Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The Modern Trends of Calumny

I Personal Heresy and Bulverism
Some publishers are claiming to be able to offer insights into "young soldier poets" that even those soldiers poets do not have. It is as though the publisher were saying, "You might have read their poetry, but we know what they were really saying. We can read between the lines." Poetry is increasingly believed to be the “expression of personality” rather than writing on a topic, and that is the personal heresy. Lewis disagrees, stating that poetry is not a representation of a personality. This tendency appears not only in poetry, Lewis writes, but also in advertising and in reputable criticism.

From chapter summary on wiki of Chapter one of The Personal Heresy (C. S. Lewis vs Tillyard).*

Same observation goes, in my experience, for some non-publishers. The non-publishers of my essays, for instance. Or rather those who by attributing to me things like "hidden racism" (there is in fact no open one!) have made a lot of both non-readers and non-publishers among my readers.

I have very probably been accused of both kabbalism and being a disciple of Al-Ghazali, when I am - like C. S. Lewis - rather a Thomist (with some tinges of Plato) in my philosophy and metaphysics.

C. S. Lewis also had a word or two to say about what he called Bulverism, which I think has been applied to me - instead of explaining the logical reasons of the wrongness of where I am supposed to be wrong they explain the process which led me to be wrong. In some parts of their explanation - as I suppose it to have been behind my back by guesswork - it would coincide with my autobiographic explanation of the process which led me to be right. In other parts, it would be a sheer parody of it.

II Competentialism
When C. S. Lewis started writing, he was not a PhD but a MA - Master of Arts. Nay, he got his MA in 1922, but got published with Spirits in Bondage in 1919. G. K. Chesterton** was never with degree of any kind and he wrote:

He attended the Slade School of Art in order to become an illustrator. The Slade is a department of University College London, where he also took classes in literature, but he did not complete a degree in either subject. In 1896 Chesterton began working for the London publisher Redway, and T. Fisher Unwin, where he remained until 1902. During this period he also undertook his first journalistic work as a freelance art and literary critic. In 1901 he married Frances Blogg, to whom he remained married for the rest of his life. In 1902 the Daily News gave him a weekly opinion column, followed in 1905 by a weekly column in The Illustrated London News, for which he continued to write for the next thirty years.

And I have been met with attitudes as if the fact I had - after five years worth in wellmade exams - no right to write because I have no degree. The competence for writing is not having a degree, it is having something to say. And it is not having a degree which helps in having something to say, it is having learned something - which sometimes but not always results in a degree - which helps in having something to say.

III Kabbalism and Kabbalah Suspicion
Saying Heaven is "in the presence of God but not a physical place" - as do certain modern Apologists ... reminds of:

Because the Tzimtzum*** results in the "empty space" in which spiritual and physical Worlds and ultimately, free will can exist, God is often referred to as "Ha-Makom" (המקום lit. "the Place", "the Omnipresent") in Rabbinic literature ("He is the Place of the World, but the World is not His Place"[2]).

Now, this saying - "He is the Place of the World, but the World is not His Place" - is true. But of angels and souls separated from bodies it is true that though space or place is rather in them than they in space or place, nevertheless, they do have a location.

It is also not true that God withdraws his presence to make empty space. How so? Because God is not body, and the presence of God does not exclude the presence of bodies.

So, Heaven insofar as abode of the departed souls of the Blessed and insofar as abode of the Angels and insofar as Throne of God above them is a physical place. So is Hell. That is why I cannot accept modern cosmology, that is why I am a Geocentric.

Geocentrism is of course against modern trends. It is of course traditional, among Jews and Muslims as much as among Christians. But it is not a Jewish trend or a Muslim trend or a Kabbalist trend or a trend of Traditionalism in the sense of Western Sufism or anything like that. It is a Traditional or Antimodern trend even in Catholicism. Same applies to Young Earth Creationism. One might of course protest against calling these trends at all even today, when they are only continuing a tradition. But the strain against other and opposed trends make them socially equivalents of trends where previously they were social equivalents of truisms. "Water is pretty wet" and "grass is pretty green" are becoming daring paradoxical statements, suspect of paranoid schizophrenia, when Geocentrism and Young Earth Creationism are suchlike made suspect. And writing to defend "water is pretty wet" or "earth is pretty young and stands pretty still" from the mental hospital is a noble and worthy cause for a pen. Or for a keyboard.

It is therefore with dismay that I find people wanting to associate me with Kabbalah and Judaism or even Protestantism because I am Geocentric, Young Earth Creationist, Thomist. I have charity for Protestants who are Young Earth Creationists, and deep respect for some of their work, but that does not make me a Protestant. Or - since some or even many of them are Heliocentrics - a Heliocentric.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
St Paul the First Hermit

Footnotes with Links to Wikipedia:
* Wiki : The Personal Heresy

** Wiki : G. K. Chesterton

*** Wiki : Tzimtzum

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