FORWARD BASE B

"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

To Stand Within or Without the Circle of Life

Every thinking person at some point confronts the trap of nihilism.  One is faced with a fork in the road.  Down one way ultimately lies detachment and resignation, down the other way the undivided embrace of life in all its primal vigor.
In my own journey, I would reflect how even insects with grotesquely broken limbs crawl desperately onward until the very last spark is gone out of them.  Those living things that cannot think, I observed, are pure life force, never doubting.

In my own life, I noted that any practice I adopted that went against the pure will to live proved to be ineffective and destructive.  I hadn’t believed in the gods of religions since I was a small child but it became increasingly clear to me that there were objective rules, like laws of physics that govern the outcomes of our beliefs.  I thought it a bit like the concept of the Tao, that there is a Way of the universe and if you try to fight it, it’s like standing in the way of an oncoming ocean.

There was a period in my mid-20s when I had an interest in mysticism and read about figures like Gurdjieff and Aleister Crowley.  At the time, I thought it somewhat disgusting to be a meat robot acting out algorithms that would help me survive and reproduce just like bacteria and insects.  Part of the appeal of mysticism to me then was that my algorithms could be re-directed and the ability to do that might even be equated with humanity, transcendence, and consciousness.  Colin Wilson was one of the authors I read at the time who showed me the way toward a more life-affirming mindset.  He examined men like Nietzsche or Van Gogh who he saw as outsiders who were full of life and creativity but died defeated and broken.  He distilled the problem that faced them into the ultimate ‘yes’ or ‘no.’  Wilson gave a memorable example of the ‘yes’ state by telling a story of a man who was put before a firing squad and had all the beauty and possibilities of life suddenly dawn on him only as he was about to die.

There came a point where I had to admit the mystical thinking was holding me back more than it was helping.  Actually, I noticed on a meta-physical level that living by those rules and mindset not only didn’t work, it created more problems.  Every single time, as if I were testing out the pull of gravity by dropping a pebble.  I came to understand that most of the time detachment is really just a way for losers without hope to accept their lot.  I was reading Will Durant at the time of my transition on the history of the ancient world and on the history of philosophy.  A common theme he noticed is that fatalism and detachment always thrive when bad times or bare subsistence has gone on awhile and isn’t going to change anytime soon.  Whether Stoicism in the West or Buddhism in the East, it was impossible to ignore the conclusion that these belief systems are in large part learned helplessness writ large.

As soon as I began to think of myself as a pure living thing in the natural world with all the physical and meta-physical laws that govern it, my life steadily began to improve, which prompted me to continue in that direction to the present day with consistent results.

Having gone through this journey I may have a glimmer of a fundamental divide between “leftist” enlightenment secularism and everything that now gets called “right wing.”
I remember how the primal life force seemed grinding, mechanical, and crude to me back when I was trying to redirect it.  I still do value the development of consciousness and hate the idea of subsuming myself into an unthinking state.  What changed in me is that I resolved to use my state of consciousness in service of the meta-laws of nature rather than trying to circumvent or defy them.
I can perhaps understand though why a secularist recoils on a visceral level when they hear talk of fertility rates and population replacement.  As scions of enlightenment thought, they see it as blasphemous to weigh down transcendent rational man with the sweat, blood, and rutting of of lower animals.

The secular world view also depends on a notion of relativism, the idea that there are multiple equally valid solutions—at least when it comes to how society is organized.  When they denounce a belief as “radical” or “far right” they mean to say it challenges this doctrine.
The moment one starts to examine how societies throughout history work with a clinical eye it’s clear that some solutions are objectively better than others and that there is often a clearly optimal solution.  One begins to notice persistent patterns across thousands of years of migration, trade, and conquest.  The affairs of humans on a large scale resemble any other natural phenomenon no matter if it’s a blizzard or a beehive.  Yet under the strangling grip of secularism, the same science that dutifully measures the circumferences of a thousand galaxies can’t encompass the dimensions of culture here on earth.  It is bizarre and unholy for them to contemplate the gears and tickings of millions humans as a whole sorted into categories when each person must be considered a rational agent desirous of endless goods and services but bereft of any group.

The emerging anti-secular thesis rejects societal relativism and embraces the laws of nature as the rightful guiding star for all life.  This is why there’s that irreconcilable chasm.  For even an attempt at discussion to take place, some basic premises must be agreed upon.

