Map of Heaven – a measured reaction

ST is one of the wisest and smartest people in the Reactosphere. His channel is hugely underrated and every video stretches your mental abilities to their absolute limit. ST recently declared that he no longer considers himself part of the DR, and after watching his latest video (Map of Heaven), I think I understand why.

I too am disappointed with the online dissident right. Still, the following thoughts are an attempt to capture the essence of what it means to be reactionary and why I still think that progressive theology is a trojan horse that has to be resisted at all cost.

A few thoughts on the video:

1. Hermeneutic groups, merits and egregores

The first part of the video is pretty much a semiotic / emergentist approach, which does not stray from contemporary philosophy.

Emergence attempts to explain why things in nature organise hierarchically. After the discovery of complexity science, scientists were forced to admit that reality has multiple levels of complexity – the quantic, sub-atomic, molecular, atomic, bio-chemic, biological, mental, societal, ecosistemic etc. Very briefly, [strong] emergence means that upper levels ‘evolve’ properties that are irreducible to the lower ones. You cannot explain the laws of traffic by studying the properties of a single car and its parts.

ST uses this frame to explain the difference between human grups, the degrees of their linkage and affinities. ‘Merits’, the core values of groups, are explained in this emergent vein, where first you have blind selective filters (all the autistic fishermen select for better ponds, and act in unison unknowingly), then a ‘merit’ emerges, and thus fishermen communities are formed; then this ‘merit’, which was first unknown and implicit, evolves to become explicit, and thus slowly, consciousness evolves from unconsciousness. Still, despite all the conscious efforts of each individual fisherman to figure out what the hell his community is up to, the group is still led by an ‘egregore’, a semi-conscious emergent entity with which you cannot communicate, because it isn’t fully formed.

Evil is then explained as a destructive egregore, something which leads to nothingness, because instead of building on top of the existing merits and connecting them in a synergic hierarchy of harmonious global cooperation (Petersoon is clapping like a seal), it pits group merits against each other, until a purely vindictive revolutionary ethos emerges, that will not stop until it engulfs its host and eventually kills it.

This is fascinating and elegant, and requires no metaphysical commitments so far. You can be a Platonist, an Aristotelian, a Hegelian or a Marxist. To lean one way or another you would have to posit something more fundamental; materialists posit that complex evolves from simple, that mind-like properties emerge from random interactions between matter. The article can be read in this vein, just as Peterson’s ‘Maps of Meaning’ series can be best read in a Hegelian progressive frame.

If you are a metaphysician or a religious believer, you will claim with Matthieu Pageau that Heaven comes before Earth, and what seems purely emergent is in fact a descent of heavenly meaning on the earthly plane, shaping it into something intelligible. There is little sign of this in ST’s video; towards the end he simply posits that God’s mind is kind of like ours, splitting itself into mirrors of it (God’s ideas) which are then reflected in Creation. But so far the only accounts of human mind, of human communities, collective unconscious, archetypes, egregores etc. are given in a bottom-up fashion, starting from the low level and through sudden ‘jumps’ or slow evolution, leading to the higher. The believer would reverse the explanation, with God’s ideas, angels, archangels, cherubim, seraphim, thrones, principalities – good or evil – descending to earth to impregnate the daughters of man, who either give birth to faithful Patriarchs, or the rebellious descendants of Cain who built cities, musical instruments and technology. How would we then explain archetypes and egregores in relation to these higher beings?

I totally think that ST and Jonathan Pageau should make a series of videos and I would be willing to help bring them together for that.

2. Akasha Matria vs. God the Father

This is the most important part I want to discuss. After describing God as pure Intelligence (defined as the ability to conceal or reveal things) which then brings forth ideas and exemplars for his Creation, ST ties this model with the Heraclitean model of the Cosmos as constant ever changing flux. He then goes on to contrast this God which he considers ‘alive and intelligent’ with the false models of paganism, alchemy, sorcery and materialist science. If you struggle to figure out what all these have in common, he thinks they are all Platonist – advancing a static model of the Cosmos and the Divine Mind. The opposite of ‘intelligence’ is blind force; and if God is not seen as always shape-shifting and producing new and intriguing ideas, the only alternative is to see him as ‘dumb’, as impersonal as electricity or any biological drive: “absorbed and rapt in eager self, driving, pushing, carried on in a stress of feverish force like a bullet, dynamic force apart from reason or will, like the force that lifts the tides and sends the clouds onwards.” – Richard Jefferies, The Story of my Heart

When the sons of men reject the ‘intelligent’ view of God in favour of a static, platonic view of the Cosmos, positing that divine essence is the product of technicality rather than the other way around, not only do they become materialistic – they become Promethean or Luciferian, attempting to stir this huge Mandala Wheel or Akasha Matria, which, not having her own agenda, can be bent by alchemists and warlocks. This, then, is the source of all evil. Poor old Plato was the ultimate Ur-Fascist.

