Never Panic

There are two options now before me; before America; before the West; before Christendom, as we all approach what seems to be a cultural crisis hundreds of years in the making: either to panic, or to commend our spirits to God, so renewing our pledge of fealty to him our Captain, and then to keep fighting, and before all else to keep praying.

There must be a demonic aspect to the present crisis. Our adversaries on all sides are too various, distributed and yet spookily coordinated for any merely human agency to have organized them so well. Another clue to their demonic inspiration: they are rather dense, as befits an army dedicated to confusion and disorder. They make stupid, obvious mistakes, such as threatening election officials – a federal offense – and then posting recordings of those threats online.

Synchronistically, I just finished the book Daimonic Reality: a Field Guide to the Otherworld, by Patrick Harpur. I have been reading about demons and angels a lot over the last five years or so. I had not wondered why, until yesterday morning. The topic is interesting, but so are many others. Why had I got on to it? Perhaps, I then thought for the first time, out of the blue: perhaps, it has something to do with our present crisis. Perhaps I have been prepared. Or we: for, I am not special. Lots of people in recent years have begun to take angels and demons rather more seriously than had been the case since 1900 or so.

In his book, Harpur discusses – frankly, and with refreshing seriousness – all sorts of preternatural phenomena, and subsumes them all under the category of the daimonic: UFOs, fairies, poltergeists, lake monsters, Bigfoot, goblins, vampires, ghosts, witches, elves, Black Dogs, Men in Black, Satanist cults that prey upon children, shamanic and mystical descents and ascents, crop circles, demigods, myths, monsters: on and on. Among them, apparitions of the BVM. These all erupt into physical reality – which is to say, only, that they are phenomena that, to those who suffer them, are as real as hammers and nails or as eggs and buttered toast at breakfast. But, from … where? They appear in all cultures, and always have, in one form or many another. What are they, and what their significance?

Harpur is a careful, thorough observer, honest, and quite intelligent. But he is unable to make sense of the data he catalogues in his natural history, and so falls back on Jungian archetypes and a murky notion of an objective yet chaotic daimonic realm that is as it were the unconscious of the cosmos, and so derivately of each of her members. He rationalizes his incomprehension of such phenomena by an elaborate but, in the final analysis, confused and nonsensical argument that the daimonic per se simply cannot be understood; that understanding as such, and rationality, are the province alone of the ego, which he holds in suspicion above all the other daimonic entities he apprehends; so that to the daimonic, understanding cannot properly pertain.

We take understanding for granted, but when you think about it for what it is, understanding is one of the spookiest things imaginable, and most difficult to understand. Understanding is daimonic.

Harpur indulges in a trite and tiresome trope among New Age and liberal writers who hate their patrimony: evil rational Western intellect, trying to make sense of things: how evil, trying to identify some sorts of things as evil, and others as good! How dogmatic and doctrinaire! We can’t have such things as dogma or doctrine, you know; can’t abide logical consistency. That would … well, it would force us to make all sorts of uncomfortable, costly decisions about our own lives and loyalties. And that would be … evil.

Now, I can see that there must be an unconscious of everything that is, including the cosmos as a whole. I can see that the unconscious – or rather, preconscious – mind of each individual mundane entity must participate the unconscious minds of all the larger systems it partakes (and, so, via their mediation, of their other subsidiary participants), thus furnishing a medium for and matrix of causal influence of all sorts, and thus of the sorts of causation to which we are so accustomed – and too of extraordinary sorts of causation, including such apparently preternatural sorts as telepathy and the like.

But I disagree that this pervasive mutual preconsciousness of things is anywise naturally chaotic. It can’t be, if the world is to be coherent. If there is to be a world at all, it *must* hang together seamlessly. If it is to cohere causally, it must cohere logically. It must make sense. It must be then intelligible, in whole and in each of its parts, and between them. In no other way might those parts be intelligible to each other; in no other way might any of them be intelligent.

And if a world is to hang together so as to constitute a coherent whole, it must do so without the tiniest jot of actual (as distinct from apparent) disagreement or confusion among its elements. In any world, properly so called, the agreement of things, their mutual fitness – even the disagreeable things – must be perfect.

Excursus: Agreement is of two sorts: the disagreeable sort, and the euagreeable. Things can conspire coherently toward evil or toward good. But they cannot even be proper things, in full, if they do not coherently conspire – if they do not, literally, breathe together.

So: seeing that we do indeed inhabit a coherent world, we may feel confident that it is amenable to understanding – even if we have not yet quite understood it, indeed even if we cannot ever quite understand it completely. And this must be true of the daimonic items of the world, as much as it is of the rest of it.

Harpur can’t see any of this. He insists that in the final analysis our world simply cannot be understood.

What is the reason of this lacuna?

He explains that UFO abductees often develop all sorts of pathologies, and are often subject to repeated episodes; and that such experiences are usually painful or terrifying occasions of horrible dread and disgust. Meanwhile he recounts that apparitions of the BVM are always sublimely blissful, wonderfully beautiful, and profoundly salutary for those lucky enough to suffer them: spiritual lives blossom, miraculous healings abound, pure springs are discovered where before there were none, conversions of life and faith multiply among pilgrims to their sites, and Mary’s detailed predictions come true.

Harpur just can’t see this difference between these two sorts of experiences; or else, does not want to admit that he has seen it. Part of the problem is that he has not the philosophical equipment to do so: he does not understand Christian theology, angelology or demonology. His understanding of the Faith is that of the standard New Age caricature; as if he had read a bit of Dan Brown, and taken it as authoritative. But the real problem – and, perhaps, the reason and motivation for his studied and indeed somewhat determined ignorance of Christianity (he knows a lot about Christian doctrine, but has little notion what it means) – is that he just cannot see that many of the phenomena he notices are simply evil, and a few simply, supernally good.

The surest indication of his unwillingness to look evil in the face, or to recognize Christian theory about the daimonic for what it actually is (i.e., far more experienced, practiced, and sophisticated than his own, and thus clear in its discernment of good and evil): he ignores exorcism, completely. He uses the word ‘possession’ only once in the whole book, in passing, and then only as a metaphor, rather than another of the concrete daimonic phenomena he purports to cover comprehensively.

He does not attend at all to the best and most carefully documented of all daimonic phenomena.

Recall Virgil at the Gates of Hell, who could not understand how to overcome the demonic refusal to allow him and his Christian student entry – so that Dante, who could understand it, had to pray for help, and then get it from an angel. The inference: pagans like Harpur – and liberals and atheists, and moderns in general, who are afflicted with the Enlightenment destruction of categories and names, and are therefore in their approach to experience radically handicapped, and so confused – do not comprehend evil. They can’t see it properly. They cannot name it.

