Friday, December 31, 2021

From, To, and Away from Truth

I mentioned that I'd recently reread a book called Thomistic Psychology, by Robert Brennan, which I first read almost two years ago, just after the curtains opened on Lockdown Theatre. It seems like last week, and I mean that literally. 

The book made a big impression on me at the time, and has again this time. It makes me wish I could have run into it during grad school, but what are the chances? 

None whatsoever. I would have been much more inclined to investigate, say, "archetypal astrology," or the Harmonic Convergence, than the superstitious musings of some medieval monk. 

Like any good progressive, I thought I could discern truth by the calendar. And like any ambitious young wannabe published, I knew that this year's model was the best, or at least conferred the most status. 

So, there is no way in the world I would have had the slightest interest in "Catholic psychology." Only now can I see that it's just psychology, full stop, and that there are gaping holes -- not to mention no floor and an arbitrary ceiling -- in what I had taken to be psychology. 

Yes, you could say that in the larger scheme of things I am indeed a "doctor" of "psychology." Or used to be, anyway.  

It could have turned out otherwise -- unless contingency and free will are illusions, and the current Bob was a cosmic inevitability. 

But these two -- contingency & free will -- are literally as self-evident as any other primordial categories of experience, such as objects, consciousness, and desire. Some people get their kicks pretending to deny these, but no one can actually live his life as if accidents and choices are but illusions, objects are ideas, and consciousness is just biological noise.

Note that it's ideological scientism that denies free will, while it is religious predestinarians who are apt to deny contingency. I won't argue with the latter, since there is such a thing as a useful piety -- a "saving illusion," or what in Buddhism is called upaya, i.e., skillful means. 

The average man is... average. Or, in our time, perhaps a little below average. 

Okay, way below.

It wasn't always this way, but there are real human costs to television, journalism, atheism, and mass higher education, the latter being neither elevated nor education, just ideological indoctrination for the sake of the ruling class. Ignoring the indoctrination disqualifies one for membership in the ruling class, but at least it renders us unfit to be ruled by them, so there's that.

Time out for aphorisms while this post decides where it wishes to go, if anywhere:

On the discipline of psychology: In the social sciences, not knowing how to express oneself skillfully is sometimes enough to found a school of thought. Illustrious names from the past pop into my mind, such as Lacan, Foucault, R.D. Laing... 

On contingency: Chance is sometimes an artist; deliberate will never is.

On free will: Necessity and freedom are not symmetrical concepts; in fact, if I affirm necessity, I deny any freedom, but if I affirm freedom, I do not deny any necessity.

On the Woke: The perfect conformist of our time is the ideologue of the left.

On scientism: One of the worst intellectual disasters is the appropriation by mediocre intelligences of the concepts and vocabulary of science. (Like FJB, they listen to the the science!) 

On our bureaucratic masters: In the end a bureaucracy always turns out to cost the people more than an upper class. (So let's hand them $5 trillion more to Build a Better Bureaucracy!)  

Now, one is always arguing either to or from first principles. 

Except when one is actively running away from principle. Therefore, it would seem that we can argue toward truth, from truth, or away from truth. I suppose we can also deny truth altogether and thereby pretend to convert a truly vicious habit into a virtue -- to rebrand adolescent destruction deconstruction.  

We could visualize it thus:

From principle: O --> (k)

To principle: (k) --> O

Away from principle: O --> (-k)

No principle: Ø --> (-k)

The third is always present in some form or fashion in what we call "mental illness" (e.g., denial, repression, projection), while the fourth is more of a spiritual illness; it is frankly diabolical, or at least one of those cosmic interstices where the evil one is free to exert influence on the unprincipled. Such persons aren't even intellectually dishonest, since honesty presupposes the existence of truth.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Symbolic and Diabolic

Of course demons can't stand one another. What's the alternative? That they love each other? No, Demonville must be like the Hitler-Stalin pact, a relationship of pure expedience, and even then marred by paranoia and double-dealing. 

By the way, even if one is skeptical about the existence of demons, spooklating about their nature helps to further our understanding of what man must be like: angelic nature illuminates human nature, just as do material or divine nature.  

