Friday, December 15, 2017

Unavoidable Truths and Inevitable Lies

Before moving on, a loose end. Recall our Supreme Court's sophomoric take on the meaning of freedom: At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.

Now, no one denies that one has the "right" to be stupid. But the Court covertly turns this right into a kind of obligation, because if the essence of liberty is whatever anyone wants it to be, then liberty is essentially reduced to nothing. My freedom, say, to keep my own money, is indistinguishable from your freedom to take it. Some freedom.

It's equivalent to saying that "the essence of truth is the right to believe whatever we want," which is another recipe for nihilism. Worse, it's the recipe for leftism -- for multiculturalism, moral relativism, and "diversity." As Schuon puts it in one of his most important books, Logic & Transcendence,

Relativism reduces every element of absoluteness to relativity while making a completely illogical exception in favor of this reduction itself. Fundamentally it consists in propounding the claim that there is no truth as if this were truth or in declaring it to be absolutely true that there is nothing but the relatively true; one might just as well say that there is no language or write that there is no writing.

Now, that is what you call the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It is as true today as it has always been and always will be. Imagine if we had such lucid minds on the Supreme Court, instead of those four or five pompous and over-educated tools?

Education should consist first and foremost in being acquainted with truths that cannot not be. Instead, children are indoctrinated into the diabolical principle that absolute truth absolutely cannot be.

Put conversely, to systematically deny the mind knowledge of, and access to, the absolute, is the worst form of abuse. It is to undermine the very reason why we have a mind, the purpose of which is to conform itself to the true -- to distinguish reality from appearances, the real from the un- or less real, the essential from the contingent.

As Schuon puts it elsewhere,

The prerogative of the human state is objectivity, the essential content of which is the Absolute. There is no knowledge without objectivity of the intelligence; there is no freedom without objectivity of the will; and there is no nobility without objectivity of the soul.

And in his most concise but no less penetrating book (good for keeping by the bedside to seed one's dreams), he writes that "The worth of man lies in his consciousness of the Absolute."

Think about that one: we all -- those who aren't soul-dead -- know that man is somehow "different," and that he is of ultimate value. Why? On what basis? The Golden Rule? Yes, that's a good start, but there is a deeper principle involved, which Schuon enunciates. It's another way of saying that man is in the image of the Creator, AKA the Absolute. Why love our neighbor? Just because some authority told us to? Or did the authority tell us to do this because it reflects the truth of things -- that our neighbor is as much a reflection of God as we are?

As we've discussed before, there is obviously a horizontal continuity between man and animal. However, there is also a kind of -- literally -- infinite discontinuity on the vertical plane. No animal can conceive of the Absolute, or love his neighbor, or freely choose good over evil, or know truth, or be objective and disinterested.

Schuon says something above that dovetails nicely with our ongoing discussion of diabolical liberty, that "there is no freedom without objectivity of the will." You will note that this is precisely the opposite of what the Supreme Clowns say -- that freedom is 100% subjective, with no rational telos whatsoever. They might just as well say -- again, literally -- that "at the heart of law is the right to do whatever the hell you want to."

Which comes very close to what a modern liberal would say -- that we are permitted to do whatever we want to do -- that nothing is forbidden -- so long as it doesn't hurt someone else. Either way, it entirely drains liberty of any meaning whatsoever.

Furthermore, once down that path, it's easy enough to justify any monstrosity, from Dred Scott to Roe v. Wade. Both decisions are based on an arbitrary -- which is to say, subjective -- interpretation of freedom. Put conversely, neither decision is rooted in the Nature of Things -- those things that cannot not be.

"Separation of church and state." There is a sane principle buried in that cliché, so long as we interpret its meaning in terms of truths that cannot not be. One truth that cannot not be is that man is religious. I'm no doubt thinking about this because of another book I'm reading, called No God, No Science: Theology, Cosmology, Biology. But the type of vulgar atheism with which we are so familiar, for example, is just a banal Christian heresy. Therefore, if a leftist wants to be true to his principle, then he must also maintain a separation between atheism and state.

But that is not how the Supreme Kooks see it. Scalia writes of how, over the past half century or so, the Court has gone from neutrality toward religion to overt hostility. But since man cannot not be religious, this only ends up privileging the secular religion of the left, conveniently hiding behind the subjective "evolving standards of decency" gag.

