Monday, October 20, 2014
6855 Steve Fuller in his defense of intelligent design here defends God against the charge that his design isn’t all that intelligent. Why is there so much outright evil out and about? It does no good to say that in the long run it is for the best. Evil is evil even if it does lead to a greater good. He is doing theodicy. It all hinges on the idea that we know what the good is and this ain’t it. Therefore, let me jump in and describe just what God is really like.
“Behold, thy God is a jealous God …” whoa! I don’t know how many of my readers had had a head on encounter with a jealous spirit, but it is a fury not to be forgotten. God was the Lover of Israel and those guys were in a dangerous place. Lovers are difficult. So what those poor guys did – or at least the many who couldn’t take it any more – was turn God into a bodiless abstraction, a moral principle, a community activist. A wise grandfatherly sort. And they drew up a contract that said that if they obeyed a set of laws – which were of their own devising – then He would stop molesting them. As Paul says in Galatians, God had nothing to do with that code of high morality. It was just that man wanted to push a too too too suffocating Lover off. And they sort of did.
The worship of YHWH at its beginning was an ecstatic phallic cult. God was a waylayer against Moses, a rapist against Jacob, and a child molester against and with Samuel. On the High Places a rave was raging. And holy male prostitutes offered intimacy with YHWH. It’s all right there in the Bible for anyone who cares to read it and not cover it up with high morality. And did I mention child sacrifice that was common? Or course the other religions of the region were doing much the same thing. We are not here in today’s bourgeois society. Far from it. But those guys who made the so-called covenant began the journey away from all that. Steve Fuller’s God is so unphallic. The wind for him never blows. He will dismiss me in a flash.
Friday, October 17, 2014
6854 I am a theist. I believe God exists. Is there any proof or evidence for such a being? I have thought for some time about just what the words “proof” and “evidence” mean. It seems that, like time, they are best understood if not thought about too hard. Ordinary school students know their meaning right well even if they don’t know exactness. So here’s my criterion for saying something exists. What is presented to my mind’s eye exists. Or what I am directly acquainted with. The Principle of Presentation and the Principle of Acquaintance. I suppose those are the same. God is present to my mind’s eye. God exists.
Now of course there will rise up a chorus of doubters that any such thing is present at all. Fair enough. I will proceed to show you where to look, though I cannot make the thing be present to your mind. Let’s say you are obsessed with thinking about something. Maybe cars, maybe sports, maybe sex. Maybe you have a fetish. Maybe you just like to think about cooking or C++ or motorcycle turning signals. Anything at all. No doubt you spy something of that ilk around every corner. Again and again, there it is. It looms large. Vertigo in an instant. A mini-hypnosis. Then the Blank.
The Form is empty. You become empty-headed thinking about it. You know your own stupidity. The dread, the nothing. But you are obsessed. Ritual. Repetition. Thanatos. You dance your insane little dance. Your god is with you. Personally I am a sex maniac. In contemplative stillness, the orgasmic Bham! But not to worry, I am harmless; though you may have to pay for my institutionalization. Nietzsche after 1890.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
6853 The dialectic hangs between. Eros begins to talk. The critics wonder what kind of report they should send back. Lawyers argue the law. Something must be done about the drafty room.
We are in a dangerous place. The gods on one side of us and the sheriff on the other. Surely if I dance my verbal whirl they will go away. Really, guys, I said nothing, nothing at all. I touched no forbidden part. I only looked. With my X-ray vision. Silent night, holy night. Angels from on high. You know exactly what I mean. But you can’t say it either. I am beside myself with desire. I long to be. Which I suppose is a little too existential for your academic heads, but giving head is beyond the pale. Or the pail. Or the skin peeling off. I turn blue. Close the window. The sky is oppressive. I hang from midnight. Pteros attacks.
6852 Modern writers usually categorize those of deviant sexual desire into those who reach out for the desired object in its most material embodiment and those who sublimate their desires into more spiritual, i.e. artistic forms. Of course sublimation is always thought to be second best. But is it? And is the sublime in sublimation not a destruction in favor of the really real?
