Archive | August 2019

Sins of the Fathers: The Karmic Law and the Chain of Historical Causation

The LORD is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons to the third and fourth generation.

Numbers 14

This particular formula for the chain of historical causation occurs in a few passages of the Bible. It bothers some people who don’t see why the offspring should be made to suffer for the errors of their forebears. But it does reveal how the sense of historical time and the sense of eras was not so much measured in years but in generations. Among the indigenous people of North America, it is the seven generations before and the seven generations after that constitute the sense of historical time — an Era would be fourteen generations, and certain people in the tribe are the designated keepers of tribal memory, and their memory is indeed quite prodigious.

Read More…

The Root Paradox: The One and the Many

So, I have written in the previous post that many of our contemporary crises and the pathologies of the “New Normal” can be overcome by simply rising to the level of the paradox, which is basically what many people mean by insisting that we must shift from an “either/or” type logic to a “both/and” type logic. And the root paradox — the Mother of All Paradoxes — is the paradox of the One and the Many — how the One can be Many and the Many, One. But that’s what the problematic issue of “Living On Oxford Time” is about, as discussed in the previous couple of posts.

Read More…

“The New Normal”: Delusional Narcissism and Bad Faith

For today’s Guardian, columnist John Grace has written up a quite sarcastic account of today’s New Normal in Boris Johnson’s UK. But as sarcastic though it might be, it does touch upon some essential aspects of the New Normal – bad faith and delusional narcissism. In fact, “narcissism” is a term that often continuously recurs in many references to “the New Normal”.

I’ve expended a considerable amount of time trying to understand the meaning of this “New Normal”, as well as when and why we’ve entered into this state. It was Fukuyama’s “end of history” thesis that first twigged me to something strange going on. But in many respects, the seed-germ of the “New Normal” lay in Nietzsche’s announcement of the “death of God”. In other words, this “New Normal” coincides with Nietzsche’s forecast of “two centuries of nihilism” during which “all higher values devalue themselves”. That’s actually a description of what is called “the kaliyuga“.

Read More…