That's about it for today. The end. No, wait. Here's a juicy passage from Chesterton, cited by Schindler:

We are fond of talking about "liberty"; but the way we end up talking of it is an attempt to avoid discussing what is good. We are fond of talking about "progress"; that is a dodge to avoid discussing what is good. We are fond of talking about "education"; that is a dodge to avoid discussing what is good.

So, "Let us not decide what is good, but let it be considered good not to decide it." In short, let us all live in the comfort and safety of our own delusions, and call it freedom. After all, it is the Law of the Land.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

An Offer You Must Refuse

One of Schindler's main points is that freedom cannot be understood in isolation, but is always part of an organic whole that includes both the good and the real. This shouldn't be surprising, since the good and the real are essentially fungible: things are good insofar as they exist. How they exist is another matter, especially as it pertains to humans, since we have a hand in that determination.

Even Hitler was good vis-a-vis his sheer existence. What he did with his existence... you know the rest.

Or, maybe you don't. What went wrong? "He made bad choices," to put it mildly. But this presupposes good choices, which goes back to the idea that freedom and goodness are intrinsically related. Which modernity denies, absolutely.

Again, this cosmic heresy was ably articulated by those five illustrious idiots on the Supreme Court:

At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life."

As we have put it before, paradise is walled by complementarities, one of which is freedom <--> good. Thus, to sever this complementarity -- as SCOTUS has done above -- is not the way to paradise. Rather, it is the way to permanently bar entry.

You might say that, prior to our vertical plunge, man is spontaneously good, such that his freedom is not misused. With the fall, this unity is broken, such that outside paradise man must endeavor to consciously put them back together. A saint is someone who has succeeded at this -- i.e., attained heroic virtue through cooperation with infused grace. Then there's the restavus.

Both freedom and goodness are real. But that is not how modernity sees it. That train left the metaphysical station a few hundred years ago, such that today we are living in the End Times of that perspective. What I mean is that reality is one, and our job is to evolve in that direction and conform ourselves to it.

But this is not the approach of the left. Rather, the precise opposite, into diabolical fragmentation, disunity, and "diversity." (As Schindler notes, dia-ballo means "to divide" and "to set apart or at odds"). This will not and cannot end well, as anyone with three eyes open can see.

Speaking of which, I wonder when blacks will figure out that race-virtue signaling leftists have the same attitude toward them as do "feminist men" toward women? A real feminist doesn't divide men and women to begin with, but rather, apprehends their unity-in-complementarity.

Same with race. Once you have divided people by race, there is no return to unity. It's either one nation under God, or no nation -- and eternal hostility -- under multiculturalism and identity politics.

Returning to the deeper meaning of diabolical, Schindler describes six essential features. Although you may not have consciously considered these before, they will be familiar to you, at least if you've ever watched CNN or MSNBC, or read the NY Times:

(1) the diabolical presents a deceptive image that substitutes for reality; (2) it is characterized by an essential negativity; (3) it renders appearance more decisive than reality, and indeed, better than reality according to the measure of convenience and efficiency; (4) it has a supra-individual dimension that is nevertheless impersonal: that is, it tends to take the form of an essentially self-referential system; (5) it is "soulless" in the sense of lacking an animating principle of unity; and (6) it is essentially self-destructive.

Boom. To the sixth power.

But how on earth does one explain this to the liberal who either cannot or will not see it? I don't know. Each of these principles (or their opposite, rather) is implicitly embodied in Christian metaphysics, but that atheistic train has also left the intellectual station. Liberals "getting what they want" is the worst possible catastrophe one can imagine, whether individually or collectively.

Which brings to mind an aphorism or three:

--Hell is the place where man finds all his projects realized.

--Earth will never be a paradise, but it could perhaps be prevented from approaching closer and closer to being a cheap imitation of Hell.

--Hell is any place from which God is absent.

Or, as Schindler puts it, "the immediate possession of all things in appearance coincides with a complete oblivion with respect to their real situation..." Inside Plato's Leftist Cave, "desires are perfectly satisfied, but only in a transformed mode, namely, in appearance." You can have it all, if all you want is Nothing, AKA freedom from reality.

