Thursday, May 28, 2015

Bob, Bobber, and Bobbest

Whether you are a religious believer or merely a faithful atheist, you have to admit that the structure of human existence is a little strange.

What I mean is, all living things have a telos, i.e., a mature form toward which their development is drawn, or at least might as well be.

I remember reading Sheldrake's A New Science of Life, on morphic resonance and formative causation, way back when it came out in the early 1980s. Something about his presentation struck (even) me as a little dodgy, but I don't see any way around the broader point that biology makes no sense at all in the absence of teleonomy, which essentially comes down to "future causation."

I see that the wiki article on teleonomy mentions Robert Rosen in the third paragraph, and it wasn't until his books fell into my lap that I felt I had a Coonworthy theoretical biologist to bring along on the bus.

Rosen may be saying some of the same things as Sheldrake, but since half the time I have no idea what he's talking about, it gives me confidence that he knows what he's talking about. In contrast, Sheldrake comes across as rather facile, and in the ensuing years has become downright Chopraesque.

Another rider we picked up along the way was the apparently obscure philosopher Errol Harris, whom we don't discuss much. He wrote a number of books, beginning with Revelation Through Reason, which were revelations to me at the time, but I have since then become more reasonable.

Let's inspect some of my Higher Marginalia in the latter book, shall we? "Life is the universe flowing through itself." That is literally true, because instead of traveling in a straight line, toward entropy and disorder, the universe somehow wraps around itself, creating a boundary through which energy and information pass. That's life.

A lot of this must have stuck with me, for example, "God's reality cannot be denied, as any such denial must rest on grounds which only God's reality can provide" (that may be a direct quote or my own formulation).

Here is another proof of God: "Every proposition is contingent, but in order for this to be so, there is one fact that must be asserted, and that is the existence of the completed system.... The perfected whole of knowledge and reality is, therefore, the necessary presupposition of all reasoning and all proof. The denial of its reality is self-refuting, such that without God's existence all rational discourse is undermined."

But we're getting a little far afield. Back to the weird structure of human existence. Just as every animal develops toward its mature form, human beings also mature toward theirs. The Big Difference is that this doesn't just take place in the key of matter -- i.e., our bodily form -- but is somehow transposed to the key of psyche.

In other words -- and I don't see how this can be denied, any more than biological teleonomy -- human beings develop towards their "true" (or at least truer) selves. That may not be the most felicitous terminology, but the main point is that we always live in a kind of dynamic and fruitful tension that reaches toward our better, or fuller, or more actualized selves: in my case, Bob, Bobber, and Bobbest.

Which is precisely Corbin's point, with all the angel business.

Because the first thing the curious primate wants to know is, "since this higher Bob is not yet here, where is he?" In other words, he surely "exists," but only in potential. But where is this "potential existence," and what is its ontological status? What about Bob?

For Corbin, this true self is our "angel." It is the source of our uniqueness, our individuality.

Again, it is indeed curious that, just as each human being has a distinctly recognizable face, we somehow possess a unique self, even if it is only in potential and generally stillborn. Much of the drama of history has involved creating political and economic conditions that will allow the self to be born and to flourish in this world.

This flaming article by Ann Coulter helps explain why this is so, as most cultures essentially function to either suppress individuality or allow only pathological versions of it. Liberals will no doubt call her "racist" for being so objective about these worthless cultures.

What happens to an animal if it is prevented from achieving its mature form? Another name for this is death, since the maturation process will take care of itself so long as something or someone doesn't prevent it.

Does something similar -- okay, identical -- occur with regard to psychological development, i.e., soul death, or zombiehood?

If zombies could vote, they would vote for someone like, I don't know, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, and that could never happen here, of all places, the Land of the Free and Home of the non-Zombies.

Rather than using the loaded term "angel," my preference is to simply use an unsaturated placeholder, or pneumaticon, for the angelic phenomena. The symbols I use came to me in about five minutes. Perhaps they look like it, but they have nevertheless done the job over the past ten or fifteen years, in this case (¶). When Corbin says "angel," I just think (¶), as in the following:

It "is unique because it mirrors the potential individuality of the soul. It is a call to our individuality. Becoming yourself is a task. We are born with the potential to become who we truly are -- to engage in the struggle for the [¶] who is our celestial counterpart" (Cheetham).

