Wednesday, November 12, 2014

V. Sex

NOW THAT we have dealt with sidelining the moral passions of the modern age, or the three great follies of the revolution, we should speak of other topics that are far more uncomfortable and that no conservative religious person will ever dare speak of. To speak of these topics would either be proof of being reactionary or being a monastic (and therefore free to be ridiculed for having truly extreme views.)

SEX IS a topic you will hear a lot about - but not really. Most of what we would speak of regarding human sexual relations is either enforcement of taboo or exhortation towards chastity. Now, I have no interest in removing taboos or undermining chastity. Far from it, instead, I intend to relate some very extreme words about such things, which will hopefully illuminate, 'darkly', the subject matter.

HUMAN SEX is a biological fact - even any idea of an axis of 'sexedness' or 'genderedness' presupposes a binary male and female for its fundamental categories. Such efforts are merely an attempt to confuse sex and sexuality with the various levels of 'gender' or what might be called 'genderedness'. As I recall, BTAF once tried to theorize a third sex, but that's stuff I read in college when I was interested in prurient literature.

ARISTOPHENES has a strange theory of gender and sex, perhaps the strangest. His belief was that humans were originally joined in pairs, and that three pairings existed: male/male, female/female and male/female. At some point, the gods broke them up, but they still feel drawn to either their original 'mate' or one similar to them. This is the first time I can think of in history of there being a 'general theory of sexual orientation' and all general theories of sexual orientation that follow it are just about as credible.

ON THE PURELY SEXUAL LEVEL, there is only male/female sexuality. This is because any use of the term 'sexual' to not refer to the relationship between the opposite sexes is metaphorical; so homosexuality is not in the same class of terms as sexuality and heterosexuality is redundant. Sexedness is about the configuration of the same part of human biology into a complementary pair - the 'genitals' whose purpose is unification. If you consider other sexed things - like plugs - you'll recognize that plugs are more properly referred to being 'sexual' than a homosexual couple.

THE REASON FOR THIS CONFUSION is simple; since same-sex couplings involve the same parts used in actual sexuality, and many of the same actions associated with real couplings, they are metaphorically granted the term 'sexuality'. The same confusion has extended to marriage, love, and soon virginity. This homo-sex is rightly condemned as a perversion, as it involves purposeful misuse of the functions (such as the orgasm) of real sexuality. All virtue involves pleasure, for sure, but fornication is - if anything in deeper truth - the attachment of the pleasure of virtue to vice.

CHASTITY ALSO has a deeper meaning, that of abstaining from to prevent the incidence of fornication. Chastity's role is to prevent the miswiring of pleasure. Granted, chastity alone is not enough, since it is merely a negation. Negations leave a vacuum which as we understand, our nature abhors. The utility of chastity is thus to prevent the filling of the space with disorder.

SEXUALITY is just physical, however. We begin to think and understand 'genderedness' with words (it seems) - words describing sexed beings start by picking up the attitude of that sex. But, 'genderedness' is not a general category outside of language. To pair masculinity and femininity on a higher level as 'gender' makes it appear that they are properties ascribed-to but not inherent-to a substance; a 'ship' being feminine in gender doesn't make it female. Its femininity thus can be dismissed as a fancy (after all, some other group of people make all ships masculine!)

THE IMPORTANCE OF SEXUALITY on the spiritual level is that it maps theology into anthropology. We as Orthodox understand the cross (sacrifice) and the unity in the church to be imaged by the nuptial (sexual) union of male and female and thus connected to the type of love the Greeks called 'eros'. This is a difficulty for materialists, who assume that the physical is primary adn thus we must be thinking of bumping uglies. Rather, it's the copulation we do (or do wrongly) that is an image of something metaphysical, which is revealed in the Cross and in the union of God and Man in the Church.

MALE AND FEMALE are two differing but same substances - inherently different in an unbridgeable way (we think differently, we work differently, we even move differently) but joined by the human nature. In the same way, the godman is inherently different from us in that he is God, but is also inherently the same as he is Man. There really isn't anything else that needs to be said about the subject -- and since eros is a love that involves jealousy, it's obvious why God is jealous -- and why idols are adultery. It is of course not possible for there to be a real nuptial union between God and Man until the incarnation. And if there is no incarnation (as some believe) then there can be no union of God and Man and no real access to the Divine through man.

