Sunday, March 24, 2013

In Case You're Taking It Seriously

Pondering the Legally Imponderable

The whole world waited with baited breath.  The long string of old men dressed in red have officially filed into and out of the Sistene Chapel for the big meetin' to translate the most recent Divine decision into the flesh and blood selection of the 266th -- the official count depends on how one "handles" the two day reign of Stephen II in 752 -- Holy Father.

The neighbors are beginning to grumble. [image source ]

Naturally, there were a few of the inevitable, lingering questions concerning relevancy, but the rest of it absolutely glittered.  Rome donned her very best,  fresh, red cosmetics, and the Vatican rolled out the Swiss Guard, each one meticulously armed with a flamboyant Medieval pike and an subtly veiled Mac-10.  The ecstatic crowd sighed breathlessly with the puff of white smoke as the ritual reached its unavoidable consummation.

It was great.  Everybody came. (image source)

Nobody liked idea of holding the ceremony in a back room. (image source)

In no time the red robed geriatric elite of the Church reappeared, each one bathed in the celibate afterglow of another moment of mortal appositeness.

Of course the commercial media couldn't get enough of it.  Each bearer of one of the glacier of speculations found a microphone, each time posing and reposing a myriad of possible future consequences of the pick, each time introducing additional hypotheticals and corresponding conjectures.

Notably, the post election discourse embraced every sort of secular question while assiduously excluding any mention of what might be, generously, considered "spiritual" issues.

Is Francis a "man of the people?"

Is Francis "concerned with the poor?"

Would the perspective of an Argentinian produce material differences than the perspective of a European?

Would Francis remedy the Church's declining congregations?

How would the new Pope's social populism interact with politics?

Would the new Pope "strong arm" governments to remedy unequal wealth distribution?

Sure. It's not surprising that all the contemporary issues like these are foremost in the minds of people watching the selection process.  However, there still seems to be something missing.  MeanMesa has to wonder why the New Guy didn't say something like this from the balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square.

"I've got some great ideas of my own here about just how to get more of my congregation into heaven."

A Few Terms

Anyone wishing to discuss a topic like this one quickly realizes that a very long list of "iconic words" will be an almost unavoidable "guest." Consequently, we can "solidify" just a couple of definitions before we proceed.

For a start MeanMesa likes the concept of a "non-dictionary" word created for this specific use.


An individual who resolves contemporary decisions based on reference to principles presented in mythological allegories.

The religionist mythology at play in this case cannot even claim any particular legitimacy by merit of adhering to the heritage to the actual mythology which is employed to validate it.  The poor thing has been repeatedly "modified" as a "convenience" every time the original mythology failed to support the latest necessary exploitation.  

This was the case a decade ago, but also a century ago or ten centuries or even twenty centuries or more.  Even more remarkable, these "convenient adjustments" were not carefully disguised nuances.  They were instead consistently, brazenly visible, temporarily advantageous "re-interpretations." 

Now those adjustments have become the universally accepted common currency in which today's religionist mythology is to be perpetually transacted.

The definition of our second term enjoys just a wee bit more authority from a common dictionary.


Designed for or understood by the specially initiated alone
Of special, rare, or unusual interest

At first blush, we might presume that a "congregative leader" such as the Holy Father would be, more or less, committed to constantly expanding the "small group" among his flock who had actually experienced the mythological sensation of divine reconciliation promised in the body of the original allegory.

However, the basic issues in those questions mentioned above can hardly be classed as anything fundamentally connected to divine reconciliation.  Those matters, while certainly relevant, are incontrovertibly secular.

We may assume that at some point in the Church's earlier days, the sensation of, say, participating in the Mass had to be a far more transcendent one.  Regardless of the inevitable questions of materiality, the sensation was an astonishingly personal experience which provided all sorts of esoteric benefits to the participant.

These ancient "benefits" can legitimately be classed as "esoteric" because in order to experience them, one must have necessarily previously directed all manner of human energies to the task of disregarding the fantastical quality of the mythology, that is, one must have already worked very hard to attain even this fleeting moment of the ecstatic, transcendent suspension of disbelief.

The "esoteric" side comes in when we understand that these "beneficial sensations" were not accessible to others who had not struggled so piously to "believe" the mythological assertions which common sense had consistently rendered as impossible.  Servicing paradoxes has always been hard, exhausting work -- regardless of the paradoxes.