So they cannot fight it. So they cannot but support it, willy nilly.

Evil confuses the minds of the evil about evil.

Consider then the Confucian mandate to rectify names; consider also the epistemological and moral disaster of nominalism.

Alright; say that the demons are involved in our politics. As of course they must be, if they exist at all (which according to the Church they do). What do they want?

The demons want us to panic, so that we stop praying. Panic makes us easier prey.

Viz., the media gin up fear about covid. They try to confuse us with noise, rather than providing information. They want to shut down Church, Thanksgiving, Christmas. Indeed, they want to stop sociality in all its forms. They want to destroy all the cultural outworks of a healthy cult, all the customs and traditions of the world. They want to destroy nations, families, sexes. They want us isolated, like the UFO abductees alone in their bedrooms or driving a lonely country road late at night. They want us alienated from each other. They want us to despair.

Panic is the terror borne of despair.

These next weeks look like a fulcrum of the war between Christendom and her Enemies, that has been preparing for centuries. We seem now to be at a particularly acute crux of that long twilight struggle. If the tide of battle does indeed turn now decisively, to one side or the other, a trophy will be erected here upon it, by those who follow us. A great cross, such trophaioi anciently were, with the battle relics of the defeated foe hung upon them – broken shields, shattered helmets, torn banners. And scalps, bones, guts, sinews. Trees they were, of sacrifice.

Any life is a series of turning points, of course. This may be no more than another routine turning point, like the decision whether to have the marginal beer. But maybe not. It seems possible that almost everything might be about to change, for good or for ill. The Storm seems to be upon us.

What to do?

Don’t despair. Don’t panic. Don’t ever give up. Believe: John 14:1. Be ready, indeed eager to die for the Church, and for the Good, and for all their childer. Don’t stop praying. Pray harder than ever in your life for Christendom.

She shall surely prevail, somehow or other, sooner or later. We may count on that eventual victory, for Aslan is our King, who cannot lose. Our confidence shall stiffen our resolve and render us all the more fell and lethal, all the more dreadful to the foe. Nothing earthly is so dreadful as a warrior convinced in his guts of the justice of his cause, and determined to fight to the death in her defense.

But, Christendom shall win through us. If Aslan fights alone, his battle is not ours, and he fights against us. We win – our side wins – by and through our fighting. That’s how the winning side becomes our side. And, our prayer is perhaps the most important and efficacious aspect of *how* Christendom shall prevail through us.

Whatever else you can or cannot do, you can pray. So, don’t stop praying.

And remember: because our adversaries don’t comprehend evil, they are confused. This weakens them.

Be convinced. And, be at peace. We win.

53 thoughts on “Never Panic

  1. There must be a demonic aspect to the present crisis. Our adversaries on all sides are too various, distributed and yet spookily coordinated for any merely human agency to have organized them so well. Another clue to their demonic inspiration: they are rather dense, as befits an army dedicated to confusion and disorder. They make stupid, obvious mistakes, such as threatening election officials – a federal offense – and then posting recordings of those threats online.

    With respect, if you’re not aware that many of the people wielding influence and power in the current world order are literal child-raping ritually cannibalistic demon-worshippers performing diabolical rituals for power, you just haven’t been paying attention.

    • I’m pretty sure you are here explicating some of the practical aspects of the demonic influence I adduce; i.e., amplifying rather than disagreeing. I was of course aware of all those merely human sorts of activities, and of the argument that such activities are a concrete part of the worship of Moloch among our rulers that we have here so often noticed in the modern world, and abhorred. Abortion is the sacrament of that cult.

      That all said, my impression is that most of the people involved in the worship of Moloch *do not honestly believe he is real.* They are deluded. He is. I think that, if pressed, Harpur would agree. He is at least that honest, and brave. But he would doubt that Moloch is evil.

      • You are of course correct. I’m simply bringing the excerpt to the sharp point of the matter.

        But I am quite serious. Believers or no, Lewis’ portrait of the NICE is even closer to reality than it appears from the outside.

        We know, as in have pictorial and testamentary evidence of very strong character, that these people engage in such practices as paedophelia of the nastiest varieties, that these people observe and participate in diabolical rituals (‘spirit cooking’, Black Masses, etc.) and that these people explicitly promulgate and support those who promulgate the worship of demons and the devil (Satan, Baphomet, etc.)

      • The really diabolical thing is that you don’t even need to understand that you are worshipping demons in order to worship them – or to serve them, which amounts to the same thing: Matthew 6:24. But I feel quite sure that many of our elites know perfectly goddamn well what they are doing.

        Fortunately, on the other hand, you don’t even need to understand that you are worshipping God and serving him in order to do so: Mark 9:40.

      • The author himself, in the very first line of his piece, tells us what to think of his suggestion that Trump is a demonic force in American politics:

        If I were still a believing Christian, I might be tempted to think that Donald Trump is Satan himself.

        The man is *not a Christian.* He is an apostate. He has repudiated his former fealty to Truth. Thus whether or not wittingly – probably not, for he doesn’t believe any of that supernatural stuff, having fallen for one of Satan’s cleverest ploys – *he has made himself a willing tool of the Father of Lies.* We may therefore take his entire essay as propaganda of the Enemy.

        It is also, of course, yet another classic example of SJW projection.

        Trump has indeed been a force for chaos … among the forces of chaos. He has disrupted the steady Faustian slide toward global tyranny, war, and poverty. He has utterly deranged his adversaries, ruined all their plans, rolled back much of the “progress” they had made over the last 20 years, and – so far – turned all their stratagems against them. It’s been hilarious. Schadenfreude so thick you could cut it with a knife.

        Jesus, too, was a force for such chaos.

        Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matthew 10:34-37

  2. Beautiful insights, Kristor, at the end. Concerning Harpur (of whom I’ve been ignorant), I find his kind very difficult to understand. How can you step beyond the veil and remain so blind? I appreciate your theory for his bad eyesight. To switch senses, there are sadly those who do not hear. What a curse. And how damning for us . . . for I suspect that it shows our failure pretty clearly.

    • Who knows something of Christian doctrine but can’t believe it true doesn’t much *want* it to be true, either, and will refuse to confront it with complete intellectual honesty and courage until he is somehow forced to do so, and realizes at last that it *is* true, and stops kicking at the pricks as Christ – that patient pedagogue – guides him back home to his warm homely native stable in the House of the Supersubstantial Bread of Life (Bethlehem) and its stability, clarity, peace.