There are a few issues with this interpretation – first, it is itself tributary to a Promethean redefinition of intelligence – that of the German idealists, Kant and later Hegel. It is indeed strange to condemn old Plato as a proto-Himtler, while not seeing anything wrong with the titanic rejection and replacement of classical metaphysics undertaken by these continental philosophers.

a. The archaic view on the Sacred (and Intelligence)

There isn’t a single ‘archaic’ metaphysics, as there were countless archaic cultures. However, archaic (extinct) and primitive (still alive) folk metaphysics have many commonalities for reasons one can only speculate (natural religion? the collective unconscious? some form of divine revelation?). The post-Enlightenment Western civilisation departed from this folk metaphysics to such extent, that from our alien vantage point it makes sense to talk about an ‘archaic’ view of the sacred.

Here ethnographers like Mircea Eliade, Jung, Von Franz, Evola and Guenon – did some good research on the topic, so I would mention 2 books: ‘The Sacred and Profane’ and ‘The Myth of Eternal Return’, both by Mircea Eliade.

In short, archaic peoples defined the Sacred realm of the gods as an eternal mythical time-space, an eternal Present which does not expire (Eliade names it ‘Illo tempore’). That realm contains all the founding practices, all archetypes humans must remember. By remembering, they literally partake (as if teleported) of the Sacred. This was not a Promethean attempt to become gods or stir the wheel of history; it was a sacrament done to honour the gods or God.
In fact, aside from this eternal ‘illo tempore’, nothing seemed worthy of notice; the chronicles of the kingdom, the battles with competing tribes, these were all deemed ‘profane’, illusory and forgettable. Only when infused with meaning from the Sacred sphere the acts of mortals became meaningful because they were regenerated by partaking in a sacrament.

It follows from this that the ancients had a very different definition of ‘Intelligence’ than modern people. You may not like Evola, but in the quote below he is infinitely closer to classical and archaic thinkers than your Kantian-Hegelian definition of intelligence:

‘The opposition between modern civilisations and traditional ones may be summarised as follows: modern civilisations devour space, whereas traditional civilisations devoured time.

The former – modern civilisations – are dizzying in their fever for movement and for the conquest of space. This has led to the creation of an endless arsenal of mechanical means to reduce all distances, shorten all intervals, and contract into a sense of ubiquity whatever is scattered across a multitude of places. This is a frenzied need for possession; a dark angst towards all that is detached, isolated, deep or remote; an impulse to expand, circulate, associate with others and find oneself in any which place. […] A din of a thousands voices that gradually merge into a uniform, monotonous and impersonal rhythm. These are the latest effects of what has been termed Western ‘Faustianism’, which is not unrelated to the myth of revolution in all its various aspects. […]

By contrast, traditional civilisations were dizzying in their stability, in their identity, in their subsisting and unwavering and changeless fashion in the midst of the current of time and history: so much so that they even succeeded in lending sensible, tangible expression to eternity. They stood as islands or bastions in time: operating within them were forces that consumed time and history. […] This idea corresponds perfectly to the image of the ‘double perspective’ provided by an ancient traditional teaching: the ‘immobile land’ moves and withdraws from whomever goes with the waters, while the waters move and withdraw from whomever firmly resides in the ‘immobile land’.

