Saturday, November 19, 2022

Religion Never Sleeps

Or something. To repeat our thesis: politics is downstream from culture, which is downstream from “God” or "the absolute" or “religion” or “spirit.” 

The reason I put these in quotes is because by definition the One is one, so things that are downstream from it are existentially diverse but never ontological contradictions. 

Rather, for example, it is because God is one that mankind is one -- that all men are brothers. Therefore, to simultaneously affirm God while embracing Marxism or identity politics (but I repeat myself) is one of those performative contradictions brother Nicolas is always joking about: 
In the Christianity of the leftist Christian, one of the two elements sooner or later eliminates the other.
Ever notice how 
The diffusion of a few drops of Christianity into a leftist mind transforms the idiot into a perfect idiot.
Never gets old. But
The liberal mentality is an angelic visitor impervious to earthly experiences.
Earthly experiences, like, oh, crime, inflation, invasion, censorship, a demented president, etc. Failing schools, politicization of justice, climate models that perfectly predict increased income but not temperature.
A lexicon of ten words is sufficient for the Marxist to explain history.
I can do it in nine: What’s yours is mine and what’s mine’s me own. Or four: You have. I want. Or one: envy.

It’s funny because it’s true: 
Within Marxist categories not even Marxism is explicable.
Readers already get the point, but let’s belabor it just a little more. In a way, Marxism is the last word in Protestantism, by which I don’t mean the Christian kind, but rather, the ontological kind -- as in a total revolt and rejection of reality or nature or intelligence.

You could say that Marxism literally reduces reality to total intelligibility while denying intelligence. This is because your consciousness is totally false if you reject Marx's Scientific Socialism, which is nothing like the old religious kind.

Pretty neat trick, but Marx is far from the only pig at that trough. For example, I was trained in psychoanalysis, which shows how everything is derived from unconscious conflict except for psychoanalysis itself, and we hold the keys to the unconscious kingdom: what we loose there will be loosed in the ego, but it’s gonna take a few years and cost a fortune.

One of the perennial contenders for Best Performative Contradiction in a Supporting Role goes to Darwinism, which gives itself an exemption to the rule that everything is in flux: nothing is permanent except tenured primates.

Which now reminds me of that old post of which a reader reminded me, the one about Darwin Man, Destroyer of Worlds

I said I would eventually pull all the threads together, and I might even have meant it! Here's a suddenly relevant extract:
if you bother trying to adapt your mind to the latest findings of science, you know in advance that you are building your mind on sand. In short, you know ahead of time that the theory is ultimately wrong (or wrong in the ultimate sense), and will eventually be overturned or transcended. So why go to all of the trouble of adapting one's being to it, as opposed to merely using it as a temporary probe to investigate the material world?
This is of the utmost urgency, because what if you adapt your mind to the latest scientific fad and end up, say, cutting off your johnson? And once you’ve done so, what are the chances you’ll return to the reality that says it wasn’t such a good idea to cut off your johnson after all? Oopsie.

You know the old gag: It’s difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it. And it’s even more difficult to get a man to understand he's a man when he just cut off his johnson.
 
More from that old post:
the left pulled off the ultimate fraud by equating belief in absolutes with authoritarianism, and the acceptance of radical relativism with "liberation." 
Yes, it is a sort of liberation -- into nihilism on the one hand and the omnipotent state on the other. For if there is nothing but change -- "permanent change" -- this is just another way of saying "absolute relativism" and pure subjectivity, which is a self-refuting metaphysic that elevates Will over Truth. Truth becomes a function of raw power and eventually pure, unremitting tenure.
Under Darwinism, there can be nothing special about human beings, no vertical intersection with the eternal. Rather, all is horizontal. The ontological divide that separates human and animal is completely effaced, as is the bright line between matter and life. Ultimately this reduces to Atoms in the Void, just as Whitehead said some eighty years ago. Or Adams in the Void, as Petey said just a few seconds ago.