      Paul refused to see until he was struck blind by coruscant uncreate Light. Thereafter he could not but see, albeit but darkly, and through a crazed glass.

  3. Well said, with even some electrifying things at the end!

    Between 5-10 years ago I started pondering the existence of demons….people seemed to be going “crazy” in ways that made no earthly sense. It’s no coincidence that many are noticing the same thing about the same time. I see that as heartening good news.

    • Yeah, the sexual insanity of the bleeding edge over the last ten years or so has totally jumped the shark. In its rejection of the most obvious and basic truths of human nature – indeed, even of animal nature – it makes Sodom look level headed and prudent. It doesn’t seem possible to me for animals to reject animal nature that way without having accepted influence from beings of some other nature.

  4. These next weeks look like a fulcrum of the war between Christendom and her Enemies, that has been preparing for centuries.

    So you are saying that the fate of Christendom hinges on whether Donald Trump and his gang of corrupt imbeciles manages to steal the election or otherwise cling to power?

    I’m not Christian at all and I have more respect for Christianity than that.

    But sure, go ahead and tie your entire faith and prospects to someone like Trump, a moral disaster who is the epitome of the opposite of virtue.

    Or is there something else supposed to happen in the next few weeks?

    • Establishment Leftists always, always, always project. A.morphous, your comment exemplifies that great truth. It’s the Left that is obsessed with Trump, beyond the threshold of Derangement. The Right likes him, to be sure, if only because he is the first conservative President since Reagan, or even Coolidge, and because he is doing much of what he said he would do. It’s also fun for us that he’s addled Leftist wits so much that they can no longer hide their true intentions, and that he keeps turning their attacks back upon them, hilariously. But no one on the Right is obsessed with him.

      So you are saying that the fate of Christendom hinges on whether Donald Trump and his gang of corrupt imbeciles manages to steal the election or otherwise cling to power?

      Sure, in the near term; the next century or so. It seems obvious to me that this is the case. Not because Trump is a world historical figure like Lenin – although he might turn out to be – but simply because big things hang on little. Nail wanting → kingdom lost, butterfly wing in Amazonia → floods in Missouri, and so forth. Happens all the time.

      Or is there something else supposed to happen in the next few weeks?

      The Left has been quite forthright about what they want to try to do to people like me if Trump loses in the next few weeks. If he does, things are likely to go very badly for serious Christians in coming years.

      But, that’s not all bad. Evil is autophagous, so it can’t win in the end. And in the meantime, martyrdom is a terrific opportunity for us. Whereas it is Hell for our adversaries. So, we’re actually in great shape no matter what happens.

      Christians vest their utmost trust and their last hopes in only one man: Jesus Christ.

      +++++++++++++++++

      Readers, I notice something interesting about the diction our good a.morphous used in his comment. He wrote:

      … Trump, a moral disaster who is the epitome of the opposite of virtue.

      Now, what is the opposite of virtue? It is vice; wickedness. That’s what a.morphous meant, but he didn’t think to state it that simply and clearly. He could have, for sure. A.morphous is a bright guy. But in writing unselfconsciously, it didn’t occur to him.

      He had in that diction *a tiny jot of difficulty naming evil.*

      Interesting.

      • It is illustrative of the inverted ‘morality’ of the demonic. Apart from his bluster, with which he totally winds up the leftists, what has President Trump achieved? Mainly, it seems to me, made it a good bit more difficult to murder a child and a good deal safer to live in the Middle East.

        This strong tendency of the Left to elevate themselves onto the high moral ground illustrates, I think, that very many of them aren’t conscious satan-worshippers (although many are), but worshippers of his licence whose pride makes them easy prey for the delusion that it is they who are in the right. I think they need this delusion, because they couldn’t go on without it. Many of them convince themselves, or try, that they don’t really like murdering babies but that ‘justice’ dictates that one must have a right to do so. I do think it is noticeable that there is an increase in those who are prepared to make it known that they celebrate this sacrifice.

        I might seem to be going on about abortion, but despite the apparent views of so many bishops, it is the absolute litmus test. They might give me the needle when I’ve become too costly to look after, but at least I’ll have had a life under the sun. To kill before the opportunity to be born…that’s the devil’s sweetest nourishment, for sure.

        This is a very timely essay, for me. I’ve begun reading some interviews with Father Martin (Malachi, not James!) who not only predicted what we were about to face quite a few years ago, but was very clear on the angelic aspects of this coming war. He was, of course, under no illusions about the lines drawn between Good and evil, having been an experienced exorcist.

      • Father Martin is terrific. His Hostage to the Devil was one of the first books I read about demons. It made the topic … well, concrete, shall we say. Don’t read it late at night before bed; not after your prayers, anyway.

      • But no one on the Right is obsessed with him.

        Yet somehow the fate of Christendom hangs on his remaining in power. OK.

        Now, what is the opposite of virtue? It is vice; wickedness. That’s what a.morphous meant, but he didn’t think to state it that simply and clearly.

        I phrased it the way I did because one of the functions of a president or other leader (and this is a nonpartisan point that a conservative ought to appreciate) is to act as a ritual or symbolic incarnation of a society’s values. Along with giving someone actual power, it is a culture saying to itself, this is who we are, this is what we value.

        Electing Trump is America saying to itself, we are a nation of vicious, ugly, fraudulent, racist, narcissistic, stupid assholes. We value bluster and the ability to whip up hatred more than, say, wisdom, compassion, intelligence, or actual strength.

        This may always have been true, but until now it was not an obvious public truth, it was a an opinion confined to the radical fringe of the left. Now everybody knows it.That knowledge won’t be erased even when Trump gets dragged out of the White House, so congratulations, you have won sometime of a permanent victory for your side.

      • More projection. The combination of omphaloskepsis with utter blindness to the visual data revealed thereby is striking.

        A.morphous, it is the Left that is now openly talking about reeducation camps and firing squads for Trump voters, eliminating conservative media, deleting the Constitution, packing the Court, and so forth. The Left is revealing itself as a party of totalitarian tyrants, who hate and want to destroy America, Americans, American traditions, the West, Christianity, men, whites, the family, businesses, neighbourhoods, sex, language, rationality, logic, hard work, success. It is the Left that has ripped off its customary masks and shown its true nature to the rest of the electorate. Everyone not of the Left now knows that the Left thinks we are, as you have just called us, “vicious, ugly, fraudulent, racist, narcissistic, stupid assholes.”

