Liturgical innovation – e.g., priestesses – is metaphysically obtuse. It presupposes that the sacraments are merely human artifacts, when in fact – the Lamb having been slain from the foundation of the world – they are logically prior to the creation. We are not the masters of the sacraments, any more than we are the masters of the oceans or the skies. Our office is not to deform them, but to reckon and grapple with them, as objective aspects of Reality.
If Reality is Real, then the sacraments in respect thereto, as given ideally, are nowise subject to correction. They are, rather, handed down from on high. There is then nothing we might do about them, or want to do about them, other than to admit them wholly to our lives. Do they want correction? That then is to be had only in their admission to our lives.
Not us, first, but the rite, and of course the obedience in it signified.
What the hell is a ritual for, after all, if in the last analysis it is just meaningless? If a ritual is meaningful, then it must just force us to its formal purposes. In what other way might we be interested to participate in it?
Since the current Woke System of the World does not work, catastrophes will continue. They are inevitable.
Mankind must be pummeled until it rejects wokeness. It will evidently take a lot of pummeling to bring healing.
It is true that mankind often took a fearsome pummeling in the pre-woke age. But there’s just one thing. Under Wokeness, mankind pummels itself with entirely avoidable floggings: crush your religion, shackle your police, persecute and / or hamstring your best people, deliberately destroy knowledge. Etc. Mankind will continue to inflict easily-avoided self-pummelings until the morality improves.
Wokeness is about morality, but morality proceeds from metaphysics. Metaphysics refers to one’s understanding of the basic nature of reality. Bad metaphysics, bad morality. Bad morality, many self-inflicted catastrophes.
That is why the floggings will continue until morality improves. Q.E.D.
N.S Lyons has a Substack article No, the Revolution Isn’t Over, subtitled None of the fundamental drivers of “Wokeness” have relented. It’s a masterful presentation of the basic facts that explain our dire conditions.
Almost everything he say is correct and important. But the situation is not quite as hopeless as one would think from reading Lyons. There are always reasons for a guarded anti-pessimism. (“Optimism” may be too strong a word.) Since Lyons’s outline of wokeness is useful I quote his section headings, summarize his points, and then give reasons why it’s not quite as hopeless as it first appears.
One does not simply walk away from religious beliefs.
Lyons correctly says that Wokeness is a religion in the sense of providing metaphysical principles to order human life. It is based on a simplistic dualism of Good and Evil and rather than being a new invention, Wokeism is deeply connected to the tradition of Western religion and philosophy stretching back thousands of years. Lyons does not develop his opening assertion that one does not simply walk away from religion but if wokeness is an organic development of our civilization, it is not easily rejected.
I add that since Wokeism is egregiously absurd and wicked, no society ordered by it can survive long. Wokeism can do a lot of damage before we discard it but it will eventually be discarded because it doesn’t work.
It is said that you cannot fight something with “nothing,” meaning that you cannot rally the people by condemning evil and nothing more. But the absurd wickedness of Wokeness will eventually break its spell over mankind, leaving the way clear for sane religion to be noticed by the masses. Continue reading →
Apart from the obviously incontrovertible stuff like sunrise, whatever the Modern Elite believe is true is almost certainly in fact false. Whatever they think is good is almost certainly in fact bad. This has been true since about a decade after the dawn of the television age.
When this realization first struck me, my first interpretation was to treat it as generational: whatever the Boomers thought was true and good back in 1972 was actually false or bad or both. But then I realized that the Boomers were right about a few things, like organic food, fitness, diversity of seed stock, and traditional buildings and neighbourhoods. And Early Music.
It wasn’t the Boomers. It was the elites, whether of the Boomer generation, or earlier generations, or later. Whatever the elites have ever advocated via the Establishment Propaganda Machine: it’s all been fake. And none of the really absurd stuff they’ve been pushing at us would have been entertained for a moment by almost anyone prior to the television. People had back then too much contact with real reality – as opposed to the artificial stuff the elites broadcast.
The toxic brew seems to consist of modernism and electronic media: crank nominalist insouciance about stubborn truth through an electronic media economy that is desperate to attract eyeballs, and you get all sorts of crazy stuff pumped out of the screens. That suffices to generate fads and fashions at odds with reality: with health, and sanity, and life.
