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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Sunday, February 26, 2012

As a Man Thinketh; the Devil and Rick Santorum

Timothy Birdnow

(This essay first appeared at Canada Free Press. )

What does a man believe? In the end, we are, our very nature and essence, defined by that simple question. Yes, we are physical entities that exist in a particular structure in a particular world, but our response to that world is predicated on what we believe. The Bible explained it long ago "as a man thinketh in his heart so is he" (Proverbs23:7). And this concept was understood by Buddhist monks who taught the uses of chants to keep the mind focused on what they believed was important to them. Tibetan Buddhist monks include such admonitions as:

The greatest worth is self-mastery.

The greatest precept is continual awareness.

The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.

The greatest effort is not concerned with results.

And the 8 fold path concerns itself with how we perceive the Universe and respond to it.

Zoarastrianism likewise taught that Man must practice good thoughts, good words, and good deads. Right thinking is critical to right behavior, which determines our destiny.

Sin, or a state of error, entered first the spiritual world through distorted thinking and pride, and then the human world through trickery and naivete'. The Bible states that this error has twisted the fabric of reality, leading to Man's expulsion from Paradise.

This dovetails with modern science. Quantum physics argues that the observer, when observing a subatomic particle, "collapses the wavefront" which, in essence, defines the position of that particle for the observer. A subatomic particle exists in a range, a probability until an observer performs the act of observing and the wavefront collapses into a specific particle. The observer has a strange god-like power to define reality at the quantum level. And the observer is critical at the macro level as well, with time being intimately linked to the position of the observer in Relativity. Not just time but mass too; mass increases as a body approaches the speed of light. At lightspeed a mass would be infinite, and so a piece of matter could not possibly reach lightspeed. But the observer would see none of this were HE the piece of matter approaching lightspeed; only the outside observer would witness his growing denisty.

But, you say, this has nothing to do with thinking but with observing. Fair enough. But research on neuroplasticity shows that, yes indeed, a man can rebuild his own brain just by thinking. Jeffrey Schwarz's research on people suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) at UCLA can rewire their own brains to bypass the damaged neural circuit just by meditating and willing it. It's not easy, but it happens with dedicated effort.

And this speaks volumes; people often develop certain appearances that cannot be simply attributed to choices in style. We all know the dog owner who looks just like his pooch and vice versa. Women often synchronize their menstral periods when living together, and sometimes roommates come to resemble each-other. Often times one can spot a particularly zealous political type - a feminist, say - just by looking. Or a prudish conservative. Why? Materialists would argue that they have certain looks based on their biological nature, on the fact that they were thus and so and are prisoners of their genetics. But is it not perhaps the other way around? Perhaps form follows function, and the brain, the choices made and the identity chosen, is refashioning the body?

This is no idle quesiton, because it strikes at the heart of the Great Divide, the battle between Conservative and Liberal, between God and Man, between Good and Evil. It is this question of how Man sees himself that divides us.

Recently the media, notoriously leftist in approach and sympathy, has trumpeted Rick Santorum's comments to an audience at the Catholic Ave Maria University in which he claimed America is under attack from Satan. To the media and other liberals this automatically disqualifies Santorum to be President, because in their view only a fool would believe in the cartoon character devil with his red tail and cloven hooves. The Devil? Really! This is the 21st century! Who believes in the Devil?

Of course, the presupposition is that if there is no Devil there is little reason to believe in a personal God either. At the root of this belief is the fundamental starting point for liberal thought; Man is inherently good. The liberal movement began with this presupposition, and built a dizzying philosophical system based upon it. It is the core, the first cause of the entire liberal/left worldview.

But if Man is inherently good, there is no explanation for evil except as a result of biology and nature. If that is the case then biology and nature are flawed, and that means either there is a capricious God who is capable of evil or, more likely, no God at all, for how can a man who is inherently good do evil? How does a man even know the difference if there is really no such thing? Maintaining the view that Man is inherently good is the ultimate path to atheism.

The Conservative worldview accepts that Man is NOT inherently good, because he is capable of committing great evil. It is a choice between two divergent things. And evil transcends simple human frailty; anyone who has looked into the eye of a Charles Manson or Jeffrey Dahmer knows evil is a real entity, a seperate thing, a parasitic organism that feeds on the human mind and spirit. And it's power is beyond dispute; Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, etc. should have put an end to any such doubt about the reality and power of evil.