In other words, man can do things that neither physical nor living matter could ever do on their own terms. What is the principle of man, his sufficient reason? Obviously it cannot be reduced to biology or physics, unless we expand those two disciplines beyond their intrinsic limitations. 

Thus, we -- or materialists, rather -- may not know what this principle (of humanness) is, but we know it must exist, or we wouldn't be here. Or, we'd be here but wouldn't know it, since matter doesn't know anything.

Pretending otherwise is like trying to build a house out of feet and inches -- or worse, meters and centimeters -- or trying to fill your bank account with numbers. Numbers count wealth, they don't create it. Likewise, matter specifies man's form in time and space but it can't conjure a soul. Nothing comes from nothing, every time.

Speaking of which, an understanding of the angelic relationship to materiality helps to illuminate ours. That is, while man is a substantial union of matter and form, angels are pure form with no need of matter. And above that is God, who is both immaterial and formless. He cannot have a form, because this would be a limitation. Infinitude is like this blog: informal.

Yesterday we alluded to the fact that demonic friendships -- such as they are -- are "welded together by a common hatred of God and men." Here again, this helps to illuminate the human world. 

You will have no doubt noticed that conservatives hate because they love, while for leftists it is the other way around: their hatred is prior to the love. And while their movement opposes God and man, it all begins with a more general hatred of reality. If they resent human nature, for example, it is because it places sharp limits on their godlike desire to redefine and manipulate reality. 

We've all heard the crack that conservatives love people, it's mankind they can't abide, while progressives luv mankind, it's just people they hate. To be a conservative in America is to know that one is well and truly hated by a third or so of the population -- or two thirds in California, and 95% in academia. An esteemed dean at San Diego State University assures us that,

Just so we’re clear on the Right’s agenda – racism good, abortion bad, money good, women bad, capitalism good, sustainability bad, stupidity good, science bad, power good, equality bad, white people good, nonwhite people bad. Stench, indeed (https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2021/12/is-there-a-distinction-between-the-academic-left-and-the-twitter-fever-swamp.php).

Conversely, we do not hate leftists in this way. Rather, we only detest their ideas and policies. For example, yesterday a leftist friend from down the street broke his pelvis, and our immediate response is to help him out in any way we can for the next couple of months. He's just deluded, not malign. 

He also happens to be a secular Jew, which raises the evergreen question of why such an intelligent group of people so disproportionately supports Democrats? 

Part of the answer is a historically understandable distrust and resentment of Christians. Today Christians are their greatest friends, whereas the left is filled with crude anti-Semites such as Omar, Obama, and Sharpton. 

Nevertheless, the progressive left abounds with conspiracy theories to explain away that inconvenient reality. Predictably, 80% of Orthodox Jews approved of President Trump, while 80% of secular Jews in the U.S. were victims of TDS.

Culture easily swamps mere intelligence, especially given the perverse pleasures of resentment, projection, and superiority. Asian-Americans will eventually come around -- meanwhile the beatings at the hands of Biden supporters will continue -- and Hispanics are well on their way, each trend alone catastrophic to the electoral prospects of the progressive hate-cult. 

Okay, I get it: you don't come here for the political BS. You come here for the spiritual BS. So let's get back to the remaining highlights of Angels and Demons before wrapping it up.

Demons communicate with each other, but very much in the manner of our news media; that is, they are the ultimate propagators of fake news:

the intention guiding the act of informing is always perverse; its purpose comes from the wicked design of the demon, who seeks to turn others away from God, whereas enlightenment is a communication of truth that aims to direct the beneficiary toward God.

Simple as. Watching the average news broadcast is a seminar not just in stupidity, but a kind of diabolical stupidity devoid of truth, beauty, or virtue. Darkness visible.

Oh, and it's not just me: "the demonic world as a society of intelligent, wicked beings" is "not without interest for political philosophy."

You don't say. Tell us more.

demonic society provides the theoretical model by which to speculate about the possibility of a society that rejects any reference to the objective moral good. 

But why speculate about abstract theoretical models when you can look at real world examples such as China or San Francisco?

Here's another helpful hint: the demons work to make "apparent goods gleam" (emphasis mine). 

Obviously, even progressives don't want bad things for themselves; they may be ignorant and crazy, but they're still self-interested. It's just that they transform evils -- e.g., sexual perversion, abortion, tribalism, racism -- into goods, and goods -- e.g., fossil fuels, limited government, free speech, self-defense -- into evils.

I'll leave off with a footnote on p. 27 that I think is pregnant with words, but blogviating them would veer into a vast new subject. Instead, I'll let you work out the implications on your own:

The term diabolos -- the divider, the one who opposes the "sym-bolos" that unites -- translates [to] Satan.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Scatterbrains and Nonlocal Pests

Now that I'm a full-time gentleman loaffeur and vertical hedonist, the reading tends to run way ahead of the blogging. By the time I get around to writing about this or that matter, the spirit has moved on to the next shiny squirrel. 

This subject of demons is a case in point. Two weeks ago I was babbling over with enthusiasm about naughty angels, while this week it's Maximus the Confessor and Mexican garage rock (https://open.spotify.com/album/2IgygCCKlFvGdG6FGQwDmg).

Who can keep up with such impulsive zigs of zagsy?

As you know, the blog is one man's struggle to somehow keep it together, but it's an ongrowing challenge, and where does Artie Shaw fit in? Oddly enough he does fit in, and not just because he lived a few exurban blocks away in Newbury Park. Rather, he was a true oddball, and not just because he divorced Ava Gardner. He also divorced Lana Turner (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artie_Shaw#Personal_life).

Now, what do demons do all day with their idle hands? According to Bonino, they basically oppose man and God, and in particular, the former's journey to the latter.

Or, we can begin the analysis at our end, and ask: just what is it that interferes with the vertical adventure? Clearly, something gets in the way, or this would be heaven. Why can't a man even pretend to get along with Ava Gardner? 

There's a kind of jihad going on, and like the more familiar one, it's an unholy war, or a war on holiness. Again, this is just an empirical fact, the question being, who or what's behind it? Is it organized? And who's in charge?

It reminds me of when you see the seeming coordination of the propagaslight media mob. Last week they were all using the phrase viral blizzard. Who put this cliché in their ears, and why did they all repeat it? 

I mean, at least come up with your own way of expressing it, like viralanch or scarenado. It's the same with insurrection. What happened to mostly peaceful protest?

Anyway, the hostile forces. I first began taking these forces seriously in 1995 or so, because that's when I began opposing them. Little did I know that embarking on the Spiritual Path is a formal declaration of war against them -- whoever or whatever they are.  

Back then I would have regarded Christian ideas about Satan as naive and superstitious. But Vedantic ideas about demonic hostile forces? Sophisticated

Here's a passage from an old favorite, The Adventure of Consciousness, nor do I necessarily disagree with the description: The adverse forces

are highly conscious forces whose sole aim, apparently, is to discourage the seeker and divert him from the path he has chosen.... With remarkable skill, they take apart the whole system of our quest to prove that we are deluding ourselves and that our efforts will come to nothing....

These nonlocal pests  

have a thousand and one ways of attacking us -- for it is indeed an attack -- and the more determined we are, the more relentless they become....

But if you stay in the matrix, they mostly leave you alone:

As long as we march with the common herd, life is relatively easy.... however, as soon as we want to get out of the rut, a thousand forces rise up, suddenly very interested that we behave "like everybody else"; we discover how well organized the imprisonment is.

Interesting, the very same reality was described in my thoroughly secular training in psychoanalysis, but in that religion it's called resistance. That is, the moment the patient tries to improve, resistance gets in the way. 

But who or what are the resistors? Here's one definition, from A Dictionary of Kleinian Thought:

Resistance is an attack upon the capacity of the mind to think and know (the epistemophilic instinct) which Bion referred to as "attacks on linking."

Attacks on linking? Is this what demons do?

Of course. It's even in the name, for diabolos is the scatterer, is he not?

Back to Bonino: while the intention is to sow division -- both extra- and intrapsychic -- the demonic world "is not sheer chaos. It exhibits a certain form of unity and social cohesion." For

Just as evil is a parasite of the good, anarchy is a parasite of order. If anarchy were to triumph, it would immediately self-destruct. Among the demons, therefore, a certain order remains that continues, at the very heart of their chaos, to give testimony to the divine wisdom and goodness.

So, demons are a left-handed compliment to God; we don't say complement, because that implies a Manichaean dualism.

Now, here is something I did not know, but the moment you hear it, you say of course: despite their "order," it turns out that "the demons detest one another" as much as, say, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. They agree on the ends -- destruction and regression -- but theirs is "a confederation welded together by a common hatred of God and men." 

Same with the demons. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Reality = Reality + The Perception Thereof

I'm under a hard out this morning, time only for some psychic doodling on a virtual napkin, or on back of the envelope we're always pushing around. 

Here's a wild thought:

Our intellects do not create the world they know. Rather, it is the other way about: the world of reality is the cause of our knowledge of it (Brennan).

Or, perhaps you attended college and learned the insight-out kantrary thesis: that reality is all in your head.

But that makes no sense, for how can the greater stupidity come from the lesser stupidity?   

Brennan's characterization is either true or it is false; but if the latter, then we could never know it, since we couldn't exit the world of our creation. Perception would indeed be reality, meaning that all human beings would immediately be granted tenure. But if everyone has a PhD in Reality Studies, then no one does, so this whole line of thought is absurd.   

If we're going to be strictly logical. 

Speaking of which, sometimes logic itself is illogical, recalling Chesterton's gag about the madman who loses everything but his reason.   

Such a man would no longer be a human being -- a person -- in that persons have two additional coequal branches of contact with reality, the realities of Goodness and Beauty; plus we are open systems, both horizontally and vertically, not to mention intersubjective and trinitarian.  

Clearly, there is more to reality than that which is accessible to idiot savants such as Stephen Hawking, who ultimately knew everything about nothing. Granted, he was better at math than I am. But so is everybody. What can a mathematical pinhead really tell us about a mythsemantical punhead? That's a rhetardical question.

At any rate, for a hell roost of heathens, reducing persons to the logic they deploy is like trying to enclose the ocean within the drop. Yes, the latter can be done, but not with your wideawake and cutandry logic!  

I had a dream. In fact, I'm having one now, more on which later. 

I spent the other day immersing myself in the dreamworld of René Guénon, who is logic on steroids. At first his metaphysics of the Infinite makes a great deal of sense, until you realize that that ultimate reality cannot be enclosed in Aristotelian logic, since the ultimate category is Person, not syllogism.

Who said? Tell them I AM said so!

There is indeed a logic within this trinitarian personhood, but it isn't the cold and unforgiving logic of your 9th grade algebra teacher, nor the IRS, rather, the bi-logic of Ignacio Matte Blanco, which is the subject of yet another dream. 

Let's just stipulate that it's a party up there and I hope it never stops, and that considered in this festive atmansphere, Guénon is a bit of a buzzkill, even though he makes some valid points. I don't have time to belaborate. Let's just say that people are logical, not vice versa. 

(Primary source: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1855752026?ie=UTF8&tag=onecos-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=1855752026; secondary source: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1853434388?ie=UTF8&tag=onecos-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=1853434388)   

Let's start over. By which I mean, let's go back 400 years or so, to before we were Enlightened by the likes of Descartes and Voltaire. Look, everybody makes mistakes. It's not too late to admit we made a wrong turn. Indeed, acknowledging that we're lost in history is the first step to being found. Or are we too proud to ask for vertical directions?

That's a loaded question for those who deny the vertical at the outset -- or who enter verticality in order to close it for the restavus. 

As it so happens, as it so often does, I'm reading a book that goes to just this question, called The Wisdom of the World: The Human Experience of the Universe in Western Thought, by Rémi Brague. What is the difference between the universe and the experience of the universe? 

That's actually a good question, because the universe -- the totality and unicity of things -- must somehow encompass both the objective universe and its subjective experience, no? And can subjectivity be enclosed in logic or math or physics? 

We'll wait.

I'm only up to p. 36, so don't hold me to it, but I suspect Brague's point is that Enlightenment thought has painted us into a coroner, and that in order for the cosmos to reopen for isness we'll need to tyrone back the hands of time to a more holistic and soulful understanding.

According to Professor Bæchphlap, 

Brague shows how modernity stripped the universe of its sacred and philosophical wisdom, transforming it into an ethically indifferent entity that non longer serves as a model for human morality.

This blog is allabout resurrecting our first experience of the cosmos, not by going back -- which nocando anyway -- but by forging ahead and bringing the Enlightenment with us, to a post-postmodern vision of the world. Yes, we are the cutting edge of the cosmos! 

Do you ever get the feeling that this blog has devolved into an annoying metaphysical comedy site? Or has it always been this way? Either way, I expect it to get worse. 

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Satan's Greatest Hits

We know that criminals as a class -- luckily -- are significantly more stupid than the average human being. What about demons? After all, just how bright can a being be who abhors being?  

Or, could it be that we're making the elementary mistake of attributing to demons what is more razomably occamable to plain old low IQ? 

FJB, for example, is an idiot. Ah, but who is pulling his strings? More to the point, who is pulling theirs? Who's behind him, and what's behind them? How to explain Slow Joe's intelligent ventriloquists and slippery puppeteers? 

Hard to say, being that quite intelligent people are easily as susceptible to demonic influence as anyone else, especially given their typical hubris, for pride is always a point of entry for our vertical antagonists.

Almost by definition a liberal is someone smarter than you are. After all, what else qualifies them to run your life?  

True, they're also more virtuous than you are, but what fun is virtue signaling without the intellectual condescension? You rarely see one without the other, being that truth and goodness converge even in the inverted reality of the left. For as the Philosopher writes,

the intention of every man acting according to virtue is to follow the rule of reason, wherefore the intention of all the virtues is directed to the same end, so that all the virtues are connected together in the right reason of things to be done.... [T]he intention of the sinner is not directed to the point of straying from the path of reason (Thomas, emphases mine).

Oh. This is helpful. A few pages later he suggests -- after ruling out all the objections -- that "inordinate love of self is the cause of every sin." Which means that intelligence alone is only a sufficient cause, and requires the necessary cause of excessive self-regard.    

Let's look for some more hints about how the demons roll.

There is in fact a correspondence between a subject's cognitive power and the degree of universality of the species that he utilizes. The greater the intellectual power, the more rarified and universal are the angelic species utilized (Bonino).

"Species" is a term of art referring to the concept which the intellect abstracts from the data of the senses. 

Which suddenly reminds me of a very wisecrack by the Aphorist to the effect that The liberal mentality is an angelic visitor impervious to earthly experiences.

As usual, Dávila has nailed it, for the left is full of sweeping generalizations that perhaps make superficial sense until you realize they are wholly detached from the senses, AKA, from the real world. 

Examples abound from the low-haranguing fruits of the left, but here are some of their greatest hits:

In America, poverty is the main cause of crime.

Blacks (apart from their behavior) are disproportionately victimized by police violence. 

Women (because they are women) are subject to a "pay gap."

Intelligence tests do not reliably measure intelligence.

Printing too much money doesn't cause inflation.

Rent control doesn't cause housing shortages.

Minimum wage laws don't cause unemployment.

Celebrating sexual deviancy doesn't cause more of it.

There is empirical proof of manmade catastrophic climate change.

Defunding police will reduce crime. Just look!

Strict Gun control laws reduce crime.  Just look!

"White privilege" actually exists.

As does the "Patriarchy."

Not forgetting "homophobia," "transphobia," and soon, "pedophobia." 

All these illegal immigrants are obviously making California a better place to live. 

Electric cars prove that Milton Friedman was wrong about free lunches. 

That was a straight-up insurrection on January 6. 

Sure, Nancy Pelosi is normal.  

College makes you smarter. 

Biden won the 2020 election fair & square. 

This is a Pandemic of the Unvaccinated.

Trump supporters are racists. 

Every one of these is a naughty angel, being that each is a generalization with no connection to the empirical world. Rather, they're just dead -- or undead -- viral concepts in search of minds to host in order to propagate themselves.