Friday, August 29, 2014

Crapostolic Regression and the Satanic Magisterium

Any idiot can make history, but it takes a real genius to mess it up to this extent. To quote the maestro, "Those who live in the twilight of history imagine the day is being born, when night is approaching" (Dávila).

In other words, voters imagined it was 6:00 AM when they elected Obama, when it was actually 6:00 PM. D'oh! They thought it was the dawn of a bright new progressive day, and have therefore been taken unawares by the encroaching darkness. (Although an astonishing 40% continue to ignore the evidence of their senses, and insist the sun is rising.)

This makes it sound like we are pagans, and that history is cyclical, like a clock. Well, I say it is cyclical unless we do something about it. In other words, temporal cyclicity is the default state of man. The ancient Israelites accomplished a world-historical leap in being when they discovered linear time, or history proper.

This is probably one more reason why they are hated, for it redounds to a perennial conflict that goes a little like this: "Modern history is a dialogue between two men: one who believes in God, another who believes he is god" (Dávila).

The born again pagan who believes he is god -- in this case, Obama -- has no patience for those of us who believe in God, who believe God is beyond history, and who know that God -- with our cooperation -- lures history in the wake of his Divine Attractor.

Obama has made so many statements conveying the lunatic idea that he is -- with our cooperation, voluntary or otherwise -- Lord of History, that he blows right through tragedy and goes straight to farce. In this view, Republicans are literally Satan, AKA the Adversary who loves nothing more than erecting stumbling blocks that interfere with the felicitous hand of Progress.

But "History shows not the inefficacy of actions but the futility of intentions" (ibid.). Obama has actually been astonishingly effective in actuating his agenda, otherwise he couldn't have accumulated more debt than all past presidents combined. Ask your great grandchildren if Obama was effective. After all, they'll still be paying for it.

And it is true that the Adversary is responsible for that inconvenient disconnect between government actions and progressive intentions, but it's built into the fabric of reality.

After all, how many centuries ago did man discover that the road to hell is paved with good intentions? More to the point, when did he forget it? And when did progressives invert it and embrace the opposite: that the road to paradise is paved with progressive intentions? 2008? 1965? 1932? 1912?

No. Just Genesis 3 again: "ye shall be as gods," yada yada. This is literally the attractor at the other end of cosmic history - the "satanic attractor," as it were.

When we say "lead us not into temptation," this is precisely what we are referring to, because this cosmic lure is experienced subjectively as "temptation" -- just as the divine lure at the other end is experienced as grace, or intoxicating beauty, or the erotic tension toward truth.

Note that this latter requires -- and facilitates -- being "empty of self," whereas the other end requires and engenders being full of it. Obama is particularly full of it, i.e., himself, to the point of toxic overflow.

Which is a recipe for the greatest possible fall one can imagine. After all, if one is close to the ground, a fall hardly hurts at all -- just enough to send a corrective message. But the higher one pretends to be, the further the distance to the ground. One can only imagine the abyss between a self-styled godling and the terrable firma below.

When Obama proclaimed Ye did not build that!, he was again uttering an inverted Christian truth, but also a straight up demonic one.

As to the former, any decent or even polite individual knows that countless human beings have contributed to his success and happiness, beginning with the love of parents, the wisdom of teachers, and the general kindness of strangers along the way. Only a narcissistic dick would deny this.

As to the satanic inversion, it is entirely accurate to say to Obama: you didn't build that! Why? Because Obama would be impossible and unthinkable in the absence of the progressive hands that have borne him aloft his entire life -- not to mention a progressive state to employ an otherwise unemployable man. I mean, would you hire His Weightlessness for anything? Could you even trust him not to lie to your face and rip you off?

A curious paradox of progressives is that they love them some affirmative action, but the moment you point out that someone is a beneficiary of the racial spoils system -- in this case Obama -- they get all defensive, as if it's an insult. Which it is. But that's not my fault. I didn't come up with the idea of state-mandated racial discrimination, or permanent reparations.

Back to that question of when it all started. When we say "Genesis 3," we are of course referring to the vertical, i.e., the Time before time. But even as recently as "two hundred years ago it was possible to trust in the future without being totally stupid" (ibid.).

Why? Because it was inseparable from faith in God and trust in providence. But the distance between, say, 1776 and 1789 is virtually infinite, for the American revolution was as different from the French as Obama is from Washington or Hamilton or Lincoln.