This is to be really, really woke -- i.e., to be completely asleep to the Light: "what is perhaps the most diabolical of all is that we become our own jailers, since the imprisonment is subjectively experienced as the most complete liberation, offered in place of the inevitable burden of the real. It is precisely its being a bargain that reveals its provenance from the devil."

"Progressives." Those who live in the twilight of history imagine that the day is being born when night is approaching.

So, put on your armor of Light, and don't let the disilluminati get to you.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Endless Layers of Dissemblance and the Lefthand Way to Auto-Divinity

A note to myself in the margin suggests the following passage would be a good start in our attempt to wrap our minds around diabolical liberty and its Freedom From Reality. I actually referenced it a couple weeks ago, but then got sidetracked. So let's begin again:

Modern liberty is, in sum, a deceptive and ultimately soul-destroying illusion, which cuts one off from, and indeed sets one in opposition to, God, the world, other people, the community as a whole... and even oneself, so that one's inner being, in its congenital blindness to the inner reality of everything else without exception, is smothered by endless layers of dissemblance.

Endless layers of dissemblance. That's our world, alright. Just think, for example, of the endless l's. of d. that are being exposed by the very existence of a President Trump -- in other words, the bottomless layers, liars, and lawyers of the Deep State. Conversely, imagine how these sinister players would have been smothered by additional layers had Clinton been elected.

Indeed, how would you characterize a Clinton? I can't think of a more accurate description than layers of dissemblance. What is beneath the dissemblance? Yes, more dissembling. Interestingly, if Schindler is right, then there is no there there: each lie simply conceals another, such that it is obfuscation all the way down (and in).

Thus, one day Clinton is an unwavering supporter of traditional marriage, AKA marriage. Next day, supporters of traditional marriage are deplorable. Was she lying then, or is she lying now? Neither. She is a lie, and the lie is in service to power. It is not the "opposite" of truth, but the negation of its very possibility, as alluded to by Schindler.

At least we always know what liberals are thinking, since they attribute their thoughts, emotions, and motives to others. As such, we can see how they have projected a web of dissemblance onto President Trump, AKA Russian Collusion. This grand conspiracy consists of layer upon layer of vaporous allegations, surrounding a total vacuum. Or, surrounding the DNC's collusion with Russia to defeat Trump via the infamous dossier, itself a diabolical crock.

At any rate, "Modern liberty is not merely an instance of the diabolical, but is, we might say, diabolicality itself." As such, there is nothing modern about it per se; what makes it modern is the total forgetfulness of where it comes from, and the elevation of diabolical liberty to the ideal.

In other words, it is not just the inversion of reality -- for that is a consequence of the fall -- but the insistence that this inversion is normative. You might say that, instead of falling downward, the ideologues of diabolical liberty pretend that we fall upward. But this upward fall always requires violence and coercion; the bigger the lie, the bigger the government needed to force us to believe it.

I hope that is clear, because it is literally true. But sometimes I feel as if I can't quite reach the words I need to describe the reality I'm seeing. The point is, Genesis 3 is a mythic formulation of metaphysical truth. I don't like the term "noble lie," because the myth really involves the transmission of a timeless and universal truth that transcends the ego. It is not illogical, just beyond the limits of terrestrial logic (which can only be circular).

In the first sentence of this post, I alluded to the attempt to "wrap our minds" around the concept of liberty. However, in truth, this is something we can never do, for we are contained by liberty, rather than vice versa. If we could contain liberty, then we would be God. So, strictly speaking, we cannot "understand" freedom, only live it.

Of course, we are free to deny freedom, but then we literally cannot understand anything. The denial of freedom -- as in, say Marxism or behaviorism or Darwinism -- results in a descent into permanent and total stupidity. But it doesn't end there. Rather, this total stupidity will be surrounded by layers of dissemblance.

Now, even a child -- or perhaps especially a child -- can see through the layers of dissemblance. For example, ask a Darwinian where truth comes from, and how human beings can know it, and you will be treated to a blizzard of dissemblance. Likewise, ask a physicist what caused the big bang, or a geneticist what causes all the symbolic information, and prepare yourself to be bamboozled.

Why does man insist on trying to do it himself -- by denying the intrinsic otherness of truth and reality? Genesis doesn't really say, does it? Or, it's a little vague: ye shall be as gods. It seems that this is the first and last temptation: it is ontologically first, and chronologically as recent as this morning's headline, whatever it is.