And it is a universal thing. Demonic possession, for instance, transcends all cultures and traditions. Every race, creed, and culture tells of demons, malevalent beings who torment or seduce humans. Witchcraft, too, is universal. If there is no evil there certainly are a lot of people who believe in it. And as a man thinketh...

As James Madison observed in Federalist 51:

"But the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others. The provision for defense must in this, as in all other cases, be made commensurate to the danger of attack. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions."

End quote.

Clearly he and the other Founding Fathers understood the reality of evil, and the tendency of Man to succumb to the glamour of evil.

So Liberalism is falsified, like a bad theory. Either Man himself is evil in nature or there is an evil entity at work. But the liberal person refuses to believe either alternative, or even to look at them. Too much has been invested in his worldview to challenge it's fundamental assumption.

And government is the church of the liberal. He seeks to empower it as a priest seeks to proselytize. It is the expression of the common will, and by common will he means his own. Progressives believe that they can create a truly just society, and that the means is government. Man, they believe, is perfectible. He hasn't been perfected only because the right people haven't had adequate power.

With the waning tide of Christendom in the West people have come to glorify the creature rather than the Creator, to believe in a soulless, empty, amoral world governed by the tyranny of physical laws. The modern view is that as a man is so shall he thinketh. There is a near desperation on the part of dedicated atheists and materialists to reduce the human mind to a matter of mechanics, to dethrone free will, to explain the mind and soul as mere illusions, nothing but a function of the mechanical processes of the brain. But quantum physics destroys this argument, and the fact that a person can rewire their own brains by an act of will shows that Man uses that brain and not the other way around. That simply cannot stand. The leftist worldview will collapse of it's own weight if Man is not reduced to a machine.

That is why Rick Santorum must be mocked, ridiculed, attacked, laughed at; he is striking at the achilles heel of the entirety of Liberalism. Notions of a Devil, of a personal malevelant being or beings that seek to darken the human mind and corrupt the human spirit, cannot be permitted a public airing. He is accused of wanting to create a theocracy where everyone is forced to live under strict rules invented by his Church buddies, charges that he would return us to a medieval worldview, that he would force women to be barefoot and pregnant, that he would, well, make America into the spitting image of Iran, only with a Christian face (which is inexcusable). The media and liberal establishment is strangely reticent about condemning theocracy in the Islamic world, but is quite gung-ho on attacking it here. And yet none of this is true.

It was the Christian concept of free will that gave us America, gave us the Bill of Rights, gave us the entire notion of a free people governing themselves. Thomas Jefferson pointed out in the Declaration of Independence that all men are "endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights" which was a Christian view of the human condition. The Founding Father's clearly did not buy into the argument that Man is inherently good; they would never have restricted democracy, nor chained government if they had. It was the Christian concept of rationality that gave us the concept of Natural Law. It was the Christian desire to know God that gave us modern science. It was Jesus who instituted seperation of Church and State with "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's". It was the Christian concept of equality under God that made the colonists fight a revolution against an English aristocracy that believed in an inherent right to rule.

But none of this matters to the Left; at it's heart Liberalism rejects the First Commandment and places Man on the throne of the godhead. Granted, there are many liberal Christians, but these people fall into a simple trap, one that fits the description of "useful idiots"; the Left cherry picked bits and pieces from the Gospels and tricked the ignorant into believing that Christ came to promulgate a social Gospel. He did not; life is first and foremost a spiritual journey, a venture whose goal is to escape the carnal. Hell uses the carnal to enslave the sojournor. Evil is that which promotes Man centered, nature centered, and humanistic ways of seeing the world. Hell is a state of mind, one which rejects God. Liberalism is a doctrine of Man, a carnal doctrine aimed at a social Gospel, a celebration of humanity.

So do not be surprised to see more such attacks on Rick Santorum. His belief in the existence of Satan is an anachronism that the Left simply cannot allow to stand. If the public should start believing in the Devil they may remember there is a God, and a day of judgement, and then where would we be?

As a man thinketh. The Progressives and the Left must make Man think of himself as meat and nerve tissue,

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