Saturday, August 19, 2023

A Hurricane is Bearing Down on Me, and What if My Car is Out of Gas?!

We were talking about what Satan is up to with language, and citing examples from the book Homo Americanus. In it the author cites a passage by Freud showing that Freud is far from wrong about everything:

We have found that what neurotics are guided by is not ordinary objective reality but psychological reality.

This is true, but it is also true that more or less everyone is more or less neurotic. Freud's realistic therapy did not promise anything like happiness, rather, just turning "hysterical misery into common unhappiness." 

But truly truly, if the left weren't miserable they'd be immobilized by the mind parasites they ceaselessly project into us (white male Christians), into the environment, or into the past. Indeed, history is rewritten so rapidly -- cf. the 1619 Project (emphasis on the project) -- that no one knows what will happen tomorrow. 

Psychic fragmentation is key to their fragile equilibrium:

If the leftist isn't persecuting, he feels persecuted.  

That is of course correct, Nicolás. Their paranoia indeed runs deep, and into the right it will creep. What better way to interfere with the election than to accuse one's leading opponent of election interference? 

Paranoid thinking is characterized by the fact that it can be completely logical... in other words, logic does not exclude madness.

There are even 

low-grade chronic forms of psychoses which can be shared by millions of people and which -- precisely because they do not go beyond a certain threshold -- do not prevent these people from functioning socially. 

As long as they share their sickness with millions of others, they have a satisfactory feeling of not being alone; in other words, they avoid that sense of complete isolation so characteristic of full-fledged psychosis. On the contrary, they look at themselves as normal and [others] as being crazy.

But let us be charitable and stipulate that one of us is crazy -- that there is a reality, and that one of us is out of contact with it. 

It all comes back to Aristotelian logic and to the identity principle, in that two contradictory affirmations of reality cannot both be true; one of them must be false, or else we must concede that the world itself is psychotic, i.e., like a dream that has no internal consistency.

Or, if perception, as they like to say, is reality, then the perception of the histrionic or paranoid person is as accurate as anyone else's. No wonder then that the postmodern left has no use for Aristotle, much less Thomas. 

I'm old enough to remember when psychology pretended to cure mental illness. Now it is the illness it pretends to cure. No, literally: 

The American Psychological Association recently added a new term to its dictionary: eco-anxiety. It concerns the anxiety over climate change (Janowski).

This includes concerns over what they call "environmental justice" (in reality, the environment can no more be just than it can be prudent, courageous, or honest).

The term itself is devoid of logical sense, but a paranoid mind acts according to its own logic (ibid,).

So, psychologists now breed paranoia in order to charge good money to treat it? Nifty racket! I'm gonna fact-check that.

Wow. It's more than true, it's a full blown pandemic of psychosis:

Over the past several years, climate change has moved from an abstract idea to a reality in many Americans’ lives -- a reality that we are increasingly worried about. An APA survey found that two-thirds of American adults said that they felt at least a little “eco-anxiety,” defined as anxiety or worry about climate change and its effects ( 

I mean, I have a hurricane bearing down on my ass, but I'm not anxious about it. I'm not even afraid. Rather, even assuming the worst, I will... get out of the fucking way. I don't need therapy, rather, just a car. Or a house. 

Moreover, if I were a specialist in "applying an environmental perspective to mental health and well-being," I would advise my patient to stop complaining to me and get in your fucking car, idiot.

When I was a kid, my dad used to say You'd complain if you were on fire. I don't remember being a big complainer, but I never really understood what he meant. "Of course I would complain if I were on fire, Dad. Who wouldn't?" 

He used to have another saying: Go play on the freeway. Yes, like me, he was more of an old-school therapist. For him, there were few things that couldn't be solved with a combination of common sense and beer.

Here's the second item that comes up in my search (

The planet is undergoing rapid and unprecedented climate change that is creating stress and mental anguish for people around the world (Doherty).

Really? I guess I picked a bad time to retire, with millions of new patients. 

But the thing is, you don't treat people with realistic concerns, at least not back in my day. Rather, that's what friends and relatives are for, and talking to them is free.

The planet is undergoing rapid changes that are unprecedented in human history. And as psychologists are increasingly aware, these changes can bring about great stress and mental anguish to all of us living through these challenging times.

Wait, what? I apologize for using s'many cuss words, but do they know we're still coming out of a fucking ice age? Do they know that you can't open up a therapy practice inside a fucking glacier?

The question of whether a belief is psychotic is the extent to which the delusion is fixed or is amenable to fact, logic, and evidence. You know the old saying, Physician heal thyself. I would tell Dr. Doherty, Physician fuck thyself.