        Everybody now knows this about the Left. The Left has made sure of that. It’s all out in the open: the hatred, the rage, the violence, the urge to control every part of life (down to forcing their subjects to wear masks in the home), the will to destroy.

        You can never put that stuff back into the bag. It’s out there, permanently.

        And yet you think it is the Right that values the ability to whip up hatred. Dude, it is not the Right that has been toppling statues and burning cities and assaulting adversaries all year. It is the Left. And you know this perfectly goddamn well. The Left has shown itself to be the party of hatred and violence, of oppression and tyranny. Own it. Just own it. It’s no use avoiding the admission, because no one is fooled: everyone knows you own it in fact. You might as well be honest about it.

        Your explanation of why you denoted vice by “the opposite of virtue” does not pertain to the explanandum. It rather wanders off into a discussion of the meaning of national leadership. Nothing wrong with such a discussion, but it doesn’t explain the diction. Not that an explanation is needed. I wasn’t criticizing you. The diction was correct. It just struck me that you didn’t call vice “vice.” Maybe it didn’t mean anything. But then, the fact that you felt called upon to defend the diction suggests that it might have.

        But no one on the Right is obsessed with [Trump].

        Yet somehow the fate of Christendom hangs on his remaining in power. OK.

        As I already explained, the Left has made its intentions clear. If Trump loses, reeducation camps and firing squads are on the table as real options for dealing with people of my ilk, perhaps within a matter of months (depending mostly on how soon Biden can be rubbed out). The Left has vowed my destruction. It will be trying to wreak it no matter who becomes President on January 20. If he is a Republican, that deluge might be forestalled for a few years longer. But it is coming. War is in the offing.

        The Right does not want war. The Left does. Be careful what you wish for.

      • Just to be clear, this talk of “re-education camps” is based on a distorted version of one random guy’s remarks, not by any actual goal or program of any actual left-wing party or group.

        If this is something you actually fear, then it’s because you’ve let yourself get ginned up into a frothing panic by wingnut media, somewhat ironic given the title of this blog post.

        Over on the right, it’s very common to read fantasies of violence – “helicoptering” is something that’s become recently popular, referring to the Pinochet regime’s preferred method of murdering their opponents. Is this any more serious than casual talk of re-education camps? Seems a bit more so to me, but I’m biased.

        The Right does not want war. The Left does. Be careful what you wish for.

        Whether the left or right is more responsible for violence is a pretty useless argument and I’m not going to take it further. Conflict requires two sides, and if a conflict gets bad enough both sides are going to employ violence, whoever deserves more of the blame for starting it.

        We seem to be in a spiral of increased polarization which can only end in war. The two sides of the American electorate have drifted so far apart that there doesn’t seem to be much hope of reconciliation or peace, or even agreement on basic realities. One might have hoped the need to deal with a real, immediate threat to life like Covid could have gotten the two sides to sit down and cooperate, but no, that instantly became as political as anything. War or not, the country has already become ungovernable, since its institutions are not strong enough to contain the partisan rancor.

        Given this gulf there is probably not much point in continuing this conversation; matters will be settled elsewhere if at all.

      • So do you own the present hateful discourse of the Left, or not? Do you, that is to say, propose to stand with the Left as they guillotine the insufficiently left? Or, do you propose to be guillotined, with me?

        Draw all the moral equivalences you want, if it makes you feel better. It nevertheless remains the fact that it is the Left that has been rioting and burning and assaulting all this last year, and proclaiming their bitter enmity with America and all that she is. It is your acquaintances on the Left who – as you have admitted – have mused to you about how they would like to kill such as me.

        Whereas, the Right has not been rioting, burning, or assaulting. The Right has been avowing love for America. Nor has a single one of my many acquaintances on the Right – the rightmost Right, mind – mentioned fantasies of killing Leftists.

        It’s not a question of whether the Left or the Right is more responsible for violence. The Left is more responsible, because, hello, *the Left has been perpetrating violence,* on a massive scale, since May. And, *the Right has not.* The Left is responsible for *its own* violence. Period, full stop. There has been no other sort.

        Res ipsa loquitur. There is, in plain fact, no moral equivalence.

        If there is going to be a war, it is the Left that will start it. Whether they can finish it is another question.

      • We’ve been in a leftist re-education camp for years. It’s called postmodern America. We at the Orthosphere are just slow learners.

      • “The Left has been quite forthright about what they want to try to do to people like me if Trump loses in the next few weeks.”

        If the Left tried to do to you what you linked to, not only would 73 million Trump voters leap to your defense, but so would many tens of millions more who for one reason or another didn’t vote for Trump.

      • You are wrong.

        As for moral equivalence: no, it doesn’t exist, the right-wing is far more violent and more anti-American than the left.

        I’m surprised the latter is even an issue around here. I thought you people were monarchists; you can’t get more anti-American than that.

        There’s no point to a conversation between two people convinced the other is out to murder them. My effort to step back was not to draw a moral equivalence but find some place for a common ground of conversation. Presumably whichever our loyalties and whichever side is more murderous, I assume you and I would genuinely prefer an America where there were not two competing political factions bent on violence towards the other.

      • Oh, absolutely, yes. Only insane people like violence. It would be great if the Right and the Left could sit down and hash out their disagreements over a friendly beer or three. And as I’ve said before, I harbor no inconsiderable feelings of affection for you personally, a.morphous. I’d love to kick things around with you regularly at some suitably comfortable dive in SF. I think we’d both enjoy it a great deal. And if some stupid right wing thug were to challenge you at such a venue, I’d step in to defend you, with all the right wing cred I have at my disposal.

        A cheap pledge in SF, right? More likely, you’d be called upon to defend me, if news of my loyalties were to become known among the other customers of the publican.

        But as I’ve pointed out many times here at the Orthosphere, that sort of fundamentally friendly conversation is not likely between factions of different cults (as distinct from persons of such cults, as we two), that promulgate incompatible sets of First Principles, which then inform and so organize all of life’s choices – so, making every aspect of private personal life a potentially controversial and thus risky political witness of some sort; so that private life is emptied of its simple privacy, and so of all its privileges. So that, i.e., life is ruined, and there is nowhere any rest or safety.

        The Left and the Right each (and from their own perspectives, aptly) consider the cult of the other evil, insane, lethal. So … not much room for compromise there. Conflict of such deeply incompatible cults is bound sooner or later to lead to war, in which everyone must choose a side, willy nilly. Then, as things usually proceed, one side or the other is destroyed. Peace ensues.