We might consider Conan the Barbarian, a wild wanderer who is practically apolitical even once he becomes a king, yet few would hesitate to call him a right-wing character, even if they cannot say why.  In every story he appears in he’s likened to big predators preparing to pounce.  He embraces the pure passion of being alive over intellectual detachment:
Let me live deep while I live; let me know the rich juices of red meat and stinging wine on my palate, the hot embrace of white arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content. Let teachers and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.”
Just by existing, Conan embodies the primal life force, objective reality, and the circle of life, making him the opposing principle of priestly idealists.

The great circle of life is not just a cycle.  There are those who stand within and without it.  Within are those who simply have kids as well as those who understand there are Malthusian pressures, Nash equilibria, and endless competition between groups.  These people all share a sense of seriousness about existence.  Like hatchling sea turtles striving towards the waves as waiting predators pick them off, they stay fixed on their mission.  Life must find a way wherever it finds itself.

Those who stand outside the circle of life are fixed on the injustice of the natural world and hold its harsh attrition in contempt by trying to remove themselves from its demands.  They base their lives around vacations, hobbies, “soulmates,” and their hopes for progress towards heavenly Utopia.  Their lives are never quite serious.  There is no wrong way to live.  The sun eventually explodes, the universe one day ends.   Yet despite these superficially callous attitudes they regard their values as their children that will take over the world when they are gone.  This willful delusion that their pseudo-intellectualism lives after them obscures the truth that by Divine Justice they already are fossils to be excavated some millions of years later with a petrified deck of Cards Against Humanity alongside their contorted skeletons.

26 responses to “To Stand Within or Without the Circle of Life

  1. A.B. Prosper April 22, 2018 at 6:24 am

    TL;DR Why So Serious?

    Seeing as I’m a bit of a nihilist and a fatalist at heart and I’m feeling it tonight let me remind you of a primal truth. no matter what choices we make, its all dust eventually and to deny that unless you are truly faithful in a religion it is folly .

    An worked example. Speaking for the US here the original Republic died in less than a century and the second in 1965 , basically another century. All that effort wasted Why fight for a lie again

    Living on instinct is Chaos , Barbarism

    Breeding eating and just being like you suggest has value is antithetical to civilization , Civilization is in inherently Leftist thing , an imposing of a false order on the world .

    Barbarism, power and nature are truth is Right wing. Tribe is Right wing but a more complex order will never stay that way for longer than the material systems allow it too. As NrX is fond of noting Cthulhu and Gnon always swim left

    The more material choice you have, the more lies you must live with in order to sustain that complexity

    Worse with the current technology if society gets much more advanced if, big if and we don’t get a serious collapse , it will still list leftward only within some few functional boundaries,

    That edge, that strength will be rarer since its maladaptive

    You’ll lie, all day every day, put up with deceit but at its core a tiny nugget h of the truth will have to remain to keep the lights on or the machines will do it for us anyway

    welcome to the gilded hell

    There are a few who will try to keep the truth of the barbarian world, Varg Virkirness comes to mind but he is simply living his faith in his ancient Gods and his Northlander race. Its fine, its worthy but it the lie of faith

    Funny enough I just played Cards Against Humanity today. Its a nice diversion and in terms of living , i.e things we do with that energy as valid a choice as any. Why not live as comfortable and happy a life as you can manage for as long as you can ? You’ll be dust soon enough.

    • Alf April 22, 2018 at 2:07 pm

      Civilisation is inherently rightist, its parasites are inherently leftist. Nash equilibria make it so that leftists eventually take civilisation hostage, but it is wrong to mistake the original host for its bodysnatchers.

      • A.B. Prosper April 23, 2018 at 3:14 am

        Not really so. Tribe is truth, its evolution in the rawest action, Civilization is a lie that quite often makes things worse.

        Human society is a series of balances, subsidies, tolerated waste and uses of force that often has not grossly benefits a tiny minority. Nearly all the wealth in the world is owned by a tiny number number of people , you can’t make a good argument that all these people are deserving of it or that someone else couldn’t use it better

        Now society in general can’t determine that but in the end, its leaches all the way down. Always has been, always will

        The entire debt and interest based money system is far more parasitic than the entire welfare class could ever be in any case.

        We tolerate it when we have to or we are paid off enough (get our cut)

        Sometimes for example how much labor has lost in recent years (wages are less than half what the were in 1973 as percentage GDP) maybe more than we should

        Civilization is a lie but thats fine. I’m as much a liar as anyone.

