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MaC
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« on: March 15, 2006, 07:17:14 pm »
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From my professor, Vince Lombardi (yes that is really his name)

Dear Students,

     More and more it has come to my attention from e-mails, student comments, and student discussions how superficial and meaningless the labels “conservative” and “liberal” are.  Much is made of them by the mass media.  Talk radio uses such terms for amusement and entertainment. But, more pernicious, superficial use of the terms imprisons consciousness in its conditioned state. Consciousness caught in the grips of these labels end up in the crossfire of propaganda. To get loose of the power of these labels and free up our moral energy we must learn something about their meaning—not an easy task.  We tend to slide and glide from liberalism to conservatism and vice versa, as much as we slide and glide from group psychology to individual psychology and vice versa, without batting an eyelash.  A person may be culturally conservative and economically liberal, or sexually liberal and politically conservative, or economically conservative and culturally liberal, etc.

     Consciousness is socially molded—nationally, locally, in gender and race, etc. Normal consciousness, as we have been trying to show, is a form of enslavement, a form of social hypnosis, a form of spiritual sickness—a stage which we must all live through on the way to spiritual awakening.  We have emphasized that if we do not break out of this enslavement, we live in a state of ignorance and sin, and our spiritual power gets caught up with the Dark Side of the world, to use George Lucas’s term in Star Wars. Or we live in the Matrix with consciousness formed and configured by external forces consigning us to a deathly existence.  Or we become nihilistic as in Fight Club and live in inner turmoil tending toward a combination of masochism (doing harm to ourselves) and sadism (doing harm to others), our personality fragmenting into three warring parties—an ego, a nihilist, and a raping of the female principle of love, itself corrupted.  Worse, we can be led into all forms of violence by external forces when our moral self is suffused by propaganda about an evil enemy, to the point of projecting all our masochism and sadism onto a supposed enemy, giving us a false sense of being free of our own intercourse with the forces of evil.  In our normal state, it is hard for us to claim our freedom against the despotic claims of society because we are convinced that we have received our freedom from society and, what’s more, from society alone.

     Marx teaches (and we can validate/confirm for ourselves) that human beings, born incomplete and having the power of freedom, create society.  Humans create technology, create the family, create the economic order, create a class system in order to realize themselves.  It’s also true that the very system human beings create turns against them, and it becomes, by virtue of our limited freedom, fraught with evil (reread the six principles provided at the beginning of the course). Citizens in a civil society, therefore, must fight the forces of evil that erupt within themselves and in the institutions they have created. This is the ground out of which liberalism and conservatism spring.  It is an endless struggle.  In short, the dynamics are these: the powerful hijack the governing center to serve their own ends betraying the vital functions of government, and the powerless find themselves in bondage to those they have elevated to an elite status to serve them. In the civil society this endless struggle is waged for freedom and justice by the powerless—to recover their rights and freedom. Yet liberalism (i.e., all endeavors to free the human being and human consciousness from physical, mental, and spiritual enslavement) can lead to an opposite problem when carried to an extreme—that of anarchy (lawlessness, licentiousness) which strengthens the hand of the powerful. Indeed, either crude collectivism (state domination of the individual) or crude individualism (freedom turned into license to do as one pleases) is the breeding ground of violence on all levels of social reality—from the intrapersonal, to the interpersonal, interclass, and international.

    
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2006, 07:17:45 pm »
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 All forms of conservatism are founded upon the idea that the individual cannot put his interpretation of the good any higher than the interpretation that has been worked out by the experience of all preceding generations and that presents itself as the collective wisdom passed down from the past—that is, tradition or proclaimed truth stands above the human spirit. For conservatives, tradition stands above freedom, above creativity, above the new, above what is needed in the present, even above being loving and compassionate.  Tradition is the intellectual clothing that the powerful dress themselves up in to justify their hold over the governing center of society and its institutions.  Conservatism garbs itself in tradition—in crystallized truth.

     Liberalism, in seeking to extricate the powerless from the clutches of the powerful, runs amok when it fails to consult tradition, to heed the errors of the past, to heed the teachings of the past, to take into consideration the contributions of history, the Founding Fathers, the Constitution, the moral law passed down in religious revelations, and the universals discovered in history by all cultures and civilizations.

     Whereas extreme conservatism idolizes the traditions of the past and often use them as a cover for maintaining positions of power and privilege, extreme liberalism becomes unmindful of the limits embodied in tradition and seeks to conquer the evil in existing institutions from scratch. Conservatism dogmatizes consciousness; liberalism absolutizes freedom, setting loose animal impulses to the wrack and ruin of civilized life.