I always try to remember that WE are living in the future promised and created by liberals. We are the splendid future of that terrible past! Yeah, this is it. Whoopee.

But "Falsifying the past is how the left has sought to elaborate the future," so they have to keep making the past worse and worse in order to justify their underperforming present and grease the skids to an even better future. This they do with race, with sex, with economics, with America, with everything, until the past is just a demented ghost that haunts the progressive psyche and runs around academia screaming at itself in the windows.

But there is always night history and day history. Day history is journalism, the cable tempest of the moment, the diversionary two-minute hate. There is also a nightwomb of history, analogous to those paleolithic caves which primitive man thought of as the womb of nature. Because of it, "Everything in history begins before we think it begins, and ends after we think it ends" (ibid.). What is the cause, and what is the effect?

We see, for example, the dreadful effect of Obama. But he is not his own cause. Rather, he is the lefthound embodiment of a kind of perverse apostolic succession reaching beyond the horizon of writehand daytome history, all the way back to that fine morning in the Garden. And to recall the immortal words of Otter: You fucked up, America. You trusted him.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Obama is Not Failing History. History has Failed Obama

Bad news: Obama is failing History 101, and it looks like he won't even be able to pull an affirmative action mascot's D, let alone a gentleman's C.

Did he just not study? Or did he study the wrong historians? Or did he perhaps unconsciously assimilate the latter by virtue of having no contact with anyone else, and then having insufficient curiosity to find out what the revisionists are so busy revising? Or what these tenured apes unknow and why they are so dead set on unknowing it?

I have to be honest and think back, because I too once believed all that revisionist crap. Passionately. I was as passionate about it as I am about truth, because I thought it was true -- not only true, but suppressed and denied by the Powers that Be, so that made me doubly pissed! How dare they deny us the truth! So what if truth doesn't exist! That doesn't permit Big Whitey to patronize us with childish myths!

Not only is Obama failing history, but his fellow treedwellers in California are actually enacting a law to force children to learn about what an important historical figure Obama is! Well, that he is. Not because he is a half-white, but because he is a half-wit.

To put it another way, it will henceforth be against the law in California to tell the simple truth about Obama, or in other words, to desist from mindfucking the children. Children Will Learn, for example, that Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize within moments of being elected because of "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."

Fastest president ever! No wonder he needs so much down time. Those extraordinary efforts in the first days of his presidency wore him out. He gave us peace. Now let's give him some.

Let's look at some of the ways Obama has failed history: "He exaggerated Muslim contributions to printing and medicine, for example, and was flat-out wrong about the catalysts for the European Renaissance and Enlightenment" (Hanson).

True, but in rebuttal, Obama might point out that VDH is naive about the real purpose of history, which is to boost the self-esteem of various abstract racial, religious, and pervertarian "classes" and groups -- in particular, the privileged historical losers -- and to denigrate the evil winners. And by "winners," we mean western civilization, i.e., Christendom, so it turns out that Obama is in fact rigorously intellectually consistent. Or a consistent anti-intellectual, rather.

Next, Obama "also believes history follows some predetermined course, as if things always get better on their own. Obama often praises those he pronounces to be on the 'right side of history.' He also chastises others for being on the 'wrong side of history' -- as if evil is vanished and the good thrives on autopilot" (VDH).

To which Obama would no doubt respond: a-DOY! As if Hegel and Marx were just some dead white European males! Modern leftist gnosticism is rooted in those two rascals, who wasted barrels of ink proving that history is indeed on dialectical autopilot, and that its outcome is foreordained.

Except when it's not, in which case you have to break a few skulls, or bribe a few senators, or use the IRS to harass the enemies of History. Don't worry, it's all good -- the end, that is. So long as we are serving it, the means scarcely matter.

Let's pause for an aphorism or three, since Dávila saw Obama coming in his vast world-historical rearview mirror: "Reason, Progress and Justice are the three theological virtues of the fool." Which is why the progressive is a priori a fool. All the fool has to do is get out of the way of history and don't do Stupid Shit, because Progress.

Obama often repeats that crack about "the arc of the moral universe bending toward justice," seemingly oblivious to the fact that 1) it's just a poetic metaphor, not a literal truth, 2) it doesn't bend at all except insofar as bent human beings undertake the lifetime task of trying to unbend themselves, one assoul at a time, and 3) "justice" does not simply refer to "what progressives want."

