Tuesday, October 13, 2015

False Reality

The Devil in his madness tries to imitate God in all things.  He is certainly at work in man’s prideful attempt to remake himself and all the creation through technology.  Modern man has made great strides towards this end, and to many it looks like a good thing.  But we must remember where this ‘progress’ is intended to get us:

The true conspiratorial and most insidious aspect of this book – far more so than teasers about weather weapons, global consciousness and mind control – is the quest to demonstrate – and explicitly so – that the technetronic era is an age of eradication of inner man. What Brzezinski calls an “increase in knowledge” as an essence of technetronic era is denoted as a sort of ‘outing’ of inner man, because accumulation of knowledge ever expands into infinity, pressuring man to subject himself to infinite forms of tests, trainings, improvements, life-long learning, etc. It is knowledge without an inner principle of unity, and therefore something rather akin to ‘ignorance’ or, better still, a re-imagining of oneself. Man becomes not a subject of knowledge, but its object. Who is the subject, then? Only his reflection in an infinite, splintered mirror of Faustian technology.

If we approach reality as Brzezinski does, with the implicit intention to re-cast it, then it really doesn’t matter what is real and what is image. The image of inner man is the inner man; an image can be made more or less ‘real.’ In this sense, technology, which in the technetronic era is to finally become our environment – including the nature itself observed as a system – represents a perfected mirror of matter. While reflections in matter are crude and thus retain some semblance of its models, technology is a kind of refinement of this mirror, and not by polishing, but by making it more fluid – like dark water or molten, yet cold, steel. In the mirror of the will all kinds of things can be reflected as reality, and everything is external to it.

Source:  Branko Malic, ‘Brzezinski’s Final Solution’, http://souloftheeast.org/2015/06/26/brzezinski-technocracy/, posted 26 June 2015, accessed 30 June 2015

The true Southerner has never accepted such a false reality, and if we would only remember who we really are, we would reject it still - whether one be creeping about in the innermost alleys of our Gnostic cities or enjoying the stillness of a fishing pond deep in the woods.  William Gilmore Simms bespeaks the Old Southern tradition:

Let us turn from these melancholy specimens to nobler types.
It is grateful to know that all is not barren of culture, whether
of home or self, among us. We possess many model cottages
and farmsteads, though they occupy few acres. Ten acres of
land in our country, with one good mule, one honest plough-
boy, and judicious cultivation, are quite enough for the ample
support of a thrifty family of ten persons. But here, the pater
familial must be a man ! His help-meet, a woman.
These are noble titles. Man and woman none nobler in
the world ; nothing more noble, in all God's creation, than a
perfect man and woman, working together, lovingly, harmoni-
ously. He in his walks of courage, energy, industry and
intelligence. She in hers, of grace, domestic duty, motherly
watch over dutiful children, and that cheery and elastic spirit
which ever welcomes with smiles, conciliation and tenderness.
They may be poor together in worldly goods; but rich in all
the essentials which make life a permanent pleasure while it
lasts. Look at their homestead. See how the cottage gleams
through the green woods, white and glossy. It is whitewash,
not paint, and put on by the good man himself. The garden
blooms beside it. There are flowers, there are fruits ; and the
little fields thicken with luxuriance. His horn is sounded with
the dawn, when he drives afield his mule or oxen. He will
waste no hours abroad or in idleness, and the honest sweat of
his industry will be as so much dew in nurturing his humble
fortunes. Healthy with toil, and cheerful with hope, the cot-
tage receives him at night, unexhausted and ready for romp or
lesson with the happy children. While he drives afield at
dawn, you see the cottage windows open. There is a tall
damsel hanging out her bird-cages. She has mocking-bird and
canary. She sings, and they sing together, the song of the
happy roof-tree. You see her as she comes forth into the little
veranda. There she waters her geraniums, her shrubs and
flowers. What a collection that young girl has made. What
a property iii beauty and use, simply from having forgotten
herself. She hath had no vanities to afflict and make her
worthless. Tier upon tier of common shelves of pine, not a foot
of which is vacant, support her numerous boxes of shrub and
flower. The little piazza gleams with them ; the air is saturated
with their sweetness. These are all acquisitions of love and
maiden taste, under that Sense of the Beautiful, which glows
within her, but which she herself could never define. Anon,
that girl of sixteen has the breakfast table ready ; when she
goes forth for what ? to milk Brindle. Jackey, her brother,
brings up the cow ! The chickens next are seen to, the poultry
let forth, and while Chanticleer is straining his throat proclaim-
ing the sunrise, she finds her way to the garden. There are
strawberries and radishes to be gathered for breakfast, and she
must look around the garden to see that the rabbits have not
broken somewhere through the pale, to the great danger of her
young green peas.