     For conservatives, the criterion for value is found not in the human personality, the human self, but in society seen as an organism—a living entity.  Society (association of people in a state or nation or church) is taken to be higher than the human being.  But it is human beings who create these institutions, who possess a conscience, and through whom the divine revelations are revealed.  Society cannot know God; the world cannot know God. The human soul alone can awaken to its Divine inheritance and the Good.  Religious, political, and social conservatives place the Scriptures, the Founding Fathers, and the Constitution above the freedom of the individual citizen. The U. S. Constitution and its amendments established a form of built-in, democratic revolution against those who believe that the truth is once and for all codified in the Constitution and its democratic majorities themselves. Yet, the Constitution is not God. The Divine Revelations in the Scriptures are not God. The Churches are not God. The Constitution, Scriptures, and Churches are all earthen vessels (historical repositories) bearing witness to the truth.  But the truth is knowable only within consciousness and through conscience alone.

     Can mathematics be known by the book that carries it or the courses in the math department? The book, the teacher, the course, and the math department are repositories (resources) bearing the crystallized truth about mathematical reality. These truths must come alive through a knowledge event in the student’s inner world—in subjectivity.  This is a great paradox of learning: knowledge, truth, and understanding can only be subjective; but the knowledge event itself, once it occurs, is a discovery of something objective, trans-subjective, and universal. Mathematics is the same for all humans that awaken to it—regardless of nation, gender, race, creed, or time one is born in.  But math in the mind of one’s teacher is not math in the student’s mind, unless the knowledge event has taken place in the student’s inner world.  And the math in the mind of teachers is not the same thing as knowledge in the math department.  A math department can never know math, for it is not a spiritual entity, it is not a living organism. The math department is an organ for teaching math to students.

     In the Western civil society, worldly, religious, and moral traditions ultimately rest on the freedom of human beings in an evolving, living society.  This civil society is a break with all history and presupposes the truth set forth in and by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ: all human beings are in union with the divine, creative power of life, regardless of their social, biological, class, racial, gender, or creed differences.  Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam also have discovered universal truths in their cultural evolution. In Christianity the divine essence is born in time. What’s more, the Crucified takes a stand, once and for all, against all self-righteous conservatives, Pharisees, Sadducees, elites, society, and traditions that seek to kill the living spirit. Christ prophesizes the Second Coming: “The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”  “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.”  “For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.”  “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.  Fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell.”  It is not an idle warning that the only unforgivable sin is the sin against the Holy Spirit. 

    Marx grasped this spiritual awakening, but one of his major errors is his presumption that humankind would undergo an inevitable emancipation brought about by the movement of history itself.  History is creative, but not redemptive.  To be redeemed, to awaken to one’s true identity, presumes undergoing a metanoia—the change in the structure and direction of consciousness.  This is the beginning phase of the transformation of the conditioned ego into an awakened Self—becoming awakened to one’s essential nature, a microtheos (the human being as the likeness and image of God and the bearer of spirit).

      In a civic society, freedom takes a supreme position over tradition: that which comes down to us as collective wisdom must be subject to the freedom of the human being.  In line with truth witnessed in the Scriptures, Western tradition sets a content and goal to freedom: love, social justice, and equality.  When freedom denies its content, its goal, its purpose (love, social justice, and equality), it spawns evil—always the assertion of some self-interest without regard for the whole conceived as the immediate community or the community of humankind, whereas good is always the harmony of the whole with respect to various levels of social reality, from the intrapersonal to the social class level and the world community. Evil brings chaos, disruption, division, suffering; good brings harmony, peace, love, gratitude, actualization of being. Thus freedom presupposes Liberalism: the right of the individual, in his or her sacred journey in a civil society, to seek liberation from all forms of evil—in the economic, social, religious, political, and personal realms of reality.


     Extreme conservatives become spiritually constipated, dogmatized, and idolatrous: they give up their spiritual self, their freedom, to the Pharisees in their church and the powerful in society. They deify their church and its leaders, closing their mind and heart to the truth.  In a state of self-righteousness, they look down scornfully on those lost and sinful, while pumping themselves up with pride. They suffer from transcendental egoism.   
   
     Extreme liberals fall into crude relativism and suffer from the spiritual runs: running wild after every form of materialism that promises fulfillment in their intense longing for life and salvation.