    • Giovanni Dannato April 22, 2018 at 9:29 pm

      Living on instinct is Chaos , Barbarism. Breeding eating and just being like you suggest has value is antithetical to civilization , Civilization is in inherently Leftist thing , an imposing of a false order on the world .
      You may misunderstand me if this is what you took from it. I am for using intellect together with the the instinct. Conan, for example, is keenly in tune with his instincts but also intelligent enough to outwit scheming sorcerers and successfully command armies.
      The disagreement is over the proper role of human consciousness. The disciple of detachment wants to escape the grinding clamor, suffering, and competition of nature.
      The vital man embraces both the suffering and the pleasures of life and uses his mind as his aid in the fight. The disciple of vitality recognizes that suffering is necessary and good in the aid of fulfillment while the secular order counts pleasures against pains on a spreadsheet.

      Why not live as comfortable and happy a life as you can manage for as long as you can ? You’ll be dust soon enough.
      I used to think kind of like this. It’s a very tempting trap and a belief the universe punishes because it violates the meta. This is, as best as we can discern, the one shot at existence we’ll ever have. If we screw it all up, we live the rest of our days with return to dust and the futility of all things as our cold consolation. Can’t reload a saved game. You don’t want to end up there.
      The nihilist thesis, logical or not, is a rationalization to stay comfortable and avoid the suffering that is necessary to become who we were meant to be.

      • A.B. Prosper April 23, 2018 at 3:26 am

        This implies some meaning that may not be there. Its a bit like Whig history to assume ,without religion anyway , that life has a purpose or meaning or that the universe cares

        Nothing wrong with pretending it does though and if that fulfills you it makes suffering worthwhile . Fight or don’t its not my problem and truth is I’ve suffered plenty mind you and can deal but I’m not recommending it.

        It often doesn’t make people better, sometimes it just makes them broken.

        So if you can live a healthy life without much strife, you lucky bastard. Enjoy

  2. GEOFFREY SCHOFIELD April 22, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Amazing Thread. Memorable Meaningful. Thank you

  3. ellone April 22, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    Pain is a human emotion that is far from evolutionarily ideal.

  4. Gene Harrison April 22, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    The concept of taking a fork in the road in which you know which one will turn out to be the most beneficial is false. That is why it is called a fork in the road. Like a flip of the dice. If it was’nt in a fork in the road it would be a decision that was made based on realisme, facts, and a thought process. A fork in the road means you are left with 2 options either of which the result is unknown… A flip of the dice. Serious allergic reactions taking the fork in the road is what multiple dimensions in the concept thereof are based on. This that or the other things. Woulda, coulda, shoula. What’s out a fork in the road, there would be no quantum physics.

    • Garr April 25, 2018 at 1:16 am

      But Robert Plant says that there are just two paths you can go by, and he seems to know where they lead. One leads through a forest sparsely populated by tripping Ents, Elves, and Wizards; the other leads through a shopping mall full of anxious women who want to have sex with Robert Plant.

  5. Garr April 24, 2018 at 10:25 am

    I really like this post — it seems as though you’re opening up a new “…osphere” on the internet.

    I want to relate your descriptions of human types/possible life-orientations to what Plato has Socrates propose in Republic.

    You write, “We might consider Conan the Barbarian …. In every story he appears in he’s likened to big predators preparing to pounce. He embraces the pure passion of being alive over intellectual detachment …. Just by existing, Conan embodies the primal life force, objective reality, and the circle of life, making him the opposing principle of priestly idealists. … The great circle of life is not just a cycle. There are those who stand within and without it. Within are those who simply have kids as well as those who understand there are Malthusian pressures, Nash equilibria, and endless competition between groups. … Those who stand outside the circle of life ……. base their lives around vacations, hobbies, “soulmates,” and their hopes for progress towards heavenly Utopia. Their lives are never quite serious.”

    In Republic, Plato has Socrates propose that there are three basic kinds of people — “philosophical” people, “spirited” (that is, fiery-tempered, competitive people), and “appetitive” people. The appetitive type is subdivided into three subtypes — the “oligarchic” (cautious, prudently accumulating wealth without having a lot of fun), the “democratic” (having a lot of fun in various impulsive, fairly random ways but not crazily, self-destructively fun-seeking), and the “tyrannical” (the self-destructive orgiastic rock-star type).