IT FOLLOWS FROM THIS that there is no 'copulation' in heaven. None at all. Christ affirms this to the materialist Jews who think to refute the resurrection by pointing out the absurdity of nuptial union with seven men when monogamy is the rule. So if you want to 'have sex' get it over with before the next world, though you may find that outside of its proper purpose it merely drags the mind down to earth. It's funny that way. The pleasure from it is the pleasure of virtue, but a greater virtue awaits beyond since our human coitus is but a shadow of real union.

THUS WE ORTHODOX affirm that the purpose of marriage is not simply to bear children, but to unify man and wife. Man does not control whether the womb is opened or not; but he does control whether he joins himself to his wife. For marriage actually is just this - the copulation of the man and woman together. Our ages of ceremony are to protect and direct this act whose pleasure is almost greater than any other. And for good reason, as we explained the central aim of man is his prolongation and his physical prolongation is through children. It's also notable that his psychosomatic prolongation is through another kind of union - making 'sexuality' the most dangerous and sacred aspect of human life, perhaps.

THE HIERARCHY IMPLIED in the god/man pair is also implied in the male/female pair. It was once thought long ago that Man was fundamentally male and that females were deformed males. (These theories go quite nicely along side Aristophenes' theories of sexual orientation.) From this point it was believed that male was the better of the two. As it turns out, proto-sexed humans are all technically female (it was sort of implied that it was the reverse) which throws a huge wrench into that theory entirely.

YOU MIGHT SAY to me, well, if your theory is metaphysical, you don't care about human gestation in deciding which of the two sexes is the 'higher' in the hierarchy! This is quite untrue. Even if we regard the physical as an emanation or shadow of the metaphysical, it still follows that there ought to be a correlation that we can discern. And it is this: since the male is spiritual and active, it is sensible that his gestation involves a fundamental transformation. It is the first of many self-transformations being male entails (and has, traditionally - consider rites of passage.)

THUS IT IS NOT so much that one sex is superior but rather that the male is primarily directed to the spiritual and active, while the female to the bodily and passive. The irony here is that women are better at suffering than men, since passivity -- passion -- is their forte. And what is life if not suffering? This also relates to the degree of self-giving required by the human female in gestation - far greater than most creatures. It is even such that falsely masculinized females regard the new human (fetus) as a parasite. To them it may be said, it's not your job to be a male. It's your job to be a female. As the apostle says, "She will be saved through birthgiving."

JIM HAS WRITTEN some theories regarding homosexuality, not on the metaphysical level but the physical - which are probably more erudite than I can offer regarding biology. One thing should be said however, and that is that because the purpose of the pleasure of union is to bind together, child sexual abuse, particularly the homo-sexual kind, confuses this process of union and sets the pleasure itself outside of its best and perhaps only intended place. After this it is not surprising that other forms of pleasure are ascribed to union (those involving the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract for instance) and what unions are regarded as real are simply those which involve some kind of sexualized pleasure. It is a positive feedback loop.

THUS THE AXIS of sexuality goes from 'sexual' to 'pansexual' and everything along the way is just stops along a path leading to the sexualization of everything, and the inclusion of all forms of pleasure into sexuality. Supposed bisexuality and homosexuality have telltale signs in them, that such persons involved often ape characteristics of the other sex; so you will have two females but one is masculine (and dominant) - or the proliferation of feminized men.

WE WILL JUST ASSUME that there are a variety of pleasures - the pleasure of domination, the pleasure of submission, the pleasure of female beauty, the pleasure of male beauty, and so on, and note that a fundamental lack of direction in terms of sexuality means these concepts can be attached in different ways that produce disorder. Binding them all is the physical pleasure, almost mechanical in nature, given to the real act itself.

THUS FEMINISTS, who cannot enjoy submitting normally (due to dominant/submissive ideology hacks), find it difficult to enjoy the regular act. Indeed, the difficulty given in both sexes enjoying the act in the same way is not mysterious; it is a secondary test of the union. That is to say, can both parties involved consider the other person's pleasure their own? If they can, they likely also can consider the other person's well-being their own. For some this process is simpler than others.

BUT ALL OF THIS is moot outside of the context of the male/female union. If you believe in some degree of intelligent design (as I do) you would have to regard all of this is a very sophisticated technology for the creation of higher-level entities. Because humans die, this process is coupled to that of creating more humans, making the prolongation of man center around the nuptial act. We should also regard it as profoundly realistic that the Christian idea is to understand the union of God and man through Jesus Christ as nuptial in nature.