Or in other words, justice is not to be confused with the arousal and appeasement of envy -- the latter being social justice, not Justice. Justice means giving a man his due, not stealing a man's goods to satisfy the envious mob.

However, Obama might respond -- except without irony -- that "It is customary to proclaim rights in order to violate duties" (ibid.).

Indeed, as Dávila points out, "Every day we increase the number of words that signify their antonyms" -- in this case, using the term "social justice" to signify justice, for what is social justice but using the power of the state to unjustly give people what they don't deserve?

Obama despises our kind of course, but he cares deeply about those Others, i.e., the envious mob. Why? Because "Compassion is the best excuse for envy" (Dávila). And "Envy differs from the other vices by the ease with which it disguises itself as virtue" (ibid.). So, get on the right side of history and pay up, sucka'!

"Another of Obama's historical refrains is his frequent sermon about behavior that doesn't belong in the 21st century" -- as if one can distinguish right from wrong by consulting the calendar. Well, if it doesn't belong in the 21st century, then how did it get here? Can't we just synchronize our calendars, and advance Islamist watches forward a dozen centuries or so?

What leftists fail to grasp is that their ideas and behavior not only do not belong in the 7th (or any other) century, but that the Islamist means to do something about it, i.e., kill you.

Besides, telling an Islamist he's living in the 7th century is the sincerest form of flattery. It's like telling a Marxist he's accurately parroting the party line, or correctly propagating the Truth of the Day.

One man's myth is another man's guiding star. I would sooner believe George Washington never told a lie than Obama ever uttered a truth.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I Smell Trouble

More bad news for Obama: "No one should take himself seriously. Only hope to be taken seriously" (Dávila).

Interestingly, Dávila has thousands of cautionary aphorisms that speak directly to an Obama and his ideas, none of them flattering. This means that either Dávila or Obama is a malevolent idiot. I guess we won't be able to make that determination until Obama says something clever or witty or wise or intelligent, so we can make a direct comparison. Maybe he's saving that for his presidential memoirs, i.e., the next auto-fellatiography.

This one surely touches indirectly on the left: "Metaphysics is the olfactory nerve rather than the optical nerve." Schuon often speaks of the fragrance of truth, and Raccoons agree with their SubGenii brethren that each person carries a "soul stench" that may be detected by the Worthy. Not to boast, but I wrote of Obama's ghastly soul stench way back in 2008, before he was elected and the smell became overpowering.

According to this KoonKlassic, "As we know, certain persistent traits set the Raccoon apart from his peers, including a sense of essential Truth, a sense of the sacred, a sense of beauty, a sense of the eternal, a sense of grandeur (or dignity), a sense of mischief, a sense of soul-smell (or stench, depending on the case), a sense of the ridiculous, and a vulnerability to ecstasy (often at inopportune moments).

"Taken in aggregate, these comprise his cʘʘnvision proper, accounting for his fundamentally unserious quasi-infallibility in metaphysical matters ('laughty revelations,' or 'inrisible powers'). But this mystical intuition is balanced by deep humility and charity, to such an extent that many humans don't even realize it when there is an unassuming Raccoon in their midst. Hence the title of the unpublishable cult classic, The 'Coon Next Door."

One recalls that initial meeting between Toots Mondello and Herman Hildebrand, when Toots startled his fellow Raccoon by exclaiming what Herman heard as "eureka!" Toots, a first generation Italian American, was of course saying you reek-a! -- you know, just'a like a Raccoon-a!

As we troll through the archives for more soulfactory adventures, we find the following:

"Dennis Prager has mentioned that one of the things that turned him toward religion was the experience of college. There he encountered, as have most of us, the utter foolishness -- the horror, really -- of secular liberal thought in all its ghastly maninfestations. Thus, to the extent that a modern (not classical) liberal education is useful, it is primarily as a bad example. Which is not nothing. We learn just as much from adverse experiences -- perhaps even more, in a way -- as we do from positive ones....

"I was reminded of this by our recent atheist trolls and the cheesy ideas they propagrate on our nerves, which are at turns stupid, monstrous, or silly. Although we are always ridiculing them, hopefully it is in an instructive and good-natured way (i.e., sacred ridicure)."

