The Grace Of The Score

August 1, 2007

Gagdad Bob, of One Cosmos and author of the excellent One Cosmos Under God, has been reposting his responses to a series of questions we had posed.

In an elegant discussion of the search for God, Bob notes

…An even better analogy would be music. As a matter of fact, I employ many musical analogies in the book. As an aside, it’s just amazing how many mysteries of the cosmos are unlocked by the existence of music. I have always been a great music lover, and now I see that, even in my atheistic days, it was one of the things that kept me connected to Spirit, for music is a spiritual transmission, pure and simple. Great music casts a luster of noetic light from one world into this one, somehow riding piggyback on vibrations of air. No one knows how or why this should be so in a species that was simply selected by evolution to hunt for food and sexual partners. Why on earth should vibrating air molecules be beautiful, even to the point of moving one to tears or to ecstasy?

Imagine two deaf people arguing over whether or not music exists. Perhaps one of them even discovers a musical score and considers it proof positive that music must exist. He decides that this musical score represents the inerrant notes of the great God-musician, and founds a musical school based on the score, in order to transmit the musical teaching to others.

But the point, of course, is not to study the score but to be moved by the music. The score is pointless unless it achieves the purpose of making music present. It must be read, performed, and understood experientially, not theoretically. Where was music before humans made it present? Roughly speaking, it was in the same place God is before you make him present. I don’t mean to sound flip, but this is why it is so easy to find God, because the finding is in the seeking. Don’t worry. If you seek earnestly and sincerely, you will soon enough find, just as, if you pick up a guitar and learn a few chords, you will soon be able to play Smoke on the Water. You will be able to start making music present, in however a limited degree. And as you practice, you will be able to make more and more music present — music that would not have existed had you not gone to the trouble of practicing and bringing it into being.

We asked about morals and ethics, and as ever, Bob responds with real insight and awareness:

…Again we return to the question of objectivity. Either morals are objectively true in the sense described above, or they are merely human agreements with an “enjoy by” date stamped onto them. But even when people have bad morals, such as the Islamists, they never regard them that way. Nor, as everyone knows, does the secular leftist ever regard his morality as an ephemeral thing of convenience. To the contrary, because the leftist collapses the vertical hierarchy of heaven and earth, he embarks on the urgent project of enforcing his morals by any means necessary, even if the means are grossly immoral, as history demonstrates ad nauseam with any leftist regime. The further left, the more immoral the government, all in the name of superior morality.

To point out a banality that may be news to some, both nazis and communists are left wing, in that they are both polar opposites of the classical liberalism of the American founders. What we call the modern conservative intellectual movement is specifically attempting to conserve the revolutionary spirit of our liberal founders, whereas what we call contemporary liberalism has an entirely different intellectual genealogy, in that it is always traceable to some form or aspect of Marxism. And as I have pointed out a number of times, please do not equate the conservative movement with “Republicanism,” as (tragically) there are very few philosophical conservatives among our elected representatives.

So the question is, who moves? Humans, or their moral targets? In the West, our primordial moral target is known as the Decalogue, or Ten Commandments, which were appropriately engraved in stone by God. Nowadays, many secularized folks obviously have difficulty accepting these commandments as anything other than a quaint, antiquated, and somewhat arbitrary list of do’s and don’ts…For not only are the Commandments horizontal rules for governing man-to-man relations, but they also have an interior dimension that communicates timeless, state-of-the-art advice on how to achieve spiritual progress…

I outline the universal applicability of the Ten Commandments for extreme seekers, off-road spiritual aspirants, omsteaders, and cosmonauts of whatever vertical path. In other words, we are again dealing with something that partakes of timeless truth. This in itself is a rather profound mystery, because how, in the absence of divine intervention, could a primitive and barbaric tribe of nomads possibly have come up with these timeless truths that would still apply some 2,500 years into the future?

You try coming up with something that will still be relevant in a few years, let alone a few thousand…

We went on to ask Bob about the evolution of faith as the practice of child  sacrifice was abandoned. We asked about Abraham and the binding of Isaac:

Like all biblical stories, this one operates on no less than four levels — the literal, moral, symbolic, and mystical — but actually several more than that, including psychological, metaphysical, meta-historical, and cosmological. These stories are like multifaceted little holographic jewels — turn them just a bit, and you can unlock an entirely new dimension. But the main idea is that scripture embodies both an exterior/horizontal and an interior/vertical dimension…

So what is this story telling us? What is its point? I’m not sure if what follows is a kosher exegesis, but it is my own attempt to square the story with psychological truth.