    So, Conan is a spirited man. The “intellectual detachment” that he repudiates would be that of the philosophical person living in a society that has no place for philosophers. (In Plato’s imaginary good society philosophical people are no longer altogether detached, because they’re recruited as rulers, which seems like a somewhat silly wish-fulfillment fantasy to me.) I suppose that your “priestly idealists” would either be philosophers-gone-astray or people of other types who find the priestly role to be an effective way of pursuing their non-philosophical goals. (A “spirited” person who’s primarily focused on attaining high social status might strive for this goal via the priesthood, just as is the case with many academics today.) “Those who have kids” while understanding that “there are Malthusian pressures,” etc, might be prudent, “oligarchical” types — classic boring “mom and dad” characters. Those who “base their lives around vacations, hobbies, ‘soulmates'” sound just like the “democratic man” as Socrates describes him.

    So what I want to say here is that philosophical people, who in any real-world society are going to have a detached attitude toward everyday affairs and won’t easily fit into the flow of things, are (if Plato’s right, and I think he is) a basic human type. It seems as though a good society would have definite places within its scheme for philosophical, spirited, oligarchic, and democratic, and maybe even tyrannical people (who might constitute some kind of Dionysiac priestly order). Of course philosophers can’t and shouldn’t rule — that’s just silly — but it seems to me that Conan should have a few philosophers wandering around in his palace. This would give Conan a deeper sense of his own awesomeness, maybe.

    And of course nobody is purely of this or that type. Conan has his contemplative moments, I hope, and then he might want to chat with a philosopher. And a philosopher might want to have a woman puttering around his living quarters, and even some children making noise in the background. Conan can help him out with that: “Here’s an intelligent-looking and fairly attractive girl my raiders captured yesterday; perhaps you’d like to give her a try?”

    • Perturabo April 25, 2018 at 7:49 am

      GD’s post, and Garr’s, are a pretty good explanation of conservatism, I think – that people are naturally certain ways, and that society should organize itself based on an understanding of those natural types (while acknowledging that individuals are not pure types). And people will be relatively happy if they are given an appropriate role based on who they are, and are honored for filling that role. What GD said about embracing life seems applicable to things such as women raising children instead of searching for some imaginary true self, and men supporting their families through regular, boring jobs which represent a satisfying fulfillment of duty.

      Maybe Plato articulated the basic conservative world-view. It sounds as if Plato’s focus was on, “society will work well if everyone is in their proper place,” while Garr’s is leaning more toward, “there should be a place for everyone in society.” (I might be getting Plato wrong, so you guys can correct me). Garr’s focus, I mean, might be more about the happiness of people who need a place in society. Not that there’s a practical difference, just a difference in where one’s concern lies. Now that we’ve seen what has happened to people in a society that doesn’t assign roles to people based upon their natural personalities, we’re sensitive to the pain caused by this unfulfilled need that individuals have – so that’s our starting point. Plato probably assumed that society would always be organized to some extent around principles related to people being in their proper place, and he was trying to describe the correct principles for organizing that. I bet he didn’t imagine that there would ever be a world that would completely reject the idea that people should automatically have social roles based upon their natural personalities.

      Our cultural leaders tell people to “do what you love” and all that, which might superficially sound as if it’s about people doing what they are best-suited for. But that’s not really what they are talking about. They are talking about work as a source of spiritual (or something) fulfillment in its own right (as opposed to a feeling of satisfaction which comes from filling the social role represented by the work), which I think is just a falsehood that prevents people from actually understanding what they are suited for – and anyway, even if someone does understand what he is suited for, society isn’t set up to put him in that role. And some necessary roles probably simply do not exist. And besides, gender roles, which I suppose is the overarching and most important type of role-delineation, have become completely screwed up, which makes it impossible for society to fix the way people are assigned to their lower-level roles. What did Plato say about gender roles?

      • Garr April 25, 2018 at 10:57 am

        Plato thinks (in Republic) that woman fall into the same categories (thinker, warrior, producer) that men do, only they’re not as good as men are at anything. He has Socrates say, “Women share by nature in every way of life just as men do, but in all of them women are weaker than men” (Republic V, at 455d). But then, later on in Republic, he has Socrates mock democracies for their tendency toward sexual egalitarianism: “And I almost forgot to mention the extent of the legal equality of men and women and of the freedom in the relations between them” (VIII, at 563b). Maybe he thinks that within each category women should be subordinated to men? I’m not sure, because he imagines women in the upper (thinker+warrior) caste exercising naked together with the men (which is kind of like what happens in our own gyms, except that the women are encased in a thin layer of spandex while the men usually wear somewhat looser clothing). Perhaps he just wasn’t interested enough in women, or sufficiently familiar with them, to want to put much effort into thinking about them.

