of all cold monsters.... Destroyers are they who lay snares for many, and call it the state.... whatever it saith it lieth; and whatever it hath it hath stolen....

So, who exactly benefits from this cold -- and insanely expensive -- monster? 

Many too many are born: for the superfluous ones was the state devised!

Right. The federal government, our biggest employer by far, is a full-employment program for overeducated progressive meddling mediocretins. 

Even worse than the soft and enfeebled Last Men who "have left the regions where it is hard to live," are the Last Women, AKA the KKK (Kovid Karen Korps):

They have their little pleasures for the day, and their little pleasures for the night: but they have a high regard for health. 

But nor does Z. have any love for smelly deplorables and Walmart shoppers:

Life is a well of delight; but where the rabble also drink, there all the fountains are poisoned. 

 Superman and the devil walk into a bar:

Thus spoke the devil unto me, once upon a time: "Even God hath his hell: it is his love for man."

Ha! This love went on for around 50,000 years or so, until "of his pity for man God died." 

Bummer. But seriously volks, 

if there were Gods, how could I endure it to be no God! Therefore there are no Gods.

Simple as: I'm not God, therefore God can't be; or, at the very least, this cosmos ain't big enough for the both of us, God and Superman.

We'll end with an aphorism by the Nietzsche of the Andes:

Nietzsche would be the only noble inhabitant of a derelict world. Only his choice could be exposed without shame to the resurrection of God.

Sunday, December 05, 2021

I Renounce Brandon & All His Jerks

The previous post alluded to "Satan's limits." As a youngster I heard over and over on the radio that even the Devil is in need of some restraint, so we should just call him Lucifer. But I never really thought about it. I just liked the song.

As far as metaphysical principles go, to the extent that the Good exists -- and it does -- then we have to concede that evil is built into the cosmic cake. This orthoparadox is both disappointing and perfectly understandable -- like saying evil cannot not be and you cannot participate in it. Or, offenses must surely come, but wo, dude! to the guy or gal through whom the offense comes.

Still, the basic point isn't beyond our grasp: only God is good and this ain't Heaven, so evil is the price we pay for being creatures living in a subcelestial creation: original sin and all that.

But when someone personalizes this principle -- or inevitability, if you prefer -- now we don't know whether to take it as a myth, bearing in mind, of course, that myth isn't synonymous with false, much less a lie.

Rather, myth is here to teach us something that is true, has always been true, and will always be true about the human adventure. It is a true story that never happened, but which happens every time, e.g., Genesis, Exodus, Flood, etc. Just because it didn't happen that way doesn't mean it doesn't always happen that way

Interesting that Satan makes his first appearance right there at the genesis of things. Or at least a few paragraphs down. For it means that man was aware of his presence within moments of becoming man. 

By the conclusion of Genesis 1 it's still All Good, indeed, Very Good. But then midway into Genesis 2, evil makes its first inconspicuous appearance, albeit as a mere possibility ("the tree of the knowledge of good and evil"). But everything is still good so long as we steer clear of the latter. No worries.

Just after that an ambiguity enters the narrative. It's not evil, just not ideal, i.e., not good, in reference to our being all alone. This I think is a hint about God's own trinitarian nature, because God is both One but never allone, i.e, a radical monad. So if we are to be the Image and Likeness, we need a coequal helpmeet made of the same substance, which is to say, an irreducible substance-in-relation. Is God just ribbing us? Yes and no.

By the way, while all this is going on -- as God is finetuning his most theomorphic creature -- man gets to name everything. Among other things, this proves the falsehood of nominalism, deconstruction, and postmodernity. Put conversely, it vouchsafes the metaphysics of realism, transcendence, and cosmic order. There are things and names for things. It's not all in our heads, and reality isn't just perception.  

Things go south quickly in the next chapter. Interestingly, the last word of Genesis 2 is ashamed, but it's still in the context of goodness, so it's good to be capable of shame. Which is why it is bad to be a shameless progressive.

But just three words later the Serpent makes its appearance on the stage of cosmic mythtery. In other words, evil is now personified, or at least ssssquamatified. 

What the heck?

No, I mean, what the heck, just as things are about to get interesting, I have to get ready to leave!

Let's wrap this up with some preliminary bobservations. First, Satan is depicted as an ironic fellow, but it is important to emphasize that irony itself isn't necessarily satanic, but that Satan's irony has a superficially cynical, seductive, and deceptive edge to it -- for example

Just as every cop is a criminal / And all the sinners saints  

While this sounds sophisticated to progressive sensibilities, it is so deeply stupid that even Bill Maher no longer sympathizes with it. That verse continues with 

As heads is tails / Just call me Lucifer / 'Cause I'm in need of some restraint

A sophisticated cynic might say that one man's heads is another man's tails, and vice versa: one man's vice is another man's virtue. 

To put it in more abstract and conceptual terms, it would seem that authoritarian absolutism masquerading as a pseudo-generous & openminded relativism is the basis of every satanic ideology, or at least CHANGE MY MIND. Unless you are a troll, in which case your very existence proves my point. 

This conveniently brings us back round to some recent notes to myself which I would like to clear from the desk. They touch on the subject of Satan, or are at least close enough for rock & roll. I'll just reproduce these first notes below and try to explain later what they might mean, if anything: 

Hydraheadedness of Satan; each head is an -ism, each hand a non-STEM department, discipline, cable news station, or center of power. 

Regarding the latter, we can see how important it was for the founders to divide power against itself -- and conversely, why it is so important for the left to reunify it via court-packing, the politicization of Justice, the state-media complex that transforms the means of information into a mechanism of threat and coercion, or Education into Big Indoctrination. 

Each must be the counterfeit of something real & untarnished by pettiness, pseudo-omniscience, the will to power & other deformities of the spirit.

relativism, materialism, empiricism, positivism, naturalism, feminism, humanismreductionism, racism...

Every Ism is a declaration of independence from the Whole, even though it only exists as a consequence of it -- like the Son declaring independence from the Father, the ultimate engenderation gap.  

 Weird way to end, but it can't be helped. I'm out.