But in any event, "you can learn a great deal about God by listening to an atheist -- just as Dennis Prager learned a great deal about God by detouring through the academonic ivory tower of leftist babble."

As to the existence of our transdimensional sniffer, "There really is a 'spiritual perfume' that is emitted by certain particularly lofty souls, just as there is a 'soul stench' given off by the rancid." If my Coon scent doesn't deceive me, I believe Obama's "enjoy by" date was technically in the 19th century, where it is engraved on Marx's tombstone.

I guess the point is, as Dávila suggests in different ways in number of aphorisms, you can learn a lot about reality by what spontaneously disgusts you, so long as your senses of taste and smell are not disordered. (I believe dis-gust comes from the same root as gustatory.)

In another ancient post, we read that "to dis-cern is to sift and separate; according to Webster's it is 'to detect with other senses than vision,' 'to come to know or recognize mentally,' and 'to see or understand the difference.' It is to know by seeing directly, not by discursive logic (which it transcends but does not violate)."

Therefore, "this path surely involves 'seeing the differences,' but not with Darwinian eyes, which see only what the genes want them to see. For example, a frog will starve to death before eating a perfectly good insect that isn't moving, or die of thirst before drinking a California wine. But the way of the Raccoon involves recognizing the differences between truth and error, appearances and reality, beauty and ugliness, virtue and sin, ego and Self, Petey and Deepak. To be objective -- which no mere animal can do -- is to touch the Absolute...."

I would say that all the senses must be activated, only transposed to their analogues in a higher key.

So, remember the above the next time Obama asks, "who you gonna believe, me or your lying nose?"

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

On the Function of the Negro in the White Liberal Imagination

It's always good to start the day with a breakfast aphorism or two: "Superficiality consists in hatred for the contradictions of life" (Dávila). And "Hierarchy is the principle that saves the contradictions" (ibid.).

Being that leftists pretend to despise hierarchy and inequality, this alone is sufficient to account for their intellectual superficiality. But they just replace a complex hierarchy with a simple duo- or bi-archy, i.e., state (including its clients and cronies) and subjects.

As we've been saying, an orthoparadox is a fruitful and salutary cosmic complementarity. To slightly modify what Dávila says above, the first misstep is in seeing it as a contradiction, the second in trying to make the contradiction go away by either ignoring one side or reducing one to the other. This is done by religious people no less than the scientistic mob. And it is done most flagrantly and explicitly by leftists and Islamists, neither of whom are good at tolerating ambiguity, complementarity, and hierarchy.

About that term, hierarchy: it is not to be confused with tyranny, since tyranny is not only entirely compatible with the elimination of hierarchy, but usually necessitates its attenuation in order to consolidate power. A hierarchy is an articulated, organismic, multi-leveled whole, whereas -- well, Dávila expresses it perfectly: "Leveling is the barbarian's substitute for order." You can try to rid the world of "exploiters," but you will just elevate the self-styled exploited -- or victim -- to the new exploiter. See Ferguson for details: when the left confers victimhood, it christens a bully.

Which reminds me of something I've been meaning to write about: the function of the Negro in the white liberal imagination. Now, the term "Negro" is meant to be offensive: not to blacks, but to the white liberals who reduce the humanity of blacks to their skin color, so as to -- in their imagination -- cleanse or purify themselves of sin, and to render themselves superior. Like, say, Chris Matthews, they turn a man into a Negro in order to feel superior to another white man. The black person is just an anonymous placeholder for a psychic process in the white liberal imagination.

The idea actually occurred to me before the Missouri madness, when reading this biography of Samuel Johnson. What insight Johnson had into the devious ways of the self-justifying conscience!

First, he writes of how man doesn't live in "the world," but "in idea." For example, what is a longing for celebrity but an unacknowledged wish to take up space in the minds of a bunch of anonymous nobodies, the more the better? It's the idea of being an idea in the minds of other idiots who live in ideas: a fantasy at both ends, which results in "a conspiracy for the destruction of paper" -- or film, or bandwidth, or airtime.

Johnson observes that censure is "willingly indulged because it always implies some superiority." This is so much a part of daily life as to be a banality, but one must never forget that there are two ways to censure and condemn, only one of which is healthy.