I'll have more time tomorrow. To be continued...

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Dreams and Delusions

The first thing that occurred to me upon hitting the publish button yesterday, was "what about the Constitution?"

Recall that we were speaking of the necessity of ambiguity in order to avoid turning words and texts into idols. Wouldn't the leftist enthusiastically respond, "Exactly so! Which is why we cannot allow ourselves to be imprisoned in the unambiguity of a bunch of 18th century empenised people of pallor."

First of all, the leftist pretends to find ambiguity where there is none, in order to disingenuously "discover" his preferences there, such as government bans on free speech and guns, or the right to a dead baby, or compulsory racial and gender discrimination, or the power to impose a new definition of the word "marriage."

More generally, what is the difference between deconstruction and Raccoonstruction?

First, we must inquire into where language comes from. From the scientistic perspective, it must in some sense be continuous with matter, and therefore come from below.

Conversely, in our logocentric perspective, language is essentially an emanation of God; it comes from above, which explains, for example, how it is able to so effortlessly embody and transmit truth and beauty.

Those latter capacities become inexplicable in the bottom-up view. But that doesn't stop the left, because with truth out of the way, they have the opening to project power and desire into language, turning it into a form of domination. The rest is politics.

Note the interesting trick: through deconstruction we slip through the bars of language, only to be recaptured by something worse.

In reality, ambiguity is only ambiguous with reference to the providentially unambiguous. Thus, the ambiguity of the constitution, for example, must be interpreted in light of its more unambiguous reason for being.

When we are confronted with an ambiguity in the text, it must be examined in the con-text of its overall purpose, or that toward which it is designed to converge upon, e.g., to secure God-given rights that are anterior to the state. The ambiguity cannot be used as a pretext to deny the very purpose of the text.

In reality, language does span the entire spectrum of reality; the leftist is half right in his belief that it proceeds from matter to mind, but all wrong in failing to see that this is only possible because of a prior involution from intelligence to matter, or from God on down. To promulgate the former while denying the latter is to saw off the limb one is sitting upon while bellowing incomprehensibly at the tree. You know, tenure.

Remember, language is symbolic, and a symbol is something "thrown across." Thus, a symbol is a link between worlds. As a result, there are two possible errors: one redounds to what Whitehead calls the fallacy of misplaced concreteness, such that language becomes its own end instead of pointing beyond itself; it is rendered closed to transcendence. The other error is to open it up, but only toward the lower vertical.

Corbin's whole project involves opening language to the upper vertical, so that it may restore its highest purpose of "translating messages from a divine source."

Now clearly -- for it is axiomatic -- language cannot contain what contains it. Language can never exhaustively describe the world, for which we may literally thank God, AKA our ultimate Container. As Cheetham says, "only a tiny fraction of reality is ever accounted for in any theory of anything." Nevertheless, an ideologue such as Obama does not live in reality, but rather, in his theory about it. Nice theory. Wrong species.

You could say that the leftist is able to achieve a level of psychic comfort by relaxing in the safety and security of his own delusions. Why then are they so congenitally unhappy and agitated? Thomas Sowell provides a clue (via Happy Acres): to spend your life replacing what works with what sounds good is a recipe for misery, because reality always has the last word (because it is the first Word).

Theories are fine and necessary things, but they are tools, not houses. They allow us to "see things," but can "blind us to everything else" if we enclose ourselves in one. "If it's a good and useful interpretation, then it is easy to take literally, and then it becomes hard to continue seeing in other ways. That is why it's important to keep that dreamlike hesitancy and ambiguity as our primary mode of awareness. Useful interpretations are like tools, and we need to remember to put them down" (Cheetham).

Only you can keep the Dream alive! Or kill it.

With regard to the latter, think of the function of art, which is always a kind of living dreamwork: "the nature of any artistic activity, if it's valuable, is a journey and is of value only in so far as the journey... goes somewhere, comes back and reports what it has found there. Art is the report of a place, not an idea about something" (Kelly, in Cheetham).

