Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Over at One Cosmos

Gagdad Bob expounds at length about progress as defined by the horizontal versus the vertical man (animal vs. spiritual, mortal vs. transcendant), or what in my tradition is called "Natural Man" and "Reborn Man."

Bob freqently comments on this difference, but I felt that this post was especially succinct. I reluctantly agree that there is a limited number of the "'educable few,' the enlightened minority who 'simply want to get at the plain truth of things.'" Reluctantly because I despise anything that smacks of elitism. And yet, there is no denying that we are not all equally able in every thing. Spiritual awareness happens to be one of those things that some people have and others do not, to varying degrees.

Am I one of those few? I try to be, but I also know how badly I falter and how often I let myself get caught up in the "horizontal" concerns of the world. I would have to classify myself as one of those conservatives for whom "there is a painful awareness of what we as a country have already lost and can seemingly never regain." These people are called the "Remnant" by Albert Jay Nock.
You know you are a member of the Remnant if you realize that a genetic man is merely the raw material for a human being; ….

Members of the Remnant "are everywhere; everywhere they are not so much resisting as quietly eluding and disregarding all social pressure which tends to mechanize their processes of observation and thought." You might say that the Remnant is an order of Cosmic Raccoons "unassociated in any formal way, living singly or nearly so, and more or less as aliens, in all classes of our society…" Yes, you are a member of the vertical aristocracy, but you don’t make a big deal out of it.

One more salient point:
For while we all know that the illiterate cannot read, it would be a gross misunderstanding to hastily conclude that the literate can. We should never confuse knowing psychology, or history, or religion, with understanding it. Most any ignoramus can be trained — not educated — to become a university professor. Which is not to say that all professors are idiots, but that all idiots are ignorant of their ignorance and therefore halfway to tenure.

I wish this were not true of academia, but unfortunately it is true in all too many cases. There are a few bright lights in the universities, but they are playing their cards close to the chest and are careful not to make waves. Not because they are cowards but because they'd rather quietly go about their business than beat their heads bloody against a wall that is simply not ready to fall. As long as they keep quiet in the faculty lounge, they can still inspire a few students to learn critical thought; if they are cast out of the academy, they can have no influence at all.


Petey said...

Do us a favor, Toots. If you link to One Cosmos, use the blogspot one. As you know, we are trying to keep the wordpress blog a secret troll-free meeting place for unpretentiously elevated, humbly aristocratic, unsanctimoniously superior, and reluctantly elite spiritual cosmonauts such as yourself.

dicentra63 said...