One must of course recognize, condemn, and fight what is evil, but only if and because it is evil. It is obviously evil to call a good evil, but on a more subtle level it is a kind of moral evil to get a secret thrill from the condemnation, because, as Johnson suggests, it covertly implies a moral or intellectual superiority in the one who indulges it.

So we really shouldn't take pleasure in the condemnation. We can have fun with it, as we do here at One Cosmos, but the moment you begin using it as a tool of superiority, you are rendered inferior. You know, humility: if you don't have an abundance of it, you're just wrong. For "an individual can ease his guilt by magnifying or dwelling on faults that seem different from his own." It's like going to confession, only you're confessing someone else's sin.

Bate writes that "In all this a fundamental motive is the desire to relieve our sense of unfavorable disparity between ourselves and others." We are always jockeying for position in an imaginary hierarchy, at least if we are not careful.

Of course, it is not intrinsically wrong to regard oneself as "higher" than another, so long as the judgment is both objective and disinterested. I am in some senses "higher" than my son, but it is just a banal matter of fact, and does nothing to boost my self-esteem, covert or otherwise. Furthermore, if I am lucky, he will someday surpass me, so there is no personal interest in somehow freezing the superiority in place.

Instead of lowering others in our imagination, we should of course "try to raise ourselves." But "to lessen others" is just far too easy, plus it becomes addictive after awhile. Not to get ahead of ourselves, but I think this goes to the literal compulsiveness with which white liberals deal with race: they simply cannot get past it, because it feels too good to obsess over it.

Truly, you can't get away from it. For example, this weekend I was trying to enjoy the Little League World Series, but the announcers simply wouldn't let you forget that the Chicago team was made up of ALL NEGROES! And they were from the JACKIE ROBINSON Little League. And once upon a time Jackie Robinson couldn't play major league baseball because he was a NEGRO! But look at us! We're white liberals and we LOVE NEGROES! We're not like those old WHITE CONSERVATIVES who hated Negroes, even though they were DEMOCRATIC PROGRESSIVES! Truth and history don't matter, because it's all about using Negroes to feel MORALLY SUPERIOR!

It's all so inappropriate -- as obnoxious as the constant boner pill ads -- but like I said, it's a compulsion.

I would advise you to read the article linked above, for Williamson demolishes the myth that southern Democrats were "conservative." Rather, they "were practically indistinguishable from their non-southern Democrats" on the vast majority of other important issues: "Contrary to the myth of the conservative southern Democrat, the sons of the Confederacy voted en bloc with the GOP on a vanishingly small number of issues." Rather, they supported the progressive agenda 87% of the time.

But that doesn't matter, because the myth feels too good, and the white liberal relies upon it to elevate himself over the rest of us. That his policies are destructive to blacks, both individually and collectively, is of no consequence whatsoever. Nor does he care if he elevates toxic sociopaths such as Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson to the status of "leaders," so long as doing so provokes that tingle of superiority. The latter is the very source of any power wielded by the race hustlers, from Eric Holder on up.

You could say that Chris Matthews' infamous tingle wasn't caused by Obama; rather, vice versa: Obama is the product of millions of such self-deceptive moral tingles.

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Stranger on My Own Home Planet

Yes, remystification is a good thing. It is what the Raccoon strives for. However, this is to be sharply distinguished from mere mystification, which is either a sentimental or profit-driven erosion of distinctions rooted in magical thinking -- deepaking the chopra -- or a kind of cynical blocking of inquiry around a position that cannot be rationally defended -- political correctness.

Or as Chesterton said, "There are two kinds of people in the world, the conscious dogmatists and the unconscious dogmatists. I have always found myself that the unconscious dogmatists were by far the most dogmatic."

Which is why Obama's defenders naturally call him a "pragmatist," of all things, the purpose being to throw a shroud of mystification over his dogmatism -- to blur, not clarify.

Chesterton also observed that "the main problem for philosophers" is how to reconcile -- or tolerate -- the following orthoparadox: how to "contrive to be at once astonished at the world and yet at home in it? How can this world give us at once the fascination of a strange town and the comfort and honor of being our own town?

"We need this life of practical romance; the combination of something that is strange with something that is secure. We need to view the world as to combine an idea of wonder and an idea of welcome. We need to be happy in this wonderland without once being merely comfortable."

