Sunday, March 02, 2008

En soph

In reading about the Sophists in Richard Tarnas's history of ideas, The Passion of the Western Mind, I encounter the following passage:

Despite the positive effects of their intellectual training and establishment of a liberal education as a basis for effective character formation, a radical skepticism toward all values led some to advocate an explicitly amoral opportunism. Students were instructed how to devise ostensibly plausible arguments supporting virtually any claim. More concretely disturbing was the concurrent deterioration of the political and ethical situation in Athens to the point of crisis--the democracy turning fickle and corrupt, the consequent takeover by a ruthless oligarchy, the Athenian leadership of Greece becoming tyrannical, wars begun in arrogance ending in such critical circumstances, the philosophical denial of absolute values and sophistical commendation of stark opportunism seemed both to reflect and to exacerbate the problematic spirit of the times.

It gives one pause to wonder if the antithetical spirit of our time: i.e., the capitalist greed and blind lust for wealth and power, versus the progressivism and idealism which is perhaps making a comeback since its brief efflorescence in the 1960s, is not posited on the same shaky sophisticated foundation. Postmodernism tends to dismantle its own underpinnings, including the spiritual dimension, leaving the questing imagination with no metaphysical targets to shoot for. What is left is the eternal mundane, always there to comfort you with its relativistic nipple when all else fails.

Is it fair, then, to pin the excesses of the Greed Decade (the 80s, Reaganism, Gordon Gekko) down through the Iraq War in this post-Constitutional era, on the solipsistic and linguistically obtuse meanderings of "sophisticated" academics? Perhaps so. Every word that is uttered makes an impact on the whole universe. Truths can be denied, but Truth herself if spurned can be a vengeful lover, and bring a whole plague of apocalypses down on our silly heads!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"En soph" eh!
I prefer Ain Soph Aur...
Have you read 'Devil's Tor'
I had an experience with Pritzger's
Zohar....i noticed the Shekinah
was mentioned numerous times as
having an abode in Malkut
as opposed to Yesod or Hod...
A libraian from Scutum-Crux
said the error was purposeful..
As for myself...i had an experience
in a hotel room in Des Moines when
i first read a copy of Ubiq..
and in my travels/have had
some other trips in Iowa..
Burlington/a unique place..
Clarinda/Council Bluffs/Walker/
Greenfield and Olwein/when i
hopped off a freight train
from west st. paul, minnesota..
The scene from The Magus..
the blind monk and the pillar of fire was exceptional..
I think Cathari and Gnostics
have survived the 1st crusade...
In Pkd's 83-84
Theoretical Explorations/(it is true..)
I see that Tessa responded to you/Jack Vance met Phil/at a house
in Marin..back when..PKD wore a cape and had big boots/when he came storming through...but alas~no pirates cutlass..Poul Anderson was with Vance and they
were seen as competitors for the dark haired lady who gave the party...a person who has collected
Fritz Leiber's mattress and Sitting Bull's blanket is after Phil Dick's boots...I have a blog..but just two is a
science-fiction writer...since you are close to Minnesota...
In the main
St. Paul Public Library..find the
micro-f for the St. Paul Morning Dispatch and Afternoon Pioneer Press..for Aug 9th..1946/notice the weather phenomena that occured
in the early am August ninth...
There are 3 fronds which lead out
from this initial event...
I'm willing to stake the lives of every sentient creature in the Galactic Universe on being right about this...The 3 fronds identify the facet of The Ineffable that is available to this lower dimensional
realm...this facet has left a trail..he/she has used the names/Seth Allogenes-Philip K Valis-Senaon-Max Serendipity-Gloria Gaetrix-mm somakosmos-Bubba Allogenes-Octoff Malhiero & Octoff Malheiro-Thor Yamamoto and a few other names that i have identified..
As for myself/I would not dare approach such a being/who would?
I have info that he/she is an 11 year old child shapeshifter that was born at that place in 1946.
I suppose that Coatl and Quetzal
are significant...Lord of Butterflies and The Morning and Evening Stars and all that...although i prefer Lord of the ascending stairways....
With the double-slit photon experiment/you got to know this is all true!
Here is a question/what has 72 billion square miles of living space and 51 quadrillion acre feet of potable water and is 17.89 light hours out from earth and holding for Dec 21 2012 and the
workhorse artificial general intelligence in control has human selection mode that has 'empathy' as the the prime 'authorization' for letters of transit?