  6. lalit April 24, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    Very thought provoking post. Can’t say it is correct, but cant say it is wrong either. Wish there was a controlled experiment we could do to settle this matter.

    • Garr April 25, 2018 at 11:52 am

      Hey, Lalit, did you by any chance follow the titanic duel at SlateStarCodex between Vinay Gupta (or someone claiming to be him), a mystically enlightened billionaire who invented hexayurts and created a bitcoin-based dating site, and Deiseach, an oldish Irish Catholic woman in a lineage of superpowered druidic poets? What do you make of this Gupta guy? (He’s half-Scottish; I tend to see his “if you said that to me in real space I’d break your arm, dude” — he didn’t realize he was talking to a woman — as more an expression of Scottish ferocity than of Jedi/Himalayan enlightened-warrior spirit. Also, his “you racist!” seems to express the sensitivity of a half-this-half-that-er.)

  7. Johnny April 25, 2018 at 12:04 am

    The closest we get to anything analyzing masses of human cognition seems to be Trotter’s book “Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War”

    • Garr April 25, 2018 at 1:12 am

      That’s a very 1916 kind of title, isn’t it. In 1916, though, you could tap a herd-member on the shoulder and say, “Look, isn’t that a beautiful sunset?” And he’d stop and look at it and say, “Wow, yeah, that’s really beautiful!” before resuming his motion with the rest of the herd. They didn’t have Snapchat and Instagram back then. But I’ll bet you can get people to look up from their phones for a second if you’re very socially skillful.

  8. Garr April 26, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    Here’s the online PDF of the Jowett translation of Plato’s Phaedo:

    https://www.gutenberg.org/files/1658/1658-h/1658-h.htm

    It won’t take anyone more than 5 hours to read, and can be read in 3 hours or less, I believe. Skip the “Introduction”, which isn’t part of it. You have to scroll past that in order to get to the real thing. It’s too bad that “Marilyn Manson” didn’t get past people such as Aleister Crowley to Plato, who (together with Upanishads, I guess), is the primary source or transmitter of the thoughts that Crowleyish people enjoyed. If Brian Warner / Marilyn Manson had read Plato he wouldn’t have felt it necessary to waste so much time on boringly “transgressive” (but all-in-all innocuous) rituals. (I’ve just read his memoir, written with or mainly by someone named “Neil Strauss”). I feel bad for him because he wasted so much time and his life as a rock star just seems so boring. Wouldn’t it have been more interesting for him and Trent Reznor to have walked around and looked at trees? “Wow, look, that one’s really striking!” “Yes, it is! Oh, hey, check this one out!”

    I suppose that trees play the role for me that “boys” do for the characters in Plato’s skits — as the most transparent repositories and complete images of divine Beauty that we ordinarily encounter. Unlike young women, they don’t mind it if you take a long look at them, and you don’t have to worry about their frustrations and needs. They also don’t get old — they just keep getting better.

    The Ents in LOR are in some ways similar to the homosexual men who wander through the wooded areas of large urban parks, don’t you think? This is a little disconcerting. Before I began to write this, though, it occurred to me that they could regain the “winner” status that you seem to be pondering in your recent tweets, GD, by raiding Dunland and taking the Dunlanders’ women as replacements for the Entwives, who bitchily deserted them a long time ago and would be busy taking selfies in exotic lands populated by allies of the Dark Lord if they had cellphones. The Dunlander-women would probably enjoy riding around on the shoulders of Ents, at least for awhile. (The Dunlanders were Saruman’s allies at the battle of Helm’s Deep, fighting alongside the Uruk-Hai, I believe.)

  9. stonerwithaboner April 26, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    It’s interesting that you consider Arnie’s Conan “right wing.” Ironic how he is a #NeverTrump Republican. I wonder if they are still twitter feuding. Also kinda funny, this clip:

    Total Recall came out before The Matrix, so I suppose this is the real Red Pill-poison…

    • Giovanni Dannato April 27, 2018 at 12:33 am

      Conan the Barbarian was around long before Arnie played that role onscreen. I am mainly referring to the short stories by Robert E. Howard. Audio version:

      Nevertheless, you are right to point out Arnie made some great testosterone-drenched films with his great screen presence only to get sucked into the California swamp in middle age. Total Recall is one of my favorites. Which pill is the real is the real pill is left completely ambiguous which the director, Verhoeven, even admits.