Most contemporary art, since it has been barred from the high road, comes back with reports of the lower vertical. Thus, it is not art properly so-called, but closer to proctology or composting or necrophilia. It is simultaneously not enough and too much information.

Cheetham references Emerson, who wrote that "all symbols are fluxional" and "all language is vehicular and transitive," such that its proper function is "as ferries and horses are, for conveyance, not as farms and houses are, for homestead."

Language can become frozen at one end or dissipated at the other, but it really needs to maintain a kind of fluidity and openness to what transcends us.

Only in this way can vertical murmurandoms annunciate themselves and be enfleshed in the womb of human language, and thereby illuminate the way up.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Seeing Through Atheism and Other Idols

As we mentioned a few posts back, an icon is the opposite of an idol: we look at the latter but through the former. Thus, we should never an idolator be, but always through an icon see.

See what?

"[O]ur quest," writes Cheetham, "is to recover the interior speech, the language of our deep self." Therefore, the last thing we want to do is turn words into idols and speech into idolatry.

Rather, language must remain transparent to its true object, so as to avoid ending in a brightly endarkened null-de-slack of unambiguous meaning.

When language becomes unambiguous, it is time to reach for your revolver. Among other enormities, you are about to be deprived of your vertical freedom, which is to say, your freedom to be who you are, which is freedom lived (or incarnated; freedom is the incarnation of the true self, just as the true self is the incarnation of freedom).

There are some exceptions to this rule, as in pure math or metaphysics, but even then math is transparent to beauty, while metaphysics is ultimately transparent to God; neither is simply an end in itself.

In his famous Apology, the mathematician G.H Hardy writes that "A mathematician, like a painter or a poet, is a maker of patterns," patterns made of ideas. These patterns "must be beautiful; the ideas, like the colours or words, must fit together in a harmonious way. Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in the world for ugly mathematics."

Note the surprising use (in a discussion of mathematics) of that word must: the patterns must be beautiful. Normally we think of mathematics as the Land of Must, of pure necessity (if not tautology).

But here Hardy is situating mathematics in the Higher Musticism of transcendent beauty. As such, he is not idolizing numbers, but properly icon-ilizing them. He sees right through their tricks.

All language is symbolic, meaning that it is a bridge between worlds. But the world itself is made of language, so one might say that religion as such is the symbolic link between heaven and earth, celestial and terrestrial, God and man, vertical and horizontal.

And if this pre-existing Logos actually becomes man, it means -- in a manner of speaking -- that God is "symbolizing" himself in man (just as we symbolize God via the man Jesus).

Or to paraphrase Schuon, Jesus is at once God's icon of man and our icon of God. In between is the space through which symbolic forms are tossed back and forth, or rather, clothe and channel the up-and-down energies.

"[T]he text of the world, and the soul itself" are "metaphors for the reality from which they derive. Meta-phor means to 'carry over,' and the metaphoric vision of reality sees through the literal appearance of things to the ever-shifting and mysterious Presence that lies behind the daylight Face of things" (Cheetham).

A face is a window on the soul; it is itself a manner of expression, the first symbolic evidence (in the form of the mothers's smile) of the interiority of the world.

Thus, the First Face is also a bridge between worlds, interior to interior and soul to soul. It ushers us into a "mode of perception" that is simultaneously a "mode of being," "a way of living that refuses the literal. It is how we can live the refusal of idolatry" and transform idols into icons.

The idol is a prison. For example, I mentioned a few months ago that when I first studied psychoanalysis, it was as if I were imprisoned or contained in an idol. It was depressing, because it was one of those confining null-de-slacks alluded to above.

One could say the same of Darwinism, or feminism, or any other modern intellectual pathology. Each one traps you in its idolatry and restricts vertical movement.

Cheetham links this problem to the widespread acquisition of literacy and its access to the text -- which is no doubt why the tenured are the biggest idolaters of all.

The text contributes to the illusion of a static, cutandry meaning, for which reason scientism and a certain type of Protestantism are mirror images of one another. Bibliolatry is no more or less literal than any scientistic idolatry (or any other ideology, which are really masturbatory idea-olatries).