Finally, one last word.


of worldwide scope or applicability; "an issue of cosmopolitan import";  "universal experience"
crushing the principle of separation between church and state

We'll return to this one, but the question posed is one of scope.  How obsessively covetous with land mass territory -- literally trees and roots -- or spiritual territory -- the durability and population of the infatuation in men's "souls" -- should a religionist franchise become to reach its aspirations down here on the Earth?

Is worldly expansion, while generally an indicator of a successful "marketing program," also represent the validating argument for the accuracy of the franchises' transcendental and mythological promises?

Note here the replacement of the terms "faith and belief" with the alternate idea of "accurate model."  It really isn't a a matter of "Do you believe this," so much as a matter of "Do you think this is the accurate model."  When the demi-urges and arch-angels have been pared away from the over grown shrub, what remains probably should still be isomorphic to something.

Just A Bit More About The Unthinkably Esoteric

Reflecting on all of this has led MeanMesa's tired old brain back to a diagram and a bit of accompanying text presented in the book "In Search of the Miraculous." [P. Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous, 1949, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers, ISBN 0-15-644508-5]  The graphic below is the feeble product of MeanMesa's uncertain geriatric grasp of modern scanning technology coupled with the vagaries of the blogger editor, but when viewed on a screen by itself, it is somewhat readable.

While this chart maps the more or less unnatural, potential degradation of Fourth Way esotericism, the model adapts itself well for a discussion of what has gone on in the Church over these millinea.

What began as an opportunity for something of a transcendent experience with early Church rituals succumbed, gradually, to the constantly strengthening call for "relevancy" -- both spiritual and secular -- in the material world all about it.

Equally gradual was the Church's growing appetite for the authority driven obedience of a congregation which could have previously best been described as "infatuated" with the prospect of eternal life.  This "shift of focus" can be mitigated a little by changes in the events "on the ground," but the official abandonment of a reliance on the esoteric was inescapable.

By the arrival of the centuries long tooth ache called the Dark Ages, the mythologically enhanced raw, impersonal, doctrinaire superstition had replaced the old eagerness driven by personal esoteric experiences in earlier times.  After ineffectively dabbling in geopolitics during the power rampages of the old genetic nobility -- perhaps most notably with the war making Pope Urban II mobilizing all able bodied European Christians for the wars with Islam -- the Church began the routine manufacture of Satanic conspiracies and adopted the highly secular, yet delightfully lubricating, premier policy of the "suppression of heresy."

On November 27, 1095, Pope Urban II makes perhaps the most influential speech of the Middle Ages, giving rise to the Crusades by calling all Christians in Europe to war against Muslims in order to reclaim the Holy Land, with a cry of "Deus vult!" or "God wills it!" Read more here.

While not particularly Biblical [with the possible exception of the accounted dreams of St. John the Divine's Revelations, Ch 22, v18&19], the orthodoxy accompanying this "suppression of heresy" introduced not only most of the modern Church's suffocating authoritarianism but also validated a relentless flow of the "liturgical adjustments" which now include everything from the no holds barred, "no choice" abortion ministry to truly cheap -- and quite modern -- gay hating. 

George Gurdjieff (image)
Gurdjieff, the original source of the ideas in Ouspenky's diagram, spoke of the blending of essence and the world to form a person's personality.  The essence was the individuality in a man which had to be "adjusted" to accommodate the demands imposed by both the external world for its day-today operation and his individual, beneficial interface with it.

Gurdjieff's idea didn't exactly stop with this, however.  He spoke of a balance between essence and personality and the consequences of a man with one or the other of these in an unbalanced excess.

The Roman phantasm of the new Pope's elevation must have -- somewhere -- included some nearly unnoticeable remnant of this enduring concern for the supplicants' post death destinations, but the spectre had a great deal more sheer glitter and glamour than esoteric substance, that is, than the experiential, soul bending substance of the earlier Church.

Between, say, the execution of Jesus and the Constantinian edict legalizing the early Church, a proselyte would have faced a significant risk to participate in the religious rituals.  The point here is that in order to make that risk palatable, the early religionist would have necessarily considered the experiential "payback" of such attendance a sensation worth the danger.

This evidentially describes the esoteric power received by the attending congregants who took such risks.  There may have been plenty of rebels and anti-Roman anarchists among them, but such strictly secular ambitions cannot explain these great risks taken by so many otherwise apolitical proselytes.

They were seeking the sensation which they experienced exclusively in the ritual.

In Ouspenky's diagram what they sought is at or near the circle noted as "E."  Shortly after the time of Constantine, around 330 AD, Ouspensky's Type B and Type A influences were in full march, slowly degrading the esoteric force by blending it with the clamor of the world.  Rome in 2013 was a festival of the "Type A" influence.