Put it this way: we can have a relationship to the truth that is anterior to us; or, we can presume to possess the truth. But in the case of the latter, we are really pretending to be the truth, which is to say, God. Therefore, it's really our own lame attempt at the Incarnation, isn't it?

We're again getting close to the fire, where words start to melt, but knowledge follows being, and being is relationship: what Is is being-in-relation. You can't "know being" (in its totality) because it is being that knows in every act of knowing.

I recently reread Schuon's Stations of Wisdom, which contains some of his most challenging essays, but they are challenging precisely because of proximity to the essence of things, where words begin to fail. But try this on for size:

Some people see a kind of incompatibility between metaphysics -- which they confuse with the more or less logical constructions of the discursive mind -- and the love of God, of which they seem to see only the most human side.

But I am here to tell you that

the love of God is something universal: the term "love" designates not only a path depending on will and feeling, but also -- and this is its broadest meaning -- every path insofar as it attaches us to the Divine; "love" is everything that makes us prefer God to the world and contemplation to earthly activity, wherever this alternative has a meaning.

In this context, this blog is nothing but the love of God, every morning, delivered fresh to your vertical door. In the same context, you can see how and why the contemporary left is and must be a hate cult surrounded by layers of dissembling. Not fake news, but fakery, period.

For "the first act of Adam and Eve, after eating the fruit is the self-protective gesture of fashioning a covering for themselves," in which they "hide from God." In the resultant cosmic inversion, "things that had initially mediated an intimacy between God and the creature have now become means to keep the creator at a distance" (Schindler).

This all very much reminds me of an Aphorism, that In order to challenge God, man puffs up his emptiness. Specifically, he puffs up the emptiness by surrounding it with layers of dissemblance. Dip him in water, though, and all his impressive plumage is shown to conceal a naked rat.

Friday, December 08, 2017

What Does the Left Want? Freedom! From What? Reality!

Back to diabolical liberty and how it gets that way. Yesterday I was reminding my son that life consists of time. It's all we have, and then it stops (at least on this plane). But time in the absence of freedom would be just... duration, I guess.

It seems like T minus F would be rather tedious, but boredom can only be conceived from the perspective of choice and possibility. My son sometimes asks if our dogs are bored, since they spend most of their time nodding off with glazed expressions. I don't think so. It's just that when affection, treats, walks, or danger from the UPS man aren't in the offing, the world must go kind of blank. Like how your computer goes to sleep if you don't give it something to do.

But man is a reflection of both absoluteness and infinitude, the former going to truth, strength, and virtue, the latter to possibility, novelty, and change.

For our purposes, possibility is another word for freedom (or, as they say, "no alternative, no problem"). However, mere possibility is no better than a dog's life, because that would revert to the essence of the diabolical: if everything is permitted and nothing is forbidden, then Dirty Harvey and his ilk become the ideal.

And don't think there aren't billions just like him. Indeed, the recent outing of so many Hollywood sleazebags and liberal newsfrauds proves the point. What motivates these men? If they simply have the power to actualize the freedom we all secretly desire, then to hell with freedom!

Real freedom -- the nondiabolical kind -- is always present in a much larger context. The moment it is severed from its telos, it becomes diabolical. Thus, to repeat an Aphorism from a few days ago, The proclamation of our autonomy is the founding act of Hell.

As such, The idea of “the free development of personality” seems admirable as long as one does not meet an individual whose personality has developed freely. If you meet such a person, run away! Certainly don't meet with him alone in a hotel room.

That reminds me. Yes, land of the free, but home of the brave; in other words, freedom + courage. And what is courage? It is the resolution to do the right thing in the face of adversity. I remember Bill Maher calling the 911 terrorists "courageous." Wrong. Like freedom, courage severed from its telos is an egocentric or indiscriminate rashness. If courage is evil, then to hell with it too.

Another aphorism to bear in mind in light of these beta predators such as Lauer, Conyers, and Rose: Poverty is the only barrier to the throng of vulgarities that whinny inside souls.

Anyone short of a saint has mind parasites of various types and dimensions (indeed, so too does the saint, except that he has transcended and mastered them). But many of these critters are latent, so to speak, unless infused with power. It is very much as if the power breathes life into them, in an inverse analogy to God in-breathing the human soul.