This is not a new problem, only more widespread. For example, "Plato worried about what would happen when people started to read his words fixed on a page rather than think along with him in dialogue -- he feared that they would take his words 'literally.'"

There are Christians who believe in sola scriptura, which leads one to wonder how the first Christians learned about Christianity before the Bible was canonized 300 years after the death of Jesus. The New Testament is the deposit of their faith, not its first cause or ground source.

The good news about the Good News? The Book "recognize[s] this danger in various ways and provides hermeneutic techniques for keeping the mystery of the words alive" (ibid.). Which we will get into tomorrow.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Putting the ME into Memorial Day

I have a gnote to myself in the margin that proclaims "philosophy is autobiography." This conclusion follows from what we have been saying about knowledge and being, but it is something I realized back in graduate school while studying various psychological theorists and their theories. Which are theirs.

No, that's not redundant -- "theorists and their theories" -- because any psychological theory is going to be limited by the character its particular theorist. By way of analogy, imagine a theory of color by a colorblind theorist. Well, we're all colorblind in one way or another.

Recall Schuon's helpful schematization of our four unavoidable cosmic infirmities, ranging from the universal to the particular, found somewhere among these old posts.

The first is the Biggest, which is why it is enshrined in the First Commandment: sorry, but you are not God. You are "creature, not Creator, manifestation and not Principle or Being."

In fact, only the godless can be unaware of the fact that they are not God, which is probably the greatest source of their political mischief. As Obama might say, "there is no God, and I am he."

Two, we are not angels. We are not celestial beings but mid-vertical ones. We are not at the top of the hierarchy, nor are we at the bottom (unless we choose to fall even further than where we begin our begaialment).

Rather, we are somewhere in the middle -- which, of course, goes to the issue of free will, as we are suspended halfway between our better and worse selves. A saint is a man who has more or less succeeded in elevating himself (in accordance with grace, of course) to the border between middle and top, or time and eternity. Thus, he is like an angel on earth.

Third, I am me and you are you. We are different. Thank God! And I mean this literally, for our individual differences -- at least for the Christian -- are not accidental or purely contingent.

Rather, our differences are essential; paradoxically, our contingency -- which is to say our uniqueness and individuality -- is a kind of absolute in miniature. For those of you with more than one child, this is obvious. The differences are a blessing, not a curse. Or at least we can roll our eyes and concede that It Takes All Kinds. Every face is sui generis, and yet, an exemplar of the human family. We are all different to God, and yet, mankind is one.

Fourth are the differences that are not essential but contingent. These include relatively benign or silly cultural practices but also mind parasites, which mostly result from the scars of misbegotten relationships and assimilations along the way. They are "accidental infirmities" that cause a man to either sink beneath himself or become someone else entirely. The problem with a mind parasite is that it is not really you, but only pretending to be, thus a kind of primordial identity theft. It is a difference that is peripheral (i.e., from the earth plane or lower), not from celestial central, i.e., from the principial realm.

Hmm. There is some more fine insultainment in that post. Might as well toss it in for those who missed it the first time (albeit with some light editing):

Now, anyone can see the mischief and mayhem that result if we don't keep these categories straight. The leftist -- because he turns the cosmos upside down and inside out -- begins with infirmity #4, the wholly relative, accidental, and contingent, and then elevates it to his First Principle.

Again, this is why the Democratic party is the party of economic cranks, metaphysical weirdos, tenured mutants, celestial perverts, heterosex deniers, victim-powered losers, compulsive reactionaries, radical conformists, passive-aggressive control freaks, and MSNBC viewers. (It also attracts -- let's be fair -- a great many basically decent but just LoFo and easily manipulated folks.)

If you've followed me this far, then you will understand what Schuon means when he says that "Relativism engenders a spirit of rebellion and is at the same time its fruit. The spirit of rebellion, unlike holy anger, is not a passing state, nor is it directed at some worldly abuse; on the contrary it is a chronic malady directed toward Heaven and against everything that represents Heaven or is a reminder of it."