Perhaps even more interesting, the spectacle seemed to be precisely what the horde of nearly hysterical proselytes demanded for their own, modern, experiential sensation of this "Type A," post esoteric "institutionalism" displayed at the Papal elevation.  MeanMesa employs the term "proselytes" because the mythological assignments which the crowd has so gleefully adopted are both new and disturbingly at ease with the imbalanced post esoteric "personality" of the modern Church.

The Insinuation of Catholicism Into Modern America

The "Glorius Revolution" in 1688 ended the reign of Catholic James II with his "emergency and permanent vacation" to Catholic France and ushered in English Protestantism with William II and Mary II.  The spat was no "quick fly by."  Henry VIII had "poked the wasps' nest" with his insistence on divorcing his Queen, a matter which tested Papal authority.  Naturally, for British Protestants of the time, there was more than a little sectarian "housecleaning" which had to transpire immediately -- and violently -- after the "Glorious Revolution" was in hand.

This anecdote is inserted here to make a single point.  Protestant England was -- legitimately or not -- very concerned with "Papists" re-insinuating themselves by every manner of conspiracy back into power, most notably, of course, as monarch.  They had this "sensitivity" because the Papal authority had already repeatedly proven itself quite willing to extend its ambitions in ways apparently quite alien to the mythology which was purported to direct it.

In fact, although those old Englanders were unable to discover some part of the Gospels of St. Paul or St. Peter which included some "spiritual proclamation" validating the domination of England, after their experience with Roman authority, they found themselves predictably suspicious of even the "benign Papal presence" which might result from a casual demographic of Catholics among them.  When the question addressed the insinuation of "too many" Papists into seats of power, this animosity grew even more distinct -- and violent.

That is, during those heady times so much even daring to appear in public wearing a red hat could result in being beaten to death in the street.  It was all just a bit of "1690's-style ethnic cleansing."  With typical historical economy, all this turmoil is often summarized over simply as "sectarian violence," but in fact, of course, the lines of interest ran far afield from the comparatively sterile aspects of the competing franchises of the opposing fundamental religionist mythologies.

Power, derived in any manner necessary, was always attractive, but that power led to money, and money was narcotic.  Both franchises of religionists, the Papists and the Protestants, no doubt appraised the English situation in 1688 as the inevitable prelude to the social/cultural equivalent of a "heroin and cheap sex sandwich."

Now, we can look at today.

The federal US government currently has no strikingly different proportions of Catholics than it has had in the past, however, perhaps weakly mimicking the lingering fear of the suspicious Brits in 1688, Catholic dogma is being far more forcefully insinuated into US law than ever.  Further, the Catholic dogma being so forcefully inserted has practically nothing to do with the Catholic dogma derived more sincerely from the fundamental mythology.

We can see the visible manifestations of the current waves of religionist law when we consider the "no choice" and anti-gay policies, but just below the murky surface of those convenient examples, there is much more.

Councils of Bishops are specifically denouncing the prospect of better access to health care.  Parochial state governments are passing laws unarguably "nipping at the fringes" of the Supreme Court Ruling in Roe -- not just a few, either. Thousands of them.  We see Presidential candidates such as Santorum and Bachmann openly adopting these craven, post esoteric, post modernist, dogmatic "adjustments of convenience" to the mythology as age old, foundational platforms for their political campaigns.

An examination of these "foundational concepts" reveals that none of them are so much as mentioned in the annals of the original mythology.  They are, instead, only rather oily conveniences derived from tedious, tormented. ecumenically tenuous, synthetic constructions conveniently exhumed from equally artificial artifacts of the religionists' own embarrassing Medieval monstrosities.

No one seems to hesitate even momentarily for the task of reconciling all this modernist political nonsense with the Bronze Age fables themselves.  Instead, we seem -- acting as a mad horde of lemmings -- to immediately elevate the issue to "burning question of the day" status.  We barely flinched when the celibates and their political parasites arbitrarily decided on an attempt to rip the birth control pills from the grasp of the teenagers, replacing them with the equivalent of rusty, ecumenical coat hangers.

We started taking it seriously. 

It's not serious.  It's grotesque.

What's next?  Waiting for Napoleon's army to suppress the next Spanish Inquisition by invading Indiana?