        Excursus: Compared to the gulf between Left and Right, the disagreements among Christians *do not even register.* Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox – and indeed, Mormons, Christian Scientists, Witnesses, & alia – might find themselves then bitterly and consequently at odds with each other in concrete and practical terms (as distinct from strictly doctrinal controversies among the strict and careful ardent implacable nerds of each such camp, some of which have been here moderated) only once the modernist liberal Establishment cult had been already quite utterly deleted. That deletion is our superordinate world historical goal. And that is why we made the Orthosphere a Merely Christian site. *All* Christian cults, of any sort, are antithetically, radically, principially opposed to modernity. That opposition – that opposition to falsity, and that basic allegiance to the Truth himself, in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ – is what the Orthosphere is about, and for.

        As Bonald has often noticed, the orthosphere – taken as a cultural salient on the web, of which this site is but one bit of flotsam – has more in common with our more fundamental enemy Islam, than with modernity. So likewise also with traditional orthodox Judaism, with Buddhism, Jainism, Shinto, and Hinduism – indeed, and a fortiori, with the shamanic religion of Adam from which they all primordially descend. *Any* traditional society must find itself an odd bedfellow with its quondam adversaries in the more basic struggle against modernism. If *any* traditional society is to survive, modernism *must* be destroyed; for, modernism is the tradition that there should be no such thing as any tradition, of any sort (including at the very limit the tradition of modernity)(this is why Iran calls the US the Great Satan; *not* because we are Christian, but because we are *not Christian*).

        Modernism is the antithesis of society as such. It is the thesis of antinomy; of anonymy; of the zero of personality. So is it the thesis of irreality. It *cannot* be tolerated, if there is to be of us anything at all.

        Under the reign of modernity, whatever there is of anything at all represents some intolerable unprincipled exception to Modernism’s nihilist creed. Indeed, when we get right down to it, Modernity – being a cognitive system – is an unprincipled exception to itself.

        This is why there is always an Established Religion. It’s the only way to get a stable peaceful collation of people who know how to cooperate with each other, so as to form again and again from one day to the next a coherent operant efficacious perdurant society. By such an established cult other cults might be tolerated, but only insofar as their adherents swore at least ancillary and ostensible allegiance also to the State Cult (by, e.g., the offer of a pinch of incense upon the altar of Caesar, or of a firstborn to the furnace of Moloch, or by payment of the jizya, or by posting a suitable placard in support of the Party Line du jour in the window of the house or of the store (“Nice place you got there; be a pity if something were to happen to it.” “Black Lives Matter! Please don’t loot us!”)).

        If you want your society to be successful, one of the most important things to get right is the State Cult. If it be badly incongruent with reality, it will mislead, and ruin; and so doing, will ruin itself. So, you want your State Cult to be true (this is how the best state cults provide for their own memetic survival). You want its principles about sex, e.g., to reflect reality, so that fertility suffices at least to replacement, and to prevent psychopathy. You want its principles about work and wealth to reflect reality, so that the work people do is worth doing, and lives are not wasted. And so forth.

        Of any two cults, one is almost certain to get more principles right than the other. That’s the one you want.

        The CSIS study discussed in the Guardian article you linked covered data through May of this year. It did not therefore cover the massive and incredibly destructive Antifa BLM riots, arson, looting and assaults which from that very moment erupted and then proceeded pretty much without stopping right up through the election – not just in the US, but around the world. Nor did it cover the many other riots of the same sort that began in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, and that routinely resurged in subsequent years: they did not fit the study’s definition of terrorism. Those enormous episodes of Leftist violence, in which many thousands of people participated, dwarf all other political violence of any sort in the preceding 20 years. The whole thing was quite evidently coordinated, and funded. It was not the work of a few nutjobs out on the fringe, like the events covered by the CSIS study. It was mainstreamed and promoted by the mainstream media, by Democratic state and municipal officers, and by many of the biggest corporations on Earth. The giant corporations who mostly control social media – who, NB, largely manage the flow of information in society – deplatformed and silenced its opponents. There were death threats. Attorneys have been forced to resign their engagements with its right wing critics – including the President – because of threats *against their children.*

        This is all entirely the work of the Leftist Establishment.

        Congratulations, a.morphous: you work for The Machine. You work for The Man. He owns you, because *he owns your mind.* The very guy you (thought you were) rebelling against during the glory days in college; you’ve been working for him all along. How does it feel, to be a quisling for the latter day Gestapo? How does it feel, to be unobjectionable – a loyal little soldier – to the thought police?

        How does it feel, to be working *against* the Rebellion? How does it feel, to be a willing minion of the Party of Darth Vader?

        As for whether monarchism is anti-American: by no means. We think that the genius of the American people could find its fullest expression in a subsidiaritan neo-feudal hierarchy that, at the local level where people actually conduct their lives, generated a patchwork of many small independent states whose sovereigns were interested to promote their prosperity. In such systems, that personal liberty of the sort most cherished by northwestern European peoples – especially Americans – would find its most expansive rein. So, we regard our monarchism as pro-American. And pro-English, pro-Russian, pro-Welsh, pro-Flemish, pro-Bohemian, and so forth.

        Here’s to the New American Revolution. ER, so sorry: might our new King pledge fealty to you, after all?

      • Why, Buckyinky, I’m shocked! Whatever could have led you to the impression that the Guardian was anything other than a completely honest impartial observer of and reporter about reality? Or likewise, for that matter, the CSIS?

      • a.morphous, you crack me up, man. You really think Orthosphereans are professed and avowed monarchists simply because we entertain notions that Monarchy is a more stable form of government than “Democratic Republicanism”? Moreover, you really believe, do ya, that to be an avowed Monarchist in any case is as anti-American as one can possibly get?

        Perhaps you missed those lines in the declaration where Jefferson wrote that,

        We [the founders of America] hold these truths to be self-evident,… That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. (emphasis mine)

        “organizing its powers in such form,…” brutha.

        There ain’t nothin’ more “American” that I can think of than the good ol’ DoI. Except perhaps baseball and apple pie, or blathering about “freeeeddddoooommm!”

      • True and therefore Good Government arises from a congress of the will of the People with the Will of the Most High. The exemplary case is that of the Israelites, who petitioned Samuel to ask YHWH for a King, and who were given him. The House of David, and the root and tree of our salvation, resulted proveniently.

      • It would be great if the Right and the Left could sit down and hash out their disagreements over a friendly beer or three….The Left and the Right each (and from their own perspectives, aptly) consider the cult of the other evil, insane, lethal. So … not much room for compromise there.