No kidding. The leftist is either in rebellion against God, and therefore human nature, or against human nature, and therefore God. Either way, he always confuses a prison break with solitary confinement. For eternity. Which is why he wants to force the rest of us to join him.

Once I start dipping into the arkive, I get all gnostalgic or something. It always brings back pleasant vertical memories -- speaking of Memorial Day.

This was a little fun at sometroll's expense:

"[W]hat is a bad man but a good man's teacher?" In our post about the cause of stupidity -- which is obviously intelligence, since the converse could never be true -- our stupid troll naturally takes exception to my certainty of this. Of note, he voices no objection to the actual content, only to my bobnoxious certitude.

This is odd for a couple of reasons. First, isn't it self-evident that whatever I say, I believe to be true? After all, I'm not a Clinton. But this is precisely the absurdity of the relativist: there is no truth, and that's the truth!

You know the old dada-actic gag, "this is not writing."

Second, no relativist actually believes his own BS, otherwise why get angry about someone else's BS? If relativism is true, then everything is just BS by another name, and power is all that counts. But you will have noticed that you never hear relativists say, for example, "there is no 'right' to abortion, for how could anyone be certain that a fetus is not a human being?"

Good times. We haven't had a troll in awhile, have we? I know they visit, but they no longer share their delusions with us.

Ah, now this is interesting. It actually goes to a comment yesterday by Mr. Lien, who wonders how, if understanding follows upon being, we can know that our own understanding is the right one: "I mean, how do you know which mode [of being] to choose? For many, it seems to be chosen for us. I suppose you can look around, stick your toe in the water, see if it resonates, and then dive in."

Here is how I presponded to that question six years ago:

... I am not attempting to innovate, nor to deviate from perennial truth and come up with my own system. Again, I am not L. Bob Gagdad.

Rather, I am simply attempting to convey the old truths in a new way. And not just a new way, but an utterly unique way, being that I am utterly unique (as is everyone else). This is how it is possible to simultaneously discover universal truth, even while discovering one's unique and particular self.

Do you see what I mean? Normally these two things -- universal and particular -- would stand at antipodes. But in the spiritual ascent, it is possible for the one to be a reflection of the other.

One might even go so far as to say that there is no universal, only individual instances of it. For example, there is no separate platonic ideal of a table, only actual instances of the ideal instantiated in all of the diverse tables. So there's no ideal, even though there is. Orthoparadox.

Thus, you know you're on the right track when both you and God simultaneously and increasingly come into view through the teloscape.

Continuing with this theme, I see that the next post from 4.25.12 attempts "to develop an objective definition of spiritual normality -- and therefore pathology." Let's find out what we came up with:

The purpose of metaphysics is to get beneath these accidents, precisely, and hence to a realm of true objectivity and therefore perennial truth (even though, at the same time, we must insist that existence, life, and intelligence especially represent a continuous reminder, or breakthrough, of the miraculous).

Now, what do we mean by objectivity? It must be a stance uncontaminated by contingency, passion, or perspective, for starters. There is contingent science -- or the science of contingency -- and there is the "science of the Absolute," which is none other than metaphysics.

Thus, objectivity begins with the soph-evident existence of the Absolute, which is what confers value and meaning upon human existence, which is to say, intelligence (for humans participate in the Incarnation of the logos, which is what it means to be "in the image of the Absolute").

You might say that humans are "subjectivized intelligence," in that there is surely evidence of objective intelligence in the cosmos prior to our arrival, e.g., DNA or the laws of physics. One needn't say "intelligent design." Rather, just intelligence will do the trick, so long as we know what intelligence is (i.e., a reflection of truth).

As Schuon points out, "Our intelligence is made for the Absolute, or it is nothing." What he means by this is that man's own intelligence demands a sufficient reason, and this reason is the Absolute. Remove the Absolute, and nothing makes sense, or can make sense, except in a wholly contingent and therefore senseless manner. This is why we insist: God or Nothing, TransCosmic Plenitude or Infrahuman Nihilism.

This same human intelligence "testifies irrecusably to a purely spiritual First Cause, to a Unity infinitely central but containing all things, to an Essence at once immanent and transcendent." Around these parts we simply call this O, AKA Unity Central.