Well, that was some fun insultainment, but let's get back to the real world. For example, now that I think about it, I guess there is the remote possibility that my patio furniture could blow into my windows. WHAT WILL I DO?! HOW DO I CONTACT DR. DOHERTY ON A SUNDAY?! WHAT WOULD HE ADVISE? I mean, aside from moving the furniture into the garage?

I'm not anxious, but I am a little pissed at the idea that the agenda of the climate hysterics will plunge the world into economic chaos. I read somewhere that one can calculate exactly the cost in human lives of each percentage of economic growth one way or the other. Where is it... 

Here, in Alex Epstein's Fossil Future: Why Global Human Flourishing Requires More Oil, Coal, and Natural Gas -- Not Less. I'm not a statistician, just a retired psychologist, but he calculates the odds of dying from a climate disaster at one in three million.

So, you're telling me there's a chance? -- Dr. Doherty

Epstein also affirms that the use of fossil fuels lengthens roughly ten out of ten lives.  

In any event, belief in catastrophic climate change is a true existential threat. Climate-related deaths have in fact decreased by 98% over the past 100 years, and thanks to fossil fuels, we are actually living in the safest climate in human history. 

Environmental sustainability is not sustainable. But it is lucrative. 

Friday, August 18, 2023

What is Satan Up To, and Why the Language Abuse?

So, contemporary ideological language "does not reflect reality," rather, "it reflects the content of one's own mind." Thus, "the ideological mind is by definition a troubled mind. It is troubled because it refuses to accept reality as it is" (Janowski). 

What shall we call this disease of language? Verbicide? Logopathology? Spousal abuse (for there is a kind of marriage between word and thing)?

Whatever we call it, the healthy alternative goes back a long time, all the way down to Genesis 2, when the Creator leaves it to Adam to give names to things. 

Seems like a small courtesy until we think about it, because herein lies the secret of man's distinction from all other creatures. Like us, they are created, nor do we merely enclose them in our own pre-conceptual categories; Adam was not a Kantian.

Likewise, God doesn't tell Adam that his words are only names for other words. God is not a deiconstructionist. If he were, then his Word could not become flesh, among other inconveniences. 

In short, "Objects are the measure of our knowledge" (Thomas, in Pieper). To reverse this relation -- to say that our knowledge is the measure of objects -- is to make us an idealist, a rationalist, an ideologue, and possibly a devil, depending on the degree of pathology.

Satan makes his first appearance in the NT in Matthew 4, and coincidentally, Jesus touches on the proper function of language when he reminds him that man shall live "by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." For me, this implies that, although we have the privilege of naming things, language itself doesn't come from us, rather, from God. Language only participates in the Logos, it doesn't create it. 

If language didn't have this external (or interSubjective) source, then we would indeed by bound and gagged in our own linguistic net. Like a spider, we'd weave language out of our own substance, waiting to catch any passing dreams. For the web would presuppose what it catches. Obviously the spider does not capture "reality" in its web, only insects. Insects are real, but there's more to life than eating bugs. Unless the globalists have their way.

Again, reality is the measure, not our linguistic web; and God is the measure of things:

Created things, from which our intellect receives knowledge, give the measure to our intellect. But they have received their measure from the divine intellect.... the divine intellect gives the measure and does not receive the measure. But created things both give and receive the measure (ibid).

But we -- being the monkey in the middle of the cosmos -- are in a unique situation, for "our intellect, in regard to natural objects, is receptive of the measure and does not give the measure." In other words, again, we name the intelligible objects, we don't create their intelligibility (notwithstanding our own artistic objects, which fall into a separate category).

To say that we alone give objects their intelligibility is to be an ass. For there is a "something which naturally precedes all cognition," and its name is reality. We get to name reality, but we don't create it. Someone who does is called sick. Or an ideologue.

I say or instead of and because in a true democracy like ours, we have only to get enough sick people to agree on something, and it is no longer sick (transsexualism being only the most conspicuous Current Thing). Now, Satan is usually pretty easy to read, but one thing I don't quite understand is why Democrats insist that one sex can be the other when two thirds of the country believe otherwise.  

Satan has something up his sleeve, but I am at a loss to understand what it is. Give him credit: say what you want about him, he's not stupid, let alone self-defeating. Rather, he is after your destruction, and the destruction of man. Transsexual ideology is surely a good way to go about doing this, but with only a third of the country on board, it seems a bit premature to be pushing it. After all, even our first homosexual president campaigned -- twice -- against the redefinition of marriage.

What is Satan up to?