On that same fortuitous page we read that "All things grow more paradoxical as we approach the central truth." I know exactly what GK means, but again, mere paradox can be employed in the defense of mystification. In contrast, orthoparadoxy combines the utmost in clarity with the last weird in mystery: wonder and welcome, fascination and comfort, weirdness and security, strangers in our own hometown.

With that in mind, to what does the word God refer? Correct: it is a Mystery. But does this mean we can say nothing about God -- or that talk of God amounts to so much nothing? How then do we even have the word? We are not pneumababbling deconstructionists: we believe that words have referents in reality and that reality is intelligible in the form of words.

The problem, I suppose, is that God is the reality, so it is not possible to stand outside that reality in order to "refer" to it. Good point.

Still, we reject this as needless mystification: all wonder and no welcome. It is simultaneously too weird and not weird enough. Because what would be really weird is if creatures could have genuine insight into their Creator.

I will cut to the chase and say that I am entirely persuaded (with important modifications) by Harshorne's conception of God as not absolute, except insofar as he is absolute relativity. Furthermore, to posit God as absolute-absolute is to drain both God and world of all mystery, except in the annoying sense of "why does He bother?"

Because if God knows exactly how everything is going to play out, then there is no contingency: all is necessity, right down to the most infinitesimal decimal. This post, for example, was written before the foundation of the world. Which I would suggest is abject mystification, or in other words, grandiose cosmic bullshit.

What I don't quite get is how people in the Judeo-Christian stream would go for this conception, for revelation reveals some rather astonishing facts about God. There are many, but some of the critical ones are that he is person; that he is creator; that he is love; and that (for Christians) he is three. But the absolute in the philosophical sense could be none of these things.

What is also interesting is that the Christians most likely to embrace the notion of God as philosophical absolute are fundamentalists who are otherwise extremely wary about philosophical contamination of Christianity. But the idea of an unchanging Absolute is again a Greek import.

One of our teachstones is that man is the image and likeness of the Creator. The orthodox conception is that the image is analogous to the potential, whereas likeness is its actualization, i.e., theosis.

Now, if God is the unchanging absolute, this would imply that the best man would be the one who is likewise immutable, not subject to change or suffering, radically complete, an ainsoferable gnosis-all. First of all, that would be impossible, short of death. But even if possible, would it be admirable?

Besides, what is a person? Is a person without social relations even conceivable? No.

This is not to suggest that God is not absolute, because he is. But one of Hartshorne's excellent orthoparadoxes is not only that his relativity -- his capacity for real relationship -- is absolute, but that relativity both surpasses and includes his absoluteness -- just like any other person!

You might say that God's absoluteness is analogous to "character" in a human being. Character is what doesn't change, what endures over time despite changing circumstances. So to say, for example, that God is "good," or "love," or "creativity," is to refer to absoluteness, except converted into a dynamic verb instead of a static noun, so to speak.

Can love ever be static? Creativity? Knowledge? Speech? Life? I wouldn't even say that God is three so much as perpetually three-ing. And there is no unchanging noun behind or above this verbal dynamism, on pain of God not being a subjective Person-in-relation but an impersonal object.

Strangers on our own wondrous home planet:

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Theory of Divine Relativity: Nothing Exceeds the Speed of One

Good definition of orthoparadox: "For the Christian the truth is in tension between certain contrary propositions." Thus, "theology has no function in resolving the conflict, but in showing its necessity" (Dávila).

The etymology of paradox is para + doxos, i.e., contrary to thinking, or thoughts that seem to run counter to one another. Ortho-paradox borrows from it and from ortho-doxy, meaning "correct opinion."

Therefore, orthoparadox -- which began life as one of those annoying but harmless portmanteaus compulsively tossed out by Petey -- has come to actually mean something in the Raccoon luxicon, something quite important and even central to understanding our cosmic situation. It is a joke no more, or at least a serious guffah HA!

Orthoparadox must be distinguished from mere paradox, which implies a problem in the data or in the thinker, something that can eventually be overcome, e.g. a false assumption or naive expectation or hidden variable.

For example, Einstein spent a lot of time thinking about certain paradoxes of classical physics before he resolved them by vaulting himself to an entirely new plane. However, that plane has now generated paradoxes of its own, most conspicuously, the disjunction between quantum physics and special relativity, or between locality and nonlocality. In short, special relativity insists that nothing can exceed the speed of light, while the cosmos feels otherwise.