Another helpful wise crack by Schuon: "To claim that knowledge as such can only be relative amounts to saying that human ignorance is absolute."

And if that crack provokes a guffah-ha! experience in you, you're well on the way to being cured of your existential infirmities.

More good stuff down there, but this post is probably already running long, so have a nice long weekend, and don't forget to remember the brave men who will have died in vain if Obama and the left have their way.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Brickwalling the World

No time today for a proper post, so I'll get right to the point, if there is one.

There is an "the indissoluble link," according to Corbin, "between modes of understanding and modes of being." If so, then an "outer" world will follow upon an inner world.

To cite an example we've used in the past, a baseball game will look quite different to someone who understands the game as opposed to someone who doesn't. It's the same game, but the baseballically advanced person will be able to access much more depth, richness, complexity, and drama.

Clearly, life is just like baseball, except that it might even have more depth, richness, complexity, and drama.

And yet, there are millions of people -- like the imbecilic star of yesterday's post -- who prefer to manage this complexity by superimposing some off-the-rack ideology over it. Then the world "makes sense," but -- in another analogy we have used before -- it is like "brickwalling" a CD in the mastering process, which looks like the image at the bottom:

The music in all of its dynamic range is depicted above, but by hacking off the subtle highs and lows, the engineer can make it LOUDER so as to GRAB THE ATTENTION of people with no taste in music, which is to say, most people.

Similarly, Tyson-style scientism is a LOUD but crude representation of the world, aimed at people with no taste for Truth.

Continuing with Corbin, "Any change in the mode of understanding is necessarily concomitant with a change in the mode of being," such that "in order to understand a philosophical system or worldview, you need to adopt the mode of being of those who lived in that world" (Cheetham).

Therefore, becoming an atheist has nothing to do with "learning" anything about atheism per se.

Rather, any "knowledge" of atheism follows upon being one. There is no logical argument that necessarily leads to atheism, whether inductive or deductive, if only because one's first principles must always come from a source outside the closed circle of horizontal reasoning.

Or in other words, reason cannot furnish its own materials to work on. You must always start with being, even if you pretend otherwise.

In order for a world to exist -- say, Upper Tonga -- there must be "human persons willing and able to live in that world" (Cheetham). Here I am and there it is.

On the positive side, if citizens were to stop paying for the academic worlds of "queer theory" or "gender studies," those artificial worlds would cease to exist.

More generally, in order for Leftworld to go on existing at all, it is obviously necessary to create more inhabitants of Leftworld. There is no Leftworld without Leftoids.

Which has become the primary purpose of the university, excluding disciplines that actually require evidence as opposed to "commitment" or vengeful thinking.

It reminds me of another item yoinked from Happy Acres:

This is what the immigration "debate" is really all about: the left's need to bring new bodies into its world. The purpose is not merely to bring them into the physical space of the United States, but rather, into the subjective space of Leftworld, otherwise they would be the first to build a brick wall to keep them out.

One could say the same of public education and the liberal media: their purpose is not to inform but to induct.

One of the most alarming things about the Clinton campaign is that it is aimed only at the inhabitants of Leftworld -- cranky feminists, public employee unions, auto-victimized blacks, homosexuals, Hollywood, the MSM, ultra-wealthy do-gooders, etc. At least Obama pretended to speak to the wider world, but Clinton is convinced that her coalition of the deranged is sufficient to brickwall the rest of us.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

You Can Learn a Lot from a Scientistic Imbecile

A random fragment of scientistic ignorance plucked from somewhere, probably either Happy Acres or American Digest:

There are scientific popularizers -- which is a noble and worthwhile endeavor -- and then there are scientistic popularizers, who are really just evangelists of a strange god.

For example, in the case of Tyson, he both inverts the cosmos and pulls it inside out, such that man becomes the container of That which contains him.

In other words, God is literally reduced to less than nothing, since he is simply "what scientists don't yet know." God is a circle surrounded by socially awkward MENSA members who have never kissed a girl.

With nothing else to do, it is only a matter of time before one of them illuminates the dark circle and becomes so famous that he finally gets a date.