     Extreme religious conservatives believe they are saved by their submission to their church and its dogmas, and by submission to power dominating the institutions and structures of society.  Extreme liberals absolutize the relative, thereby deifying the contemporary society, and get caught in the frenzy of trends, giving themselves over to the whims of the group, no matter how debasing to self and others.  Although tradition can be confining to the human spirit, it also carries the truth and universals in crystallized form.  Although liberalism can lead to the violation of moral limits, it brings about suffering that impels the ego to consult the annals of history and tradition and, hopefully, sets the ego in search of a means out of its tormented self-will.

     The enslaving power of society over the human personality is the outcome of illusion—of falling into alienation, of seeing oneself as an object, of living in sin and ignorance. But the real “we” and the real society (instead of the alienated me as a liberal or conservative or, more to the point, a me shifting back and forth from conservatism to liberalism in order to justify my longing for deliverance) are in reality a community of interdependent people.  That is, the real “we” are people freely living in communion with one another, in love and mercy.  The real “we”, the real American, if I can so put it, is not able to enslave others; on the contrary this real “we” (this state of a Colonel Dax, or of a Marx, or of a Gandhi, or of a Martin Luther King, or of a Mother Teresa, or of a Zapata) is the realization of the fullness of life, of one’s essential nature.  The real “we” is the self in transcendence, the self that moves toward others in compassion, the self in the glory of being a true human being—the self graced by God.

   
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2006, 07:18:46 pm »
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 Standing before General Broulard or standing before the members of the court martial made up of dead souls (souls living in tombs, as the New Testament symbolizes it), Colonel Dax is in full possession of his species essence, his intelligence, his moral being, his “we”: he is in true spiritual union with the others who make up society. General Broulard is weak for giving into the politicians and a scoundrel for allowing his own soldiers to be murdered (Paths of Glory).  We feel this despite the fact that we may be living in social hypnosis and alienation. We know this to be the truth: our eternal soul knows everything already and recognizes truth when it hits her (the soul) in the face.  Yet, in our judgmental state we must be careful to remind ourselves that the moral imperatives passed down in religious traditions warn us that we must live the truth.  Knowing the truth is the metanoia: the change in the direction and structure of consciousness from normal to transcendent consciousness. To live the truth is a matter of an inner transformation and the strength that comes from humility and compassion and grace—the freely given gift from union with the creative ground of reality.  If it’s hard to say no to a buddy who invites us to go down the line for a brew when we have to study for a calculus exam, imagine how hard it is to say no to the boss who finesses us to lie for the good of the bureaucracy in which we work, or to say no to the commanding officer who promises us a promotion, prestige, and removal from the battlefield to live a privileged life (Paths of Glory)!

     The idea of the integral man (the centered self), not of the integral society, ought to be set as the foundation-stone of society.  This is the foundation of the civic society, of the liberation of human beings from the theocratic societies of the ancient and medieval worlds. This is the fundamental difference between the Islamic Theocracies and Western civil society.  This is the greatness of Liberalism that brought forth the civic society.  True Christian Humanism (i.e., Liberalism from the Renaissance on, to include economic and political freedom, up till the end of the Nineteenth Century) is suffused with the idea of the God-Man.  Liberalism (i.e., Christian Humanism) invigorates the individual human being and sparks conscience; it acknowledges man’s direct connection to the power of life itself.  A society of free people, not of slaves, ought to be the pattern of the civic society, based not on leaders who propagandize an enslaved mass of workers in the name of being "free workers,” legitimizing their theft of the energy of the mass of exploited workers.  The free society ought to be patterned on the spirit: that is to say, not on the model of a hierarchy in which one’s moral worth rises as one rises in the hierarchy.  The pattern of the free society, the civic society (one in which there is a separation of church and state) ought to be modeled on man’s moral nature—on the pattern of freedom.  Not on the model of the domination of force and of the powerful, but on the model of solidarity and kindliness of heart.  For the source of human freedom is not society; the source of human freedom is in the spirit. It is out of the freedom of fallen human beings that an intellectual, ruling class is created; but in history, even in the civil society, enslaving forces emanate from the intellectual, ruling echelon that enslaves both itself and everyone it seeks to exploit (paradoxically with the aid and cheerleading of many among the victimized) until revolution sets in.

     The right and true ordering of value is the primacy of the human person over society and over the state.  The criterion of value lies in the self, in the depths of conscience: it is here that the difference between good and evil is revealed more profoundly than in the collective wisdom of tradition.  Sacred tradition is the codification of these revelations and is not to be dismissed because it serves as a reminder and as an aid to the ego of the path it should choose. The discriminating and appraising conscience is the self’s opening out into universal contents and the self’s experiencing of free communion with other selves.  At the root of man, society, and the state stands the primacy of the spirit over the world—over all that human beings have created, to be used for human needs and directed for human fulfillment.