    • Garr April 27, 2018 at 12:48 am

      That’s a red Blue Pill, though, isn’t it? Because he really is on Mars in the movie, isn’t he? And the pill that the doctor’s pushing on him is supposed to return him to the dream of not being on Mars.

      Does Arnold as Conan try to hold the society that he ends up ruling together in such a way that it offers at least a blurry, broken image of a Heavenly Order? If so, he’s right-wing. If not, he’s just a steroid-homo swaggering down Christopher Street at 3 AM.

      What’s the content of “Give me life, motherfuckers! More life, more, more, more!”? Actually, come to think of it, this what Ivan Karamazov rants about — I was thinking for a second that it was Dmitri who says this, but no, Dmitri wants Beauty and Joy. Anyway, Ivan (who is apparently a nonpolitical sort of nothing-ist) ends up with Katya and Dmitri with Grushenka so it pretty much comes to the same thing. (Alyosha’s going to hook up with a self-cutting 14-year-old Gothchick, but not for a few years.)

      (I think it’s sweet that Arnold’s mistress with whom he had the illegitimate kid was kind of plump and homely, sort of a Mom-type judging by her photograph.)

      Here’s a life-affirmation anthem that the kids I went to school with were into:

  10. Kanzen April 29, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    This article on Existential Depression may shed some light on this topic: https://www.davidsongifted.org/Search-Database/entry/A10554

    • Garr April 30, 2018 at 11:23 am

      Here, for the benefit of those readers who don’t give enough of a shit to click on your link, is the Conclusion to the article you recommend, with a couple of bracketed emendations:

      {Start quotation}

      A conclusion about existential issues and existential depression is impossible because they are like a möbius strip that continues seamlessly and endlessly. Yet we do need to help ourselves and our bright youngsters cope with these difficult existential questions. We cannot do anything about death; our existence is finite. However, we can learn to accept those aspects of existence that we cannot change. We can also feel understood and not so alone, and we can discover ways to manage freedom and our sense of isolation so that they will give our lives purpose. We can keep creating and developing ourselves, we can keep working for positive and healthy relationships, and we can keep trying to make a difference in the world, thereby creating meaning for ourselves. Although we cannot eradicate the basic underlying bricks of the existential wall, we can learn from [Marcus Aurelius] that growth through the discovery of authenticity within ourselves and the expression of our authentic selves through authentic relationships may serve as a salve to soothe these realities of our existence.

      In coping with existential depression, we must realize that existential concerns are not issues that can be dealt with only once, but will probably need frequent revisiting and reconsideration. We can support others and help them understand that disintegration is a necessary step toward new growth and meaning—it can eventually be positive. And finally, we can encourage these individuals to give meaning to their own lives in whatever ways they can by adopting the message of hope as expressed by the [American poet Iggy Pop in his poem “Girls”.

      I love girls — they’re all over this world.
      Hah! I like to look at you!

      Well I’m gonna tell you about girls:
      they’re all over this world;
      some have beautiful shapes.
      I wanna live to be ninety-eight!

      You’re somebody to talk to,
      and I like to look at you.
      Yeah, somebody to talk to,
      and I love to look at you.]

  11. Johnny May 2, 2018 at 8:48 am

    Furthermore, the “gift” of being intelligent seems to make it all too easy to detach from reality as a whole. This is why the secularists as you’ve mentioned seem to study things that are completely superfluous to the human condition. They seem even more terrified to defy the human herd at large than the average person.

    • Garr May 3, 2018 at 10:37 pm

      “Secularist” = “not playing the established doctrinal game”. Progressives are religious fanatics, not secularists.
      Socrates was secular. In Euthyphro, we see a philosophical person (Socrates) confronting a priestly personality (Euthyphro).
      (The Priestly type of person, corresponding to a theocratic social regime, should have been worked into Plato’s scheme somehow. Same with the Geeky type — computer programmers, vintage-car-restoration enthusiasts, etc. And other types.)
      Anyway, Socrates wasn’t at all afraid of the human herd.
      After you see the Forms you’re supposed to descend into the cave to explain the shadows to the prisoners there.
      That’s in Republic.

      • Garr May 3, 2018 at 11:00 pm

        correction: “Secularist” = “someone not playing any doctrinal game”
        On the religious fanaticism of Progressives: for example, adopting pit bulls because this is one degree more virtuous than adopting African babies.

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