"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Jul 31, 2010

The Priesthood of Lies

Confronted with the harsh reality of an imperial world order on a dumpster run to annihilation:

Some people retreat into fantasy:

"...If time is an illusion, can consciousness ever truly be extinguished? The fear of death is a universal concern, yet once we abandon the random, physical-centered cosmos and start to see things biocentrically, the verisimilitude of a finite life loosens its grip. The contemplation of time and the discoveries of modern science suggest that the mind is the ultimate reality, paramount and limitless...

...Physics tells us that energy is never lost, and that our brains -- and hence the feeling of life -- operates by electrical energy, and this energy simply can't vanish. The biocentric view of the timeless, spaceless world allows for no true death in any real sense. Immortality resides outside of time altogether. Eastern religions have argued for millennia that birth and death are equally illusory. Since consciousness transcends the body -− "external" is a distinction of language alone −- we're left with consciousness as the bedrock of existence. Death has always meant only one thing: an end with no reprieve. If we're just our body, then we must die. But if we're our consciousness, the sense of experience, then we can't die for the simple reason that consciousness is expressed in manifold fashion and is ultimately unconfined..."

Note to the stupid doctor:

While you play footsie with hope, that most vicious of perennial afflictions, telling your middle and upper class cosmopolitaines that their greedy, acquisitive, bourgeois existences will survive even death, actual death reaps a whirlwind of flesh and life all around you.

You eat and drink it every day, doctor. Your comfortable gold plated, HuffPo celebrated existence depends upon the death and squalor you refuse to admit.

Some of us have faced this reality and chosen a real culture of life. One that premises itself on the truth of death. We see with our eyes that people die. We see that people murder, rape and destroy. We see them get away with it. And we have decided - we've judged, Doc - that this will not stand.

Something has to give.

It ain't gonna be us, anymore, doctor.

So, peddle your swill while you can. Some of us dirty, lousy tramps have given up on hope. Looking for the palaces of the rich, instead. And you court jesters don't get immunity from the blowback. You might have a more esoteric version of the stupid, to sell. But what difference between you and Krugman, Yglesias or Klein, really?


You all need the drones to keep on keeping on. The priesthood always does, nu? Your very lives depend on it. But while you, doctor, prefer the older con, the one where the rubes get to believe they'll never ever die, Ezra transfers all the glory onto his imperial daddy:

"President Obama's remarks at various Michigan automobile plants today get to the heart of the task facing the administration as we enter the 2010 election. The White House doesn't lack for accomplishments. What it lacks is popular accomplishments.

The auto bailout is a perfect example. By and large, it worked. The automobile sector stabilized. GM, Chrysler and Ford are all posting profits. Millions of workers who would've gone down with the car companies still have their jobs. America retains an automotive industry that's both competitive in developing markets like China and starting to scrap with the Japanese and German automakers in the high-tech, green-car market...

...Obama doesn't have to invent accomplishments for Democrats to tout in the 2010 election. Rather, he has to convince the public to also consider those policies accomplishments."

See, doc. You may come out better by comparison. Sure, body parts and broken lives follow in the wake of the war machine, feeding the existence that makes you possible. Sure, never ever actually dying seems pretty nifty in the face of all that. You must have a blast believing you create reality with your "consciousness."

Some kind of priest has had that market cornered for the better part of twenty centuries.

Your kind of priest, though, always had a whiff of independence about you. I don't know if you have it, personally, doc. But Becket paid for Henry II's sins. Romero took a bullet for speaking truth to power. Max Kolbe died in Hitler's bureaucratic charnel house. And Bonhoeffer matched his words and his deeds, taking the wire garrote around the neck before he'd ever submit to tyranny.

Not so, the other kind of priest, the Ezra, Yggie and Krugman kind. They know what side of the bread gets their butter. And which big daddy gives them the butter, in the first.

They wouldn't dream of letting the reality of death and imperial destruction sully the image of their devotion. They labor mightily towards the same sort of disconnect that you peddle, doc. The one where belief and reality never meet. They too dream of a better world. One where the lies they tell take on a conscious reality. One where the drones might get a pay raise and the franchise, but where the priesthood gets to improve upon them, free to save the rest of us from ourselves, from our refusal to believe...


Ethan said...

I do think there's a place for mysticism, even the type I personally find to be embarrassingly woo-woo, but definitively not this kind. Well said.

Anonymous said...

Physics tells us that energy is never lost, and that our brains -- and hence the feeling of life -- operates by electrical energy, and this energy simply can't vanish.

Oh the Ooompah-Loompah-ness of it all!

Physics doesn't "tell us" what he suggests. It theorizes, it proposes, but it doesn't "tell us" anything. This fellow is a "doctor"? And he doesn't realize that science proceeds by hypotheses, not truths? Huh?

Physics also doesn't "tell us" that life is a system of electricity. But I guess if you're stumping for Obama, whose fleet of fathers includes Exelon, a maker and manager of nuke plants that generate... what is it again?... electricity?... well then, life is electricity, eh?

Those who worship science while spending time denigrating the Xtians on the Right, they frequently can't even see that they are equally guilty of elevating theories over reality.

The animas of living things isn't simply electricity, any more than the Internet is simply a system of tubes.

As Alfred E. Neumann would say... Bleccch!


As to your entry, Jack -- muy bueno!

Jack Crow said...


It all depends. Plato's mysticism has done immeasurable harm, over the last 2500 years. The entire western project depends on the metaphysics and politics of it. If I had to choose between using a mythical time machine to go back and strangle Plato or Hitler, I'd go for Plato. Every time. The tyrants invariably fall, but the tyrannophilia lives on and on. Why I believe Yggie and Klein and Gingrich and Friedman present far more danger than the power for which they apologize(d). The ideas recreate the environments, since they fester and spread. Hitler's fascism could not stand. But the ideas fled that dying body, metastasized and invaded the bodies politic from China to Israel to the USA. Becoming quite respectable along the way.

And those ideas started with a mystic - Plato.

So, I guess, for me it all depends.


There's observational science and then there's royal science. Observational scientists may postulate any number of bad models, on the way to a success or two. Royal science serves power. From day one.



Anonymous said...

I like that, Jack. "Royal science." See, e.g., S. Fred Singer at UVA.

Anonymous said...

Yeah and what of it?

Duncan Mitchel said...

If you're interested in the varieties and consequences of mysticism, and if you can find a copy of Agehananda Bharati's "Light at the Center: Context and Pretext in Modern Mysticism," it's worth a read. Bharati was an Austrian, born in the 20s, who became an ordained Hindu monk, and his acerbic take on all sorts of things is refreshing. Maybe I should do a blog post on him...

Jack Crow said...

I appreciate the attempt to find the positive in mysticism, but I personally see efforts to seek a "behind" or "beneath" to events as leading ineluctably towards metaphysics, and the drive to make messy reality conform with metaphysical and mystical Ideals.

I trust no mystics. Not one. Though some bear easier toleration.

DPirate said...

"It ain't gonna be us, anymore, doctor."

Actually, yes, it is.

Also, while you are sitting in the lap of luxury, writing your blog and collecting ad revenue, people are dying. Wtf is your problem?

Jack Crow said...

Not a monetized blog.
Don't collect ad revenue.

When you can get basic stuff right, I'll check back.

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