Child abuse has always existed. As a matter of fact, the further back in history you go, the more child abuse you discover. Except that it goes unnoticed, because it is simply embedded in the culture, just as it is today in the Islamic world. I would go so far as to say that mistreating, rather than loving, children is the “default” setting of human beings. As a psychoanalytically informed psychologist, I have no hesitation whatsoever in making this statement. Childhood is filled with trauma that is internalized, only to be acted out later in life in various relationships — including with one’s own children…

…In my opinion, it can surely be no coincidence that the most humane place in all of the Middle East is surrounded by barbarians who wish to extinguish it in the exact degree to which they systematically abuse their own children

…the author recalls Golda Meir’s famous remark about how “peace with the Palestinians will be possible when they love their own children more than they hate the Israelis. In saying so, she touched upon a fundamental difference between pagan and biblical religion: the presence or absence of child sacrifice…. Many ancient peoples believed in sacrificing a child to an angry god like Moloch or Baal in order to avert misfortune. Today, thousands of Muslims believe that sacrificing their children as ‘suicide’ bombers in a crowd of people pleases their God Allah. More, Islamic terrorists invite the death of children by placing their military and political headquarters in residential areas which they know their enemies will strike…”

his is exactly what I have stated in the past. Naive secularists believe that if we can only eliminate religion, then we will end up with a scientific and rational worldview. Not so. Eliminate religion — specifically, Judeo-Christian religion — and pagan magic rushes in to fill the breach. If your three eyes are opened, you only see it everywhere, for example, in the faux religion of global warming hysteria.

As the writer puts it, “Paganism has the advantage of being older than Christianity, the faith which arouses most of the hatred of the pseudo-intellectuals of our time…. Much of Islam today seems to have more in common with the pagan religions which preceded its founding in the seventh century. No clearer case of child sacrifice exists now than radical Islam’s cult of suicide bombings…” So who is that voice telling Muslims to murder children — both their own and others’? Could it be the same voice that told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac? No: could it possibly not be the same voice?

Robert Godwin is one of the most erudite and insightful people you’ll ever meet. His eloquence is both lyrical and intimate. From One Cosmos Under God:

The universe is like a holographic, multidimensional musical score, that must be read, understood and performed. Like the score of a symphony, it is full of information that can be rendered in different ways. The score can support diverse interpretations, but surely one of them cannot be “music does not exist.” For at the end of the day, we are each a unique and unrepeatable melody that can, if only we pay close enough attention to the polyphonic score that surrounds and abides within us, harmonize existence in our own beautiful way, and thereby hear the vespered strains of the “song supreme.”

Indeed.

Our review is here.

Reflex

August 1, 2007

The Baron, at Gates 0f Vienna is reinforcing a point of lost in the maelstrom of PC.

His post, Second Course: A Flaming Mo With Bacon, is yet another tasteless video example of the response by some Danes:

The Independent Danish Resistance Group have produced an additional video in correspondence to the latest political development in the Danish government. The video is a reaction to the outrageous statement made by the Muslim leftwing extremist politician Asmaa Abdol-Hamid some weeks ago.

What did Asmaa Abdol-Hamid say that was so offensive to many Danes? Check out the links at the GOV post.

In fact, the Baron’s post highlights an important issue. In a free society, the right to offend is equal opportunity. We cannot tolerate what is offensive expression by some and at the same time deny that same right of expression by others.

While burning a bacon draped Quran is a crude expression of ideological rejection, it is no less crude than excoriating Christians and Christianity, Jews and Judaism or Hindus and Hinduism- or threatening those groups with violence.

You wanna play, you gotta pay- and that’s the point the Baron is making.

If you are outraged, remember that the Danes were responding to what was yet another in a long line of provocations.

No one gets a free lunch.

Pig Pen

August 1, 2007

Remember the Peanuts character, ‘Pig Pen’? He was surrounded in a cloud of dirt and dust that was attracted to him, wherever he went.

Yesterday, In Garbage In, Garbage Out: Arab ‘Intellectuals’ Opine, we wrote about the psychopathy of Issa Khalaf, the Oxford educated ‘intellectual’ who posits that it is Jews, and not Arabs that suffer from mass psychosis.