THERE WAS A TIME when women were encouraged to imagine themselves having nuptials WITH Christ, which is if you think about it, insanely perverse, hedonistic and materialistic. The nature of the sex drive is that of a positive feedback loop, so feeding it with anything outside of the actual thing ("do not awaken desire before its time", the proverb goes) is bound to be pornographic and lead to fornication of some kind.

ALL OF THE TABOOS around sex are also misunderstood. In a sense, people have a very Manichean view of taboo and clean/unclean. While dirt seems to be a slam-dunk for being unclean, it's also true that swallowing bleach, a CLEANER, is inherently unclean. (It makes you sick.) Cleanliness thus is not so much about keeping the good things from the bad, but rather, not mixing things out of order. In this way, people often treat anything taboo as being taboo because it is inherently unclean. So in their folly they take modesty to mean that the sexual organs and thus by extension the act itself, to be somehow 'bad'.

BUT WE AS ORTHODOX cover the cup in which the body and blood of Christ are. It is hidden not because it is bad, but because it is OTHER. The female in particular has a naturally great beauty (even so more without clothes) so to prevent the mixing of sexual activity and everything else she in particular should be modest. Overmodesty can have the opposite effect of course, since mystery motivates as much as revelation. We have already demonstrated above that sexuality can devour all forms of pleasure and activity into itself; so overexpression of male and female sex can induce a feedback loop that is not controllable.

THUS WE CAN SAY that we Europeans in particular have women cover up the way we do because we regard her beauty as sacred, not because we regard it as unclean or bad. Those involved in Liberation (LIBERTY from below) only see walls as the chains of slavery, the wall between powerful and sacred things that should not mix is something they can not learn to understand.

SEX ALSO gives us the chance to think about sacredness in general, and all of its strange and hard to justify rules that nonetheless cause havoc if not kept in some form. There is much that we do not understand about order, either on the physical or the metaphysical plane; sexuality itself is an albatross about the neck of fallen man if he does not give serious respect to such concerns.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

IV. Fraternity

THE LAST OF THE THREE FOLLIES is Fraternity. The promise given to the Revolutionary society was for all men - and firstly all "Frenchmen" - Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. The nationalistic society is presaged on all three follies. These follies are necessary because hyper-specialization breaks up the places where they had once settled; in the communities and families which were once organic but were broken down to form a larger, unitive body.

IN THIS WAY the heresy of Christianity that nationalism and all of the revolutionary societies and ideologies that followed it is clear; Christianity is first and foremost a fellowship, a fraternity of brethren. The concept that 'there is no x or y in Christ' must be understood in this fashion: for if there were male and female in Christ, no full fraternity would be possible, since no proper fraternity or mannerbund is ever co-ed.

CHRISTIANITY PROPOSES that the high priest or most respected elder stands in for Christ in the midst of the gathering of the brethren. There are brethren upon brethren; the top is the synod of bishops, which in the Western tradition became headed decisively by its only See: Rome. If the high priest is as Christ, then all the people gathered about him are the complete Church, regardless of where they are. This is the old model; the organic unity is around the local leader, who himself has a conciliar relationship with his brother leaders. (They cannot fulfill different roles as completely as the members of the local body can.)

THE CONCERN OF CERTAIN THINKERS was that society, like the council of bishops, was not organic enough; it was more mechanical. But to make the 'whole' or the church of churches completely organic requires breaking down the organic unity of the local churches. Though Rome created a sub-church, a higher organic grouping of Cardinals and the upper echelons, it never truly abolished the local organism. This is as far as a church can make concessions with the necessities of worldly authority and remain itself. Whether it has gone too far in this regard is not something I am capable of addressing rightly.

NOW THAT ORGANIC society is not organic, though all of its members are now units in reference to that high leadership, the national government. Whence fraternity? The Dunbar number tells us that in our biology, and as perhaps a function of our temporal and rational limitation, it is fixed at the local level. Fraternity outside of this scale is a fiction.

THE CHRISTIAN ORGANISM does not actually abolish sex, race or caste. It merely sets them aside in the context of its worship, where all human differences are as rubbish before the awesome chasm between man and God. For if Christianity had abolished them, what need would there be to remind the brethren that in Christ they were of no account?