And so, passing from one little office to another, singing as
she goes some cheerful ditty, that one young girl, with only one
little brother for her ally, will pass through all the morning
duties of garden, house, pantry, poultry and dairy with ease,
without any real effort, having learned to rise early, being
economical of time, having a mind trained to method, happy
that she is doing and capable to do. There may be an hour's
hoeing daily to be done in the garden, quite enough for a single
acre, and she and Jackey will do it ere the sun grows hot. The
dinner table that day will give you the earliest varieties of the
season. The head of the family will have lone his work ere
the day closes, and has no doubt that Sally has done hers.
How cheery is the supper table that night. All is neat and
clean ; all is abundant. The invalid mother smiles languidly,
but happily upon the scene, and thanks God that she is in such
loving keeping. Then there will be, music why not ? The
farmer takes down his violin, and Sally has her accordion.
Nay, she has her guitar also, and with no master, has taught
herself the use of both. The scene varies according to the
humors of the household. Perhaps Sally will read to her
mother. Perhaps the father takes down his Shakespeare why
not? and gives a scene, well read, from " As you Like it,"
possibly rising to sublimer aims, will, from " Coleus," give to
the dawning spirituelle in the girl's mind, her loveliest concep-
tion of the Sense of the Beautiful. This portrait is no fancy
sketch. Our model farmer is the son of a Scotchman, and from
Burns he has passed to the grand domains of Shakespeare and
Milton. " The Cotter's Saturday Night " is always read, as a
sort of closing service of the week. No matter how small the
cottage, how limited the resources, how humble the aims in life,
the absolute necessities of life being once made sure, the good
farmer, here and everywhere, may realize this exquisite ideal of
a Golden Age.

Source:  W. G. Simms, The Sense of the Beautiful, http://simms.library.sc.edu/view_item.php?item=100856&tab=contents, 1870, pgs. 12-14, accessed 23 July 2015, Copyright © 2011, the University of South Carolina

The Southern view itself, however, is a memory of how our holy Celtic forefathers and mothers thought and lived (and all Orthodox saints, really).  As Fr Seraphim Aldea of the Isle of Mull has said of late, the Celtic saints saw themselves as undeniably a part of the creation.  And that, as such, they were not meant to live apart from it by spending so much time in the artificial environment of a house (how much less so the modern carnival techno-house).  So they built for themselves crude shelters like the beehive cells shown below as a haven from bad weather and other dangers, but elsewise they walked amongst God’s creatures during the day or the night praying, singing, reading, preaching, gardening, and so on.  Like our Southern forebears, they delighted in the beauty of the creation, undoubtedly knowing it to be a reflection of the Beauty of its Creator, the All-Holy Trinity.

May we, like all of them, be granted the Grace to reject false beauty and embrace the true, and live joyfully in it.

Beehive cells - and the wonderful view from them - on Skellig Michael (photo by Towel401; from Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Skellig_hives.jpg).

For more from Fr Seraphim and his work on the Isle of Mull in the Hebrides, the reader is invited to view his monastery’s web site:

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