There are 24 "nominally" Catholic Senators -- ostensibly representing mixed constituencies of actual citizens.  The "Google" is littered with sites which openly offer "measurements" of a Catholic Senator's obedience to dogma with respect to what are construed, again conveniently, as "non-negotiable tenets of faith." [an example: ]

The "nominal" Catholics in the House of Representatives number around 132.  That body has passed no fewer than 34 bills obliterating the Affordable Care Act, no doubt, in pious emulation of the very similar acts of their prophet.  No,  wait.  Jesus -- as the fable runs -- took up the task of "affordable care" quite directly.

No problem.  Within the flock, derisive claims of ecumenical  hypocrisy are routinely handled as, wait for it, heresy.  The liturgical suppression mechanism was already well worn ten centuries ago.

The Supreme Court has 6 Catholic Justices -- one of whom is a veritable modern case of Gustavus Adolphus, himself.  They managed to not instantly destroy available health care, but still transformed it into a tax which could be more easily repealed by Congressional action.  Now, they are warming up to rule on homosexual marriage.

What they won't be ruling on any time soon is the validity of the heretofore constant Constitutional insistence on the separation of church and state.  They can't.  The Church has already fired the first volleys of canonical law at that last bastion, and the Supreme Catholics will, no doubt, be left to reassemble the tatters into something that the 1688 Brits knew only too well.

The Male Crisis Leads to Strange Bedfellows

The "strange bedfellows" in this case are the dark denizens of the Evangelical Block.  The historical rift between these two avaricial geopolitical hordes -- the Catholics and the Neuvo Protestants -- not only never included the famous "day light," but, in fact, was filled with blood and was rife with an incendiary mythological hatred.  It was, through the centuries of induced superstition, more than vile enough to repeatedly hurl great armies of illiterate European farm boys at one another.

Now the two old competitors find themselves facing the greatest adversary ever.  This one is quite beyond the readily identified apostates of their respective "heretic burning"  primes.  This new menace is simple apathy.  As citizens of the developed world grow more and more sophisticated, those dwindling populations still holding the necessary, unexamined superstition have subsided.  It is, of course, the "outliers" -- both Evangelical and Catholic -- the still obedient, remaining remnants of those old religionist franchises -- who have caught the eye of the most violently ambitious modern geopolitical religionist frauds.

The resurrection of the old Mosaic and Benjamenic misogyny was predictable enough as were the aspirations for re-establishing the old, tribal, patriarchic control of all sex, likewise, were essentially inevitable additions. The racism, while disturbingly relevant, may have been added as an afterthought. However, the inevitable, stubborn, social resistance encountered in "selling" such new submissions to either Papal or, in the case of the Evangelicals, once more "re-interpreted" Biblical authority is what has precipitated the contemporary, chaotic morass we see all about us today.

The visible questions of whether gays should be wed or teenagers should have sex are, of course, the "head liners," but such issues are no more than low hanging fruit. Immediately below such dependable incendiaries we find a foundational problem.  Those current issues are all synthetic.  The esoteric challenges of the ancient franchises have been ruthlessly scrubbed in favor of the questionable joys of making your neighbor's children behave in a certain way.

Worse, the definitions of such heresies, always historically arbitrary and manipulative already, have succumbed to the modern phenomenon of "moving the goal posts."  Whenever the old heresies become so dated as to be modernly incomprehensible or when modern, social "common practice" has left them far behind, they are almost instantly -- and with  sickening alacrity and convenience -- redefined.

Now, crop after crop of the "burning questions of the day" have become suffocatingly artificial.  The ritual and mythological authority of the religionist franchises remain as a sort of soiled, protective shield, but the essence of such questions is so far afield now that any connection to the original esoteric "center" has long ago been lost in the dusty history of the clans.

To finish the "strange bedfellows" section of this post, we can effortlessly add Islam to those sitting in the courtroom's bar. That unfortunate franchise simply follows what has been said above by a few centuries.  The Muslims will almost inevitably find themselves where the Catholics and Evangelicals are now stuck as the base population of their own proselytes gradually -- and inexorably -- sophisticates.

The Final Question

We don't need to wander through these thoughts for too long before the next question emerges.

What's to be done with all this stuff when basically no one is still interested in participating?

It's a long list.  There are cathedrals, dungeons, blown up abortion clinics, assassinated doctors, homosexual suicide victims and more tragedies everywhere.  There are monasteries, convents, Bible colleges and televangelists galore.  There are tax exemptions, publishing houses, Christian rock bands, wedding tenors and funeral soloists

The residue is legion.

Relax, perhaps MeanMesa will "take this bait" on a future post.

The neighbors are beginning to complain. [image source ]
Dead dinosaurs don't become cute fossils overnight.

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