That post ended with a quote by Hayek, and so will this one: 

The most dangerous stage in the growth of civilization may well be that in which man has come to regard all these beliefs as superstitions and refuses to accept or submit to anything which he does not rationally understand. The rationalist whose reason is not sufficient to teach him those limitations of the power of conscious reason, and who despises all the institutions and customs which have not been consciously designed, would thus become the destroyer of the civilization built upon them.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Do I Amuse You?

I hope so, because increasingly, it’s all I got. Research and scholarship are too hard. But being myself is easy. For me, anyway. Nor was it always this way. I want to say that for men in particular, they are generally driven to conquer or accomplish something; to do or create or know something. And even then, mostly to score with the ladies. 

But darn it, there are a few of us whose vocation is simply to be: to abide. Abiding is not for the sake of anything else, rather, only itsoph. 

On the one hand, I can’t expect anyone else to be interested in my being out loud every morning. On the other, if I can help some coongenital vertical slacker discover that he too is called to Be, and to have the courage to be so, then that’s enough. A vertical influencer. Or stand-up metaphysician. If not me, then who? At any rate, that's what I want to be. Only without trying.

On to the post. 

Why is the Republican Party so adept at exerting force upon solid, liquid, or gaseous substances, and drawing them into the mouth via a partial vacuum created through reduced air pressure? 

Regarding this incessant suction, Andrew Breitbart suggested that a big reason has to do with the principle that politics is downstream from culture. Obviously, the left controls the culture and all its organs, and gravity takes care of the rest. And what it can’t control it simply kills — e.g., comedy, art, intellect, and good taste more generally.

Okay, but from what is culture downstream? Etymology provides a clue: cult. Beneath every culture is the deeper structure of cult.

Which is what, exactly? Let’s first begin with culture, which has many meanings, but this will do:
the total pattern of human behavior and its products embodied in thought, speech, action, and artifacts and dependent upon man’s capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations through the use of tools, language, and systems of abstract thought.
Whew. One could say even more, but the larger point is that culture is almost everything humans think, say, make, and do. What does the word leave out, if anything? 

Well, “nature,” for starters. However, secular culture also ends there, in that it can acknowledge nature but denies supernature -- you could say it is a cult defined by pretending not to be one.

This cult is increasingly defined by the denial of nature as well, but in reality, this inevitably follows from the prior denial of the transnatural. It doesn’t take a genius to recognize that nature is already supernatural, or we could never know it. 

But what was once obvious is now forbidden to notice. When the left talks about “separation of church and state,” they certainly don’t mean their church. But they do mean the separation of intellect from nature. Indeed, if intellect isn’t separate from nature, then men can’t be women and a senile president can't control the weather. 

Like culture, cult has many definitions, including a religious practice, worship; and a system of beliefs and ritual connected with the worship of a deity, a spirit, or a group of deities or spirits. But the cult of the left is a tricksy one, in that it has all the forms of religion but deprived of the substance. 

The real substance, of course, is and must be supernatural. If it is reduced to nature, then it redounds to pagan pantheism or earth worship. And as the Aphorist says,
After experiencing what an age practically without religion consists of, Christianity is learning to write the history of paganism with respect and sympathy.
I’m old enough to remember when the left was pagan instead of not even pagan:
When he is stripped of the Christian tunic and the classical toga, there is nothing left of the European but a pale-skinned barbarian.
And here we are. But even barbarians have religion, since barbarism is just another mode of humanness. Nor does the left represent barbarism in the raw, but rather, a rebarbarization -- as what happened when the Hun decided to throw off the oppressive crust of Christianity for the glory of Wotan. Good times. 