Well, the example just given shows how rapidly things can change in a corrupt democracy. And perhaps the focus on transsexualism is a big head fake, distracting us from other equally if not more revolutionary and destructive changes. In other words, there must be a deeper sickness with regard to language itself in order to even entertain the possibility that two men playing house are "married," or that one of them is actually a "woman," or that it's a good idea for men to beat the crap out of girls on the wrestling team. 

Recall that God creates them man-and-woman; we only get to name this preexisting situation. I want to avoid the politics of the day and focus on this larger ontological situation. Satan has his day-to-day tactics and his larger strategy, and toxic ideology, linguistic disease, and soul pollution go to the latter. 

Which brings us back to Homo Americanus. In reading these two books side by side (the other being Reality and the Good), it is as if the former gives concrete and real-time examples of the latter, which is more purely abstract and metaphysical. 

Like how?

"Communist newspeak" aims "to falsify political reality"; socialist language is "a facade" designed "to introduce a sense of normalcy into the abnormality of political and economic existence," concealing the real goal, which is, of course, power. 

And "Creating a new language" is "important for another reason," in that it quite literally makes the impossible seem possible via this black magic. We know from our Hayek and our Mises that socialism is impossible, but so what? We have the words for it, and that's enough. God let's us name stuff, so why can't we create it?

Here lies Satan's greater strategy, because again, naming isn't creating, it's only naming what's already created, AKA reality. At this point we could go down a giant rabbit hole called A Conflict of Visions by Thomas Sowell, and how the progressive vision is actually sponsored by Satan himself, but we're starting to run out of time. 

Suffice it to say that our very language -- which is either a gift of the Logos, or it is nothing -- "is becoming self-destructive" and "an instrument of anti-culture." Today's activists-and-journalists-but-I-repeat-myself "no longer see the difference between news and propaganda" (Janowski), and it is very much as if -- in the words of Petey --

Normality anywhere is a threat to abnormality everywhere.

In case you were wondering about the sick time we're living in, and why you are the sick one they want to persecute or ban altogether. We're just getting started, but we'll resume tomorrow. 

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Real True and True Good

We left off with a discussion of the two meanings of reality, the first being rather obvious unless obscured by MiniTrue or MiniEd (AKA journalism or tenure), which is to say, the extra-mental world presented to, and independent of, the senses, the newsroom, and the campus. 

In this context, the not-real is that which is merely thought, even though thought as such is also something real. A voice in my head tells me that our competitors -- all sub-Raccoon philosophies -- either regard thought as too real or not real enough, ideology at one end, scientism at the other, and Bob in the sweet spot between and above. (Literally in the dynamic between-space of the four quadrants, ←, ↑, →, and ↓.)

So, reality in the first sense is "the whole of being which is independent of thought" (Pieper). 

Reality in the second sense goes to the Aristotelian distinction between act and potency (even though, here again, potency is definitely not not-real, rather real in a special sense). In this context, reality means the realized potentiality. But this is always a matter of less or more, such that 

Every being is perfect insofar as it is realized, and imperfection lies in this, that its potentiality is not realized. 

Since only man has a kind of infinite potential, it would appear that perfection is always beyond our reach. You could even say that, in all of creation, only man can (and indeed must) be imperfect and certainly incomplete. Does this have something to do with Genesis 3? Or Gödel? 

Maybe and definitely, but let's complete our thoughts on the nature of human potential. It is teleological, in the sense that it is directed toward its own realization, so, just as the intellect is ordered to the realization of truth, the will is ordered to realization of the good. 

But the latter (rightness of action) is impossible in the absence of the former (truth of being): "Reality is the basis of the good," and "the good is that which is in accord with objective reality." 

Thus, we have to go back to the True -- which is to say, conformity to the Real -- in order to accomplish the good. There is a whole world of counter-examples we could cite, but I don't want to talk about progressives just yet. Our preliminary point is that 

The good lies indeed in the proper relation of action to the reason which truly understands, and so evil is indeed a kind of "logical" contradiction. 

Note that all of this depends first upon our real and objective contact with the world. Conversely, any Kantian inspired philosophy "does not reach the object," and so ethics loses its basis in objective reality. 

Objectivity. This is the sum of all heresies for the left, while for us it's the other way around: subjectivism, relativism, and egalitarian anarchy are the prime candidates for the stake. Perception is surely real, but it is not reality. A little perspective, please. Get over yourself!

If we can only have subjective opinions about the world, then it necessarily follows that action in general and ethics in particular are just arbitrary. A nihilist who wants to cut off his johnson is no different from any other woman. And what an insult to womankind! I'm old enough to remember when they only had "penis envy," not penis denial and destruction.   

