August 22, 2006

The dreary, ahistorical leftist dream

The problem, in my opinion, comes down to religion. One of the ways the Left has been successful in advancing its agenda is through a spurious interpretation of the first amendment that allows them to tar their ideological opponents as religious, when they are every bit as religious, only more so. They are filled with religious emotion with the religion removed, so that only the fanaticism and mystagogy remain.
Just as there is no one quite as sexual as a hysteric woman who is unconscious of her sexual provocativeness, there are few religious people (in the U.S., anyway) so religiously fanatic as a secular fundamentalist on their agenda-driven warpath. In their secular piety, they often promote an institutionalized hysteria that is just as airtight as that of the most religiously-infused paranoiac.
Freud felt that one of the purposes of dreaming was to preserve our sleep. It's one thing to dream at night, where no one can get hurt. Far more dangerous are the dreamers of the day who insist on our conforming to their ideological dream.
The left always pose as the sophisticates who have thrown off the religious shackles of our cognitive childhood, but I find them to be wearisomely crimped and parochial in their views. It is astonishing to me how narrow is their range of knowledge, especially knowledge of those realms transcending the senses. It is as if they are confined to the ethnographic here and now, at the same time narcissistically affirming the superiority of their dogma in a way similar to any primitive tribe unreflectively imprisoned in its unexamined past. Their political fantasies protect them from real knowledge of their--and our--predicament.
And like the primitive tribesman, no one really remembers the reasons for the beliefs or how to defend them. They rely on one another for reinforcement of their beliefs, and simply attack when they are challenged. Leftism is a ready-made group neurosis and pseudo-religion, full of unexamined assumptions, taboos, demonology, sacraments, salvation history, and holy ideological relics, so we shouldn't be surprised when it is defended in the same way and with the same tenacity that the ego is defended.
Often all that is new in intellectual history are new ways of defending very old beliefs--shifting defenses often borrowed from religious cognitive styles. Our existential situation is always the same, but we simply evolve new dreams to cope with it. If we're going to dream, we might as well dream big. In order to have a good dream of this life, we should inhabit as wide a cognitive space as our minds will allow--to consciously incorporate not just as much human history as we can, but human prehistory, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, cosmology, mysticism, and more.
We are a dream that the cosmos is having, and yet, the cosmos is our very own dream, something creatively enVisioned by humans. Some sort of alchemical transformation takes place in the evolving space between our own cosmic dream and the cosmic Dreamer who dreams us--if we allow it. It's the only place to live, at the intersection of the finite and infinite, of the vertical and horizontal. The dreary, ahistorical leftist dream is a poor substitute for playing along that vast shoreline where the Aion tosses up religions and ideologies like so many grains of sand. I have a little vacation home on that beach. I try to spend some time there at least once a day.
Both the religious and the secular fundamentalist could learn from the following quote by F. Wood Jones: The misfortune that has overtaken the spiritual outlook of man is that as his universe expanded, his conception of the deity did not expand with it. posted by Gagdad Bob at 9:00 AM 15 comments

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