Friday, June 22, 2007

The Monkey Runs Amok

Regular readers are familiar with Phanarath, our stalwart Viking translator and commenter from Århus. Fjordman’s recent posts have inspired him, and he sent his thoughts along to us. His essay is posted below.

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What are we as human beings ?

We can only ponder and try to get the most from our situation here on Earth. There is a spiritual reality beyond this existence that we cannot fully comprehend as long as we are in these forms that we are in now.

So what can we do?

We can try to be good. We can try to let ourselves grow to include our families, our friends and our fellow human beings.

When I was a child I read something in school that impressed me. It was the philosophy of an Indian — as in Native American — tribe. It said that we as humans start out with an understanding of our selfish needs. Later in life this understanding can grow and we can understand the needs of and feel a oneness with our family, and, as our empathy continues to grow, our tribe, mankind, all life, mother earth, the universe and all existence.

I think that was the most important thing I ever learned in school, and I also think that I learned it by accident. I don’t think I was supposed to learn that the self can grow. I was supposed to learn not to be arrogant about my own culture.

I learned not to be arrogant about my own culture, and I learned it well. For many years I believed everything from other cultures was automatically better then what my own could provide. I lost many important moments with my grandfather, arguing silly things that he didn’t have patience for, nor could he understand how I got them into my head.

I enjoy reading Fjordman’s articles, and how he speculates about how political correctness and Multiculturalism might be connected to or descended from Communism.

But I don’t think that there is a connection, other than the rejection of the self.

It’s like having a monkey running amok in our garden with an axe. If you break the axe and the monkey picks up a saw, it doesn’t mean that the saw is somehow a descendant of the axe. It just means that the monkey will do anything to create more destruction.

Monkey fight

The monkey here is the rejection of the self. When the self is rejected, there cannot be empathy for others. Instead of letting the self grow naturally, it has been rejected as evil to begin with, and we are left with a hollow human being without the potential for growth.

It’s a Utopian idea: the selfless people of a dream about a perfect world. It must have somehow been inspired by an idea of very spiritually developed people, but when the primitive newborn self was declared evil, this was soon forgotten. And then all manifestations of the self were seen as evil. Love of self, love of family, love of one’s tribe or race, nationalism and so on.
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When I talk about “love of one’s race”, I don’t mean the ideological racism that claims that someone is more deserving of privileges then another for no other reason other than race. I mean our natural tendency to cheer for the football team of our hometown, to prefer our own kind, our nation, and in general what we see as our own people. But this would not be acceptable.

Only the fully developed self would be accepted.

But how was anyone to get to the fully developed self when all earlier forms of it were declared evil?

What is a man without a self? Is he a selfless being who only and greatly cares for others, like the Utopians dream he would be?

No. He has a careless hollow existence, only driven by vanity and perversion. There can be no understanding of others where there was never an understanding of self. When the world meets us with hatred for our very being, how can we respond with love?

We can respond with love because we are more that any of us can comprehend. But we might not be able to keep that up if we maintain a school of thought that degrades ourselves and our souls to be something lower then dirt.

16 comments:

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Sorry Baron but I must partly disagree with Phanarath. Political correctness (cultural Marxism) is definitely the spawn of Herbert Marcuse and his colleagues of the Frankfort School. As for the "Native American" attribution; there were literally hundreds of languages and dialects used by them and generally their tribal designation translated as "human being". The old Indian character in the motion picture "Little Big Man" drove this home with considerable wit. Having lived on an Indian reservation for several years and studying what passes as history of a people who had no written language I learned that while they had a rich and fascinating folklore they were for the most part occupied with avoiding starvation.

Phanarath said...

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ Thanks for commenting, as the only one so far :-)

What I was trying to say, was that the rejection of the self is a primal conflict within the human race. It most likely started at the same time we began to live in tribes.

The idea that a person who is selfless is a good thing is much older then anything we would know of historically. Most likely the first tribal communities was constructed in a way, so only the leader and a few others would have "selves", the rest would be suppressed and channeled into the "good of the tribe".

So in this context its not so important, how 19. or 20. century thinkers might have been inspired by one another. Its an age old conflict. And my point is that we should try to understand the true source of it, instead of trying to treat symptoms.

I followed a trackback made by Pastorius and found that he had understood perfectly what I meant. He even added some insight that I had not thought of.

Please read what he said here

Phanarath said...

And about the Indians

That was a memory from 2. grade.

I remember the different stages was represented as circles to illustrate the growing self.

it was a memory from my childhood, that I used to explain my train of though. I did not mean to make a statement about Native American culture.

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Phanarath,
Thank you for clarifying that. I believe that the substitution of "individual" for self may have made your point more clear (I am becoming more obtuse in my advancing years?). You would not be the first to assign romantic attributes to the native American people. Hollywood has done a remarkable job of that and unfortunately many on both sides of the Atlantic have bought into it. It is beyond the scope of this comment thread to enumerate the injustices visited upon the American Indians by the guilt ridden collectivist society that America has become; all with the "best of intentions".

Phanarath said...

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

I understand you point completly. I was talking to one of the leaders of the antijihad in Danmark today. And he was saying how he liked the reffences to the indians, and that the indians where spiritualy superior to the vikings.