To not see that this is utterly mad... one must be utterly mad, or so thoroughly indoctrinated that one might as well be a crudely programmed android -- like an NPC or something.

Even the man who denies that our willing and action are determined by knowledge is in his action dependent upon that which he thinks he knows; and all evil rests in some way upon an error, upon a supposed knowledge.

So, just as doing the good presupposes knowledge of the true, we must also say that truth itself is guided by its own ethical imperative, in that it is what we must know, so to speak. Although this is at once obvious, it is by no means self-evident to the howling mobocrazy, which is why it must be commanded -- Godsplained -- from without via those two commandments carved in stone and touching on idolatry and bearing false witness

For what is idolatry, metaphysically speaking? It is the substitution of a false absolute for the Absolute (of which there can be only be one, duh). But once this is done, then the lies flow out of it in a manner both unimpeded and largely unconscious. Again, Satan's heavy lifting is done, so he can take 'er easy and leave the rest to the preprogrammed NPCs. 


That is at once too easy and too time-consuming. You could consider Nazism's false absolute of race, or Marxism's false absolute of class struggle -- likewise, feminism and "patriarchy," Democrats and "white privilege," sodomites and "homophobia," what the DSM until yesterday called perversion and "transphobia," our very existence and "global warming," and victims in general and their imaginary oppressors. The struggle is real! because the oppressors are. If they aren't, then truly truly, the Democrat party is out of business.

All of these lies are by definition evil, for "The good of man lies in being according to reason, his evil in being against reason" (Thomas, in Pieper).

In a way, all of this is documented and detailed in the book we're reading, Homo Americanus, but the crock is running out, so let's just cite some brief extracts:

American newspeak [and news-speak!] does not reflect reality, it reflects the content of one's own mind, and if the mind becomes sick, the language becomes sick, too.

'Case you were wondering.  

 [The] ideological mind is by definition a troubled mind. It is troubled because it refuses to accept reality as it is...

For example, the conspiracy theorists who insist on believing that the 2020 election was somehow not rigged. 

Speaking of which, this is why, for example, those 51 deep state operatives who claimed the Biden laptop is Russian disinfo are still correct, it's reality that's fake; you could say that being an ideologue means never having to say I'm wrong. They give solipsism a bad name.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Do Progressive Sheep Dream of Electro-Chemical Assholes?

We left off with a quote from Homo Americanus: The Rise of Totalitarian Democracy in America, that

Forcing others to live by bad ideas is to introduce chaos and disorder into people's lives, and thus to destroy society. 

That right there is a little problem with no obvious solution, but here at One Cosmos we're all about the big problems. They don't have solutions either, but there are good and bad, healthy and unhealthy, ways of living them.

Regarding the latter, these are existential or even ontological problems that go with the vertical territory. They're part of the human condition, and we can't do anything about that, not even try to turn ourselves into a collie, because that guy's no more a dog than Whoopie Goldberg isn't one.

We've discussed in the past how the left will always be in business because it will never run out of suckers -- that is, people who are encouraged to believe their existential problems can be solved by political "solutions." The solutions rarely solve the problem, but they do generally bring a train of new problems in their wake, thus calling for a new set of political solutions. The progressive cycle of life death!

Obviously, there can be no anthropocentric solution to the problem of humanness. Obvious to us, but not to them, and for all sorts of reasons. 

The reasons are different for the "provider" than for the"recipient"; both actually benefit from the exchange, but not in the ways they imagine. The former gain power and status under the fig leaf of compassion and virtue, while the latter get to be victims, and there's no one higher in the progressive totem pole. 

As for healthy ways to live out the human condition, I mentioned a few posts back that I was rereading a book by Josef Pieper called Living the Truth, and title actually adverts to our ultimate solution. 

Or, to put it conversely, let's say you're a psychologist, and someone comes to you with problems, as patients tend to do. It wouldn't be the worst possible advice to encourage them to go right ahead and live a lie. 

Rather, the worst possible advice would be to reinforce the lie while pretending it is the truth. And bonus points if the therapist has first convinced himself that the lie is true! This is auto-pullwoolery at its finest, and it increased by orders of magnitude just during my so-called career. Happily, it's no longer my problem. 

So, life is a problem, a big one, some say the biggest in all of creation. Nor would they be wrong, because until Homo sapiens arrives on the scene, there are obviously no problems at all. At best there are predicaments or perhaps sticky wickets or even evolutionary null-de-slacks, but no one is sitting around pondering the "mollusk condition" or the tragic vision of lizardkind, or how to Awaken Your Giant Marsupial Within.

This book by Pieper actually contains two works, one of which is called Reality and the Good, and what a provocative if not triggering title, being that, for the left, there is no such thing as objective reality, just narratives masking the drive for power. Likewise, their moral relativism is at antipodes to an objective morality. 