I realize that not everyone has the time or inclination to think their ideas through to the end, but c'mon. Has Tyson really never heard of Gödel, whose theorems happily prove that no man will ever encircle or contain the truth which contains him?

In other words, any comprehensive theory begins with assumptions that cannot be proved by the theory, but must be taken on faith. Tyson, like anyone else, begins with faith but then halfassedly covers his tracks and calls it Certitude.

This actually plunges him beneath the realm of religion, in that at least the sophisticated religious believer acknowledges his faith up front. Furthermore, we also acknowledge an outside source instead of pretending to an omniscience that is unavailable to man.

That was just a brief asnide, but it does have some continuity with yesterday's post, because Tyson is precisely the kind of imbecile described at the end. Yes, we have some Bernanos again today:

"[T]he intellectual is so frequently an imbecile that we should always take him to be such until he has proved to us the contrary.... [He] is particularly at home in the modern world of technology and numbers, [because] in such a world he can climb to a very high position without giving away his half-culture.... [He] is informed about everything and hence condemned to understand nothing."

Ironically, Tyson only imagines that the Great Nothing has been (or will be) explained, when in reality it has simply been displaced to his intellectually vacant head and renamed omniscience.

Of course, he is not claiming personal omniscience per se, but he is using funds from a loan on future knowledge, i.e., the projected omniscience of science. Therefore, he is very much like the radical Calvinist who is assured of his own salvation. Like the latter, it is the ultimate Humble Brag, only on the plane of intellectual salvation.

Continuing with our daily Corbin, Bernanos (in Cheetham) goes on to say that technology is transforming man into "a sort of demonic inversion of the mystery of the Incarnation."

To back up a bit, if you fail to regard the Incarnation as a principle -- or at least an axiom or proposition -- then you're depriving yourself of a great deal. A principle is essentially a proposition which cannot not be -- i.e., we cannot think without it -- whereas an axiom would be more "a premise or starting point of reasoning."

The latter is a useful compromise between a fully operational Faith and something less. However, once you realize how spiritually and intellectually fruitful the axiom, you may find yourself elevating it to Principle, especially because it is difficult to comprehend how man could have come up with the principle of Incarnation on his own. Rather, limited to his own devices, man tends to come up with Tyson-level sophistry.

For example, the gratuitous principle of Incarnation explains how it is that man has access to ultimate truth to begin with. Note again that Tyson surely believes in ultimate truth, as per the statement above about science surrounding and conquering it.

But he just assumes man's ability to know it without ever explaining how a randomly evolved being may explain itself, or, more to the point, how radical contingency can even know of absoluteness, let alone attain it.

Therefore, Tyson literally transforms Incarnation to discarnation: the truth that is concretely and a priori present in, and available to, man, is vaulted into a realm of scientistic abstraction, which is precisely why we refer to these imbeciles as infertile eggheads.

It's all about the vertical fertility (AKA vertilization), isn't it? Here again, you can regard the Annunciation as a mythic formulation at one end, or a metaphysical Principle at the other, but either way, the truth is that the soul of man is analogous to a womb in which the Divine Seed is planted and grows.

Again, it is how all this absoluteness and eternity and infinity -- all this useless truth and beauty -- get in here. It is obviously not present in mere animals, or at least they have no conscious contact with it.

At risk of re-belaboring the obvious, it is surely present in Tyson, with his smug conflation of science and absolute truth.

Speaking of which, there is another principle at play here, and it goes to how one may know one is on the right track in the joyous pursuit of truth. That is, it always covaries with humility. Smugnitude, while no doubt pleasant in a certain narrow sense, is a hint from God that you need to go back to First Principles, because you've veered off track. In fact, you've committed Genesis 3 all over again.

As to principles which may sound mushy but are actually rock solid, we'll leave you with this:

"Benedict says... that 'integrated human development' involves a 'broadening [of] our concept of reason and its application. 'Intelligence and love are not in separate compartments: love is rich in intelligence and intelligence is full of love, and love must therefore inform the disciplines as a whole marked by unity and distinction" (in Cheetham).

Or in other words, scientific progress -- which involves the reduction of multiplicity to unity -- is only possible because the latter truly loves the former. Or as Blake put it, "Eternity is in love with the productions of time."