ATTEMPTING TO RECONSTRUCT this true mannerbund and its paradoxical and psychosomatic character has beguiled the moral thinkers for ages. To really reconstruct it requires the creation of a religion, since aspects of our fellowship and our education are both religious by nature. But to have rejected it decisively to create it anew is, as Paul notes, grounds for being a transgressor. This transgressing is not of some particular legal decree but rather is the concept of transgressing justice itself; a concept revolutionaries began with affixing themselves to with ardor.

AND IF REVOLUTION AFFIXED ITSELF to justice but found that it in order to fulfill its justice, it must become unjust, it could only hope that its crimes would be forgotten by some further generation delivered from the unjust system it believed it overthrew only to re-create. Even this process of renunciation is a Christian theme, and they cannot rightly do it.

THE ORGANIC UNITY of mankind may be impossible on any level except the local; and if so, hierarchy is necessitated for any real fraternity to stretch across all of men. Fraternity is expressed in a paradox itself; that of the attraction of opposites and the attraction of the similar. Since man is complex, he may contain what Aristotle calls a contrary; something which differs on one point but shares an underlying similarity. All fraternity is built on these contraries.

MAN AND WOMAN are such a contrary: both by nature man, but both opposite in sex. Organic unities are possible because of contrary personalities and skills among members. One leads, one submits; one speaks, one listens, one fights, one makes peace. But an underlying unity allows these contraries to resolve smoothly, like the blood vessels moving air from the lungs to the cells and the blood back to the lungs to receive more air. Without the common system they could have no relationship.

EVEN IN GOD, as we understand him, we see contraries; the unoriginate and the two who come from Him; the one who spirates and the one who proceeds; the one who is incarnate and the two who are not; the two who may be blasphemed against and the one whom cannot be. But all remain God; they among themselves are the life of God; the Church is the relationship between the members of the Trinity from before the ages, empty of man until Pentecost. As the hymn says, "the formerly barren Church."

THIS IS THE PERFECTION of Fraternity; being of one mind while being distinct. To remove distinction is to destroy fellowship. What follows from this is that to deny racial and ethnic categories, as well as to deny the real nature of them (groups of humans are not equal, either) is to completely prevent fellowship among them through their leadership.

FENCES MAKE GOOD NEIGHBORS the saying goes, and there are as many types of boundaries as there are relationships. May love govern them all.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

III. Liberty

THE ORIGINAL TEXT on liberty from Christianity is Paul's: Do not allow your liberty to be an excuse for sin. All other texts are similar: All things are permissible but not all things are beneficial and I shall be enslaved by none. Juxtaposed is a position of extreme liberty with extreme discretion; liberty from the basic principles of this world (GNON) comes with a heavy price - responsibility to not misuse it.

THIS BASIC RESPONSIBILITY is not legal. The character of the liberty is itself extralegal; it is a setting aside of all rules and regulations that were set upon us. Discretion is required where no rules hold sway; but this is not so much a doing-away with rules, as a doing away with legal obligations. Discretion is itself a set of rules, but ones more subtle and adaptable than "if you don't do X you're getting stoned."

LIBERTY, like equality, cannot be an absolute. Liberty is always in reference to something; and the very question of what liberty is in reference to is the question which consumes most post-enlightenment debate. There is a certain fear that if liberty is defined positively; i.e. 'freedom to become X', 'freedom to do Y', it gives license to social engineers to take away all freedoms which do not tend towards that end.

A MAN WISHES TO SAIL THE SEA, but in order to do so, he must be confined in a boat. The freedom to cross the ocean is a real freedom, but so is the freedom to move about freely on foot. These freedoms contradict one another. Thus people argue endlessly about 'freedom' when what they really have in mind, the telos, differs. Because of this, they can without conflict claim others' ideas of freedom are in fact slavery, and vice versa.

THE CATCH on the Christian definition of liberty however, is that such liberty is in the Spirit. This is a peculiar expression, but indicates that mankind in general, as a rule, is not in a state of liberty from GNON post-incarnation. It indicates that Christians (specifically, baptized Christians) may be, but that such freedom comes through the Spirit itself, and not as some mental revelation.