The thesis of the book is just a little over three pages long, but it is so dense with truthiness that I didn't get any further. Nearly every sentence is highlighted, and I suppose I could just post the whole thing without comment, and maybe I will. Except with running commentary.

All obligation is based upon being.

Boom, right out of the gate. Now, this is obvious to me, but it would have been anything but back when I was a liberal know-nothing -- you know, back when I knew everything. Frankly, it would have made no sense, whether grammatical or semantical. It would have expressed "nothing," so why say it?

Well, STFU and let Pieper continue:

Reality is the foundation of ethics. The good is that which is in accord with reality.

In other words, the good is to action as truth is to being. In the past, we've written of how man is free, and of how responsibility must be prior to free will. 

Think about it: what would it mean to grant freedom to a subhuman entity, a bear, for example. Is the bear actually free to choose the good? Of course not. It is neither responsible nor irresponsible for anything it does.

But to be a man is to be aware of both freedom and responsibility. Of course, in a poorly formed conscience the man may convince himself that wrong is right, or that such distinctions are arbitrary, but he will do so on the basis that such a meta-perspective is both right and true.  

I recall getting into a discussion over this subject with an atheist friend a few short decades ago, when we touched on the basis of good and evil. In exasperation, he eventually affirmed that it was just a matter of not being an asshole, and everyone can agree on what an asshole is. End of discussion.

Ironically, I agree, only with some important qualifications, for assholery is not self-explanatory. This should become clear as we proceed:

He who wishes to to know and do the good [in other words, not be an asshole] must turn his gaze upon the objective world of being.

My friend would have agreed, because he was a medical doctor with a thoroughly (albeit unexamined) scientistic metaphysic. Certainly he would have said knowledge is objective, even if he wouldn't have been able to explain how or why. Really, he was a relativist pretending to be objective, or wanting to have his crock and eat it too.


"Reality" means two things.

I'll paraphrase, but in one sense it refers to the extra-mental world, to those things presented to, and independent of, the senses. We call such things "objects," but they also ob-ject to us, for

"Real" in this sense is whatever is "opposed" to us..., [Whereas] Not-real is that which is merely thought (but its being thought is also something real). 

So thought is real -- obviously -- but not in the same way that objects are real. Reality as such is "the whole of being which is independent of thought," and which is "antecedent to all cognition" (even though we need to keep in our back-pocket the idea that cognition is obviously real; if we forget this, then it will come back to bite us through the back pocket, right in the ass).

Frankly, everyone who disagrees with Bob engages in this bit of auto-cannibalism, nor must one be religious to understand why. I was first made aware of this by the secular theoretical biologist Robert Rosen, in his Life Itself

It would take me too long to track down an exact quote, but it's fine to remove subjectivity from your model or system, so long as you don't forget you did so, otherwise it will inevitably return in covert and disfigured ways (think of how the materialist forgets all about the mind that affirms materialism, thus plunging himself into a kind of autistic dream; same for any ideological -ism).

I don't want to try the reader's patience, so we'll pick up the thread tomorrow.

Oh, and happy anniversary to Mrs. G. You folks can stop reading any time, but imagine putting up with it for 36 years!

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

How to Cope Under Progressive Tyranny

Like all normal Americans I am distressed and even peeved at the left's ongoing transformation of our country and its Ministry of Justice into its own brutal image. Frankly, it's almost enough to put a serious crimp in your day. But do we have anything to add to the discussion besides cold rage and lucid impotence? 

Impotent lucidity?

I try not to give a WTF at the farcical ontics of the looniparty clonecar one way or the other, for reasons of psychological equilibrium and transdimensional irony. 

Regarding the latter, a glance at history reveals how awful events can have unanticipated positive consequences, and vice versa. For example, Obama led to Trump, and we can only hope that the current tyranny will provoke a similar ironic surprise from History.    

So, the worst aspect of this nauseating spectacle is that it actually has me concerned about it, which interferes with my usual abiding in verticality. 

Nicolás, how did you cope in that Colombian hellhole our own progressives are trying so hard to emulate? 

First the bad news, I guess:
For the left the constitution is a shameful attack on the sovereignty of the people.
Democracy, good and hard, AKA mob rule, and the mobsters who rule the mob.
He is called liberal who does not understand that he has sacrificed freedom until it is too late to save him.
Or in our country, doesn't give a WTF about the demise of freedom, so long as it ends, whether expressed in speech, association, action, or thought.
A lexicon of ten words is sufficient for the Marxist to explain history.
That's positively verbose. Our Marxists need only three: Orange Man Bad.
The cult of humanity is celebrated with human sacrifices.
True. The Orange Man is their scapegoat, but he's just a synecdochus for the restavus.
When the progressive condemns, every intelligent man must feel alluded to.
That's true, and we are flattered. Until intelligence becomes a crime. 

