We ended yesterday's post back at the beginning, with Schuon's observation that "to change one's religion is to change planets."
While he doesn't say so, I believe he would have meant going from, say, Earth to Mars or Venus -- in other words, different planets but same solar system, let alone universe.
For example, I very much enjoyed my recent trip to Planet Jew. But on the other hand, nothing increases one's faith so much as contact with the faithless, such as my secular Jewish in-laws, speaking of different planets.
One of Schuon's central teachings is that the orthodox religions all orbit, as it were, around the same central sun. God is one by definition, and ultimately mankind is one as a consequence.
However, on each planet the variables will have a different emphasis or ratio, e.g., heat, light, gravity, etc., and so too with religion. (I might add that in this analogy, some planets are by definition closer than others to the Sun.)
What are some of the important religious variables? Let's see, off the top of my head, God, heaven, grace, scripture, wisdom, avatar, sacred, profane, sin, sacrifice, salvation, judgment, atonement, union... Even fictional religions such as Scientology or Mormonism partake of these in some form or fashion. (Different subject, but this goes to why even a made up religion can produce good people.)
Now, leftism isn't so much fictional as inverted. For this reason, it isn't so much a different planet as an alternate universe. To the extent that it shares the variables, the variables are upside down and inside out.
For example, there are still avatars, but the vicious and petty kind, like an Obama or Carter (just wait until the latter croaks, and you will cringe at the nauseating paeans to this nasty specimen).
Which is why it is becoming more of a struggle for a good person to exist on the left (assuming awareness of what the left is; many folks such as my mother-in-law have no earthly idea that this is not the party of JFK or even Bill Clinton, rather, of Reverend Sharpton and Saint George Floyd).
But this is a boring subject, and besides, I'm preaching to the coonverted. Consider our trolls. Despite their superficial differences, they share one main characteristic: they are impervious to even low-level truth and fact, let alone the stuff Bob dishes out on a daily basis. In this regard, I almost feel sorry for them, because they will never get the yoke, despite how easy it is.
At any rate, I'm going to change subjects to another essay that punched me right in the nous and made me see stars (mostly in this universe), called Deficiencies in the World of Faith. Lot's of fine religious insultainment. Assuming he's not talking about us.
And I'll be honest: I never quite know if I'm in on the joke or if he's snickering at me. It reminds me of the old problem of Protestantism (or of predestination, to be precise), of having no way of knowing whether or not one is among the saved. So one is always looking for clues in order to ameliorate the spiritual insecurity and ontological anxiety.
Are we among the Spiritual Elite? The trouble is, even if this were true, I certainly wouldn't say it out loud, but I can't even think it, knowing myself as I do. But are there spiritual elites? Of course: saints, doctors, mystics, and sundry wise guys. We don't confuse them with the central sun -- that would be cultism -- but they're closer to the sun than I am, thank God.
Having said that, take this out for a spin:
One may be astonished and even scandalized at the frequency, in religious climates, of more or less unintelligent opinions and attitudes, let it be said without euphemism.
Now, this is just true. The stupidity of exoteric religion is what kept me out of it for most of my life, and it is no less stupid today than it has ever been.
In its favor, it is far less stupid than secular leftism, and let's not even revisit the ugliness and depravity of the latter.
But why must exoteric religiosity be so unintelligent?
Because people are unintelligent.
Bingo, apparently, albeit with many qualifications that we'll specify as we proceed, since there is a more or less infinite distance between the "unintelligent Intelligence" (so to speak) of tradition, and the stupid unintelligence of the left. The former are on my team, the latter warriors from a different universe.
The goal of any big-box religion "is to save the largest possible number of souls and not to satisfy the need for causal explanations of an intellectual elite." You have only to sit through a homily or sermon to know that they don't really try to address intelligence as such:
In conformity with its end and with the capacity of the majority, the religious message is basically addressed to intuition, sentiment and imagination, and then to the will and to reason to the extent that the human condition requires it...
The message still hits on all the important variables alluded to above, e.g., "the reality of God, the immortality of the soul and of [the] ensuing consequences for man, and... offers man the means of saving himself."
This can't help sounding more than a bit condescending, but again, you know it's true, he whispered creepily. For this and other reasons (e.g., poorly developed sense of humor) I never recommend the blog to everyday believers who are intellectually satisfied, let alone to the typical nonbeliever who is so intellectually negligible as to actually be satisfied by progressivism or scientism or secularism and all those other universes.
Has this gone on long enough already? Speaking only for myself, I would put it this way: yes, it's inevitably a bit cringeworthy what passes for religion.
But it is even more cringeworthy to imagine that I am superior to the average believer. It's just that the majority is always going to be either disinterested in metaphysics or incapable of it, and while intelligence is far from everything, it has its rights. Nor do we need to look far to see that, for example,
In the Scriptures, intelligence -- or what appeals to it -- is found primarily in the symbolism, which offers all that the loftiest minds could need...
Moreover, if metaphysics is your thing, it's right there as well: for it is "necessarily found in the dogmas themselves inasmuch as they are universal symbols."
I would never say that there exist "two truths," but I have become increasingly comfortable practicing my religion one way, and practicing the blog in another way, while knowing full well that both (to say nothing of one's prayer life) all circle the same sun.
Put it this way: exoterism and esoterism are complementary, not opposites, let alone different universes. And
God does not ask for the submission of intelligence, but rather an intelligent submission.
The eternal question in their alternate universe:
Is it that being a leftist makes you miserable and mentally ill, or is it that being miserable and mentally ill makes you a leftists?
I suspect both. Leftists are sad losers and attracted to a Political Cope that says all of their failures are due to other people. And then they're deranged even further by the constant IV drip of unhealthy, obsessive, sick ideations from the leftist cult.
But why must exoteric religiosity be so unintelligent?
Because people are unintelligent.
Along those lines, a couple of links from Rob Henderson's dispatch today seem relevant:
Why does everyone lie about social mobility: Is actually about the role of intelligence in a person's success in life. This one is interesting in that it examines the education system in England, not America, where everyone more-or-less had the same ethnic background but still had stratified outcomes. On this side of the pond, it's considered a problem not so much of "social mobility" as of "racism and privilege", but either way the attempts at changing "the system" have no real effect, because the issue isn't systematic, it's genetic.
Throw in the Pareto Principle vs. the Bell Curve, and we understand why most religion can seem at times, well, kind of stupid.
Bob, from the Ace link on happiness he notes this: "She loves her mental illness and wants to spread it to others."
I think that last bit is key; it's probably why so many leftists include a laundry list of their personal dysfunctions in their bios. Also why so many of them begin to fake illnesses they don't actually have (apparently one of the new hotnesses is proclaiming one has Tourette's).
Definitely true: mental illness can be like a spirit or comfort animal, other times a badge of distinction that provides an identity to the identity-less. There's also often a desire to spread it around so the abnormal becomes normal. Lookin' at you, Eve!
Eve: "I mean come on, Adam, you wouldn't want me to go through this alone would you?"
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