Thursday, May 25, 2006

Philosophical Speculation: None Dare Call It Thought

There are more things in heaven and earth,
Horatio, than are dreamt of in our philosophy.

When Shakespeare wrote Hamlet, he presented us with a much more profound critique of pure reason than did Immanuel Kant, which isn’t surprising since Shakespeare was a much more profound thinker than Immanuel Kant. “Comparing apples and oranges,” you say. “The one was a thinker and the other a poet.” No, Kant was not a thinker. There is only one type of thought – poetic thought – which involves the whole man, and it is the only valid type of thought. Abstract thought, even if, as in Kant’s case, it is used to critique abstract thought, is not thought. It is a sick aberration of a distorted human being. “Is all abstract thought then invalid?” Yes. The implicit assumption in abstracted thought is that our reason is untainted with original sin and that we can come to valid conclusions about God and man through the use of abstracted reason. This is not so. Every philosophical system ever conceived has been false and pernicious. God’s revelation and man’s passionate, integral, poetic response to that revelation are the only antidotes to philosophical speculation.

But always working against that love for God was the abstracted thought of the philosophers who kept redefining God until He was too hideous to be loved. And when they had made God into a monster, they invented political systems that offered the European freedom from God. In every aspect of modern culture we are suffering the consequences of abstracted thought carried through to its ultimate logical and demonic conclusion. In the Catholic Church, for instance, the false idea abstracted from the heart of the Christian revelation was that the attributes of God could only be known through abstract thought. From that logic came the speculative God. Was he really there? If He was there, who or what was He?

In the Protestant churches, that original, integral, response to the abstract God was pure and clean. “They have taken my Lord from me, and I want him back.” But when the philosophical speculators came in, they turned the Christ of the Gospels into a hooded Calvinist who was just as abstracted and remote as the God of the medieval scholastics.

The living God has been so fused into the blood of European man that when he abstracts it is always from the Christian revelation that he abstracts. Look at the concept of freedom as an example. Our Lord did not want to be worshipped because He was powerful. If He had wanted that type of slavish devotion, He would have come down from the cross and set up a kingdom. He wanted the love of free men and women. And, in an admittedly imperfect form, He got that love from the pre-20th century Europeans. But always working against that love for God was the abstracted thought of the philosophers who kept redefining God until He was too hideous to be loved. And when they had made God into a monster, they invented political systems that offered the European freedom from God.

By abstracting freedom from the Christian revelation, the formula became freedom from God rather than freedom in God. And today what does abstracted freedom stand for? It stands for abortion on demand. It stands for the bombing of innocent civilians. And when combined with the word ‘market,’ it cloaks the most hideous exploitation of man by man that the world has ever seen.

Virtually every aspect of our culture uses abstracted, and therefore false and perverted, Christian principles in justifying satanic acts. Charity, which is at the heart of Christianity, has been twisted, like freedom, to serve un-Christian ends. It is supposed to be charitable to permit a child to be murdered in the womb rather than face an impoverished and brutal life. It is charitable to bomb thousands of innocents in order to be charitable to those left alive. And it is charitable to exploit millions of people in order to make millions if one then donates to charitable institutions.

In high school, I forsook baseball for track and field largely because I fell in love with the discus throw. It’s a wonderful event involving a complicated spin within a small circle and then the release of a weighted disc or plate. The last part of your body that touches the disc is your right (or left) forefinger, but your entire body has been involved in the throw.

Wouldn’t it be silly to assume that only the right forefinger was needed to throw the discus? Of course it would. But isn’t that the type of assumption we make with pure reason? Reason articulates the thought, so it is assumed that reason is thought. True thought is an integral process that involves the whole man. If he does not call on his whole being when thinking but instead relies only on his reason, abstracted from the rest of his being, a man will produce thoughts without depth and without any connection to reality.

The philosophical speculators such as Aquinas, Calvin, Darwin, and Freud, are the counterparts of the land speculators in the old B-Westerns. They possess secret information about the new railroad coming through and they seek to use that information to ruin the lives and livelihoods of the common folk. Many of the small farmers and ranchers sell their land to the speculators for what they think is a good price. But they don’t realize that they could have gotten more from the railroad and also that they will never, without their own land, be their own masters again. Those who do not sell are killed by the mugs working for the land speculators.

Ah, the lure of inside information. Isn’t that what the philosophical speculator named Satan offered to Eve? She walked and talked with God but that was not sufficient: she needed inside information to give her power. Of course the philosophical speculators, like the Western land speculators, have a huge array of mugs – academics, government agents, social workers, etc., that can destroy life and limb, so it is not without peril that we defy the speculators. But we never gain our heart’s desire when we sell out to the speculators. So why not do what the stubborn, die-hard, “I won’t sell out,” small ranchers do? They load up the shotgun and wait for the hero to emerge. All true thought crystallizes on that central fact. We live and act in the sure and certain hope of the return of The Hero.

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