So, diabolical freedom is a kind of demonic in-spiration. The other day I saw a video of Jordan Peterson, who touched on this, albeit from a different angle. He adverted to studies showing that happiness is correlated with money up to a certain point, after which there is no correlation at all, and often an inverse one.

For example, if you are a cokehead and win the lottery, things are not going to end well. Likewise, if you are Michael Jackson, or Matt Lauer, or Keven Spacey, or all those prematurely dead rock stars: money and power simply breathe life into the mind parasites -- spiritual retroviruses -- that circumstances normally prevent from coming out to play.

But lets zoom out and consider this from a cosmic perspective: in the West, we enjoy a kind of affluence that was available to fewer than .01% of past human beings. To the extent that our ancestors appear more "virtuous" to us, we must remember that they had far fewer temptations, not to mention the fact you can only get into so much trouble if you are, one the one hand, performing backbreaking work from dawn to dusk, and on the other, always pregnant, with no cheap Mexican labor to cook and keep house.

Thus, if contemporary society is crazy and getting crazier, it is because of the in-breathing of diabolical freedom -- very much like those otherwise innocuous embers a few miles away from me, bursting into flames because of the Santa Ana winds.

This must be why the milloonnial generation -- or whatever you want to call it -- is the most fragile in the nation's history. For to say that your biggest problem is hurt feelings as a result of other people expressing an opinion with which you disagree, is to boast that you have no problems at all.

But obviously you have a big problem, because you are proclaiming to the world that you are unfit to endure freedom -- the nondiabolical kind. And your only solution is to place the rest of us in cages -- like the sheltered prince who would rather carpet the world than simply toughen his feet or wear shoes.

As mentioned last week, this book is too sprawling to wrap my mind around. Let's begin with some notes to myself in back (which may or may not be direct quotes) -- for example, "the power to do good can be as evil as the power to do bad, if it is power only." Boom. That is what you call a knockout blow.

The secular left is not only atheistic but anti-theistic, at least as it pertains to the real God. Therefore, it is literally the case that for them, truth reduces to power; or power shielded by the self-styled "good intentions" of the person wielding it.

Put conversely, for the left, there is nothing we can't accomplish with a combination of concentrated power, good intentions, and other people's money! For proof, just look at what Obama accomplished by creating more debt than all past administrations combined. Paradise!

Speaking of which, the left's hysteria since November 2016 is just a mirror image of the hysteria they exhibited through eight years of Obama. For them, Obama and Trump are just reverse caricatures of one another.

This will take us down another distracting rabbit hole, but the point is, leftists got exactly what their hearts were yearning for in 2008. So, heaven on earth, right? No, nothing changed, except for the worse. But do they have any insight into this? Of course not. Like any other mental patient in flight from personal responsibility -- AKA ordered freedom -- they simply want to resume that comforting dream.

Here is another note to myself, one that Schindler emphasizes throughout the book: that diabolical freedom is parasitic on the very reality it abolishes. Think, for example, of the redefinition of marriage. It is obviously parasitic on the real thing, i.e., natural marriage. The left used to be more explicit about the goal of weakening the family, but my guess is that the majority of leftists probably don't even realize that that is the real endgame.

Once again I find myself hovering around the subject of the book without fully diving in. We'll try harder. Next week.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

The World Wide Counter-Web

The diffusion of a few drops of Christianity into a leftist mind transforms the idiot into a perfect idiot. --Dávila

Continuing with the False Promise of Big Government, it's a little like Genesis 3 All Over Again, isn't it? For the promise of Big Government is another phony attempt to beat the system -- the system of reality.

Now, there are systems that can and should be beaten. Indeed, a large part of "fallenness" involves falling into a kind of world wide existential system to which, in many ways, we cannot avoid adapting.

Imagine being born into a crime family, like the Mafia or the Clintons, and not knowing any better. Well, the human species is a kind of crime family. Or maybe you're unacquainted with this thing called history. But God knows: Christianity assumes the misery of history, as Christ assumes that of man. (Dávila).

BTW, yesterday I was reminded of Jesus' friendly warnings to the rich. But back then, wealth was based upon theft, slavery, and plunder. There was no meritocracy, no upward mobility, no secure private property, and no rule of law, so the wealthy were more like thieves than capitalists.