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Memo to Credentialed Imbeciles: What You Know Is Who You Are

Or in other words, knowledge is constrained -- or liberated -- by being. This runs counter to the implicit cartesian metaphysic of the conspiracy, which starts by severing knowledge from being, and then superimposing the former on the latter, thus reducing our hyperspatial cosmic pneumagraph to a simplistic two-dimensional map they call a "college degree."

Then, What Is is conflated with what can unambiguously be said about it, such that quantity is elevated over quality and the interior horizon is squeezed out of the equation entirely.

The result is the sprawling but tedious ignorantia of the conspiracy -- the Kognitive Kansas of the left -- which permits any movement except up. Importantly, it not only permits downward flight, but truly requires it, as anyone who has attended college can verify: the only way out is down.

Indeed, being that tenured excrement obeys the law of gravity, coprophagia was hardly invented by Michelle Obama, but has long been on the menu at any public school. I even see it in my son's private Catholic school, but that shouldn't be surprising either, exhibit A being the pontiff himself.

According to Cheetham, Corbin "begins with a sweeping claim," but Corbin and I own the same broom. The claim is that -- and I'm paraphrasing here -- the "mode of presence" of the person defines and limits of what is potentially present to the person.

This means that in order to know something -- say, about God -- you first have to show up. Sounds reasonable, but we all know people who deny the existence of God but refuse to consult the map.

Corbin expresses it in a needlessly convoluted manner, for if you can't formulate Truth in such a way that a bright middle schooler can grasp it, the fault is yours: "being-there is essentially to be enacting a presence, enactment of that presence by which and for which meaning is revealed in the present. The modality of this human presence is thus to be revelatory, but in such a way that, in revealing the meaning, it reveals itself, and that which is revealed."

Sigh. What he really means to say is that meaning arises in the space between two presences, ours and God's. Meaning also arises in the horizontal, but only because it is a prolongation of the prior vertical relation. Deny the vertical and no meaning of any kind is possible.

It is a matter of cosmic orthodoxy that the cosmos itself is the "first revelation" of its Creator. However, this revelation is always in a complementary relation to our human presence. Thus -- and you could insert Polanyi's whole corpus here -- our world (including the scientific world) is always on the way to a deeper iteration of itself.

Have you gnosissed that the literal factsimians who stare vacantly at the world in a scientistic manner do the same thing -- and can't help doing the same thing -- with scripture? Scientism can't even touch the world, let alone its creator.

The wholeness of reality -- or of being -- is an antecedent and generally implicit experience. It cannot be deduced, nor can one add up the parts and call it a cosmos. Rather, our logocentric cosmos is prior to anything we can say about it, otherwise we couldn't say anything about anything, for words come from Word (as life from Life, mind from Mind, slack from Slack, etc.).

As Schindler describes it, this primordial experience "must be seen as open from the roots to the whole of reality, in terms not merely of the sum of things..., but also of the integrated relation among things that establishes them as an ordered whole and hence as a cosmos."

A key point is that "any essential aspect of experience that is ignored or left unaccounted for at the outset cannot simply be added later without risk of diminishing reality" (emphasis mine).

This is quintessentially true of the cartesianism that pushed modernity out of the starting gate. You can't bloody well begin by severing knowing from being and then hope to get them back together at the end. That's... imbecilic.

Looked at from our privileged vertical perch in Upper Tonga, we can see that postmodernity is an inevitable complication of modernity. Take the first step down that fork and you can stick it into yourself, because you're done.

Or in other words, if you do that, then you are an imbecile. Indeed, according to Georges Bernanos -- whom Dupree doesn't know but wants to have a playdate with -- "the intellectual is so frequently an imbecile that we should always take him to be such until he has proved to us the contrary."

This all-too-common type of tenured dweeb or hired pundit is "particularly at home in the modern world of technology and numbers," because "in such a world he can climb to a very high position without giving away his half-culture." He is "informed about everything and hence condemned to understand nothing."

You could say that these imbeciles are the very incarnation of discarnation, which is to say, abstract and desiccated (k) without the real presence of (n).