        So why are we talking? Seriously, what possible basis for communication is there? It’s not even that the sides consider each other evil, they can’t even agree on basic facts, or on which sources of facts are reliable. A few beers might be nice but are hardly enough to bridge this fundamental gulf. You are not going to convert me to your narrative – not a chance. And I doubt I have any ability to change your mind. So what are we talking about?

        Nor did it cover the many other riots of the same sort that began in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, and that routinely resurged in subsequent years: they did not fit the study’s definition of terrorism.

        Right, because riots against property are not generally considered terrorism.

        Congratulations, a.morphous: you work for The Machine. You work for The Man. He owns you, because *he owns your mind.* The very guy you (thought you were) rebelling against during the glory days in college; you’ve been working for him all along…How does it feel, to be working *against* the Rebellion? How does it feel, to be a willing minion of the Party of Darth Vader?

        Honestly this strikes me as so childish an argument that I don’t know how to respond. If I thought in such comic-book terms in my college days (and I don’t think that’s the case) I certainly don’t think that way now.
        This neatly encapsulates something non-obvious about the right wing – it has pretty much nothing to do with conserving anything; it’s really an attempt to appropriate and retarget the tropes, methods, and energies of the left for purposes that are inimical to the left’s goals. It paints itself in the colors of resistance when it is actually a front for power. That’s part of why it appears entirely fraudulent to me.
        If we are going to think about Darth Vader, let’s acknowledge the real-world basis for Darth Vader, and his imperial storm troopers – 20th century fascism and Nazism. The party you support – the Republican party of Donald Trump – is the party of 21st century fascism. So to me it seems like you are the minion of evil, if we really have to think in such terms.
        Again I see no point arguing over this. We are both pretty sure we are right, and we both have ample ideological ammunition to support our positions. We both see death in the ideas of the other. It would take a lot of beer to fix that.

        If you want your society to be successful, one of the most important things to get right is the State Cult. If it be badly incongruent with reality, it will mislead, and ruin;

        Oh yes indeed. And if you are presuming to claim that the Republican party, the party of Donald Trump, is in any way “congruent with reality”, well, sorry, it means you live in a different reality than I do. Which is a problem, although thankfully, less of a problem today than it was last week.

      • Right, because riots against property are not generally considered terrorism.

        Unless the property is a Black church. Or a pile of books. Or a synagogue.

        Terrorism is the use of fear as a political instrument, meaning “do as we say or we will hurt you.” Getting a bucket of paint splashed on your property for a Trump sign (as I reported happened to the man down the street) is clearly mild terrorism. Repairing the damage expropriated the man’s labor and he was thereafter fearful of more violent reprisals. I know this way of thinking can lead to weeping over micro-agressions, but there is nothing innocent about destruction of property. It makes absolutely no difference that the property is insured and can be replaced because this does not alter the semiotics of violation.

      • The party you support – the Republican party of Donald Trump – is the party of 21st century fascism.

        Again, you are thinking with caricatures; i.e., not thinking. To think that Republicans are National Socialists (as distinct from the internationalists of the USSR and Davos) is just nuts. Get real. If Trump was fascist, and if his party were fascist, you’d be in a reeducation camp already, if not dead.

        Excursus: This was what kept my young Marxist mind opened to the possibility that Marxism might be simply mistaken. Namely: if it was really true that our little Marxist coterie was engaged in cultural sedition against the Fascist Beast, why were we tolerated by that Beast – indeed, completely ignored? Why had we not already been shot?

        What is more, you are again projecting. There are no Republicans proposing reeducation camps and firing squads for their political adversaries. That’s the sort of talk that *your* side spews. Your side has talked that way, and then whenever it could has walked that talk, since 1789.

        This neatly encapsulates something non-obvious about the right wing – it has pretty much nothing to do with conserving anything; it’s really an attempt to appropriate and retarget the tropes, methods, and energies of the left for purposes that are inimical to the left’s goals. It paints itself in the colors of resistance when it is actually a front for power.

        More projection. You interpret the Right as *just like your own party, the Left.* Which of course is, again, just nuts.

        The people of the Right *don’t want* power. They don’t want to control others. They just want to be left alone. They want to conserve the way of life – the traditional culture – in which everyone was quite free to order his life – or disorder it – as he wished, and to suffer the consequences for good or ill in his own person.

        The Right is the party that is *against* totalitarian control.

        For the Left, on the other hand, every jot of the personal is political, and people must be controlled right down to their very thoughts – as the struggle sessions devoted to systemic racism endeavor to do – so as to ensure that no one is straying from the Party Line, and to protect the power of the Party elite.

      • Again, you are thinking with caricatures; i.e., not thinking. To think that Republicans are National Socialists (as distinct from the internationalists of the USSR and Davos) is just nuts. Get real.

        Let me remind you that you are the one who brought Darth Vader into the conversation.

        I’m hardly the only one to make the connection between Trump and fascism. Timothy Snyder, a Yale historian, has written extensively on the subject. I don’t expect you to accept his views, seeing as he is from my reality rather than yours, but rest assured I have plenty of learned company over here.

      • Let me remind you that you are the one who brought Darth Vader into the conversation.

        Hah! Touché. Fair enough. But, however, NB that in so doing I was not making a substantive argument – such as, “Republicans are fascists” – but rather, engaging in rhetorical flourish.

        As for Professor Snyder, the mere fact that a man has accumulated some serious academic credentials is no warrant of the cogency of his arguments or the truth of their conclusions. Viz., the arguments back in the day of Professor Paul Ehrlich.

        Academic credentials are one way to get into the game of the social ascertainment of truth. They are not tantamount to scoring, but rather only to stepping onto the lists.

        To hell with talk of your reality and mine; with ontological relativism, which reduces in the final analysis to solipsism, and thus to acosmism; to universal incorrigible insanity. No: there is reality, and there is delusion. If there is no objective reality, then nor is there such a thing as either delusion, or any real dialectic. If there is no reality, then you don’t get to have the impressions of it that you do indeed have, and that you notice are different from mine.

        Reality bites: the notion that Trump is a fascist tyrant is simply and obviously counterfactual, and any boy with a head on his shoulders can see that this is so. One of the facts it is easy to adduce in support of that proposition is that Professor Snyder is still alive, employed at Yale, and publishing.

        If Snyder had argued to the contrary, there is a good chance he would no longer be at Yale – or almost any other campus. I know an Orthospherean who recently suffered just that sort of ostracism and deplatforming. And only a few weeks ago, Professor Smith came within a hair’s breadth of losing his tenured professorship on account of his writing here.

