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Today is the beginning of the Labor Day weekend. So I will put up a long-ish post for your weekend reading. The entire post, with attached links is a MUST READ since it explains very well the situation that we have found ourselves in as a Nation, as a Civilization and specifically the situatation that we the Faithful have been observing in the Catholic Church for the last 50 years.
The post that I would like to draw your attention to dear reader, appears on the Epsilon Theory blog via the secular “c”atholic Zero Hedge website. The title of the post is Magical Thinking (see original here). With respect to the specifics, this post deals with the PHENOMENON of “MAGIC THINKING” as observed in the present day financial markets and specifically in the monetary policy as practiced by the US Federal Reserve Bank. Regular readers of this blog will immediately recognize that what is being discussed is nothing other than what we termed as TRANSRATIONALISM.
Taking the subject matter discussed (MAGICAL THINKING) one step further, and given that we are good Thomists, with our understanding of fallen human nature and the mechanics of how God’s creation works (think LEX ARMATICUS), we KNOW that the concept of MAGICAL THINKING cannot be limited to just one specific sub-set of human endeavor that is mentioned in Dr. W. Ben Hunt’s Magical Thinking post. So what I will do today is expand the catalogue of the sub-sets of human endeavor in order to allow Mr. Hunt’s post to likewise encompass the ecclesiastical area.
Our jump off point will be the pamphlet titled THOMISM FOR THE NEW EVANGELIZATION (see here) written by Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P. of the Thomistic Institute, Washington, D.C. At the bottom of page 6 we can read the following: (emphasis added)
Each discipline has its own irreducible dignity. The theologian simply can’t replace the philosopher or the mathematician or the scientist. So this religious view of the intellectual life is cosmopolitan and open to all disciplines of learning, but it is also integrated. For Aquinas, all learning is united by a common goal—the pursuit of the truth about reality, considered under various aspects.
So it is with this integrationist mindset that we set out on this blog to catalogue the various GLOBAL NEO-MODERNIST EXPERIMENTS™ that are unraveling at present, right before our very eyes. One passage that caught my eye in the Hunt post reads as follows:
Winston shrank back upon the bed. Whatever he said, the swift answer crushed him like a bludgeon. And yet he knew, he knew, that he was in the right. The belief that nothing exists outside your own mind — surely there must be some way of demonstrating that it was false? Had it not been exposed long ago as a fallacy? There was even a name for it, which he had forgotten. A faint smile twitched the corners of O’Brien’s mouth as he looked down at him.
“I told you, Winston,” he said, ‘”that metaphysics is not your strong point. The word you are trying to think of is solipsism. But you are mistaken. This is not solipsism. Collective solipsism, if you like. But that is a different thing: in fact, the opposite thing.”
― George Orwell, “1984” (1949)
Why yes, the word denoting the established logical fallacy that we all should become familiar with is SOLIPSISM. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines SOLIPSISM as:
a theory holding that the self can know nothing but its own modifications and that the self is the only existent thing; also : extreme egocentrism
The ROOT CAUSE of our present day SOLIPSISTIC fallacy is what is called Cartesian “philosophy”. In our posts titled In A Cartesian World… and From Rationalism To Transrationalism- How We Got Here, we explained how Western Civilization got to the point where… men compete in female sporting events or how 3 x 4 can equal 11, just to provide two examples.
With respect to ecclesiastical circles, this PHENOMENON is also well know (see here). It goes by the name of Vital Immanence. It was dealt with by Pope St. Pius X in the Encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis. Here is what the Great Pope wrote:
For the Modernist Believer, […] it is an established and certain fact that the Divine Reality does really exist in itself and quite independently of the person who believes in it. If you ask on what foundation this assertion of the [Modernist] Believer rests, they answer: in the experience of the individual.
Back to the secular world, here is how Dr. W. Ben Hunt’s explains the secular “reincarnation” of Vital Immanence, in the Central Bank/monetary policy CONTEXT:
As O’Brien patiently explains to Winston between torture sessions, or what we would call today “FOMC meetings”, Collective Solipsism is the voluntary abdication of empirical and independent thought. But it’s not ordinary solipsism — a pathological egocentrism where reality is entirely defined by one’s own thoughts. Instead, Collective Solipsism annihilates one’s own thoughts and replaces them with state-sponsored thoughts. Your reality is just as fake. But you’re living someone else’s fantasy.