Come to think of it -- but this would take us too far afield -- we’re still very much living in the wreckage of what happened when Germany decided to go Wotan on the world in 1914. But I’m not a historian, I just live in history. Sometimes, anyway. Thankfully, there’s always a way out, for
We cannot escape the triviality of existence through the doors, but rather through the roofs.
Everyone talks about pollution, but ignores the most important kind, for  
The waters of the West are stagnant, but the spring is unpolluted.
Nevertheless, 
We all have a key to the door that opens to the luminous and noble peace of the desert. 
Even so, 
Men tend not to inhabit any but the ground floor of their souls, and tend toward superficially like a cork toward the surface.
Am I bedithering again? My point is to proceed from Breitbart’s Law to Gagdad’s Suggestion, and declare that the cult of the left is downstream from religion. Or ultimately that culture and cult are posterior to metaphysics. And yes, we will tie this all together with the other subjects we’ve been discussing. Somehow. Just not today. 

Thursday, November 17, 2022

I May be All Wet, but the Water is Fresh

The Gnostic Gospels were found buried in a jar in 1945 by a farmer digging around in the dirt. Similarly, a reader was cleaning out some old papers when he stumbled upon an ancient scroll from 2009 called I Am Darwinian Man, Destroyer of Worlds! The maladroit title alone made me doubt its authenticity, but it turns out I am responsible. I prepared myself to wince, and scanned the content. 

By the way, I only bring this up because it touches on our theme of the religion of the  anti- and irreligious, for I maintain that it is literally impossible for a human being to not be religious, except in rare cases of a birth defect such as autism (in other words autism is to reading the dark side of the face what atheism is to reading interiority as such).

Now, what do I mean when I say that human beings cannot not be religious? Well, first of all, there are the mundane historical, prehistorical, anthropological, and empirical facts of the matter. Man and the concept of God co-arise, and last I checked, no atheistic culture had ever been discovered. 

Yeah, well, so what: they’re primitive, and we’re not!

Guess again, proglodyte. We’ll deal with you later. But every psychologist knows -- or did know, before the discipline was taken over by woke proglodytes -- that, subjectively speaking, we all sit on a volcano of primitive ideas and impulses that can go off at any time. 

Having said that, I would no longer say it that way, because it implies a division in what is by definition indivisible (or simple), AKA the soul. Still, it can feel this way, for example, when we are being goaded by impulses or lured by temptations that mean us no good. 

I used to conceptualize the ego and unconscious as a boat atop the ocean. Now I would say it’s more like a cloud in the sky, insofar as a cloud is just the visible aspect of a total meteorological process. 

Ultimately, I would say this complementary relation extends all the way up and into God, except it's a tri-complementarity, hence the old saying, "three's a cloud."

All deusrespect intended, but I maintain that there is an aspect of God that is “unknown to himself,” but only in a qualified way and a manner of speaking and by way of distant analogy. Nor do I expect anyone else to agree with me. Rather, this question is left to the prudence or lack thereof of the individual Raccoon.

Nevertheless, if you want to know what could be “unknown” to or "in" God, it is this: Creativity, with a capital C. Better yet, all caps: CREATIVITY. No, go boldly: CREATIVITY. It comes down to what we mean by this word, and whether the thing (or activity) to which it refers is really Real. 

Or rather, just how real is creativity? Note that it can never be reduced to logical entailment, for it is a true leap of and into novelty

Now, they say “God makes all things new.” In fact, this is said in the penultimate chapter of the ultimate book of the New Testament, and is followed by an intriguing image of a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the lamb.

I have no idea how orthodox this might be, but I like to think of God as a kind of eternal spring, or nonlocal metacosmic center from which everything ultimately flows in an endlessly creative manner. 

And water itself is a key and recurrent image throughout the Bible, notably appearing in the first and last chapters. In between there are rivers, a big flood, fountains, exodus, baptism, and more. I am poured out like water, a well of living water springing up into everlasting life, etc., etc. 

Lately I’ve had an idea for another book I’ll never write, called Fringe Catholicism (or Christianity, if you prefer). Of course, I am referring to this side of the fringe, not the other side, which would land one in the hot water of heresy. But the question is, just how far out can one get before one is outside the church?

Pretty, pretty far, it turns out. You might say that doctrine provides us with the chords which provide the musical structure and foundation, but that we are free to improvise within these limits. One of the surprising discoveries of my life is just how creatively weird orthodoxy can be, and I’m so sure Chesterton would agree with me that I won’t even bother quoting him.

Example. I cite this one because it goes to the seemingly repugnant idea that God “changes.” It’s from a book by Norris Clarke called The Philosophical Approach to God:
Divine providence unfolds by constant instantaneous “improvisation” of the divine mind and will -- from His always contemporaneous eternal now…. It leaves a large dose of indetermination, to be made determinate -- not ahead of time, independently, but contemporaneous with the actual and ongoing development of the world.
Yes, I am well aware of the traditional counter-arguments, and there is more to my story, but I’m sticking to it. Meanwhile, I gotta run... 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Face to Face with Ultimate Reality

I might have mentioned this a couple years ago. If so, forgive the 2020 hindsight, but one of the problems of retirement has been a disruption of the books-to-blogging ratio. 

What with the increased slack, the reading has jumped way out ahead of the blogging, such that I can never catch up with myself. Lately I’ve been trying to slow me down by gardening instead of reading. Would you like to hear about my vertical adventure cleaning out the gutters? Didn’t think so.

Next week the wife goes in for a new hip, which will also slow things down for awhile. I know -- how selfish of her to foist this on me! Caring for an adolescent boy is responsibility enough, but now I’ll have to deal with two.

Let me try to follow through with yesterday’s preliminary discussion of The Religious Revolution: The Birth of Modern Spirituality, 1848-1898The author’s thesis is in the title: that we underwent a religious revolution in the 19th century, and that this gave birth to the modern spirituality that afflicts us to this day. 

Sounds innocent enough: “spiritual but not religious.” But detaching the substance from the form is like… 

For starters, it is dualistic and ultimately incoherent -- like saying “gendered but not biological.” 

In other words, biology gives rise to binary sexes which then declare independence from their ground in biological reality. Might as well say “mental but not neurological,” or leaves with no branches. It doesn’t just put the cart before the horse, but claims the cart moves all by itself, with no need for a material or efficient cause. Gender-but-not-sex is like a smile with no face, and a face with no interior.

Come to think of it, Lonergan uses the phenomenology of smiling to explain intersubjectivity. What is a smile? A muscular movement of various parts of the face, but trying to analyze these one by one would result in a total loss of the meaning conveyed, not to mention be a tremendous buzzkill. 
A smile is perceived on the countenance of a person, in the movements of eyes, lips, facial muscles, head; and it has meaning….
Because it has meaning, a smile is very easily apprehended. Apprehension, human perception, is not simply a function of light waves, sound waves, and the rest…. a smile is something that can very easily be perceived precisely because it has meaning.  
I well remember my son’s first smile a couple weeks after he was born. Before that he was a blob, but he suddenly became a blob with an interior. 

To be perfectly accurate, the interior was always there, but now it was signaled to interiors outside itself. The smile is the outward manifestation of a meaningful link between interiors. In short, intersubjectivity:
we have to learn the meaning of words but we do not have to be taught the meaning of a smile; either you get it or you do not. If you do not, you are lost...
Now, some people don't get it, AKA those afflicted with autism. Autism is precisely a disruption of intersubjectivity. Such a person would have to be taught how to recognize a smile and deduce its meaning.

But it’s more complicated than that, because there are many kinds of smile, some of which convey contradictory states of mind -- for example, a smile of joy or a smile of bitter resignation. A smile of laughter, or a courtesy smile. A transparent smile or an enigmatic one. A sincere smile or an ironic one; one that reveals or one that betrays. Laughing with or laughing at the troll. 

Our point is that this meaning is prior to linguistic meaning, and is completely embedded in its matrix of flesh. They say speech was given to man in order to conceal his thoughts, and boy howdy is this true. You can’t be a forensic psychologist and not be able to distinguish between what a patient is saying and what’s really going on.  

Which reminds me of how the gaslight media treats gaslighting Democrat politicians: no skepticism, no curiosity, no effort to describe what’s really going on beneath the platitudes and obvious lies.

But when dealing with a conservative, not only is it the opposite, it is a kind of hypervigilant, paranoid negation of plain meaning. Any conservative knows how this works: if we say X, it really means Y. And Y always comes down to racism, sexism, transphobia, white privilege, etc. This is neither understanding nor misunderstanding, but a truly systematic disunderstanding.  

Okay, but what does this have to do with The Religious Revolution? I’ll tell you what, but let me first figure it out….

Got it: the Incarnation is very much like a smile, isn’t it? True, we can pull out our Bibles and try to comprehend all of Jesus’s words conveniently printed in red. But these are way downstream from the Incarnation itself. 

For to say that God assumes human nature is to communicate a transcendent meaning in flesh. Could it be we have stumbled upon the ultimate guffah-HA! experience? For, suppose we could see Jesus smile. What would it communicate and imply?

I guess this post is all over except for the Aphorism:
By unmasking a truth, one encounters a Christian face.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Spiritual but not Religious, Good and Hard

Warning: intolerably self-indulgent me-meandering below. Best I can do is hope it's mildly amusing and start over tomorrow.

***

One problem, I suppose (continuing with yesterday's subject) is that there can be no fixed method for discovering the undiscovered, since this happens in all sorts of ways, sometimes even when we’re asleep, as in Kekulé's dream about the structure of benzene, or Einsteins about sledding at the speed of light. 

Few -- okay, none -- of my brainwaves occur when I’m thinking, rather, when I’m not. They just pop into my noggin, and it’s up to me to write them down, otherwise they’re as enduring as passing clouds.

But this begs the question of who is doing the thinking when we're not. Not to go all romantic on you this early in the morning, but this was one of the central ideas of all those 19th century fruitcakes, from Emerson to Blavatsky. 

In fact, I just read a highly entertaining book on the subject, called The Religious Revolution: The Birth of Modern Spirituality, 1848-1898, by Dominic Green. Whoever he is, he is insanely erudite. Nor can you really tell where hes coming from, since he pokes fun of everyone in a way so dry it made my lips hurt real bad! (https://www.amazon.com/Religious-Revolution-Modern-Spirituality-1848-1898/dp/0374248834/ref=sr_1_1?crid=29G418AG56F1J&keywords=dominic+green&qid=1668544484&s=books&sprefix=dominic+green%2Cstripbooks%2C147&sr=1-1.)

Never does he hit the reader over the head with it, but the period of time discussed in the book is when we in the west not only underwent a great religious revolution, but are still very much in the mydst of it. Not only is it the fount of our deeply retarded New Age movement, but it is ground zero of the whole spiritual-but-not-religious mindset that is to the intellect what art was to Andy Warhol: whatever you can get away with.

Having said that, I won’t deny that I myself once dabbled in the new age. In time this led to dallying, trifling, and even fribbling with it, but always in the larger context of screwing around in general, which continues to this day and this post. 

Contrary to what most conservatives believe, there was an upside to the ‘60s, and someday we might even find it. Meanwhile, what can I do? I was a child in the ‘60s, meaning that more than a little of the retardedness rubbed off on me. If you call me a conservative hippy you wouldn’t be wrong. 

Yesterday I alluded to that time my mind switched on and was suddenly hungry for nourishment. Not only was my head essentially empty of content, it was entirely void of little things like prudence, temperance, or wisdom. 

Later in the day I remembered this guy I used to listen to on the radio in the middle of the night, when I was working the graveyard shift in the supermarket, named Michael Benner. This got me to wondering what ever happened to him. How to find out? I know: google! Not only is he still around, he published a book a few years ago called Fearless Intelligence, even though he's not a homosexual (https://www.amazon.com/Fearless-Intelligence-Extraordinary-Wisdom-Awareness/dp/1543942490/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3SMI1OYOD4PTH&keywords=michael+benner&qid=1668544449&s=books&sprefix=michael%2520benner%2Cstripbooks%2C144&sr=1-1).

It’s so retarded I won’t even. In a market crowded with cringe-inducing platitudes, this one can compete with anyone. My point isn’t to bag on him, only to acknowledge that back in the early ‘80s I was actually susceptible to this BS. One thing that’s curious is that he hasn’t evolved one bit since then, whereas I literally can’t remember what it was like to be so retarded. 

What happened? In other words, there’s a kind of nonlinearity going on here, for how does one account for this kind of leap? They say nature makes no leaps. But this doesn’t mean there are no leaps. Nor that nature has the last word.

Now, I don't want to make this post about me, except insofar as doing so exemplifies a larger principle we need to look into. At any rate, soon enough I left the likes of Benner behind, but he did provoke an interest in psychology that eventually resulted in a license to practice it. 

But a PhD in psychology — a “doctor of philosophy” — reminds me of what the Aphorist says: A dentistry degree is respectable, but a philosophy degree is grotesque.

Nevertheless, this grotesquerie not only provided me with a vocation, but gave me sufficient slack to pursue my avocation, and here we are. Indeed, I am lucky enough that not only would I do this for free, I do it for less than that.

It’s almost too late to make a serious point, but Green’s book did provoke a surprising number of insights, one of which follows the truism that politics is downstream from culture. It is that culture is downstream from religion, but ESPECIALLY for the irreligious -- AKA the “nones,” the vulgar atheist crowd, the radical secularists, the new age retards, etc.

Suffice it to say, they are by no means irreligious, since that’s not a possibility for man. I suppose we’ll have to pick up this thread tomorrow, but I jotted down a list of religious categories that very much preoccupy the left, including:

--Dogma
--Purity
--Redemption
--The Elect
--The Accursed
--Omniscience and Omnipotence (for example, vis a vis climate)
--Eschatology 
--Heresy
--Excommunication
--Countless Devils

Etc.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Understanding Seeking Faith

Lonergan promises to reveal “a transcendental method, that is, a basic pattern of operations employed in every cognitional enterprise.” In other words, what we actually do when we know something or anything or everything. And what we know when we're doing it  

I’m in! However, I’d rather just use his thoughts as a springboard for my own reflections. Self-involved megalomaniacs are like that. But in my defense, I’m old enough to have my own opinions, and lazy enough to not want to slog through this book again.

I should say at the top that I don’t really see anything here that’s not expressed more clearly and succinctly in Polanyi, although he is nowhere acknowledged. Seems their vertical paths never crossed.

Mmmmm, gnostalgia. I just grabbed a volume of Polanyi from the shelf to check the index for any signs of Lonergan, but what grabbed my attention were the many frantic notes to myself about the discoveries therein. 

Mind you, I first read this book (Meaning) when I didn’t know anything about anything, but when my mind had just become activated and was hangry for Truth. The notes tell a story in themselves. At least to a self-involved megalomaniac.

For example, this note to myself could be straight out of Lonergan: The act of understanding is more important than what is understood. Boom, there it is. 

Or this: The technique is the content. So, Lonergan’s idea of the Method of method is a geist that's been in my zeits for a long time. Further examination of the pages reveals preoccupations that have never stopped occupying me.  

Which brings to mind another preoccupation: the idea that the journey of the soul involves the discovery of itself via encounters with the objects that reveal it. 

This sounds a bit tautological, but it’s actually the opposite, for this is the way we exit the closed world of mere instinct-bound animality and enter a higher and deeper, transcendental world that will reveal ourselves to ourselves. Paradoxically, the outside reveals the inside.

Which, of course, isn’t a paradox at all, unless you’ve made it one due to a faulty preconceived metaphysic you’ve brought to the game. In reality, the outside can only reveal the inside because it has an inside of its own. This is known as its “intelligibility,” but there is much more to intelligibility than merely the scientific or quantitative kind. 

Rather, the world is full of qualities, and woe to the man who misses out on them, whether due to ignorance, tenure, autism, poor taste, or just inattention. Let’s bring in our house Aphorist:
Things do not have feeling, but there is feeling in many things.
Which we do mean literally, a subject we have discussed in past in reference to the works of Christopher Alexander, especially the four volume Nature of Order (https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Christopher+Alexander+the+Nature+of+Order&i=stripbooks&crid=1A9TOPGKWDQVS&sprefix=christopher+alexander+the+nature+of+order%2Cstripbooks%2C151&ref=nb_sb_noss_1).

Thus,
Things are not mute. They merely select their listeners.
So, what things have selected you? I won't bore you with my list, rather, with the previous 4,000 posts about it. But so long as they are freely chosen, these are the very things that reveal ourselves to ourselves, so be careful what you choose to choose you, because
Each one sees in the world what he deserves to see.
Having said this, not all of the things that select us come preassembled. Rather, some assembly is usually required on our part, and this is where things get tricksy, since this involves an irreducible confluence of subjectivity and objectivity, even though -- paradoxically -- this is the only path to objective truth. There is no other, i.e., no “view from nowhere” that can eliminate the subject, let alone illuminate it.

Which reminds me of an idea for a post I had the other day, the notion of a “political view from nowhere.” On the one hand, there can be no such thing in politics, since politics is inherently factional, combative, and dynamic. 

But on the other hand, there is no becoming in the absence of Being (change my mind), so the superficial combat of politics must rest upon certain enduring principles, or it reduces to power — i.e., to a totalitarian leftism for everyone, good and hard.

I was discussing this yesterday with the boy, who has lately taken a great interest in politics. These are obviously interesting times, and yet, he doesn’t regard this as a curse, rather, an exciting substitute for the day-to-day masculine soap opera of baseball season.

Although he is temperamentally sane (AKA conservative), he also knows that to be ignorant of the other side of the argument is to be ignorant of both.

But how does one choose? I told him that one needs to think things through until one arrives at Rock, i.e., those things that are true and cannot not be true. All thought is for the purpose of arriving at Rock, and until one does so, one will be plunged into obscurity and ambivalence.

Or in other words, one will be locked up in Plato’s cave, looking the wrong way. Those are shadows of rock, not the rock that makes them!

This was followed by a discussion of mineralogy, i.e., the various types of rock which aren’t going anywhere so long as humans remain human and don’t all fall into progressive tyranny. At any rate,
As long as we do not arrive at religious categories, our explanations are not founded upon rock.
This doesn’t necessarily mean a religion, rather, just what it says: religious categories. They say that for most people, religion is “faith seeking understanding.” However, for the pneumatic Raccoon it’s actually the other way around, i.e., understanding seeking faith. 

That is to say, we begin at the other end, with intellectual certitude regarding those timeless truths, but then pray for the faith to “be,” or incarnate them, so to speak (what we call incargnosis). 

For on the one hand, our soul has “selected” them, but come to find out it is we who have been selected by someone who seems to know us intimately, or at least has been reading our mail. But who could believe such a thing? I don’t know, but
What is difficult is not to believe in God, but to believe that we are important to Him.
Therefore,
If we believe in God we should not say, "I believe in God," but rather, "God believes in me."
So, have faith in God’s faith, not ours. His rock beats our scissors.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

A Method to My Madness, or Vice Versa?

The subject is yet another one that nobody loses sleep over. Except for me, because it’s Sunday morning and here I am, thinking out loud about the methodology of method, or meta-methodology. 

Which makes me suspect the blog isn’t only superfluous to the interests of mankind, but supra-superfluous. Which usually indicates a fellow is either “onto something,” or that something is onto him, AKA madness. One can only be so eccentric before one is no longer centric at all. Rather, floating out in some incurably peripheral crock with no paddle. 

Unless one happens to be correct, and then all is forgiven. Not necessarily in this lifetime, but eventually. For example, not one of the Velvet Underground’s albums cracked the top 100 -- making them the Van Gogh of rock -- and even the Ramones never got higher than #44. 

Well, so what. I like it out here on the vertical frontier, alone among the stars, where the air is fresh and the horizon unlimited. No light pollution from all the propaganda, ideology, journalism, and tenure below, just me and my spirit animal Buck Mulligan, even though he’s indisposed at the moment.

We’ve posted before about how the horizontal frontier may have closed in 1890, but this has no bearing on the vertical frontier, which is always open for isness. If it weren’t, then this truly would be a prison. Everything would literally be as stupid as the most intelligent progressive. Can you even imagine? Like some reboot of The View pimping a subhuman farce -- forever.

Anyway, Method. The most popular way to dodge the subject is to pick one science and elevate it above the others, so it becomes normative (or paradigmatic) and defines the rest. Ever since the scientific revolution, more or less, this has been King Physics -- despite the revolution in physics that undermines its very assumptions. But I don’t want to veer down that well trod path, rather, up the vertical path less trivialed. Less light and dark pollution.

Regarding new age Quantumland, it brings to mind a Yogi Berra-ism: nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded. Frankly, I don’t want to be anywhere Deepak Chopra has slimed with his oleaginous presence. 

You’ve probably heard the term “physics envy” to describe various disciplines that aspire to the cutandry objectivity of physics. Before it became totally unhinged from reality, this dream certainly pervaded my own racket, psychology, which caused Freud to cast his not even pseudo-scientific but romantic mythology as SCIENCE!, very much like Marx and his metaphysical hellscape. 

Marx came up with a scientific theory to explain economics, history, and human psychology. It works perfectly, so long as one knows nothing about economics, less about history, and is positively delusional about human nature. Which is as easy as A-O-C.

Back before I was a recovering forensic psychologist, I would have to opine on the “causes” of a person’s mental disorder. In exact percentages. This was a purely fanciful exercise, and yet, mandated by California law. I won’t even, because that’s behind me now. Let the dead bury the tenured.

Let’s not look down and back, rather, toward the trackless mindscape that stretches a head. Ouch! Don’t stretch so quickly. 

Lonergan doesn’t call it physics envy, but the meaning is the same:
Other subjects are scientific in the measure they conform to its procedures and, in the measure they do not, they are something less than scientific.
Here again, this reminds me of “psychological testing,” which is an attempt to translate the human person into clear and unambiguous, quantitative terms. Which makes perfect sense if the test-giver is autistic. But in reality, I could test a ham sandwich and arrive at any diagnosis I want. 

Nowadays people ridicule Aristotle because his controlling paradigm was biology instead of physics. This naturally led to some serious errors about the nature of reality, but also some serious insights that have long since been paved over by physics. Whitehead’s organismic philosophy made a partial recovery of these insights, while introducing new errors. I suppose it wan’t until I stumbled upon the works of theoretical biologist Robert Rosen that I saw a way through this vertical impasse:
Any question becomes unanswerable if we do not permit ourselves a universe large enough to deal with the question.
Depending on the size of our (?), we’re gonna need a bigger O. And here at One Cosmos we are dealing with the largest conceivable (?)s., such as Origins, Necessary Being, Creativity, Intelligence, Intelligibility, Consciousness, etc. Smaller (?)s are more manageable, but the result is that we look “only downward toward subsystems, and never upward and outward”:
The game is thus to reduce, to express their novel [read: creative] properties in terms of inorganic subsystems...
Upward and outward, which is to say, out here on the frontier of the subjective horizon. And even Rosen wasn't a proper metaphysician, so his  biological telovator didn't go all the way to the top. He transcended physics but had noplace higher to go.  

Lonergan, of course, goes there, i.e., to the place from which (Whom?!) science itself flows like fresh water from a mountain spring, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. As things stand,
Today, the English word, science, means natural science. One descends a rung or more in a ladder when one speaks of behavioral or human sciences. Theologians finally have to be content if their subject is included in a list not of sciences but of academic disciplines.
Which is to turn the cosmos upside down and inside out, precisely. Don’t get me wrong: I love science as much as any atheistic MENSA member, it’s just that I love Truth even more.

That was a long prelude without getting very far. How long can a man clear his throat? Oh well. It’s my vertical travelogue. I just leave it open so any old Adam is free to eavesdrop on in and make yourself conformable to it. To be continued.