But this is the Big One we'll be dilating upon this morning:
The left is a lexicographical tactic more than an ideological strategy.

But wait -- what about the coping mechanisms for living under progressive fascism?  

I do not want to conquer serenity, like a Stoic, but to welcome it, like a Christian.

Workin' on it. Best we can manage at the moment is a cynically detached and flatline stoicism. That and a lucid impotence. 

Let us live the militancy of Christianity with the good humor of the guerilla fighter, not with the glumness of the entrenched garrison. 

I get it, but this is California, not some comparatively advanced banana republic.

Christianity does not solve "problems"; it merely obliges us to live them at a higher level.

Okay, but how high? Can we buy some pot from you?

Civilizations are the summer buzzing of insects between two winters.

And I don't hear any crickets.

Defeats are never definitive when they are accepted with good humor.

Well ha f*cking ha. 

With good humor and pessimism it is possible to be neither wrong nor bored.

Yes, like when Bertie Wooster emitted a conspicuous chuckle. One of those hollow and bitter ones. 

Today the conservative is merely a passenger who suffers a shipwreck with dignity. 

Like this guy: 

Coincidentally, I've been reading a book called Homo Americanus: The Rise of Totalitarian Democracy in America, and chapter 4 is particularly timely, called American Newspeak. It dovetails nicely with what brother Nicolás says above about Dems and their unending attack on language. For truly truly, In the left's beginning is the word, and it's a whopper.

Janowski writes of the systematic misuse of language "without which totalitarianism is impossible," and "the indispensable role [it] plays in creating totalitarian reality" -- or rather "reality": 

Language, like everything else in totalitarianism, must be subject to rules and regulations. It is not merely an instrument of daily communication but a reality of its own. 


[O]ne quickly notices that today's American Newspeak is fundamentally totalitarian. By accepting it, using it, we not only get caught in the totalitarian unreality, but we become its accessory cofounders.

Yes, accessories to the coldblooded murder of the English tongue, for which reason they ought to be taken out and hung. Heavens what a noise! Yet this is what the American population calls a higher education. 

Fidelity to the dictionary is resistance to tyrants.

Where does it start? I mean besides in Genesis 3? With something like the postmodern deconstruction that severs Word from Thing: "Totalitarian language cannot reflect the world. The opposite must happen," which is to say, the world "must reflect the thought that we express through language."

So, we don't just speak different languages, rather, one that refers to reality, and a tongue-twisted one that is the absurcular reality to which it refers. Once you've accomplished the latter, you've done Satan's heavy lifting, and the rest is commentary, whereby "one piece of nonsense [is] substituted for another piece of nonsense."

Literally because this non-sense world begins with its Idea rather than with the senses -- and by extension, with the left cerebral hemisphere over the right. It's why they want to force us to say That's a woman when we know damn well that That's a man, baby! 

Some say 1984 was off by 40 years, but in a conversation about the 11th edition of the Newspeak Dictionary, Winston Smith's interlocutor estimates that it won't be until 2050 that "all knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared," so we're right on schedule.

It's not even a consolation that these are sick individuals, since Newspeak assures its speakers that we are the sick ones -- the insurrectionists, the white supremacists, the anti-democracy terrorists. Nor are fact and reason any defense, since "ideological thinking is impervious to empirical facts and deaf to any non-ideological explanation."

We are the maladjusted ones, since we refuse to adapt to their sick perception of the world. But a good way to deny one's sickness is to compel everyone else to share the sickness. Of course,

Forcing others to live by bad ideas is to introduce chaos and disorder into people's lives, and thus to destroy society. 

So, mission accomplished. 

Ha f*cking ha.

Monday, August 14, 2023

Taking a Chance on the Ultimate Adventure

Because the spiritual soul can grasp universal essences, it possesses a potential unto infinity..., [and] the light that makes any individual object intelligible is the same light that permeates the universe.

Woo Woo!  

Our cognitive power is so imperfect that not even the nature of one single gnat was ever entirely understood by any philosopher.


So, we are condemned to endless progress, I guess: "any cognitive advance will indeed always be a positive advance, but only like a step on a longer journey.... it will always and ever anew remain preliminary, incomplete, proclaiming 'not yet.'"

It's always ALREADY! and NOT YET! Every moment is more than enough and never enough. Stupid complementarity.