Transitioning from the secular world situation back into the one that is “evolving” in the ecclesiastical sub-set of human activity and theology in particular (Notice how easily the LEX ARMATICUS allows one to transition!), this below cited passage rings a bell:
Courtier T.L. — Amid all the people starving, missionaries and nurses clamoring, students rioting, and police cracking heads, His Serene Majesty went to Eritrea, where he was received by his grandson, Fleet Commander Eskinder Desta, with whom he intended to make an official cruise on the flagship Ethiopia. They could only manage to start one engine, however, and the cruise had to be called off. His Highness then moved to the French ship Protet, where he was received on board by Hiele, the well-known admiral from Marseille. The next day, in the port of Massawa, His Most Ineffable Highness raised himself for the occasion to the rank of Grand Admiral of the Imperial Fleet, and made seven cadets officers, thereby increasing our naval power. Also he summoned the wretched notables from the north who had been accused by the missionaries and nurses of speculation and stealing from the starving, and he conferred high distinctions on them to prove that they were innocent and to curb the foreign gossip and slander.
― Ryszard Kapuscinski, “The Emperor” (1978)
The observation that Dr. W. Ben Hunt’s makes on the back to the Kapuscinski citation is as follows:
If you can only read one book on the end of an ancien regime and the magical thinking that ALWAYS takes place in its wake, this is it. Kapuscinski chronicles the final years of Haile Selassie’s reign in Ethiopia from the inside out, interviewing dozens of courtiers to paint a first-hand portrait of an entire society lost in the fantasy world of Collective Solipsism.
Selassie and his Inner Party maintained the fantasy for years after it lost all connection with reality, so that a mighty fleet consisted of a single ship with a malfunctioning engine, promotions and medals were conflated with real-world power and influence, and bad people and bad ideas were constantly lauded and rewarded to keep hard questions from being asked.
Spoiler alert: it doesn’t end well for Selassie or for Ethiopia. In the words of another famous solipsist, Louis XIV, “après moi, le deluge.” After Selassie came The Dergue. Think Pol Pot in committee form.
The last years of Selassie’s rule are more than a parable for our times … they ARE our times.
Yes, they are!
Once again, please go to the link and read the ENTIRE Hunt post here.
Concluding, when I read this Hunt post, and especially the above reproduced excerpts, one can immediately recognize not only the pontificate of Francis, the bishop of Rome but the pontificates of the entire post conciliar Ioannian/Pauline line of popes, not to mention the entire NEO-MODERNIST EXPERIMENT™. The NATURAL three phase cycle (you really need to read the post here) that Dr. W. Ben Hunt’s defines for the time frame from when the spell stops working to the ultimate end of the ancien regime, is the perfect analogy for the current situation in which the post-conciliar church finds itself today.
Furthermore, it is amazing how well the cited Kapucinski text fits the Francis pontificate, from the appointment of cadets to officers (four new cardinals from 2015 class had diocese with less than 50 priests – see here) to conferred high distinctions on them to prove that they were innocent and to curb the foreign gossip and slander (see here), to maintaining the fantasy for years after it lost all connection with reality (see here and here).
If the defined Hunt natural three phase cycle is accurate, it would appear that we are coming to the end of the process. Here is how the immediate future will be playing itself out:
So what happens? It depends on reality. It depends on whether the banana plants get better on their own or if they die. If they get better on their own (and this happens more often than you might think), then the incumbent priest-kings remain. If the banana plants give up the ghost, then the incumbents are swept away. For future reference, this is what dead banana plants look like. (For our purposes, please refer to photo at the top of this post.)
In our case, the “banana plants” are the Faithful, a.k.a. “pew-sitters”. If the Faithful don’t return to the pews/start contributing to the post-conciliar church, the Ioannian/Pauline line of pontiffs will come to an end. The way in which the Faithful will know that the post-conciliar papal line has “given up the ghost” is by the numbers of pilgrims coming to St. Peter’s Square and the papal audiences.
Furthermore, this being a Jubilee Year of Mercy, the numbers of pilgrims coming to Rome MUST be compared to the last Jubilee held at the Vatican which was held in Anno Domini 2000. In that year, 25 million pilgrims came to Rome to take part in religious festivities throughout that year. (see here) If this year the pilgrim numbers are smaller – and all indications are that they are much, much smaller, it will be the death knell for not only the Ioannian/Pauline papal line but for the entire NEO-MODERNIST EXPERIMENT™ that is the post-conciliar church.
In other words, the The The Soap Bubble Papacy™ will have begun to burst.
And that is the REALITY of the matter, regardless of how many new “cardinals from the peripheries” Francis creates at the next consistory.
And on that note, please have a pleasant and safe Labor Day weekend.
PS Here is an exchange that I had with Fr. Z. (comments in red) regarding the photo at the top of this post: