Saturday, October 22, 2022

Fun with Satan

Good news/bad news: the intellect is free. Therefore, “free to destroy itself” (Chesterton). 

Just as one generation failing to reproduce and pass along its genes to the next would be the end of the species, failure to pass along truth wouldn’t necessarily be the end of the intellect, but it would have to start all over.

But our situation is actually worse than that, because it is more analogous to one generation passing along only genetic errors and therefore giving rise to a cohort of cognitive and spiritual earth defects. What on earth are they doing here? 

Unfortunately, these latter must exist if there is to be such a thing as normality. Abnormality is parasitic on normality, i.e., a privation of something that bloody well ought to be there. A mind without truth is like a body without food (or with only junk food, i.e., “empty calories").   

Nevertheless, shoveling us a steady diet of psychic junk food is the prime directive of the state / academic / media / big tech industrial complex: not only to transmit error and falsehood but to censor, slander, and marginalize those of us who only wish to humbly pass along both truth and, more importantly, the Truth about truth, namely, God. 

For if explained slowly and with small words, even the tenured may be capable of the insight that God is the transcendental condition of both the search for, and discovery of, truth, i.e., its very possibility and actualization. Either all truth comes from God, or there is no such thing. We ask only that you be consistent.

Why be consistent if there’s no truth? 

Good point. Which is why anything the leftist says is subordinate to power and money.

There’s an exception to every rule, in this case, the obsession with mutilating children and with forcing us to pretend one sex can be the other. How to explain such madness? Sure, hospitals make a lot of obscene profit from this obscene criminality, but what explains the 47% of Democrats who go along with it? What’s in it for them? (

The same poll shows that 97% of Republicans and even 85% of independents aren’t on board with mutilating children. Still, what accounts for the millions of people who support such patent evil? I’ll have to think about that one, but it brings to mind something Schuon wrote in a letter:
It makes no sense to believe in the devil and then each time, when he appears -- most often exploiting a specific situation -- to deny that he is involved.
At the same time, it makes sense for someone who doesn’t believe in the devil to believe the devil has nothing to do with child sacrifice, or even that it might be a little problematic.

Well, two aphorisms:
The greatest modern error is not announcing that God is dead, but believing that the devil has died.
And this same devil 
can achieve nothing great without the thoughtless collaboration of the virtues (Davila).
This *explains* a great deal, because the same nihilists who think it’s a good idea to cut off a child’s johnson do so with the ineradicable belief that it is virtuous to do so. 

Indeed, it you’ve seen Matt Walsh’s great What is a Woman?, you will have noticed that they positively radiate a smug and self-satisfied superiority — one of them even says that only a handful of “dinosaurs” could have any misgivings.

Why the asterisks around “explained”? Because we want to approach this subject in an entirely scientific manner, and regard diabolical influence as an algebraic variable or empty category, at least until a better explanation comes along. 

However, if there’s one thing that proves the inadequacy of psychology, it’s the existence of this type of evil. How does such a diabolical fad sweep over a population? I am open to other explanations, but they’d better be good, nor should the new explanation "unexplain" what was explained by the old theory.

It reminds me of biographies of Hitler that trace his evil to being mistreated by his father. The same sort of facile approach could easily trace Churchill’s greatness to being mistreated by his father, and wanting to prove himself worthy and gain his affection.

Now, if God is the transcendent source of truth -- and beauty and goodness -- it would violate the principle of identity to say he is the source of evil and falsehood. Come to think of it, it is said of the devil that he was a liar and murderer “from the beginning.” 

I know I’ve written about this in the past, that the most colossal forms of homicide are indeed rooted in lies -- for example the lies of communism and national socialism that facilitated the genocide of "inferior" races and hostile classes. 

I am cautiously optimistic that a significant majority of the country has heard enough of the left’s hateful rhetoric, and is about to administer a defeat to Satan. Sure, 47% of Democrats are in thrall to his perverse suggestions, but he’s only getting through to 15% of independents. 

Of course, after November 11 will come a season of Long Knives, with the first victims being Brandon, Hunter, and Merrick Garland, but conspicuously, not the devil himself, only these inconvenient incarnations or useful idiots. Thus, be on the lookout for new diabolical tricks and deceptions. 

For example, it wouldn’t surprise me if a recession is declared on November 12, and furthermore, that it's the fault of the GOP, since they’re in charge now. Same with the crime wave, the border chaos, the bum crisis, and the forthcoming “new variant.” For there is simply nothing a demon won’t say to retain power.

I suppose we'll end with this exchange from an interview of Chesteron:
"In your book just published you tell us 'what is wrong with the world.' As I haven't read the book yet, would you mind telling me what is wrong?"
"The Devil."

However, Chesterton was a happy spiritual warrior: "The finding and fighting of evil is the beginning of fun -- and even of farce."

Every crisis is an opportunity. For jolly good fun.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Honey I Shrunk the Cosmos

Everyone likes it when I bring in Chesterton. Or maybe when I leave out Bob. Like Dávila he was a brilliant aphorist, but the style is quite different. 

Where Dávila’s are sharp and implosive, Chesterton's are broad and exuberant; likewise, both are funny, but Dávila is tartly ironic, with a bitter half-smile, where Chesterton is a joyous pie in the face of our pseudo-intellectual betters.  

I admit that your explanation explains a great deal, but what a great deal it leaves out!
How much larger your life would be if your self could become smaller in it…
And "How much happier you would be, if the hammer of a higher God could smash your small cosmos,” leaving you “free like other men to look up as well as down!

Ever notice how debating a progressive or
Curing a madman is not arguing with a philosopher; it is casting out a devil.
I’m old enough to remember when our ideological adversaries exhibited “the combination of an expansive reason with a contracted common sense” instead of an absence of both reason and common sense. It’s Brandon and Fetterman all the way down: Branderwomen

Like materialism, postmodernism “has a sort of insane simplicity.” Simply accept its first premise and you "have at once the sense of covering everything and leaving everything out.” 

As we’ve mentioned before, this is a kind of inverse or inside-out omniscience that literally knows everything about nothing; for it “understands everything, and everything does not seem worth understanding.” 

But we'd rather be a small nephesh in a big cosmos than a big macher in a small one. 

(Sorry. Couldn’t resist. A macher is just Yiddish for “big shot.” And Nephesh is Hebrew for the soul, describing "a part of mankind that is immaterial, like one's mind, emotions, will, intellect, personality, and conscience” []).

Excerpt it’s hardly a matter of preference, rather, of 20/∞ insight.  Nor -- obviously -- are we talking about the physical cosmos, rather, the whole existentialada, up and down, inside and out, subject and object, vertical and horizontal, celestial and terrestrial, heaven and earth.

In any event, you can’t have a metaphysic that explains the pond while unexplaining the nefesh swimming in it: “if the cosmos of the materialist is the real cosmos, it is not much of a cosmos. The thing has shrunk.” 

And the same folks are likely to regard religion as somehow limiting. Which is like calling speech a limitation on animality, or intelligence a limitation on instinct, or natural law a limitation on freedom.

Thomistic realism, because it is the height of sanity and common sense, begins in the senses. However, it differs with materialism in that it doesn’t end there: “The man who cannot believe his senses, and the man who cannot believe anything else, are both insane…

But what is sanity? What is mental health -- or cognitive or spiritual health?

Easy: the conformity of mind to reality, bearing in mind that reality is not a blob but a hierarchy, so conformity to matter is not conformity to spirit. 

Yesterday we spoke of the cosmic circle with concentric circles around the central point (which is not so much dimensionless as beyond dimension). To simplify, we could say that God is at the center surrounded by theology, which is surrounded by metaphysics and philosophy, which is in turn surrounded by science. 

Conversely, if matter is at the center, there is no center and no one to know it. We will get back to this subject after we've finished plagiaphrasing Orthodoxy for all it’s worth.

Principles. They do exist, and we are always arguing toward or from them. Problem is, our adversaries argue from implicit and unexamined principles that always reduce to absurdity and contradiction -- for example, that we don’t know what a woman is, except she has a right to choose, except for female babies, who have no choice but to be aborted, for example, if the parents don't want a girl. Whatever that is.
The man who begins to think without proper first principles goes mad; he begins to think at the wrong end.
And let’s not even talk about the women. Since we don’t know what they are.

Above we alluded to 20/∞ insight. Not a joke, man. For the normal man's 
spiritual sight is stereoscopic, like his physical sight: he sees two different pictures at once and yet sees all the better for that.
Except it’s actually more than two pictures, as implied by “∞,” which is to say, Infinitude

There are many ways we can conceptualize this, all the way up to the Principial realm itself, where God has perfect Absolute/Infinite transvision. 

Down here it manifests in a variety of ways, such as form/substance, left and right cerebral hemispheres, male/female, spirit and letter. The list is… maybe not infinite, but more than I want to detail here because you get the point, which is that we can’t contain the uncontainable. Nevertheless
The morbid logician seeks to make everything lucid, and succeeds in making everything mysterious.
Which is not to be confused with the proper mystic who “allows one thing to be mysterious, and everything else becomes lucid."

This is literally the case because, as we’ve mentioned before, the very same Principle accounts for the intelligibility of everything even while nothing whatsoever is completely intelligible to man.

Is this post getting too long? I lost track of time. If you did too, then Mission Accomplished. 

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Since No One Asked: Evangelical Reality


We live in an age awash in stupid answers to even stupider questions. As we’ve been saying, the attainment of insight is a function of the tension produced by questioning.

If you don’t ask questions, you’ll have no insights, and you ask stupid questions, then it is as if all reality becomes Karine Jean Pierre, responding with impossibly stupid pseudo-answers. Instead of discovering what is the case, you’ll only find out what is not and cannot be the case.

More generally, there is a distinction between information and insight; the former is a passive reception, the latter an active achievement.  

In order to reach these incurious idiots, the idiots will have to somehow discover their idiocy, but that’s painful, while such defensive postures as smugness, superiority, contempt, and disdain are fun (even if never funny, as proven by the likes of Colbert, Kimmel, Oliver, Fallon, et al).   

An essay called The Hard Labor of Christian Apologetics (, relates how “our activist, victim culture of outrage”
lacks even the bare minimum of common ground necessary for rational engagement -- namely, respect for rational engagement itself.
The elite mob is "increasingly so deeply defined by disordered passions that it is incapable of reasoning, which is in large part what apologetics is all about.” As a result, progress is reduced to a one-way descent into pre-Christian barbarism.

Which reminds us of Chesterton’s description of the suicide of thought, and of the one thought that ought to be stopped -- that is, the thought that stops thought. But nowadays entire academic departments are devoted to stopping this thought and plunging us into the credentialed stupidity of relativism and sophistry.  

While America is at the leading edge of this progressive eclipse of reality, wokeness is now our leading export, so the rest of anti-Christendom is catching up fast. The progressive left doesn’t mind our cultural imperialism so long as it ends in the conquest of intelligence and colonization of reality. Nor do they mind cultural appropriation, so long as it is their own insanity that is being appropriated. 

What to do and where to begin? For "even the most air-tight, logically persuasive arguments... will have little, if any effect on people who have been catechized to believe their emotions, not their intellects.

But perhaps this is nothing new, rather, the same old same old that’s been going on since the beginning, only painted a new color. Consider Orthodoxy, which was published in 1908 but will never get old:
Thoroughly worldly people never understand even the world; they rely altogether on a few cynical maxims which are not true.
Instead of insight, our age is characterized by a systematic anti-insight that amounts to an officially approved conspiracy theory. In fact, not only is it approved, it is mandatory, enforced by the state-media-academic-big tech industrial complex.  

Chesterton describes what anti-insight looks like and how it functions: its
most sinister quality is a horrible clarity of detail; a connecting of one thing with another in a map more elaborate than a maze. 
One of the names for this clear but conspiratorial connecting of dots is intersectionality. For example, it is the work of a moment to connect an imaginary “climate crisis” to an equally imaginary class of its victims. 

Thus, our vice president easily discerned the connection of hurricane Ian to global warming, then telling us the state must dole out relief to the Communities of Color who are disparately impacted by the imaginary intersection of Climate Change and Black and Brown Bodies or something.

Which is perfectly reasonable, bearing in mind that “The madman is not the man who has lost his reason” but “the man who has lost everything but his reason.” For anyone can fall victim to reasoning with false premises, but it takes a real genius to do so with premises that aren’t even false. 

Thus, “The madman’s explanation of a thing is always complete, and often in a purely rational sense satisfactory.” Any questions? 

Chesterton is really on to something when he explains how such minds move “in a perfect but narrow circle. A small circle is quite as infinite as a larger circle; but, though it is quite as infinite, it is not so large. In the same way the insane explanation is quite as complete as the sane one, but not so large."

Turns out the metaphysician can do a lot with a circle, even everything to a certain extent. Schuon often writes of how the circle may provide a visual aid to the metaphysical conception of reality.

We begin with two circles, even though these are actually but two views of the same circle. One of them consists of concentric circles around an infinite point at the center, the other consisting of radii emanating from this central point toward infinitude.

The first thing to notice is that the concentric circles get smaller as we approach the center, even though the reality they symbolize is bigger (e.g., intellect is closer to the center than matter, but obviously the more encompassing). 

At the center is, of course, God himself -- even the God-beyond-God, if you like, which is to say, the infinite apophatic ground and source of everything.

Running short on time. To be continued...

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Reduction and Reductionism: Up & In or Down & Out

It started innocently enough with an article I read this morning called Medieval ‘Reductio’ vs. Modern Reductivism, before things rapidly spiraled out of control ( 

The article not only makes a point we've made in the past, but a point we’ve made again and again, in ever more (or less) amusing ways. I know this because I searched the blog for a certain phrase, and up popped I-don’t-know-how-many posts, going back to the earliest days. I began skimming them and said to myself, “who wrote this stuff? It’s pretty amusing."

The article highlights the distinction between "the Latin word reductio and what we mean by 'reduction,'” which “are two very different things”:
For us, “reduction” means making things smaller. Literally, however, the Latin word reductio means to “lead back.” Thus... “reduction” of the other disciplines to theology does not involve shrinking them down into theology.  Not at all.  Rather, the goal [is] to show how all the other disciplines, operating according to their own proper methods, can lead us back to God.
Now, speaking of the early days of the blog, there was a time that I would occasionally revisit old posts and republish the worthy. Even then, it was often as if I were reading them for the first time. Fifteen years later, I am reading them for the first time.

There's a man in my head
But he isn't me anymore --Mike Scott

As we all know by now, science is the reduction of multiplicity to unity, while scientism reduces this vertical unity to the horizontal plane, thus redounding to a total cosmic Oclipse. With that in mind, a compilation of Greatest Hits on the subject:

Transcendent Unity bifurcates into subject and object, without which there can be strictly nothing and no one to know it. But both subject and object reflect the primordial Unity from which they arise.

The essence of science -- at any level of reality -- is the reduction of multiplicity to unity. As such, there is clearly an appropriate kind of reduction, so long as it confines itself to its own domain and doesn't try to pull all of the other ones down with it. Even if the material realm operated under completely mechanistic principles, that would have no relevance to the manner in which the mind operates. Your Dreamer, for example, couldn't care less about linear causation or Aristotelian logic.

In fact, the rise of modern science some 300+ years ago simply represented a systematic way to organize all of the diverse and contradictory facts that appear before us. Eventually "laws" were discovered that explained seemingly disconnected phenomena, e.g., the "force" of gravity explaining both the fall of the apple and the continuous "fall" of the earth around the sun. 

Science is a function of intelligence, which is the ability to know the substance in the accidental -- to escape the deceptive world of phenomena and know the principle in its manifestation.

Science seeks increasingly deep unities to explain the outward phenomena. Presumably this will end with a big TOE, a Theory of Everything, the equation of our cosmic birth, a simple formula for generating this cosmos and everything in it.

But supposing we do ever stub this TOE on our mental furniture, we would still need to know who or what devised the equation, and it could not be something less than intelligence. And it would indeed be the "ultimate intelligence," since it would be the ultimate case of Unity beneath diversity.

As intellectually OMniverous Raccoons, we want nothing less than the TOENAIL: Theory of Everything: Nous, Atman, Intellect, & Logos included.

O is like the ocean. It tosses up theories about itself like so many grains of sand on the beach. And then it washes them away like tsand castles in a tsunami. The little human monkeys that theorize about O often forget -- especially lately -- that they are as much a product of O as are their theories. 

Thus, at best, these manmode theories can account for everything but the theorizer. Even if these theories approach the penumbra of this thing called Truth, they cannot account for this most shocking property of existence, which is not just that Truth exists, but that it permeates existence on every level.

Although existence is necessarily One, it nevertheless discloses many seemingly irreconcilable worlds -- at least if we begin at “the bottom” of the cosmos and try to work our way up. 

For example, modern physics reveals a world “underneath” (whatever that means) ours that operates along shockingly different lines than the human world. One of the major conceptual problems in physics is that even physicists don’t know what to do about the bizarre micro-world they've discovered, as it cannot be reconciled with the macro-world of relativity, let alone with any human world. It's as if macro existence floats on a swarm of the incomprehensible. And we all know how painful that can be.

And neither the macro-world of relativity nor the micro-world of subatomic physics has anything to do with the human experiential world, at least in the absence of a heroic dose of psilocybin. 

In fact, the quantum world is so paradoxical that it literally cannot even be imagined. That is, if we try to picture what goes on down there, the picture will most certainly be wrong. This is not to say that we cannot use quantum physics, which we obviously do. It is just that we cannot use it to understand our world, the human world. You cannot read a (post-classical) physics text and expect it to disclose any useful information about our day-to day-world. You cant tell the IRS your income is only probable, or both there and not there, or only there when a physicist observes at it. 

Likewise, with regard to cosmology, the “big bang” undoubtedly conjures up a visual image, but the image has nothing to do with the reality, any more than you could imagine the square root of negative one. For it is not a human world.

Nor is the world of DNA a human world, or even a living world. From the standpoint of the human world, life is not a function of DNA; rather, DNA is a function of life, which is a total freaking mystery. Any questions? Wrong question, for there are only questions.

Consciousness too is a complete and utter mystery. You will often hear the cliché that you can learn more about human beings by reading this or that great novelist than you can by studying psychology, and this is often true. There are certain forms of psychology that most certainly do not touch the human world, behaviorism among them. 

This is where religion comes in, because, it discloses quintessentially human knowledge, aimed at human beings and the human world, which is to say the real world. This is something that truly needs to be emphasized: that science does not disclose the real world, but various abstract models of the world that humans -- and only humans -- may access, and only because of their humanness. But no one can live in a scientific model, any more than you can eat the menu.

Thus, science is an extension of the human knower, but it can never explain the existence of the human knower. In other words, it is a small part of the larger world called truth to which humans have unique access. While animals are subject to the laws of the cosmos, the fact that we can know the truth of these laws places us infinitely above them.

Metaphysics is the science of the Absolute and of the true nature of things. You might say it is the science of the ultimate Subject, whereas science is the religion of the ultimate object. The purpose of metaphysics is to discriminate between the Real and the apparent, in order to align our mind and will with reality, in a divine-human partnership.

Being comprises two necessary and irreducible poles: existence and intelligence, which ultimately flow from the same Absolute source. This is why both “things” and “subjects” open out to the infinite. In the case of things, they radiate the divine presence in any number of ways (varieties of truth and beauty), while in the case of subjects, it is their very nature for the divine presence to inhere in them. It is why the world is intelligible to intelligence; to say one is to say the other, for if the world is not intelligible there can be no intelligence, and vice versa.

What is language, anyway? What is a word? It is a special thing, because only it has the capacity to bridge the bifurcation introduced by Creation. Apparently words can do this because they are somehow prior to the Great Duality and therefore partake of both heaven and earth, above and below, vertical and horizontal.

The literal meaning of the word "symbol" is to "throw together" or across, as if words are exterior agents that join together two disparate things. But the Biblical view implies that language actually has this "throwing together" capacity because it somehow subtends the world on an interior level: language is what the world is made of, so it shouldn't surprise us that with it we can see all kinds of deep unities in the cosmos. The unities are there just waiting to be discovered, and language is our tool for doing so.

For man possesses two types of intelligence, a horizontal, analytical, “dividing” mind, and a unifying, synthesizing mind. However, the latter takes priority, for the ultimate purpose of analysis is to synthesize. If science is the reduction of multiplicity to unity, then the final unity must be the same unity from which we begin, only transformed by the spiraling journey back to its eternal self.

To summarise: if reality is nothing else, it is One. It is One prior to our bifurcation of it into subject and object, and it will always be One. We can throw out the Oneness with a pitchfork, but it will always rush back in through the walls, up through the floorboards, and down from the ceiling. 

The wholeness of the cosmos is ontologically prior to anything else we can say about it, and it is precisely because of its wholeness that we can say anything about it at all. In the mirrorcle of knowing, subject and object become one, but the oneness of matter and mind undergirds this process. In reality there is just the one world that miraculously knows itself in the act of knowledge, as "the circle which opens in truth closes in beauty.”

There is much more, but enough is enough. There's more to life than spending all day reading a bunch of stale bobservations.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Minds Wide Shut and Knives Wide Out

We’ve all seen people cover their eyes when frightened, a seemingly infantile defense mechanism. 

Similarly, we’ve all seen progressives close their minds when overwhelmed with affect, whether it is fear, hatred, envy, anxiety, or pride. Turns out these two types of closure -- of eyes and minds -- are neurologically related, or we don’t have a post.

Now, all animals -- all living beings, I suppose -- have defense mechanisms, except they are on the purely biological level. In fact, every thing an organism does is in order to either defend or perpetuate itself. Only human beings can transcend this narrow repertoire of behaviors and enter an immaterial world of truth, beauty, virtue, and other transcendentals. Of note, each of these latter is an end; they are pursued for their own sake, not “in order to.” 

Wait. Wouldn’t the pursuit of truth, for example, be in order to develop technology? Not fundamentally, because truth must first be pursued in a disinterested way, from which technology may or may not emerge. Once truth is attached to a passionate interest, it usually goes off the rails. To cite one example, 
Lysenkoism was a political campaign against genetics and science-based agriculture, rejecting natural selection in favor of a form of LamarckismIn time, the term has come to be identified as any deliberate distortion of scientific facts or theories for purposes that are deemed politically, religiously or socially desirable.
More than 3,000 mainstream biologists were dismissed or imprisoned, and numerous scientists were executed in the Soviet campaign to suppress scientific opponents, while Soviet genetics research was effectively destroyed. Research and teaching in the fields of neurophysiology, cell biology, and many other biological disciplines were harmed or banned (Wiki).   
So obviously, the persecution of those professing climate realism or gender sanity or human biology is nothing new. 

Another example is the Aryan Physics of national socialism: 
with the rise of Nazism, Albert Einstein’s physics faced hostility and was attacked on racial grounds. That assault was orchestrated by two Nobel laureates in physics, who asserted that stereotypical racial features are exhibited in scientific thinking. Their actions show how ideology can infect and inflect science (  
Now, way back when I was a functioning psychologist, I had this idea that all psychological defense mechanisms are but sublimated forms of physical acts such as covering one's eyes, playing dead, regurgitating, attacking, running away, etc.   

For example, think of the millions of Democrat women of both sexes who are “triggered” by this or that harmless “threat.” What’s going on here? Clearly something analogous to prey in the presence of a predator — say, a rabbit triggered by a coyote or bird by a cat. 

If only all Democrats identified as trans-prey, the world would be a better place, since we actually have no intention to eat them. 

But the most dangerous are the predators -- or, to be perfectly accurate, these vulgarian bullies who project their unconscious prey into others while consciously identifying with the predator, whether the prey are J6 election justice protesters, pro-life activists, gender-sane parents, Covid “vaccine" realists, etc.

It is a banality to point out that the identity politics of the left revolves around an intergroup competition for victim status, which results in a race to the bottom to determine which race or gender or perversion is more pathetic. As such, it would appear to be a contest to identify the most harmless prey (and implicitly their predator, which is easy, since it is always white male Christians). 

This itself is filled with irony, and shows how the most un- and anti-Christian among us partake of Christian values in order to empower themselves. What I mean is that Jesus taught a truly revolutionary doctrine that inverted the values of the world and exalted the meek, the poor, the humble, the persecuted, etc. Last I checked, no one prior to Jesus promulgated such an anti-predator and pro-prey doctrine.

But the doctrine was not intended to elevate the prey to predator. Nevertheless,  fake predatory Catholics such as Brandon, Pelosi, and Sandy Cortez, prey on everyone from babies in the womb to police on the beat to dwellers of their inner cities.

Psychoanalyst James Grotstein wrote of Jesus’ identification with the paschal lamb,
reminiscent of the ancient Jewish custom of choosing a “scapegoat” or ram to sacrifice. One particular aspect of this custom is of note: the members of the congregation, in effect, projected their sins into the goat or lamb, which was then taken into the wilderness and allowed to be preyed upon by predators. (emphasis mine).
Hmm. I’m trying to figure out how this is different from Democrats projecting their sins into us as justification for preying upon us, but I don’t see any difference, except that no redemption or atonement results from the practice. 

Rather, it is circular and must be repeated ad nauseam. Conversely, the whole point of Jesus’ sacrifice is that it is one-and-done, and results in man’s freedom from the need to engage in human sacrifice.

I could go on, but at this point I would just advise reading Gil Bailie’s Violence Unveiled and God’s Gamble for the rest of the story.


Sunday, October 16, 2022

Clearing the Air

Let’s get back to the question of whether it is possible to gain insight into insight as such, irrespective of the discipline; in short, whether insight is universal. To say universal is to say necessity, and only God is Necessary Being, the restavus being contingent.

Nevertheless -- leaving theology out of it for the moment -- man is uniquely capable of conceiving and knowing necessity, or what Lonergan calls the “virtually unconditioned” (which is another way of saying conditioned necessity). 

Absolute Being, AKA God, is unconditioned, full stop, whereas our knowledge of necessity has certain conditions attached: for example, if all men are mortal, and Socrates is a man, then we know with certitude that Socrates is mortal.

More generally, our knowledge of necessity takes the form of if conditions are met —> then certitude; not absolutely necessary but conditionally so.

As we mentioned a few posts back, we are clearly contingent. We didn’t have to be here. Nevertheless, once here, we are necessarily here: contingent necessity. 

I'm definitely here. You can try to talk me out of it, but to whom are you talking?

Lonergan goes on to say that human insight may be vulnerable or invulnerable; if it’s the former, then the insight is conditional and susceptible to further questions, whereas the latter represents an end to all questioning: certitude, full stop.

However, other factors besides invulnerability may come into play. For example, we often hear it said that the Science of Climate Change is Settled, implying there are no more questions. What they really mean is that our questions are not allowed because they don’t know how to answer them. 

That’s the opposite of invulnerable, i.e., weak, brittle, flimsy, fragile, etc. Catastrophic Climate Change is obviously conditional, only its votaries pretend the conditions have been fulfilled. 

Which is no different in form to the belief that the signs of the times have been fulfilled, so the return of the 12th Mahdi is right around the corner. Which is good news, because it certainly means Climate Change is the least of our worries.

Hmm. I’m a little conflicted about this whole Insight business. Or maybe I’m just bored or something, which probably means you are also getting bored, which is against the one rule at One Cosmos. 

Why not just say Intelligence and be done with it? Either we are intelligent or we aren’t. If we’re intelligent then we can know truth, all the way up to necessary truth, which is to say, the truth of necessary Being, AKA God. 

Schuon is so much more clear and concise, for which reason, whenever I’m feeling drowned in verbiage, I return to him like — to invert the analogy — an oasis in the desert.

Intelligence gives rise not only to discernment, but also -- ipso facto — to the awareness of our superiority in relation to those who do not know how to discern; contrary to what many moralists think, this awareness is not in itself a fault, for we cannot help being aware of something that exists and is perceptible to us thanks to our intelligence, precisely. 
It is not for nothing that objectivity is one of man’s privileges. But the same intelligence that makes us aware of a superiority, also makes us aware of the relativity of this superiority and, more than this, it makes us aware of all our limitations. 
This means that an essential function of intelligence is self-knowledge: hence the knowledge -- positive or negative according to the aspects in view -- of our own nature. 
To know God, the Real in itself, the supremely Intelligible, and then to know things in the light of this knowledge, and in consequence also to know ourselves: these are the dimensions of intrinsic and integral intelligence, the only one worthy of the name, strictly speaking, since it alone is properly human. 
[I]ntelligence produces, by its very essence, self-knowledge, with the virtues of humility and charity; but it may also produce, outside its essence or nature and as a consequence of a luciferian perversion, that vice of vices which is pride.
Sorry about the overlong quotes. I guess I was extra thirsty. 

I suppose the bottom line is that intelligence is no longer intelligent to the extent that it partakes of pride and thereby rejects the humility proper to a proper man. Always and everywhere, the proud not only reveal themselves to be stupid, but in so doing, the diabolical is just around corner or behind the bushes (AKA Genesis 3 All Over Again). Thus, 
It is only too evident that mental effort does not automatically give rise to the perception of the real; the most capable mind may be the vehicle of the grossest error. The paradoxical phenomenon of even a “brilliant” intelligence being the vehicle of error is explained first of all by the possibility of a mental operation that is exclusively “horizontal,” hence lacking all awareness of “vertical” relationships….
A decisive factor in the phenomenon of “intelligent error” is plainly the intervention of an extra-intellectual element, such as sentimentality or passion; the exclusivism of “horizontality” creates a void that the irrational necessarily comes to fill.
An oasis in the desert, a piece of driftwood in the ocean, a cooling breeze on a stifling day.... or, with any luck, One Cosmos on a Sunday morning.