Sunday, October 08, 2006

One Cosmos

Is becoming a must-read for me. Here's a good post.

I liked this section:

One reason there is no purpose in arguing with a moonbat is that I cannot simply show someone what I see, any more more than Mozart could simply show you what he perceives in musical space (this is for pedagogic purposes only, not to compare myself to Mozart). One must first develop the skill in order to access the reality in question.

Take psychotherapy, for example. A great psychoanalyst, say, ShrinkWrapped, in listening to a patient’s free associations, will literally “see” a whole world of meaning that only exists in disconnected “bits” for the patient. One of the purposes of therapy will be to help the patient bring these bits together into a meaningful whole. Isn’t this also the task of the great historian--to take the literally infinite jumble of historical facts, and convert them into a deep, coherent, and satisfying vision? Isn’t this what Karl Marx did, or secular leftists do, only in a preposterously shallow way that appeals to moonbats but is repellant to the deep and thoughtful?

But can you argue with a neo-Marxist moonbat? No, you cannot, because it is a matter of competing visions. I can see the Marxist vision perfectly well, because it is so on the surface of reality. But I know of no Marxist who can truly share my vision, for if they did, they would be “converted.” They may think they get it, but they only understand the words. You know the story--folly to the geeks, a stumbling block to the clueless, and all that. Truth cannot be told so as to be understood and not believed, said Blake.

Again, do not be confused by the language, because I believe this goes a long way toward explaining the obvious hostility in our culture war. As Mitchell writes, “When opposing frameworks are so different that adherents of one cannot speak intelligibly to adherents of the other, the possibility of one partisan convincing another of the superiority of his position is slight. But even when persuasion becomes impossible, conversion remains viable."

In other words, all one can do is attempt to expose the poverty the opponent's position, and “to stimulate interest for [one’s] own richer perspectives; trusting that once an opponent has caught a glimpse of these, he cannot fail to sense a new mental satisfaction, which will attract him further and finally draw him over to its own grounds” (Polanyi).

Thus, in the final analysis, I am not looking for arguments but for converts--not to my particular point of view, but simply to a more encompassing vision of reality. I cannot give this vision directly, but I know for a fact that by sharing it and giving people the opportunity to “dwell” in it, they can be, in their own way “converted” to their own vision. I have received enough letters of thanks from former liberals to know that "conversion" is not too strong a word. Again, not to belabor the point, but it is not a conversion to "Gagdad Bobism," but to their own personal vision that begins to see the greater spiritual depth in things.

Back to arguing with moonbats. The reason they are powerless to persuade me is that there is simply no way I am ever going to revert to a philosophy that is so paltry and unsatisfying compared to my present one. It’s just not going to happen, any more than I would give up my wife for a watermelon.

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