About our being caught in the world wide web, here are some fine aphorisms:

Where Christianity disappears, greed, envy, and lust invent a thousand ideologies to justify themselves.

The Christ of the Gospels is not concerned with the economic situation of the poor, but with the moral condition of the rich.

In the Christianity of the leftist Christian, one of the two elements sooner or later eliminates the other.

Only the Church considers itself a congregation of sinners. All other communities, religious or lay, feel themselves to be a confraternity of saints.

He who claims equal opportunity ends up requiring that the gifted be penalized.

World Wide Web. That reminds me of something. Ah yes, an editorial I've been saving from a couple of weeks ago by Glenn Reynolds on the role of social media in spreading disease -- not biological diseases but cognitive, and I would say, spiritual, diseases:

[I]n recent years we’ve gone from an era when ideas spread comparatively slowly, to one in which social media in particular allow them to spread like wildfire. Sometimes that’s good, when they’re good ideas. But most ideas are probably bad; certainly 90% of ideas aren’t in the top 10%. Maybe we don’t know the mental disease vectors that we’re inadvertently unleashing....

We don’t know much about the spread of ideas, or what would constitute the equivalent of intellectual indoor plumbing. (Censorship isn’t enough, as it often just promotes the spread of bad ideas that people in power like). Over time we’ll learn more. Maybe we’ll come up with something like the germ theory of disease for ideas.

Or, maybe we already have something like the germ theory of disease for bad ideas. I know I do, anyway. Reynolds himself provides a hint: "Better nourished minds are likely more resistant to social-media contagion." Specifically, proper vertical nourishment is without question the best defense against the empty but destructive calories of purely horizontal ideologies.

Thus, for example, "The Church’s function is not to adapt Christianity to the world, nor even to adapt the world to Christianity; her function is to maintain a counterworld in the world" (Dávila).

You don't have to take that literally in order to understand that you need to anchor your thinking -- indeed, your very being -- in the sheetrock of Principles that Cannot Not Be, which serve as a counterworld to the fallenworld.

As you know, I am currently surrounded by flames. There is nothing political about the flames, any more than there is something political about gravity. But this morning I stumbled across the following tweet by some liberal celebrity: "Just evacuated my house. It's like Donald Trump is setting the world on fire. Literally and figuratively."

Of course. Who doesn't see it?

Er, the sane?

Back to the main subject at hand. I only have time enough to quote a couple of relevant passages from the book, and let you do the myth. They don't really require any commentary on my part:

The nongovernmental institutions of civil society transmit to each new generation those virtues without which free societies cannot survive. When these institutions function properly, they help prevent people from becoming too dependent on government. They also unify people and empower them to control government....

So a vicious circle ensues: the more the federal government drains the energy and independence of the social and mediating institutions, the more that individuals become increasingly atomized and separated; and the more individuals become disconnected, the more a centralized government steps into the void.

Let us recall that The proclamation of our autonomy is the founding act of Hell (Dávila). This fall into pseudo-autonomy is followed by the wrong kind of dependence. For ultimate reality is relational, not atomistic; it is not atoms-in-relation, but relation-in-atoms. Big government is one more attempt to undo the effects of the fall, way downstream from where it has occurred.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

The War on Spiritual Poverty

With the generosity of his program does the liberal console himself for the magnitude of the catastrophes it produces. --Dávila

After submitting the previous post to a candid world, I read a brief book that dovetails perfectly with its theme, called The False Promise of Big Government: How Washington Helps the Rich and Hurts the Poor. The title is quite literally true, in that America's four wealthiest counties (and seven of the top ten) surround Washington D.C.

The author reviews six reasons why statism is inevitably destructive, five of which go to more material concerns. Here at One Cosmos we are more preoccupied with the spiritual rot it engenders.

As Ronald Reagan famously said, "The lessons of history" demonstrate

conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit.

Fooled you! That was FDR in 1935.

How could Kingfish Liberal say such a thing? Because 80 years ago it was still possible to state the obvious. The left's War on Noticing had not yet begun in earnest. It was undoubtedly there -- it always is -- but not to the point of totally engulfing the media, academia, entertainment, and politics. In short, liberals used to be liberal. Or at least not flagrantly illiberal, as is the case today.

