Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The Reason I Think The Way I Do About Things, Part One
[BEGIN PART ONE]
Before we get started, let me make one thing perfectly clear.
I hate myself. I always have.
If I possessed anything other than utter contempt for myself as a human being and had any faith at all in my abilities as an artist, I would never have bothered creating anything in the first place.
The whole of my creative work can be roughly divided into two broad categories:
1) Works of action
2) Works of re-action.
Let us consider a work of action to be an inspiration that is a cause unto itself within which all of its effects are contained.
Whereas works of re-action are the minor creative results that are antecedents of the causal relationship initiated by a major work of action. Works of re-action are generally created to augment or clarify the substance of either a work of action or even other works of re-action.
Inspiration has no discernible entry point by which an artist may point and exclaim: Aha! From a fixed location in the cosmic ether came this specific idea! Therefore, works of action, it may be said, have no beginning.
Conversely, works of re-action, being effects from which a causal link may be established from itself to either a work of action or another work of re-action, it may be said, have no ending.
This entry falls into the latter.
In today's progressive lexicon, to be labeled a "reactionary" is to be deprived of credibility within many influential circles. Indeed, it has happened to the greatest of our historical figures, often in reference to their noblest intentions. One need only consider the amount of times, throughout his life, and even long afterwards in the myopic views of revisionist history, that Winston Churchill has been labeled a "reactionary" for wanting to do something as undeniably beneficial as confronting Adolf Hitler.
Yet is not all linear existence a reaction of some sort or another? St. Thomas Aquinas spoke of God as the Primal Cause, or the "First Mover", if you will, from which all effects issue forth, either harmoniously in tandem or inharmoniously in conflict. Therefore, regardless of whether one agrees with or dissents from any specific person, issue or institution, within our less than perfect human realm, any stance taken at all is, ipso facto, a reactionary one.
In Aquinas' ontological schemata, to eschew reaction is to simultaneously subvert a Divine hierarchy by stripping from Deity its exclusive characteristic of action independent of reaction. That is to say, if God is not a Primal Cause, God is merely reaction and, therefore, no longer God.
If God is no longer God, what, if anything, becomes of that conglomerate of reactions we call humanity? Man cannot exist in a spiritual vacuum--unless of course he is willing to subsist on the cold gruel of nihilism; an absurd proposition that serves as an adequate justification for suicide (an act of violence slightly less absurd than the absurdity of continuing to live within the absurdity of nihilism.)
Therefore, in the ontological void that remains in the absence of God, humanity--arrogant from its imagined victory over the imagined oppressiveness of Deity--steps forth to prematurely claim the mantle of Divinity for itself. Hence, we witness the advent of Western secularism and, more to the point, its disquieting physical manifestation in the form of an unfeeling and self-perpetuating commercialism.
How many times have we heard, or in some cases uttered to ourselves, the agnostic lament: "If God exists, why is he so indifferent to human suffering?"
I ask, is money any less indifferent?
Few progressives of the humanist school of thought would deny me this central point. After all, a certain amount of vitriol directed against unrestrained capitalistic excesses is not only healthy, one could argue, but also spiritual.
However, if we were to extrapolate further, would progressives concede this same indifference toward human suffering applies equally not just to money, but to all other facets of a secularized West?
Would they reserve the same contempt for the media? Pop culture? Politicians of all parties? Big government programs?
At present, their words and deeds seem to indicate that they would not. This of course, begs a much larger question: How is it that progressives can be imbued with such an unquestioning faith towards the evidentially imperfect tangibilities of humanity and yet still maintain a dogmatic certitude about the intangibility of Divinity?
Therein lies the contagion of hypocrisy which infects the minds and souls of our best and brightest. And such are the philosophical underpinnings beneath my re-action against a Western society's growing denial of the existence of God.
In this section, I have delineated the differences between works of action and works of re-action. In Part Two, I will demonstrate how the larger secular society, being a composite of conflicting and non-conflicting re-actions is secondary in ontological importance to the Individual, which being in many ways a beginning and end unto itself, and thus reflective of the higher nature of God, is not only capable of works of action as well as works of re-action, but is also a more accurate barometer for human progress than the faceless amalgam of disparate ideologies known as the Community.
[END OF PART ONE]
Posted by Will Franken at 9:10 PM