        A.morphous, this has already gotten quite personal and concrete for your correspondents at this blog. We have already begun to pay a steep personal price for kicking at the pricks of your Establishment oligarchs; for engaging openly in what your side construes as crimethink. And your side is not even in office yet. It is not at all unreasonable therefore that we should contemplate the possibility that, once your side is again in office – which, God forfend – we shall then have to be ready to pay a far steeper price.

      • a.morphous: I read prof. Snyder’s article you linked to above, wherein he wrote,

        [Trump] decries voting by mail, but praises absentee ballots, which are nothing else but voting by mail.

        Snyder goes on to call this a “contradiction” on Trump’s part.

        I’m sure I don’t need to explain to a man of your intelligence and standing how that statement destroys Snyder’s credibility with anyone who knows the first damn thing about mail-in vs absentee voting. For goodness sakes, a third grader can readily understand the difference. For all the nincompoops reading this, however, compare prof. Snyder’s ridiculous claim above with the following:

        Facilitating a well-orchestrated vote-by-mail election is the equivalent of a logistical nightmare. And with a global pandemic sweeping the country, this logistical nightmare can only get worse.

        See here:

        https://bipartisanpolicy.org/blog/voting-in-the-time-of-corona-the-difference-between-absentee-voting-and-voting-by-mail/

        No sh*t, right? Sounds like Trump ain’t the only one who expressed concerns, pre-election, about mail-in voting. (btw, why don’t you get together with prof. Snyder and come up with a logical explanation for why there were, in the late election, an additional 25 million votes … counted as compared to the previous election. NB that I said a logical explanation; if you claim the huge, unprecedented spike in voter turnout was because the American people (and actual eligible voters at that) turned out to defeat the evil tyrant Trump, I’m simply going to ask what kind of fools you take us for around these parts.). Speaking of which,…

        Please do me and everyone here the kindness of explaining why it is you find it necessary to state the blatantly obvious. I mean, you think we don’t know, and haven’t known for a long long time, that the “learned” professions in the Weimerican Republic are crawling with your ilk? This is a common topic of conversation within these precincts for goodness sakes. Dr. Bertonneau, Prof. Smith, Bonald, Kristor, etc., have all talked about it many many times.

        You have plenty of “learned” people on your side? Whooptidoo!

        Give that man a cupie doll!

      • To hell with talk of your reality and mine

        Fine, there is only one reality. But then we seem to be saddled with divergent and competing narratives about that reality. Surely you can’t deny this? The New York Times and Fox News present radically different pictures of our one reality, as do you and I.

        There seems to be no way to reconcile these divergent narratives, so they have to coexist uneasily or battle it out for supremacy.

        the notion that Trump is a fascist tyrant is simply and obviously counterfactual

        The thesis of Snyder (and many others) is that Trump and his supporters display a many of the signs of incipient fascism, which is not the same as being a full-blown fascist tyrant.

        Now that Trump is going to be slinking offstage, some of these fears might seem to have been overblown. However, those same fears are part of what energized the political opposition and led to his defeat. Normally real leftists wouldn’t be caught dead supporting a boring corporate centrist like Joe Biden, but Trump’s revolting personality and flirtations with fascism really manzged to bring people together!

      • … we seem to be saddled with divergent and competing narratives about that reality. Surely you can’t deny this? The New York Times and Fox News present radically different pictures of our one reality, as do you and I. There seems to be no way to reconcile these divergent narratives, so they have to coexist uneasily or battle it out for supremacy.

        It’s the latter. The era of coexistence appears to be over. The assault of the Leftist oligarchy on the livelihoods of their political adversaries of the Right has long been underway, and is picking up steam. A Leftist assault on their lives is next on the menu.

        The thesis of Snyder … is that Trump and his supporters display many of the signs of incipient fascism, which is not the same as being a full-blown fascist tyrant.

        Well, as Terry Morris and I have been reporting to you from our experience on the ground, deep within the ranks of the Right, it’s a delusory thesis. It is counterfactual. It is false. Apart from a few nutjobs such as plague any social organ, nobody on the Right wants to destroy the lives or livelihoods of their political adversaries. The people on the Left who think that they do are *projecting.* They are generalizing from the way people on the Left think to the way people on the Right think. They think Rightists want to destroy them the same way that they want to destroy Rightists.

        It just isn’t true.

        So much for Yale credentials.

    • Kristor wrote:

      It’s also fun for us that he’s addled Leftist wits so much that they can no longer hide their true intentions, and that he keeps turning their attacks back upon them, hilariously.

      For all of his faults, this is indeed one of Trump’s most redeeming qualities, in my books.

      a.morphous, let me get you hot: “Cleanup in Philadelphia. In Detroit. In Atlanta. etc.” What kind of ballots did y’all use, paper or plastic; what kind of counters, Venezulan, Pakistani, or Mbumba tribesmen?

      Z-man said a few days ago that he literally fears busting a gut laughing if the Trump team somehow manages to overturn the fake election results. Alls I can say to that is, #metoo.

      Ditzy Joe of course ain’t got the brains, if he knew where he was half the time, to coordinate and lead the country-wide voter fraud that we witnessed in the early morning hours of November 4th. He is, nevertheless, the Left’s chosen figurehead, so he’ll have to be the one Trump bodyslams for public consumption if and when the time comes.

      • Here’s $20 says Joe will be hustled offstage by means of COVID, shortly after his inauguration, if he gets there. Not by any agent of the Right, of course.

      • Ha! The irony is that they (agents of the Left) may *have to* hustle him off stage if he keeps wearing that filthy mask around. Obviously he needs all the clean oxygen intake he can get.

  5. Pingback: Never Panic | Reaction Times

  6. Excellent, timely post Kristor. Great stuff!

    I would just clarify that by ‘win’ you (presumably) mean across an eternal timescale – rather than in this mortal world. And that faithful Christians will always win spiritually; but not necessarily temporally; nor will the majority of the West or world population necessarily win.

    I regard the world as more evil Now than Ever before (so far as I can tell), and the evil is more extreme (value inversion) and dominant. So a good socio-political outcome is too much to expect.

    When we fight on the side of God it will be a small scale affair because those on the side of God are few and dispersed; when we choose death over evil, it is unlikely to be celebrated (or even noticed) by many.

    Wrt Harpur – I concur. But my impression is that his “anything but Christianity” convictions had led to significant deterioration in his values since he wrote that particular book – judging by his later work, and an email exchange I had with him a couple of years ago. Such is the nature of these times. He tried to be neutral, but this Now leads to taking sides with Satan.

    • Just so, yes: by “win,” what I really mean is that at the eschaton, if we have chosen well, we shall be resurrected along with our whole cosmos. Evil will lose. But, not till then.