An actual liberal believes in limited government. Contemporary liberals believe in unlimited government. I mean, if government can force you to bake a cake for people who engage in practices you deplore, then what can't it compel?

It reminds me of something Thomas Sowell often says: that laws and policies, whatever else they do, create systems of incentives, and these incentives may be totally at odds with the stated purpose of the l. or p. For example, what if the multi-trillion dollar "war on poverty" is a vast system of incentives to engender more of it?

For as FDR famously said in 1935,

Our American answer to poverty is not to make the poor more secure in their poverty but to reach down and to help lift themselves out of poverty and move with the large majority along the high road of of hope and prosperity. The days of the dole in our country are numbered.

Probably didn't fool you with that one. That was LBJ in 1964. Since then the days of the dole number close to 20,000, so technically he's right.

At any rate, those comments by FD and LB show that conservatives only believe what prominent liberals once believed -- or at least said -- for which reason we are now called fascists. You know, like other fanatical supporters of limited government such as Adolf Hitler.

Each generation must learn anew the disastrous consequences of big government. But don't worry. Big government has that covered too, since you can sail through 12 or 16 or especially 23 years of Big Education without ever hearing about the disaster.

And why would you? Public education will not inform its captives of the virtues of vouchers, any more than your drug dealer will take you to rehab and offer to pay for it. Satan himself never compels. Rather, incentivizes.

Speaking of Big Education, it seems to me that job one of the left is to eliminate the soul. Once the soul is out of the way, then it cannot be damaged or destroyed. Of course it is still subject to damage and destruction, but the problem will be misdiagnosed, projected, and displaced elsewhere.

Does it surprise you that Hollywood and the media are populated by soulless predators? Only the soulless should be shocked at that revelation. For it is written (by the Aphorist):

The stupid are surprised by stupidity and the corrupt by corruption. The intelligent and the innocent are less easily disconcerted.

A variant of "you can't cheat an honest man."

I just looked at Drudge, and now I'm distracted by the fire that is only about ten miles alway. No threat to us, but it's hard to turn away from the TV when the usual morning commute is going up in flames. In other words, to be continued. After a few pointy ones from the Aphorist:

As the State grows, the individual shrinks.

The progressive Christian’s error lies in believing that Christianity’s perennial polemic against the rich is an implicit defense of socialist programs.

The leftist emulates the devout who continue venerating the relic after the miracle has been proved to be a hoax.

Monday, December 04, 2017

One (Former) Nation Riven by Diversity, AKA Hell

Today's aphoritizer, courtesy Dávila: The proclamation of our autonomy is the founding act of Hell.

Let's analyze all the ways in which this is True.

First of all, it sets man in opposition to God, for "In the serpent's reinterpretation of the order of creation, God's will and man's become reciprocally exclusive" (Schindler).

It also sets man in opposition to man, in the sense that "wills founded on goodness are intrinsically related to one another," whereas "wills founded on power have an essentially competitive relationship to each other..." This highlights the importance of the -- for lack of a better term -- "pneumatic third" that unites human groups.

In fact, a group is defined by its pneumatic third, bearing in mind that there exist bad spirits (boy and how). One of the overarching themes of the OT involves God's effort to get his people organized around the real pneumatic third, rather than its countless alternatives, such as Moloch. Moloch organizes people as much as God does, but not really. Moloch, like his disciple Marx, is the god of the ant heap.

How so? Because organization around Moloch can only be partial and exterior, rather than total and interior. You might even say that God is the "interior totality" without which the cosmos is reduced to the metaphysically sterile logical atomism discussed in the previous post.

Among other things, Moloch demands human sacrifice in order to engender his faux unity. Thus, to paraphrase Gil Bailie (or Rene Girard), human sacrifice is "unanimity minus one." While you may not be the one, there is always the implicit threat that you will be if you endanger the group unity trance. The liberal media are always on the lookout for today's sacrificial victim.

Consider how, say, Clarence Thomas, or Senator Tim Scott, threaten the group unity trance of liberal blacks. The latter constantly preach "unity," but this is a unity in defiance of reality -- like Colin Kaepernick and his imitators, who know less than nothing about the problems they claim to be protesting. Put conversely, if they were conversant with reality, they'd cease their opposition to it at once.