I was listening this afternoon as I drove along to a broadcast on EWTN in which the presenter, Al Kresta, was talking to EWTN host and Catholic psychologist Ray Guarendi about the 3 years he suffered horribly from clinical depression in the early 80’s. His episode of acute depression – for which he was twice hospitalized – was triggered in him by an encounter with a book by an atheist, entitled The Illusion of Immortality. Reading it in preparation for writing a book of his own, Kresta was suddenly overtaken by profound despair. He reflected that the reason the text – which regurgitated arguments he had long before encountered and defeated to his own satisfaction – had such an impact upon him was that the author seemed like a good guy who was simply sincere about his atheism, in a way that most atheists are not.
As Kresta spoke, his offhand phrase “the horror of the atheist notion of reality” hit me really hard. I began almost to weep at the image of that notion, carried through (in the imagination only) to reality – treated, i.e., as if it were really true (as if that could even happen). This feeling, of horrified tears at being perched for the first time in my life at the edge of a precipice that verged upon an abyss of pain without bottom, persisted throughout the conversation between Kresta and Guarendi. I could feel a boundless ontological void opening beneath me, unlike any I had ever suspected.
It was the horrible vacuum in which nothing can have any meaning, purpose, or point, and nothing is therefore worth anything; in which, i.e., nothing can be about anything, or for anything; in which nothing is any good.
The latest mainstream false religion is based on a few fundamental principles. They support the entire thing.
In truth there is just one Fundamental Principle: Destruction. The current mainstream is devoted to Destruction. Consider, as just one of many examples, the wokeling’s slogan “Change the World.” Changing a thing, especially a society, destroys it. It is replaced with something different.
But Destruction and Evil have a bad public image. Subsidiary principles are needed for public consumption. The fundamental principles that get all the publicity right now are Equity, Inclusion and Diversity, in that logical order. Continue reading →
My wife and I are enjoying a short vacation with my in-laws in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It is a lovely place, rendered sublime along the western edge of the valley by the unearthly majesty of the Grand Tetons. The Tetons seem to the eye of this experienced outdoorsman one of those sublime landscapes in which natural beauty is so intense as to verge on numinous sanctity (other such places I have sojourned: Grand Canyon, Yosemite Valley, the Snæfellsjökull Peninsula in Iceland). Such places command awe, and foster an inward hush.
Bear with me here. I hardly know where I am going with this, although I feel I have caught the spoor of something Tom would find delightful – that he would join with me joyfully in this new hunt. I’m confused because all I have is that spoor, and my spirits are in a hurry and a muddle due to his too soon death. I miss my friend of many years – of too few! I am not yet sure how to do with the world that, henceforth, shall miss him.
Tom has been a valued colleague since we first encountered each other. We corresponded often – not often enough, alas – about our hopes and worries in respect to our work, much of it coordinate here. We sometimes asked each other for editorial advice upon that work. I could rely on Tom for sound counsel. I hardly know how I shall manage without his sagacity.
But I must. I bid you all help me in that project, in which we may hope we can all together proceed for many more years to come. That would be a fitting legacy of his penetrant honest cheerful mind.
I propose that this essay be an early installment in something like a festschrift for Tom. Let us all try to limn what it was that he taught us. Perhaps we might make a book out of it. Or maybe just something on the scale of an issue of Amazing Stories, circa 1935: the sort of thing that was an important source of grist for the mill of his wits. That would please him, perhaps above all things we might do to honor him.
[Update 10/23/2021 I realize that my use of the phrase “standard politics” here can be misleading, and it is very important for me be to clear because otherwise the reader may think I am saying the opposite of what I am actually saying.
In my previous post on this subject I pointed out that the word “politics” can have a wider meaning: Any activity that influences the order of society. Within this wider meaning, “standard” politics refers to what the word usually means: elections, legislation, etc.
But an endorsement of “standard politics” could fairly be interpreted as an endorsement of the entire political system including the sense of granting it full legitimacy. This I do not do. The overall political system is strongly against us and Christians and other non-Woke people must hack the system, that is, use it warily and wisely to our advantage.
Mea culpa for possibly misleading the reader.]
This article continues my opposition to the widespread right-wing belief that politics is a waste of time. This belief contains enough truth to be plausible, but it causes our side to miss important opportunities.
The theme of my previous post was that our opponent is tearing down good culture and replacing it with bad culture, therefore some of our people need to do the work of forming good culture. And anything having to do with the formation of culture may be called “doing politics.”
In this post I continue to build my case by making a point about “standard” politics, i.e., politics in the ordinary sense of the word (voting, supporting candidates, trying to influence government officials.) Standard politics can sometimes be useful for our side, and we inflict unnecessary harm on ourselves if we always stay away from it. I do not try to specify exactly how our side can engage in standard politics; I only make the case that it is sometimes good for us. Continue reading →