First, I wonder if there's a loophole in here? Or at at least a special exemption for me? 

"In any cognitive act, our mind stretches into infinity" without ever reaching it. "The limit of knowledge is never attained, neither in objective fullness nor in subjective satisfaction," but what if it were? How boring would that be? No adventure for you!

So, our minds are at once proportioned to the Absolute without ever reaching it. Which I suppose goes back to Genesis 3 All Over Again. The essence of fallenness is a declaration of independence from the Absolute, and the presumption that we can reach it -- or "who needs God, and besides, I am one." 

The only other option is the absurcular nihilism of "it is absolutely the case that there is no absolute." 

So, some version of open theism, enclosed secular humanism, or the teenage wasteland of nihilism / existentialism.  

Now, I don't entirely blame folks for descending into a smaller world that has the proportions of their terrestrial desires. It's tempting to be a normotic infracoon, both for its own sake and as a distraction from our proper concerns. A lesser, horizontalized adventure displaces the Big One. But it 

insults the dignity of man's spirit to lead a life so much confined and imprisoned within the narrow considerations of immediate usefulness that his own small environment utterly ceases to be a window on a larger "world." To be thus totally absorbed in a mere fragment of reality, to "function" rather than live, is not human; yet to be so tempted is all too human.

The cosmos isn't flat, but most people are, and understandably so. And supposing one makes it through primary education with the third dimension intact, there's always the threat of college, the purpose of which is to extinguish the vertical entirely, and create an elite class of soulless perverticaloids.  

But you can't actually flatten reality, rather, only the humans who inhabit it. Say what you want about the Absolute, it always returns

After all, it is, among other things, necessary being. Conversely, it is we who are unnecessary, but only if we choose to render ourselves so. We -- which is to say, unique and unrepeatable persons -- are only necessary to God. 

Pieper's bottom line in The Truth of All Things -- literally, as it's the last paragraph -- is that

the world of existing things "is placed between two knowing minds," the mind of God and the mind of man. And precisely there, as classical Western metaphysics has always known, springs the truth of all things

Or, in our dodgy scheme, something along the lines of


(↑ → ↓)

(  )

We are always the monkey in the middle, at least until we cash in our chimps and leave the table. But middle does not necessarily imply middling, mediocre, or mid-wit, so deal me in!

Truly truly, this is where all the action is, for it is the very basis of the bewilderness adventure we call life in this grand casino. 

Come to think of it, Clarke has another book called The Universe as Journey, and I'll bet if we take a peek inside, we'll find just what we need to tuck in this loose shirt and turn into an actual post.

Actually, it's a book of essays, only one of which is by Clarke. But the introduction describes the overall contours of the journey, in which all being proceeds from the One and returns to it (which is a neoplatonic image endowed with further richness and differentiation in a trinitarian metaphysic). 

Sharing His infinite reality with a community of finite agents through continuous creative action, God directs this community of agents back to Himself as the final cause of their own activity (ibid).

This vision centers on two poles we call O and (¶), and again, there is infinitude at both ends: there is "the personal subject and the Being beyond finite beings," linked by the unrestricted dynamism of the inquiring mind, the drive to know the whole existentialada, AKA the Absolute.   

I guess we could say that the journey to the One is the one journey, and that only a person can take the trip, because a person is the trip, precisely. 

Or at least I am. But it turns out that I AM is always intersubjective. Among the clues we encounter along the Way, this is perhaps the biggest.

For this metacosmic intersubjectivity goes at once to the "absolutely fundamental mutual correlation of mind and being," which is "a natural marriage made in heaven, so to speak, where each partner completes the other." How sweet. For

the human mind is analogously like the female, the mother; reality is like the father. To know truly a reality that it has not itself made, the mind must make itself open [o] to receive this reality [↓], to be informed by it.

And baby makes three:

The mind, fecundated, informed, by reality, then actively responds, pours its own spiritual life into what it receives, gestates, then gives birth to the mental "word" or concept, which in turn flows over into the verbal word expressed to others.

What shall we name it? How about Truth?

And as we've been saying, Truth is a Person, a person on an interpersonal adventure in, of, and toward truth.

Christianity is the adventure of an incarnate god who essentially assumes the history he created and creates. The Author of History enters history -- or timelessness becomes time that time might become timeless. The ultimate bewilderness adventure. 

Sunday, August 13, 2023

I AM the Change: Change Our Mind

It seems to me that the right cerebral hemisphere (RH) must be the home for our more receptive orientation to the world, the LH being a limitation on, and conceptualization of, that infinitely open potential. 

