Thursday, June 13, 2024

Waking from the Great Awokening

Regular folks generally think of ideas as good or bad, correct or incorrect, brilliant or stupid, helpful or harmful. They don't -- especially in our age of stupidity -- think of them as intrinsically pathological, much less diabolical. 

However, the Demon takes full advantage of both psychological and intellectual pathology, just as a clever virus takes advantage of a weakened immune system. Which further weakens immunity. 

So, is there a psycho-pneumatic immune system -- one that repels toxic ideas from taking root in the human subject? And if not, how do we go about getting one? 

The following is a heavily updated rethink of a post written four years ago, amidst the mostly peaceful Summer of Love, AKA the BLM riots. 

Among Voegelin's principle themes is that thinking is indeed subject to disease and decrepitude, and that when this happens on a widespread basis, culture -- which is but a collective mentality -- surely follows.

Now, if reality is in the tension between immanence and transcendence, then it follows that default to one side or the other is intrinsically pathological.

Is there a name for this psycho-politico-spiritual disease? Voegelin has several, including "deformation of reality," "gnostic derailment," "dogmatomachy," and "ideological pseudo-reality," while Petey calls it "secular moonshine," "para-Marxist buffoonery," and "authoritarian tenure."

As we know, we are in the midst of A Great Awokening, which is a perverted -- and inverted -- caricature of the Great Awakenings that have periodically occurred in America. The first one is said to have taken place in the 1730s and '40s, and this abstract spiritual revolution set the stage for the concrete political one that would come to fruition a generation or two later. As John Adams famously wrote,

The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people.... This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.

The Second Great Awakening took place between 1790 and 1840. And according to Prof. Wiki there was a third between 1855 and 1930, and even a fourth between 1960 and 1980.  

By my calculation, that adds up to 145 years of Awakening out of the 238 years since the Declaration, which is over half. And what do we call the periods in between? The Great Slumbers? The Pneumatic Snoozes? And what on earth is happening now? 

For the Great Awokening isn't simply a harmless nap but a walking nightmare, a perverse caricature of these past Awakenings. 

Sandoz points out that in these past awakenings "the church served as a school for politics." But in the case of the Awokening it is the other way around: politics is the school of a vulgar new religion. Interestingly, the vulgarians who are members of this new religion don't realize they're in one. Rather, only non-members even recognize that it is a religion. 

That's odd. Then again, perhaps not. We must remember that "religion" is a modern concept. For the great majority of history, people didn't know they "had" a religion per se. Rather, they were simply immersed in a cosmos -- an order -- that included a largely pre-critical religiosity. Nowadays religion is a separate and distinct choice from all the others on offer, thus a kind of "meta-choice."

Extremes meet, such that our postmodern Awokening is rooted in a premodern and precritical mentality of primitive religiosity; instead of "meta-" it is "infra-" religiosity. Here again this is self-evident to non-members, but veiled to the Woke.

Which leads to the question of what religion is. Well, whatever else it is, it presupposes a distinction between reality and appearances: religion discloses what's really going on beneath the surface of things. 

What then does the logocidal anti-religion of the Woke say about what's really going on beneath the surface? Let us count them: racism, white privilege, colonialism, patriarchy, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia, the existential threat of global warming, et al. 

And what can the sudden acquisition of Wokeness be but a caricature of spiritual conversion? It's certainly not a rational faith, which is why they cannot be reasoned out of it.  

Let's stipulate that the Woke protesters, looters, and crybullies are indeed flooded with something, and that they are most definitely participating in some sort of mock mystical body. Yes, it's a "mob," but what is the interior of a mob? What is the psychic glue that holds it together?

It is at once a Krazy Glue and a Gorilla Glue, since it encourages devolution, regression, and impulsivity unmediated by discursive thought. 

Come to think of it, it is also a Super Glue, in that it evokes the Neitzschean superman, or the failure to attain mature manhood masquerading as its transcendence. 

Among the chief hindrances to [the] life of true liberty is the oppression of men, who in service to evil deceive with untruth and impose falsehood in its place proclaiming it to be true.... Liberty is most truly exercised by living in accord with truth and is, therefore, the correlate of responsibility (Sandoz).

I suppose this is the first time a Great Awokening has fully unleashed itself on our shores, but obviously not the first in history. It occurred, for example, in Nazi Germany and the USSR. We're not nearly that far into our own Awokening, but we are certainly on the way, for as the Aphorist reminds us,

Everything in history begins before where we think it begins and ends after where we think it ends.

So the Awokening has been with us for awhile, just not this overtly violent, powerful, and oppressive. 

It begins with the state indoctrination of Big Miseducation, AKA progressive seminaries, where 

a major difficulty lies in the ostensible "neutrality" in the public schools, which in fact often serves to shelter expanding beachheads of safe havens for antireligious ideology and attacks on American society's moral convictions, radical doctrines ranging from political correctness to advocacy of homosexuality, and neo-Marxism parading as dispassionate science....

The Woke have already lost the argument, but they don't know it. Or they do subconsciously know it, hence the attacks on free speech, the brazen election interference, the shameless violence to persons and property. Progressives may not know much, but they know censorship, intimidation, oppression, and lawfare work.

The ideological antipolitics of the nihilistic second realities has been defeated theoretically, politically, economically, and by all the facts of human existence. 

Yes, but their feelings don't care about facts. Thus, the  

unremitting assault continues on the American and generally Western heritage in the name of enlightenment and social progress by the ghosts of the very politics of atrocity whose true monuments are Nazi death camps and the Soviet gulag. Its protagonists, unable to cope with reason and experience, resort to brute force tending toward the lethal.

That was published in 1996. It's no longer "tending." Rather, that toward which it was tending stands revealed. And again, it is tending "downward" into an immanent anti-religion of naked power. 


julie said...

For the Great Awokening isn't simply a harmless nap but a walking nightmare, a perverse caricature of these past Awakenings.

It's a complete inversion of everything beautiful.

Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, the assault on beauty is a primary characteristic.

Open Trench said...

Hello Dr. Godwin, Julie, panel. How great is God's love for you? Great indeed! How fortunate are we? Fortunate indeed! God is good!

From the post: "And again, it is tending "downward" into an immanent anti-religion of naked power."

This is a fine exemplar of Dr. Godwin's fire-and-brimstone, anti-Satan sermons, of which I've read many score over the years. Dr. Godwin habitually interrupts along series of posts which are flights of revelation, to work in some of these kind. I think it is to keep the Devil from advancing. Society has been on the brink of collapse from Wokeness since at least 2006, never more so than today, according to the Good Dr.

Trench corroborates the post easily during interviews with citizens. They are indeed polarized. Much harder to detect are any action changes; in essence, I've been around for many many decades and I don't see much interruption in how things "work" since I've been a child, except to note of people, dwellings, commercial buildings, traffic, and food supply, always more and of higher quality each year. And believe you me I get around.

So, besides BLM riots, how is Wokeness manifesting on the street? I saw photos of pride events.

So you tell me. Is this just in people's heads mostly, or is Wokeness a mass casualty event?

Asking for a friend....

Love from Trench

Gagdad Bob said...

We haven't heard from the Japanese Jazzman in awhile:

This is! It's too nostalgic!

No! No! This is a good way to get out of CD. I was too nostalgic for the first time in 30 to years when I was in high school.

There is a bulletin of members at that time in the booklet, tears are also better than the record record. One to enter the BAST10 of this year's reissue board!!

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