I like to scan through the cable morning news shows now and then, not for the news, but to get the pulse of what we are supposed to be thinking. The shows are allegedly about the issues, but as we now know, it is never the issues, but rather affinity: who we feel comfortable with. Fox and Friends is the more “conservative” of the shows. It is light and folksy. I do prefer it for the news because its only virtue is that it does demonstrate some token opposition to the established powers. Nevertheless, it is not with them that I feel any affinity.
The most liberal show is Morning Joe on MSNBC, so it is more interesting because the future can be found there. As the progressives think, and this show is the preparation for it, so goes the nation. Ironically, these are the people I would feel most comfortable with, if not for my self-imposed isolation. Having graduated from an elite New England university, I am quite familiar with that “type”. They were the ones who dropped out the Logic class in the philosophy department, had trouble getting through Economics 101, and never even bothered with Science. Yet, as adults, they deem themselves competent to speak authoritatively on all those topics.
The problem is that, if you wanted any social life, that’s where the girls were, and the other choice was to hang out with nerds. They preferred the discursive classes, where your opinion is what counts. In the other classes, opinion is irrelevant, since objective reality serves as a limit to wandering thoughts. For them, thought is detached from facts, unfettered by logic, and all connections to history, family, religion, and nation are broken. Hence, they disdain the lesser beings who value such connections and who work at occupations that depend on the manipulation of material objects.
Jacques Ellul once wrote that the purpose of education is to make it easier to indoctrinate people, so the highly educated are often the most malleable, or at least, they must be moulded first. So once the educated elite adopt a form of thought, the next layer below them follows suit and then on and on. The next great idea shows up on TV, movies, magazines, pop songs, and so on, until no one can remember any earlier time when the now accepted consensus opinion used to be taboo.
Needless to say, the cast members on Morning Joe are totally into control. They want to limit your choice of weapons, curtail your energy use, restrict what and how much you can eat, smoke, and so on, even how you think. I have felt, when listening to Mika, that they would like to treat the citizens the way Tyson raises chickens. That is, keep them in a cage to limit their motion, feed them a scientific diet, ignore their opinions and desires, and exterminate them when their useful lifetime has expired.
This week that suspicion was confirmed! When discussing the possibility of new sources of cheap energy for the masses, the multi-millionaire Donny Deutsch claimed that we need “benevolent centralized power” because anarchy will result from persons making their own decisions. Thus, this power can control our guns, what we eat and drink, our health care; they can tell us what to think and overturn what we previously had held to be dear. It is clear they have the power, and it is becoming more and more centralized. Benevolent, it is not.
Uploading your soul
There was some bad news for those who are planning to upload a virtualized copy of their brain into a computer where they can achieve some sort of immortality. I was a bit surprised to learn that the idea of a soul or spirit independent of matter is “controversial”, but I don’t travel in the smart circles. Nevertheless, most of those offering comments were not dissuaded. They are certain that they entire lives are actually computable processes and that whatever remains of subjective experience within them will be shown to be illusory. It is an intriguing prospect, since immortality will be independent of any moral judgment. Yet, I doubt there lives have gone as perfectly as they assume, but it may be easier to fix a “bug” in computer software than to actually change their own life. But that is the problem. Whereas they seemed to have arisen spontaneously into existence, their virtual copy will require a programmer. We hope he turns out to be benevolent, or at least competent. I wonder if you will be able to choose your own virtual landscape when you are uploaded. Dante says it is we ourselves who choose our destiny, heaven or hell. I imagine the same notion will apply.
A couple of weeks ago, I got a long two thousand word comment on the Tarot Meditations blog, all in French, from a women offering psychic readings. She was effusive in her praise, and asked questions about both metaphysics and blog software. Then she mentioned she hadn’t bathed in three days. Apparently that must be an aphrodisiac to Frenchmen, but she neglected to take cultural diversity into account; so I rejected the comment. Some things perfume can’t hide. So take it as a metaphor. Evil and perversity surround themselves with a sweet smell.
Shia and Iran
The April 2013 issue of Culture Wars has a long essay on E. Michael Jones’ trip through Iran. He became a real Iranophile and noted something I myself mentioned here. He sees a certain affinity between Shia Islam and his own faith and brings up some useful points of similarity. The problem with Iran, he says, is the contraceptive mentality which had reduced the birthrate below replacement level and will open the door to feminism.
Library of Alexandria
The saying goes that “either what is in the library of Alexandria contradicts the Koran, in which case it is heretical and should be burnt, or it repeats what is in the Koran, in which case it is superfluous and should be burnt as well.” That is sometimes the feeling I get from reading Rene Guenon. He is so focused on the ultimate liberation, that he seldom engages with more profane ideas (except negatively, as in his early books on Theosophy and Spiritism).
Julius Evola, on the other hand, engages the world (“the way of action”), incorporating the ideas of diverse figures, which need not be named here. That is why he appeals to more men today, or perhaps a different sort of man.
Coincidentally, I was reading about Mouni Sadhu’s experiences in the Indian ashram of Sri Aurobindo. He stumbled into the library and noticed all the books of Indian and European writers, most of which he was familiar with. He wrote:
But now all these fascinating things had lost their charm for me. I realized that I was no longer interested in anything unconnected with my Path. It seemed as if knowledge of the Direct Path as shown by my Master subconsciously excluded all else. It meant that the desires of the mind, which is always eager to investigate everything, had begun to disappear.
At that point in his life, he realized he was no longer interested in them, as he was more focused on his own spiritual realization. I suppose there is a certain intellectual gluttony that desires to take in idea after idea. No doubt, for a certain type of man, there can be quite an intense ecstatic feeling from grasping some newly discovered thought. On the other hand, the man who had never had any such interest in learning previously in his life, is hardly on the same level.
Tomorrow I will be posting Evola’s book review on the works of Bhagavan Das; to avoid clutter, I will put the introduction here. BD was an Indian Theosophist writing in the first half of the twentieth century. In true theosophical fashion, he claimed to have uncovered the Pranava Vada by Gargayana, which was dictated to him by a blind man who had memorized the million lines. Nevertheless, Evola has extraordinary high praise for the man and his works, claiming it was written for the Western mind. That is no doubt a side effect of his theosophical training, but he also relates Vedic ideas to Western thought, especially the German idealists.
This brings up a question, then. If the German idealists, who are actually the heirs of the Western tradition, knew so much or were so close to the same understanding, then why do we still bother to look to the East for enlightenment? Why didn’t Evola himself promote his own works on Idealism as a spiritual path? Maybe Mouni Sadhu is correct, enough is enough. Or else, you need to hear the same thing over and over again.
These are three things which are rare indeed and are due to the grace of God – namely, a human birth, the longing for Liberation, and the protecting care of a perfected sage. ~ Shankara