Admittedly, the world cannot stand in the face of a reality more real. Nor can a desiring human being. If the Beloved, in His most ideal form, is eternally banging on your head you’re good for nothing here. As an act of self-preservation He and the whole cohort of heaven must be denied, which most writers have done admirably well. The problem though remains. Neither material objects nor art will satisfy ardent desire. But then I suppose we could become Buddhists and try to kill desire. And Sartre said that God is the union of desire and its satisfaction, which he thought impossible. It may be impossible but for an instant it is present and Bham! a micro-blast to the head again. Such is the orgasmic repeating destruction by the really real.
The key word there is “repeating”. In the obsession-compulsion of sexual ritual (all ritual is sexual) the Thing appears. Vertigo. A holy sacrifice. The Knife is at hand. And the Post. Day after day, morning and evening. What is mere art in the face of that? Nothing. Ever moving on from one thing to another, material or otherwise, the One Thing appears. One thing is necessary. You are in tight necessity. A love-tortured slave. So sweet. So sudden. Again. Modern writers are damned rational.
6851 As for Camille Paglia, I think she is first rate, right on when it comes to interpreting literature and art, fun to read, and dead wrong. Her “ultimate” philosophy and mine are 180 degrees opposed. She describes herself as “an atheist who worships only Nature”. I am a theist who shuns that bitch Nature. She would understand completely. I worship what she rightly names “The Greek Beautiful Boy”. The Greeks invented or, I would say, discovered the Beautiful Boy as defense against Medusa, Nature personified. And Plato, in the Symposium, has someone say that boy-love, paederastia, is an attempt to escape material procreation and thus Nature/Medusa – the Hindu Cycle of Life and Death. Boy-love is transcendental; woman-love is earthy. According to Paglia, the Greek Boy – who went through so many transformations in the coming two millennia – is finally powerless against the material, natural realm. His followers are doomed. The Lady will win out. Platonic transcendence is a dream. His lovers are pathetic. Medusa laughs at them and their delicate ways. In the end there is thin watery fluttering. The female water-bags, as Paglia puts it, will drown him. I think I could do a pretty good job of Paglian-esque trolling of my writing. It’s fun. It’s an ancient battle. The Boy against the Lady. And it is all onto-theology. Today’s feminism hates the Boy. I understand completely. I can troll them as well as they can troll me. It’s fun and deadly.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
6850 Medusa and the Boy. Ordinary boys and girls, men and women, are neither Medusa nor the Boy. Those last two characters are out of either fable or Platonic Transcendence, take your pick. As a Platonist, I insist that the Forms exist and they are radically separate from the everyday. Others say they don’t really exist, but are, rather, imaginative phantoms. Either way they are not to be confused with the ordinary world we all live in. Except that so many of us do. We fall in love expecting to find perfection. And when it isn’t there, we complain. A category mistake was made.
The problem is that, in this materialistic age, while we still have the impulse toward another place, and we are told there in no Elsewhere, then we look for the gods here, on the Internet. Well, yes, perfection abounds there. Simulacra. High Definition glabrous skin. Callipygian exactness. Pixilated pixies. The low definition now must disappear. We expect the world to completely transmogrify into heavenly luster. Spectral materialism. But under the smooth cover of our devices lie demons of complexity. Viruses, bugs, malware. Hard metal. All made by tired young Chinese hands. The ordinary boys and girls looking so intently at the screen see, not transcendence, but its last faint appearing in our world.
The problem with the ordinary and the everyday is that it is so ordinary and everyday. It is always the not-quite, the muddled middle, the mediocre. We dream of perfection. And we do see flashes of it here, but it is heartbreakingly transient. Entropy - you know. Disorder sets in hard. So we wax poetic trying to learn to love finitude, loss and death. We are magnificent in our poetic sigh. But it doesn’t work. Our poetry becomes so ordinary and everyday. What to do? Should we believe against our seeing only the wasteland? What the hell. Go for it. Dialectical argument will always work in your favor.
Monday, October 13, 2014
6849 Let’s suppose Devkota was an inspired poet. What kind of spirit possessed him? A heavenly one or infernal? Let’s also suppose he was one of the Romantics. Is Romanticism a vision of beautiful Forms eternally the same or is it a vision of dark deliquescence? Devkota himself in Pagal said he touched, not heavenly, but pale fluttering things. In English he said they were things of the underworld. Perhaps he meant things under the bright surface of this world. He was an atheist, probably a materialist, and his presiding spirit may havebeen spectral materialism. I, however, have no way of looking into his heart. I do think he was inspired, but by what, my guesses are only tentative scholarly jabs.