BECAUSE OF THIS, the discussion of liberty must be one of potency; all human beings are potentially able to become baptized Christians, ergo, they are potentially able to be in complete liberty. But complete liberty, as we have noted above, simply means the freedom to will anything, not necessarily the freedom to fulfill it (since freedoms can contradict.) Thus we are, in the post-lapsarian state, not merely unable to fulfill what we wish, but often unable to wish what we wish.

IF LIBERTY IS in reference to something, we must ask 'what'. If man is granted freedom, what is this freedom for? Those who argue no purpose for such freedom realistically have little ground to stand on for arguing that it is even freedom at all. Thus such a position is self-closing; we can consider it answered by its own conditions.

MERELY ACKNOWLEDGING that we do not precisely know the purpose for our liberty does not call into question the existence of a purpose; unless we assume that because we did not know precisely of the New World in Europe prior to Columbus' journey that it probably didn't exist. There is a tendency to hold the tension of the unknown falsely; to make lipservice of admitting the mystery while in our minds making a series of unwarranted assumptions.

HUMAN FREEDOM, therefore, is attached to human being. To understand the purpose of human freedom requires understanding what a human being is, what it is for, and so on. Obviously therefore, if one does not believe that a human being is 'for' anything, human liberty must not be 'for' anything in particular.

GIVEN THIS STIPULATION we can only talk about freedom, meaningfully, in terms of ends. The first end of human beings is quite obviously to perpetuate themselves. Now, it is not the case that human beings exist to perpetuate 'humanity' - but rather, their own bloodlines. In the long run this fulfills the original command "be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth."

PROLONGATION is the first end of man, And given man's abilities and nature his prolongation does not end with the body, but continues with the mind, the soul, the spirit. However, as men die, in order to meet their purpose, they must continue to live somehow. Different religions have proposed different solutions to this enigma, some even falling so low as to believe that men, like animals, are only prolonged through their descendents. Others have speculated that the soul transmigrates, which allows man to persist but destroys his psychosomatic identity, and yet others thought the soul itself to partake of life and thus continue after, without the body.

CHRISTIANITY proposes a different notion, that the dead shall be raised to life, and in that life the psychosomatic identity will be prolonged into the everlasting. All things resurrected must both be made new but also be the same thing they were before, else man's basic purpose go unfulfilled. As God is immortal, men being prolonged into the everlasting is being in likeness to him.

BUT IF THE RESURRECTION is of the body, then the life of the body is meaningful, and cannot be disregarded. Further, given that man is living, (his basic purpose) his purpose is then to glorify God. But what can this mean? People who attend church services think they know what it means, because they attach the words to certain events. But let us examine the concept more carefully.

TO EXALT GOD would mean to show forth the goodness of him; and in the example above we noted that as God is immortal, so man is meant to be immortal. And if immortality in man is shown to be glorious, then the Immortal One is shown to be glorious. Likewise with all things that God has impressed upon man; inasmuch as man exercises them rightly, they glorify the one whom they are taken from, the original.

IN THE GRAND SCHEME of things, praise and worship songs are small change in the glorification of the Infinite God. Therefore we think it not unreasonable to say that not only is man only truly able to be free in God, but that this freedom is directed towards the magnification and perfection of all of the characteristics that God placed of himself in man.

THE QUESTION OF FREEDOM as ensconced in the desire for liberation is irrelevant; actual liberation can only happen in the context in which the divine characteristics in man can be exercised and made excellent. Any liberation outside of this is an illusion or worse, a kind of bondage which sells itself as freedom - the very libel perpetuated against the Church by revolutionaries.

IF MEN ARE NOT FREE to become gods, then they are not free. They are brute beasts, whose fate it is to be torn to pieces.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

II. Equality

CONCERNING EQUALITY it seems that many, even those who ought to otherwise know better, have accepted the 'good' of 'human equality'. Unlike the Enlightenment and its revolutionaries, Christianity's relationship with human equality is not simple.

FIRSTLY, Christianity is not an ideology, which is to say, simply a system of ideas. Humans almost always have ideologies, and without fail they will take anything they come into contact with and integrate it into their ideology. Simpletons, while liable to being tricked and walking into danger unawares, rarely have the problem of trying to fit the faith into their preconceived structure. The tradeoff of low intelligence means fewer erroneous constructions.