And as it so happens, "feel" is more than just a figure of speech. Rather, it is actually central to Whitehead's metaphysic, which in turn forms the basis of process theology. For what is feeling? For our purposes, it is a kind of spontaneous interior knowing, which in turn implies a wavelike connectedness or unity of things.

Let's zoom out for a moment and consider the big picture: the Christian truth alluded to above by Dávila posits -- or embodies -- several irreducible orthoparadoxes of the greatest possible significance, for example, Trinity, Incarnation, and Resurrection. Expressed in the simplest possible way, God is One and Three; Divine and human; and Life in death.

None of these are paradoxes, nor are they mere mysteries that cannot be thought about. Nevertheless, as Dávila says, "In clumsy hands theology becomes the art of making mystery ridiculous." What I would say is that when the typical theologian reaches the threshold of a paradox, he makes a special plea to Mystery, and hopes you won't ask any more questions.

One of the most annoying examples of this is in the attempt to reconcile divine omnipotence with the obvious existence of evil. This is a difficult one to squirm out of, which is why even serious theologians will throw up their hands and say, for example, "God's ways are not our ways." Thanks for the tip!

The first thing I want to say is that perhaps God's ways are more like our ways than some assume. I mean, you and I want to eliminate evil, don't we? I always go back to something our Unknown Friend said, to the effect that God doesn't control history -- after all, he himself was crucified in history. At the very least, he doesn't control history in the way you imagine -- like a tyrannical dictator who eliminates freedom.

Here we are very much in the realm of orthoparadox, i.e., "the Creator of history crucified in history," which is a little like me jumping into this post and allowing myself to be physically pummeled by commenters.

Back to that idea of "feeling." Humans are social beings. Why? Or first, how? Because of "fellow feeling," or sympathy with and for our fellow man. When my son hurts, I hurt even more. Why? Well, Hartshorne writes that while humans love and care, they do not do so "perfectly." Our "social awareness" is mixed with a good deal of selfishness, or narcissism, or social unawareness -- granted, not as much as an Obama, who is so heartbroken that he nearly misses his tee time -- but we clearly have limitations, or we'd go insane.

Not so God, who is "socially aware -- period" (Hartshorne). He is the source and ground of our own soci-ability, which is to say, love. Thus, "We do not 'love' literally, but with qualifications" (ibid.); taken literally, love is God. He is the literal instance of what is for us a category. Likewise "knowing." We can know a little bit about everything, but we cannot know everything about a single thing. But God is knowing -- period.

Now, this knowing is, in my opinion, also the ground of nonlocality; you might say that nonlocality is the shadow of God's omniscience, or in other words, a consequence of the radical unity of things forged by God's knowledge-love. This interior unity is prior to any outward multiplicity. It is not so much "faster" then the speed of light as prior to it, for it is truly One Cosmos, and nothing arrives here more instantaneously than Oneness.

Well, I didn't have time to get nearly as deeply into this as I had wanted, but we'll take another plunge on Monday.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Snicking Suspicions and Absolute Stupidity

For many months now, I've been intending to get back to Hartshorne and to my modified neotraditional vision of his process theology -- since last November, I think. And even as I wrote that sentence, I thought of several other loose strands I need to follow up on. The cosmic area rug is getting a bit ragged along the edges.

Then again, maybe I'm just fooling myself, and it's all as Owen Barfield once said of C.S. Lewis: "somehow what he thought about everything was secretly present in what he said about anything." You know, holo-pneumatic, or a soul fractal.

As an aside, I can't say I remember much of the past 2,500 posts. However, I have noticed that if I encounter even a single sentence of mine, I know instantly that that is ME. If they are someone else's words, I know right away that I wouldn't have expressed it that way. Therefore, "I" am indeed somehow present in the words. Is this true of everyone? I have no idea. But it's analogous to how the immune system, on the material level, distinguishes me from not me. Most of the time.

And now that I think about it, some of you folks have wondered how it is that I plow through so many books. Well, I don't exactly skim, because that implies a value neutral or global approach. It is too broad a description. Rather, it is as if I am "looking for something," and I always recognize it when I find it. I just skim past the things I am not looking for.