     Many contemporary conservatives tend, generally, to set the primacy of the past over the present, tradition over human creativity, the elites in the hierarchy over the led, the primacy of the state over the individual, the self-righteous in the church over the sinner.  Many contemporary liberals severed from Christian Humanism that ushered in the civic society tend, generally, to set the animal nature over the spiritual, the ego (socialized self) over the real self, the present over the past, the social over the religious, the created over the sacred, the biological over conscience.

     Only a spiritual community helps liberate Man; only spiritual freedom as opposed to social or biological determinism is the mark of a spiritual community.  Only the spiritual community is able to break out of the sway of all the determinisms of the world—family/blood/church/school/nation/race/ethnicity or gender.  A spiritual community, the goal of a civic society, is one in which the self goes beyond all these determinisms in bringing about love, justice, and equality.  And only the contents, goals, and purposes of freedom have the power to moderate the terrible violence ahead.

     A new consciousness must emerge:

      Psychologists must go beyond psychology, beyond the soul to its spiritual ground.
     Psychiatrists must go beyond psychiatry, beyond the biological to the unitive power of life and its ordering principle.
     Students must go beyond education, to contribute their learning to the life of the community in freedom.
     Parishioners must go beyond their churches, seeking to fulfill the laws and moral imperatives learned from their traditions and live in goodness, truth, and beauty.
     The state must go beyond authority and power, to serve the weaker against the rapacious exploitation of the powerful.
     Family members must go beyond the family, to contribute to the larger community.
     Business must go beyond profits, to serve the community and uphold the dignity of labor, recognizing labor to be of central importance.
     Mass media must go beyond mass appeal as the tool of the corporate elite (those seeking profit by the exploitation of the powerless) and communicate responsibly rather than pander to man’s base urges.
     The greatest of all evils since the sacrifice of children to the gods is the harming of the spirit of our children. No longer must our children’s hearts and minds be marinated and lacerated by the insidious forces of marketing, profits, or power.

     This is the challenge to the civic society in the world-historical transition we are moving through, since the breakdown of the Modern World during and following W. W. I.  We need to wean ourselves from the falsity of liberalism and the falsity of conservatism, to awaken to the dialectic nature of true liberalism and true conservatism as complementary world forces, to seek transcendence that is our inherited birthmark as a species being, and finally awaken to that which we long for—knowledge of the meaning and purpose of life so as to come to know Reality and to live in union with it.                VL 

What's your opinion of it?  He's kinda all over the place with it (hard to understand).  Also, I'd be better if you saw Viva Zapata before reading...
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2006, 07:49:52 pm »
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I didn't know professors still dropped acid.
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2006, 08:10:05 pm »
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Has some nuggets of truth, but it's poorly organized and he tries too hard to make it hip and relevant by throwing in way too many and varied cultural references.
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2006, 08:14:42 pm »
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Pretty dumb essay.
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2006, 10:21:29 pm »
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Pretty dumb essay.

I agree.  Where does he teach, a community college?
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2006, 11:29:09 pm »
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Is this your professor? Wink



Overall, it's not a very good essay. Boring, as well.
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2006, 11:43:09 pm »
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It doesn't back its assertions up, and the assertions aren't really very interesting to me.  The words make sense, but I didn't feel like I had read anything of substance by the end.  It was just sentences with no clear theme.

Sorry, but I don't like it at all.
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« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2006, 01:35:40 am »
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Has some nuggets of truth, but it's poorly organized and he tries too hard to make it hip and relevant by throwing in way too many and varied cultural references.
^^^^
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« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2006, 02:53:00 pm »
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I'll agree it's not good.  It's poorly organized.  He's the kind of professor that rather than getting to the point or organizing, he'll throw out a "net" and hope you get some of the things he says.  Just figured I'd throw the essay out there...
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« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2006, 02:27:29 pm »
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Freedom, please.

Sorry, no freedom for you today.  Maybe tomorrow, but that isn't look good either.
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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2006, 12:59:56 am »
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Pretty out side of the box thinking by Mr. Lombardi and Oak tree. As an intellect I totaly"get it".

Like I have always said, life is a game of faith, and can not be thought of in just one "boxed" viewpoint.

I encourage all on this forum to stop labeling.
Freedom, please.

my veiws had nothing to do with his.  I just wanted to show how bad the essay was and thus proof he's senile and would be better off in an insane asylum than in a classroom setting.
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Faster than a legally fired bullet.
More powerful than railroaded legislation.
Able to leap giant bureaucracy in a single bound.

It's an anarchist.  It's a free marketer.

It's... It's...        Super Libertarian
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