GIVEN THIS TENDENCY, it is not surprising that humans of a given era might not merely stress aspects of the faith that fit that era's preoccupations, but in fact make assertion that those aspects are the faith, or even worse, are the Gospel itself. In the late 19th century with the rise of scientific socialism, many became obsessed with material welfare, especially of the poor. We could, without knowing any other facts, determine by reason that there must exist Christians - whether we mean errant sects or merely individuals - that made something like what we call 'the Social Gospel'.

EGALITARIANISM is no less a problem in this regard. Concerning the religion of The Cathedral, we would expect a Pope to come along mouthing its platitudes even as the faithful scratch their heads in confusion. This problem affects weak monarchs and any monarchical system will be forced to weather it and MUST be able to survive it if it is truly to be anti-fragile. This Gospel of Human Equality we would expect to have a form such as this "The Christ calls us to love all equally."

SUCH A PERNICIOUS DISTORTION is par for the course (let us recall Anselm's reduxion of all the various types in the crucifixion to merely 'offense of honor') for these form of 'Green Apostasies'. Met. Hilarion has said that like the different Martyrdoms, there are different Apostasies. In this case, we merely mean the gradual, organic adoption of STRANGE GODS which gradually, imperceptibly draw the Christian away from the Church. Usually these gods are mundane things like family, polite society and money, things which are goods in themselves and thus a mildly perverse relationship with them could go unnoticed for a long time.

THE COMPLEXITY HOWEVER, is this. There are ways in which humans ARE equal, but there are ways in which humans ARE NOT equal. Indeed I have said elsewhere that equality is also much simpler than inequality, since determining if things are equal is as simple as quantifying them and seeing if they are level. And then if not, leveling them out. Inequality involves more difficulties and more understanding of nature, both human and otherwise.

THE DIGNITY OF MAN is where man has equality; we understand these things to be 'the image of God' - freedom of will, uniqueness and relation. All human beings possess these properties and are thus 'equal' in their possession. The other way in which men are equal is in that they are all deserving of condemnation. That is another topic, but suffice it to say that death is the most effective equalizer. It is not surprising that egalitarians so often resort to it.

THE COROLLARY to this is that men may demonstrate these three properties in lesser or greater degrees and thus be more or less human. Indeed, we must acknowledge that those who have ceased to have freedom entirely, have ceased to be in any way unique, or have ceased to be capable of relationship (of which the primary expression is love) have at least in part ceased to be human.

WE MAKE FORBEARANCE for those in whom such things are still nascent, namely, children; an immature apple tree is not regarded as unfruitful or false if it bears no apples. We also do likewise for those in whom such properties are temporarily suppressed, namely the sick. But those who demonstrate that they have abandoned these aspects have rejected our natural equality.

IT IS ARGUABLE that second to delivering men from death, Christ came to foster the real virtue (real active goodness) in human beings. Virtue is difficult to quantify and is not the subject of equality, as virtues are several and humans bear them differently and in different degrees, naturally. Women are not naturally courageous, and men are not naturally sympathetic. And while courage certainly is the greater virtue (as the virtues do not have equality among them) it still follows that a particular inequality rules.

ALL INEQUALITY IS PARTICULAR, since while the only number to equal 1 is 1, there are countless numbers that do not equal one. Thus if we are to say 'what is unequal to one?' We must then ask, 'which'? Whereas if we were to ask 'what is equal to one?' there is only a single, universal answer: one. Such is an interesting way to view the difference between a generally universal property (inequality/equality) and a true Universalism (equality.) For the latter there is only one right answer, but for the former, there are BOTH right AND wrong answers. Note this well.

THE ACQUISITION OF VIRTUE necessarily entails inequality, for if one rises and another does not, the one who does not becomes inferior to the one who does. Humility says that we look on the precarious situation even great virtue is in first, before we congratulate ourselves for good habits and superior abilities. And of course none of these differences, no matter how important they may be whether in the world or in the world to come save one from needing to die; the first concern is to ensure that death does not stick.

THUS IN CHRISTIAN TERMS equality seems a rather bestial thing; certainly humans are equal in their ability to absorb nutrition, to grow, and to die. But because men are free, some will refuse to rise up for whatever reason they choose. To realize equality would mean to cut down men of great virtue on account of those who do not have it; and it is hubris to think that the world, though good in itself, is equally and completely safe for all human beings, and that survival is not part by skill, part by the mercy of God.