However, it's a little more complicated than that, because I don't necessarily know what I'm looking for until I find it. Thus, I am like a lock searching for the key -- the key to myself. When I find it, there is a satisfying sensation that feels like the "snick" of a good stick shift. I suppose it is related to what was said above about recognizing myself in my sentences, except that it's someone else's sentence. That's what it's like with one of Dávila's aphorisms, right? Snick!

I wonder if this means that I cannot actually be wrong or right, only Bob? Well, yes and no. What we are shooting for is the universal in the personal, or universal truth uniquely expressed. Both sides are necessary for the snick of the manuall trancemission.

Here is a beautiful example of something that deeply snicks in me: "The universe is not difficult to read because it is a hermetically sealed text, but because it is a text without punctuation." Thus, "Without the adequate ascending and ascending intonation, its ontological syntax is unintelligible" (Dávila).

The universe is not difficult to read. To the contrary! Any idiot can read it, except they put the punctuation where they please, which messes up the semantics.

To cite a prominent example, materialists place a period after matter. But who says the period goes there, or that that is a complete sentence? Indeed, what if the sentence, like Hebrew, is read right to left, not left to right? Or, more to the point, up to down, not down to up?

That is precisely what a Raccoon believes: that the sentence runs from God to matter, not vice versa.

Similarly, a metaphysical Darwinian has convinced himself that there is a period after life. As such, man is not a new sentence, but rather, just an adjective or footnote appended to an ape.

This is the whole point of the peculiar punctuation of The Book, in that each chapter is both discrete and continuous, particle and wave: the whole book is a wavicle, to be precisely blurry. And the wavicle is me, I guess. One might say that the wave is universal while the particle is singular.

Here is another snicky aphorism that expresses a samething psimilar: "Nothing affects divine transcendence; but human attitudes, in changing, regulate the tides of his immanence." As such, "God infiltrates out to the tips of the branches or recedes back into his empyrean."

What I would say is that the waters of (↓) are always present but that human beings -- both individually and collectively -- may "regulate its tide," so to speak. The left, for example, has built a seawall to keep it out. For them, God has indeed "receded," which may be filed under the heading "be careful what you hope and vote for, dryling."

Back to the first aphorism about the cosmic syntax, and how it is unintelligible without the proper intonation. Obviously, spoken language preceded written language, and spoken language has no punctuation. Rather, meaning is conveyed via emphasis, pauses, musicality, timing, rhythm, etc. The punctuation is not so black-and-white, nor is the speech uniform, like the Steven Hawking voice generator.

All of this is critical to bear in mind if it is true that the Word is God. And if it isn't, then the cosmos truly is a tail wagged by an idiot, full of sound and fury but signifying tenure.

Now, what does this have to do with process theology? Well, let's begin with an implicit commentary on yesterday's post, in particular, the bit about positive knowledge sometimes being a mask for omniscient ignorance.

Let's stipulate that all knowledge is by definition relative. The question is, relative to what? The Raccoon says: relative to reality, moron. But the moron says: relative to language. In other words, words don't reveal -- much less incarnate -- reality; rather, language is absolutely relative to language, in an absurcular snorecase.

Example?

Well, consider all those crazies and savages in Ferguson, up to and including the Attorney Generalismo: to what is their "knowledge" relative? It is certainly not relative to reality, at least as far as we know. Nor is it relative to "nothing"; it's not just "nonsense."

Rather, it is relative to a narrative, or in other words, other words. Thus, this narrative of theirs is not properly relative at all, but rather, absolute. Therefore, words and facts that do not relate to the narrative are sentences about "nothing" -- but really, sentences about racism.

Therefore, all speech about the situation confirms the narrative of white racism. For example, my present line of thought is not about what you think it is, it's about racism. The left's narrative is always unfalsifiable, and certainly not by mere reality!

We have all heard that "snicking" sound in the mind of a leftist who has succeeded in twisting reality into the shape of his narrative. It's no doubt a satisfying feeling for them, but to call it a snick is an abuse of the term. It's more like the perverse satisfaction Procrustes might have felt when violently lopping off a head or amputating a limb.

But what I really want to emphasize is that knowledge is the most relative thing conceivable, in that it is always relative to a known. A difference between God and man is that God's knowledge is absolutely relative, in the sense that it is always perfectly and infallibly relative to the truth of things.

Thus, the problem with the left's narrative(s) is not that it is too relative. Rather, it is absolute, and permits of no relation to truth and reality.