Yes, it is possible for good people to be wrong, which is to say, opposed to the good. How to tell the difference? Well, a good person only opposes goodness accidentally rather than essentially. Once he realizes the mistake, he feels shame and rectifies it immediately.

Not so the person who has made himself essentially bad, such as Al Sharpton, or Gloria Allred, or Hillary Clinton. It is certainly not my job to consign their souls to hell, but I don't think it is polemical or above my praygrade to notice that their souls are willfully organized around various false absolutes.

Moreover, these descendants of the Serpent proudly and conspicuously hate the good, even going so far as to call it "deplorable" or "racist" or "patriarchal," so it is not so much that they are "going to hell" as are its co-creators. As the old crack goes, they forge their fetters from their own passions.

All of this is so much common sense. For example, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance -- or standing up for the national anthem -- used to be uncontroversial, because it was an exercise -- a collective verticalesthenic -- in subordination to the psychic third.

But what are "diversity" and multiculturalism but a rebellion -- worse, an inversion -- of this truth? In this context, "One nation under God" is a pleonasm -- word of the day, pleonasm -- because there is no way for a nation to be one except under God -- or under the real psychic third, if you prefer.

Indeed, the United States is the only nation explicitly founded under this real psychic third, AKA those self-evident truths for which it is government's prime directive to protect. If the government cannot do this, then to hell with it. We're no better than any other crappy country living in some cherished delusion (as in the Middle East, excluding Israel) or nihilistic fragmentation (as in Europe).

All of this must be understood in the context of real freedom, or freedom properly understood. For Schindler, this comes down to the contrast -- or choice! -- between symbolical and diabolical freedom. Put it this way: reality is either symbolical or it is diabolical. How so?

We've actually discussed this critical idea in the past. I myself first encountered it in a slightly different guise (but same Geist) in the works of Stanley Jaki. When you get right down to it, just what kind of cosmos is this? What is its defining characteristic?

Well, first of all, we couldn't even be having this conversation if not for the fact that this is the sort of cosmos in which one thing can stand for -- symbolize -- another. The cosmos is absolutely saturated with meaning and intelligibility. Everywhere it not only gives itself over to (our) intelligence, but, via the Logos, from intelligence to intelligence. This is without question the most startling property of our cosmos -- its transmitable interior logos-unity-light. It is symbolical through and through.

That is my own interpretation. I don't know that Schindler would sign off on it. However, in discussing the primordial calamity of Genesis 3, he notes that "a denial of the truth, a reinterpretation of goodness as power, immediately makes what had been a symbolical unity into an internal strife. Man is cast out of the garden." Or soph-exiled.

"Exile from the garden in the most extreme sense is separation from the good; the furthest distance from the garden may be said to lie at the bottom of Plato's cave."

Which raises an important point: yes, man is fallen, but with varying degrees of distance from the Principle. Indeed, what is the spiritual journey -- the Adventure of Consciousness -- but the Father-Principle returning to himself via his middling relativities, AKA us, his adopted sons?

Another name for diabolical freedom is "perception is reality." This represents a total cosmic inversion -- it is the solipsistic burial of one's head up one's aseity. It is not only living in Plato's cave, or at the bottom of a well, but refusal to look up or out. And compelling others to do the same. For example, what is a government education but indoctrination into the shadows of some diabolical pneumatic third?

I well remember how, as a child, "nothing made sense." Or perhaps more accurately, "everything made no sense," by which I mean that there was no interior unity to all the things I was learning in school. And I wasn't educated in some crap district such as the LAUSD, but in an area where housing prices are inflated because parents want to get their kids into the district.

But it didn't matter. I learned countless facts of history, or science, or literature, without having a clue as to the telos that makes sense of them. I even learned about that very logocentric telos in Sunday school, but it was (ironically) equally fragmented: a seventh day fragment to go along with the fragments I learned on the other five schooldays.

Come to think of it, the only wholly unfragmented day was -- ironically -- the old sabbath, Saturday. It was given over to spontaneous play, or the uninterrupted slack of a self-healing universe.

I don't want to exaggerate the case, for the truth of the matter is that I always found interstices of slack every day of the week. Think of it as a fable, like Genesis. The point is, the real psychic third is always here, because it can never not be here.

Hell is any place from which God is absent.

And

Unbelief is not a sin but a punishment. --Dávila