HUMANS ARE MULTIPLE, as we had learned from our basic texts, and their basic relationship is complementary and not identical. Given this we understand that man's created HUMAN state is in inequality - inequality with God, inequality amongst his brethren. It is when he falls that he comes both under equality (death) and gross inequality (the results of sin.) What we wish for is man's natural equality and natural inequality - his dignity and immortality on the first, and his differing roles, his complementarity and his varying greatness on the last.

IT IS WORTH NOTING that the icon of the Trinity (a representation but not a depiction) by Andrew Rublev shows this odd complexity; all of the members acknowledge one another with a bow, but the bows are not equal; both the middle and right figure are bowing deeply to the figure on the left, who acknowledges their submission. An equality of love and nature, but an inequality of rank and order. (To the members of the table, facing us, the superior figure is to the right.)

HIERARCHY'S ESSENCE is this: a common ground and a rank ordering. In some ways the things must naturally be equal (same) for their inequality to exist; and apple is neither equal nor unequal to a fork, unless they be denatured down to the point of mere mass. Such a thing has been done to men in the modern world.

WE HAVE BOTH LOST our natural equality and our natural inequality; and this is why people clamor for both.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I. An Introduction.

WHILE IT IS TRUE that I have had personal blogs from time to time, since they amount to a kind of intellectual journal, I have never settled on a format for my journal-as-such; my web-logs consisted mostly of collections of notes that intrigued me.

SYMPATHY FOR THE DEAD, however, represents the authorized voice of E. Antony Gray, speaking mainly on the topic of traditionalist new-reaction. (I will prefer the use of OE/Germanic terms over others where reasonable and applicable.)

EPHREM ANTONY GRAY, whose first name comes from the holy father Ephrem the Syrian, a poet and philosopher of the antique middle east, will focus his words mainly on the topic of Orthodox Christianity - that is, the so-called 'Eastern Orthodox-Catholic Apostolic Church' - and its connexion to new-reaction.

RELIGIOUS BELIEVERS, particularly Christians, are entering a period of terrible trial much like that which was experienced by the Russian Christians under the communist yoke. There is a great temptation for our leaders to subtly if not overtly acquiesce to the world, whether it be to adopt the program of the One World Religion and Government (elsewhere named The Cathedral) or to assent to its categories and framing.

THIS MATTER is especially pressing, given that the master-teachings of Christianity: freedom from thoughts, renunciation of worldly goods, love of enemies, estrangement from the world, absolute abasement, death of the passions, and others, will become inaccessible to anyone if things continue. And if inaccessible, the fruits of these practices also must become not merely inaccessible to those who are 'modern', but completely inaccessible to all men.

IT IS OUR BELIEF, though not dogmatized, that the world persists but for the prayers of certain nameless holy men in each generation. And though we certainly look forward to the Last Day, we are also aware of our own need to repent further (and our inability to do so after death) - the fact is that neither we nor those of our generation who dwell in darkness can be expected a second chance.

A TRUE PHILANTHROPY must therefore not include what is ephemeral, namely, immediate gratification, but what is enduring, namely, the victory of the soul over death, which we understand is not guaranteed. While it is true that all will have eternal being, not all will have eternal well-being, says the great Maximus. This means that though all of the corruptible bodies shall be raised, some shall be raised unto eternal death, a manner of being which befit the soul. Thus any who loves his body must first love his soul, for his body depends on it.

TO LOVE ALL MEN, even those who hate us, is not the subject of personal abasement. Instead, it is doing what is best, within our power, to move that soul toward repentance, towards God, towards truth, towards beauty, towards goodness. There are cases where an example of humiliation can help the soul of a man, but it must be real humiliation, a real sacrifice salted with fire.

HOLINESS SIGNALING, something I have mentioned before, is pharisaical, and forms of it that involve intentionally breaking the 'rules' to show that you are 'a sinner' as well as 'being an example of humility' in a broad sense are often nothing more than examples of pride, vainglory and self-esteem. "Publicanism" is pharisaism for the counter-culture. Narcissists and borderlines cannot properly humiliate themselves to benefit themselves and others.

RECOGNIZING THE FUTILITY of raising the dead with my own words, I will attempt instead to analyze and comment on things, as well as make connections and synthesis with Orthodox thought and new-reaction. The impossibility of doing anything more should chasten us. If more happens, it is by the will of God.

THIS BLOG is called 'Sympathy for the Dead', a saying which can have more than one interpretation. To love all men certainly means to love the dead, for most men are dead.