      I think a good socio-political outcome would be that we are left alone until we die naturally. It is that happy prospect which may now be disappearing. Thus my recent talk about martyrdom, what a great deal it is for us, etc.

      I agree that the World – specifically, the Flesh – has never been this evil. No society in history has been anywhere near as depraved as ours. Elagabalus doesn’t even register. Sodom and Gomorrah were downright lazy compared to our sexual innovators. As for the sacrifice of innocents, Carthage never even got out of the starting blocks compared to us.

      [Harpur] tried to be neutral, but this Now leads to taking sides with Satan.

      Yeah, the middle is pretty much gone. If you fly an American flag these days, everyone knows for sure that you are deplorable and ought to be rubbed out. Wearing a cross is a red flag, too. If you try to fly under the radar and omit to fly either an American flag or a rainbow flag, why then people are pretty sure you are deplorable, but the omission is not yet quite sufficient grounds for ostracism. Whether or not Trump wins, the way things are going right now, that omission will soon suffice to tell of your perfidy. At some point shortly thereafter, not even aggressive virtue signals will furnish any safe harbor.

      If Harpur were to signal any respect for the doctrines of the Church, he’d be toast. So he doesn’t. So he gives cover to her enemies. So he serves them. It goes downhill from there, for him.

      Too bad. He seems like a genuinely nice guy.

      • Was ignorant of Elagabalus, so I ‘googled’ him which immediately refreshed my memory of him. However, if one only read the headlines of the entries presented by our universal search engine, he was someone to be celebrated, a great fellow. ‘Hard-partying’ and ‘challenging gender boundaries’, apparently.

        It’s interesting to speculate the future giveaway signs for deplorabilism. Perhaps, meat-eating, wine-drinking, pint-imbibing, history-loving, arithmetical ability, having two or more children (although even one will render one an object of contempt), owning an old Nokia phone, evidence-based Popperist science, to name but a few.

      • Lifting too is … problematic. What else? Trucks; motorcycles; Wranglers; whiskey; home work shops; tractors; martial arts; Dodge & Chevrolet; hunting & fishing; country or classical. You get the drift.

  7. When Harpur writes about “understanding” demons, he seems to be thinking that demonology is the demonic equivalent to anthropology. But just as anthropology is but one way of understanding man, so this sort of demonology is but one way of understanding demons. To use terms from anthropology, there is emic and etic demonology. Etic demonology looks at demons and the demonic realm from the outside, emic demonology from the inside. Among anthropologist, emic anthropology is sometimes described as “going native.” Thus emic demonology might be described as witchcraft. A witch is, after all, a human who has joined the demon tribe–“gone native,” as it were.

    Thus a witch understands demons in the same way a skilled musician is said to understand a composer whose work he, the musician, interprets with consummate skill. We say that such a musician has “entered into the spirit of the work.” This understanding (emic) is very different than the understanding (etic) of a musicologist who cannot play an instrument. I think this is why the old stories tell us that witches danced with the devil. They did not study him, or even under him. They joined his dance, which is to say had an emic understanding of Satan.

    I say we every one of us join that dance when we sin, since what is sin but a harmonization of our will with that of the Satan. It is, however momentarily, to enter into fellowship with the Rebel Angels, the Serpent in the Garden, the Tempter in the Wilderness. For most of us the danger will not be martyrdom, but rather an ever-strenghtening pull to join the dance of this all but universal Witches’ Sabbath.

    • I love that distinction, yes. Etic : emic :: Theology : Liturgy :: doxa : praxis. But then, orthodox theology too is a liturgical practice, when it is actually accomplished. One cannot even try to understand a thing without conforming the mind to it in some degree. For, to consider something is to contemplate it. To think about something is to begin to treat it as true, at least potentially. And this is to open room for it in the economy of the mind.

      It is to invite memes into the heart, and give them lodging there. The longer they stay, the more they make it their own, befitting it to their own forms, and vice versa; for, things seek always to fit together. Soon they are one’s own, and one would rather not do without them.

      This is how we get attached to our theories and models, even more than we are attached to the witness of our own concrete experience.

      It is why the rabbis anciently forbad angelology – which included the study of the Fallen angels – to any but the most advanced students. Demonology is fearsome stuff, and its study should not be undertaken except under dire caveat, in fear and trembling. For, it can open a door that weak hearts might not be able to shut, much as they might desperately want to do so.

    • Exactly! The angels don’t want us to worship them. The demons do. What is more, they *need* our worship.

      The same test works for human leaders. Any cult of personality is a pretty sure tell that something is rotten in Denmark. As to need, consider Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Harry Truman, or Donald Trump: much as they might have enjoyed it, none of them needed the adulation of crowds. Trump had adulation to spare, long before 2015, and at no additional cost to him. He was already among the most famous and successful men of the day when he began his run. He did not need the Presidency in any way. On the contrary. He has undertaken it at potentially fatal cost, to himself and even to his children.

  8. My current mood prompts me to quote the journalist’s closing line from The Thing from Another World (1951): “Watch the skies!”

    Also, as I frequently advised my son when I was teaching him to drive, “Watch the driver, not the car!”

    But never, never watch the skies when you’re driving! You might miss the signs…

    • My son and I saw a UFO about 20 years ago, when driving from the Sierra down to the Bay Area. I watched the road, glancing upward from time to time; he watched the sky. It appeared as three bright lights in triangular formation, hovering stably very high in the cloudless blue sky. It paced us for at least 60 miles. Eventually we got bored with it. But we looked it up when we got home, and sure enough, the so called triangle UFO is a common observation.

      The most shocking thing about Harpur’s book was his calculation of the number of people who have witnessed UFO phenomena. In America alone, it extrapolates to millions of people.

  9. Pingback: The Amorphous Soul – The Orthosphere

  10. @Kristor: You were reading Harpur (so I’ll now need to buy another book from Amazon) and I was reading Iamblichus. Your description of Harpur’s study makes it sound a great deal like Iamblichus On the Mysteries, which also treats of angelology and demonology. It’s yet another instance of synchronicity.

    • Harpur is worth reading, but be warned: the book is edifying mostly as a fairly complete catalogue of the sorts of preternatural phenomena out there, and a record of their prevalence. I had no idea this stuff was so pervasive. Harpur has some interesting things to say about the causal role of Image and Imagination, which are amenable and comprehensible to anyone aware of Plato or Aristotle. But, apart from that, expect only a work of natural history, and not of science. Iamblichus is I’m sure a far better guide to the theory.

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