In another post that defies reality, our favorite ape in a tuxedo, Ann Khoury, wrote Petitioning For Social Action, yet another mindless and deliberately misleading screed. As usual, she reinforces her obsession with Jews (almost always, her arguments are predicated on the opinions of that minority of Jews that fortify her shallow ‘scholarship’ and deeper bigotry) by asking that readers sign a petition against the Jewish National Fund. Why? Because in her mind, the JNF is racist. Why is the JNF racist? Because the Israeli Knesset plenum approved the first reading of a bill which calls for all lands under Jewish National Fund ownership to continue be allocated to Jews only as has been its covenant for over 100 years. The bill passed by a majority of 64-16 members of the Knesset. A statement released by the JNF included the following remarks:

We are gratified that the government of Israel, which since 1961 has been entrusted with management of JNF lands through the Israel Land Authority (ILA), recognized that the land purchased by the Jewish people for the Jewish people should remain in the hands of its rightful owners.

Just so we’re clear, an understanding of just what the evil JNF does is in order. Here is a part of the mandate of the Nazi-like organization Ann el Khoury so hates. From the JNF website:

In over 106 years, JNF has evolved into a global environmental leader and become the central address for the land and people of Israel. JNF has planted 240 million trees. Built over 1,000 parks and recreational areas. Constructed security roads. Educated students around the world about Israel. Created new communities so that Jews from around the world would have a place to call home. Discovered drip irrigation and new means of growing plants under arid conditions, bringing green to the desert. Built over 190 reservoirs and water recycling centers, increasing Israel’s water supply by 10%.

As a United Nations NGO, JNF sponsors international conferences on desertification, shares afforestation techniques and funds research on arid land management. Is restoring northern Israel, making it home again to its residents. Is supporting Israel’s newest generation of pioneers by developing the Negev Desert, Israel’s last frontier.

It is no surprise that Ann el Khoury is upset. The JNF serves as yet another mirror that highlights Arab failure. Those accursed Jews did in 100 years what the Arabs failed to do for two millenia.

If the likes of Ann Khoury are outraged at that land, bought and paid for by the JNF will remain in the hands of Jews, where is her outrage at the Palestinian Waqf (Islamic religious commission that oversees Muslim religious sites in Jerusalem), that won’t even allow Jews to pray at the Temple Mount? Where is her outrage at the Palestinian authorities that have declared sales of property to Jews a capital offense? Where is the outrage at the Arab nations that nationalized the property of Jews in communities that predated Islam?

A purported Christian, el Khoury seems to be far more comfortable with the racism and bigotry of Islamic radicals than she is with real Christian values. She has yet to label overt anti Jewish sentiment as racism and she has yet to condemn the ideologues that sponsor and apologize for terrorism.

Of course, that really is no surprise. She is deliberately obscures her view on origins of 9/11 tragedy and some of her biggest and most adoring fans are ’9/11 truthers,’ proponents of the idea that the tragedy was an ‘inside job,’ and she never discourages that preposterous notion.

In addition, she seems to take great comfort in redefining, if not denying the Holocaust. She believes and endorses the ideas of those for whom the Holocaust is part of a conspiracy of sorts, an event ‘used’ by Jews to justify the oppression of Palestinians.

Nowhere does she speak of Arab and Palestinian culpability in support of the Adolph Hitler and his ugly and bigoted beliefs- ideas still echoed and supported in Arab world media, schools and religious instruction (‘We’ll finish what Hitler started’). She does not ask- or seem to be bothered as to why Mein Kampf is the second most widely owned book in the Arab world, second only to the Quran and a perennial best seller.

Lastly, she cannot address the reality that the Nazi-like Israelis have proved to be remarkably inept at genocide and the elimination of the Palestinians, despite the well documented Palestinian racism, bigotry and hate (Never criticized by el Khoury). Israel it seems, oppresses people by allowing their free speech in media, schools and from the pulpit. Very oppressive, indeed.

See this for a look at the reality of the Palestinian ‘occupation’ by the Israelis.

A while back, a reader wrote and asked how it was that a credible university would even entertain the idea of giving the likes of Ann el Khoury a graduate degree. Surely, our reader noted, her thesis adviser would be put off by her intellectual dishonesty and deceit. Carefully couching her bigotry and deceit cannot hide her agenda.

Good questions- and questions that deserve answers.

As we have noted before, Ann el Khoury opining on the Middle East is like a whore opining on family values.

Think Pig Pen.

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