If McGilchrist didn't exactly put it that way, it doesn't matter, because this dialectic exists irrespective of brain anatomy. Frankly, it's similar to the dynamic relation between act and potency first identified by Aristotle and perfected by Thomas. 

Every other animal is restricted to life in a more or less narrow "environment," whereas for human beings the environment is literally everything: AKA the cosmos. The higher the form of existence, 

the more developed becomes the relatedness with reality, also the more profound and comprehensive becomes the sphere of this relatedness: namely, the world (Pieper).

Man has nowhere in particular to lay his head, and everywhere in general. This general homelessness has often led to feelings of alienation -- the common intuition that this is not our home, that we're just passing through, or that we're on a pilgrimage or bewilderness adventure of some kind. Homo viator, and all that.

We rate that statement True, for reasons articulated by Schuon, that

The intelligence of animals is partial, that of man is total; and this totality is explained only by a transcendent reality to which intelligence is proportioned.

For which reason

material things and the common experiences of life are immensely beneath the scope of intelligence.


the things of this world are never proportionate to the actual range of our intelligence. Our intelligence is made for the Absolute, or else it is nothing. 

This Absolute is at once the guarantor of truth -- any truth -- and a kind of teleological attractor that dissolves or shatters every form short of its (supraformal) Self:

Whether we like it or not, we live surrounded by mysteries, which logically and existentially draws us towards transcendence. 

I like it.  

Now that I'm thinking of this, it would appear that Absolute is to LH as is Infinitude to RH; but again, the neurology scarcely matters so long as the deeper principle is grasped. Absolute is "that which is at once solely itself and totally itself," whereas Infinitude "is not determined by any limiting factor and therefore does not end at any boundary":

it is in the first place Potentiality or Possibility as such, and ipso facto the Possibility of things, hence Virtuality. Without All-Possibility, there would be neither Creator nor creation (Schuon).

Bold claim! I prefer to put it the other way around, and say that since the Creator by definition creates, it implies potential, even though this is an unavoidably naughty belief (among the temperamentally un-Dude) because it implies change in God. But there's a way of thinking about divine mutability that preserves and balances the strict immutability and the loose Dudeness.

Really? You want to know how to square that circle? Okay, in order to do that we need to pull out another book by Norris Clarke.... actually we may have to pull all of them out, but this one will do: Explorations in Metaphysics, chapter 9, A New Look at the Immutability of God

First -- and I'm not accusing Thomas of being un-Dude! -- but 

mutability, as he understands it in the Aristotelian metaphysics of change, necessarily involves imperfection.

But what if change a perfection? Or rather, what if it can be construed in such a way that there is something analogous to change in God? 

Recall that the analogy of being means that the similarities are always dwarfed by the dissimilarities, since God is infinite and we're not. So we can say that everything and anything is a more or less distant image of the Creator, but we cannot turn this around and say that God is limited by these, for this would be idolatry or ideology, and that's a no-go for the Logos.

You get it. The point is that since God is a person, and a relationship of persons, and therefore interpersonal, this cannot imply "the unqualified immutability in all domains which seems to have been the ideal of the classical Greek mind" -- as if God is a static object. Rather,

the immutability which must be affirmed of God is the unchanging, indefectible steadfastness of an infinite plenitude of goodness and loving benevolence, but a benevolence which also expresses itself in a process, a progressive unfolding of mutual interpersonal relationships, spread out in real temporal succession at our receiving end... in terms of which he is truly related to us....

I think of it this way: the very Principle of "time," of "change," and of perfection is located in the non-distant "distance" or "gap" -- analogously, and in a manner of speaking, yada yada -- between the First and Second persons. How to put it....

This is from another book, The Philosophical Approach to God: "God is the supremely perfect Being, surpassed by no other, yet constantly surpassing Himself, as He both gives and receives," both to and from the world, as the Father gives to, and receives from, the Son. This latter is the Principle of -- in my opinion -- time, change, and relation: "To receive love as a person"

is not at all an imperfection, but precisely a dimension of the perfection of personal being as lovingly responsive. What remains fixed as the constant point of reference in our concept of God is Infinite Perfection

"Perfect change," not from the imperfect to perfect, rather, but "from perfection to perfection," so to speak. Which shouldn't be any more difficult to reconcile than a strict monotheism in three persons, and indeed, this is the whole durn point of the Trinity:

God's "receiving" from us, being delighted at our response to His love, is really His original delight at sharing with us in His eternal Now His own original power of loving and infinite goodness which has come back to him in return.  

Again, it is only an analogy, but "God is not only the universe's great Giver, but also thereby its great Appreciator, its great Receiver" -- in a qualified way and a manner of speaking, and with all due yada yada.

To be continued...

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