If one understands this image by viewing it in relation not to the physical plane but the spiritual plane, one thereby perceives the correct hierarchy of values; thus we cast our gaze beyond the horizon which confines our contemporaries. What has been referred to as ‘static’ proves to be overflowing with a dizzying life. The others – they are the fallen, those who have lost their centre. Changeism, historicism, evolutionism, and so on, all seem like the thrills of the shipwrecked, truths applying to whatever flees, to whatever lacks inner consistency and ignores what this means or even what the origin of all elevations and achievements is.

b. The classical view incorporated the archaic

Greco-Roman civilisation, just like Hinduism, somehow maintained this archaic view of the Sacred, and one can argue that Plato and Aristotle were a mere intellectualisation of it. Classical historians regarded the realm of gods as a sort of imperishable eternal present, and human history was interpreted as a wheel of decay, like in ‘The Cycles of Man’, degrading from gold to iron, followed by a cataclysmic purification of earth and the coming of a new cycle. The point of rebirth was the ‘hierophany’, the point in which the eternal Sacred realm connected to the Profane once more, regenerating it.

Whether Christianity maintained or rejected this view is debateable; Eliade thinks that Judaism and later Christianity took ‘illo tempore’, cut it in half, putting the first half (Garden of Eden) at the beginning of linear time, and the second (Kingdom of Heaven) at its end. This sanctifies history and gives it a linear trajectory.

If you read Boethius, however, you will find that he maintains a view of the Sacred as unmoving and unchanging. The Platonic method he uses for proving that truth, goodness and beauty converge into one – the Eternal Being of God – is also employed to prove that from God’s perspective, nothing changes, because he stands outside time and a supreme intelligence transcends a sequential perspective of events. For Him, everything is co-present.

Catholic and Orthodox Christians tend to interpret Calvary as one of those unperishing Cosmic events, similar to the way in which Eliade defines ‘illo tempore’. Pageau leans towards this interpretation, which refrains from interpreting profane history like an arrow of uninterrupted progress.

Aquinas is interpreted to have favoured Aristotle over Plato, but this is yet another modern way of seeing history as a series of breaks with tradition and revolutions. Sebastian Morello in his book, ‘The World as God’s Icon: Creator and Creation in the Platonic Thought of Thomas Aquinas’ proves that Aquinas was just as influenced by Plato as he was by Aristotle.

In brief, Aquinas makes sense of the ordered Cosmos by invoking two opposing principles: essence (that which unifies) and existence (that which is unique, individual, accidental in time). Both principles form in God’s eternal and unchanging mind, where they are reconciled and finally become one.

For the Thomist, you are intelligent and holy when your existence mirrors God’s essences. Thus, you become your true self (what God has already dreamed in his eternal mind) not when you are unique and original, but only when you align yourself to these unchanging, eternal archetypes – that of a good son, a good spouse, a good father, a good citizen, a good child of God. The communal, is thus, not a mere egregore, inferior to the individual sphere. This sounds paradoxical to the modern mind because:

c. The idealist departure from metaphysics

Not only materialists rejected metaphysics, but also German idealists. By denying the Thomist binome essence-existence, they replaced it with an entirely modern dichotomy – subject-object. They defined the subject as ‘pure mind acting on shit’ and object as ‘inert matter acted-upon from outside’. This led to all sorts of problems, but from this discussion’s perspective, they equated God with a perfect Subject, and from this idea they derived a definition of intelligence which is something like ‘freedom from necessity’, ‘pure arbitrariness’. I believe ST in his video has been influenced by this definition.

But if God is seen as a completely arbitrary leprechaun acting freely, the next obvious step is to go full Heraclitean and replace the classical understanding of God as eternal and unchanging, with a shape-shifting Proteus demon. And thus German idealists, after losing their faith, conflated God with the zeitgeist or the animating spirit of humanity manifesting itself in history. You have bashed Plato but still haven’t escaped a definition of god that is utterly unintelligent, because shifting shape and changing all the time resembles an amorphous will-to-power a lot more than a Boethian unmoved mover.

You also have not escaped the Promethean drive which, instead of adopting the penitent route, wants to grab the sacred and bend it to its will. Didn’t Goethean Romanticism did just that – exalt the figure of Lucifer and Prometheus? Wasn’t Nietzsche the ultimate anti-Platonist and Heraclitean Dyonisian larper?

3. How then do we solve the dilemma?

Plato vs Heraclitus seems to be one of the biggest paradoxes. I have attempted to give a satisfactory answer in this article, titled – The Symbolic World vs. Fluid Ontology.

God’s Intelligence is unchanging, like an eternal present, but in phenomenological terms, it is experienced as flux, similar to the dance or weave of the Moirai ST describes at the beginning of his video.

The Much Forward-Facing Vibe Shift – a Response
A Cure for Wellness (2016) – Matters of Purity

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