And thats when I said: Hey wait a minute" The indians may have had better press and also the good things from the indian culture comes from a whole continent. The vikings had extremely bad press since the the cristians who overcame their culture only wanted to present them as bad as they could.

Any normal dane today knows more about american indian culture then he knows about danish culture.

So in that sense. I was simply giving an example from my roots.

Phanarath said...

Fellow peacekeeper
Yorkshireminer
and other good people.

please

I need our input here.

Birkebeinr said...

Common sense and "no bullshit" is the typical danish dynamite attitude:

"When I talk about “love of one’s race”, I don’t mean the ideological racism that claims that someone is more deserving of privileges then another for no other reason other than race. I mean our natural tendency to cheer for the football team of our hometown, to prefer our own kind, our nation, and in general what we see as our own people."

A swede saying such would be called racist, a dane realist.

Phanarath said...

Birkebeinr du knuser mit hjerte. And as much as I love your statement about Danes I cant let that stand.

That part was added as exactly as bullshit.

I was worried that people would misunderstand what I meant and so I added that very part.

The original text with all its flaws, is here:


What are we as human beings ?, we can only ponder and try to get the
most of our situation here. There is a spiritual reality beond this
existence that we cannot fully comprehend as long as we are in these
forms, that we are now.

So what can we do?. We can try to be good. We can try to let our
selves grow to include our families, our friends and our fellow human
beings.

When I was a child I read something in school that impressed me. It
was a philosophy of an Indian - as in Native American - tribe. It said
that we as humans start out with an understanding of our selfish
needs. later in life this understanding can grow and we can understand
the needs of and feel a oneness with our family, and as it grows, our
tribe, the human kind, all life, mother earth, the universe and all
existence.

I think that was the most important thing I ever learned in school,
and I also think that I learned it by accident. I don't think I was
supposed to learn that the self can grow. I was supposed to learn not
to be arrogant about my own culture.

I learned not to be arrogant about my own culture, and I learned it
well. For many years I believed everything from other cultures was
automatically better then what my own could provide. I lost many
important moments with my grandfather, arguing silly things that he
didn't have patients for or understood how I got into my head.

I enjoy reading Fjormans articles, and how he speculates about how
political correctness and multi culturalism might be connected or
descendant from communism.

But I don't think that there is a connection other then the rejection
of the self.

Its like having a monkey running amok in our garden with an axe. If
you break the axe and the monkey picks up a saw, it doesn't mean that
the saw is somehow a descendant from the the axe. It just means that
the monkey will do anything to create more destruction.

The monkey here, is the rejection of the self. When the self is
rejected, there cannot be empathy for others. Instead of letting the
self grow naturally, it has been rejected as evil to begin with and we
are left with hollow human being without potential for growth.

Its an Utopian idea. The selfless people of a dream about a perfect
world. It must have somehow been inspired by an idea of very
spiritually developed people, but when the primitive newborn self was
declared evil, this was soon forgotten. And then all manifestations of
the self was evil. Love of self, love of family, tribalism, racism,
nationalism and so on. Only the fully developed self would be
accepted.

But how was anyone to get to the fully developed self when all earlier
forms of it was declared evil?.

What is a man without a self?. Is he a selfless being that only and
greatly cares for others, like the Utopians dream that he would be?

No. He as a careless hollow existence, only driven by vanity and
perversion. There can be no understanding of others where there was
never an understanding of self. When the world meets us with hatred
for our very being, how can we respond with love?

We can respond with love because we are more that any of us can
comprehend. But we might not be able to keep that up, if we keep up a
school of thought that degrades our selves and our souls to something
lover then dirt.

Subvet said...

In the "recovery community" one of the biggest obstacles to overcome is an automatic self-loathing. Many alcoholics/addicts have an extremely hard time ever believing that they may actually be worth the time and effort to address their addictions. The ones I'm thinking of feel they're beyond all redemption, basically evil and flawed from the start.

In a way I see some of the same attitudes addressed in the original post and comments on it. The claim that the Danes know more about American Indians than their own culture is a good example. I don't doubt it, it would follow along with the ideal of self loathing that permeates so much of Western society. An idea that the society is fatally flawed and "not worth it".

To carry the analogy a bit further, just as a recovering alcoholic can't make any progress without the conviction that he's worth the effort so also our Western culture cannot address the attacks on it without the certainty that a response to those attacks are justified.

So your referencing of American Indian belief in the growth of the self is accurate. In order to become better we first have to realize this "self" in us has it's own needs that deserve to be addressed. Denying those needs only aggravates the disfunction, it doesn't improve the situation. By first addressing those needs and satisfying them we become more able to assist others in the fulfillment of their needs. But our own needs of "self" must first be taken care of.

So it seems you're saying we've allowed the monkey of self loathing to enter our collective garden and wreak whatever havoc it can. In order to staighten things out we'll have to cage the monkey and get on with repairing the damage wrought and the weeds that have grown through neglect. A neglect brought on by our cultural focus on appealing to that damned monkey's nonexistent reasoning powers.

Do I understand you correctly?

Yggdrasil said...

Well, i think your basic idea is very right, and you could draw a parrallel to the german/danish history philosophy in th 1800 century. Herder, Schelling, Fickte and Grundtvig.

According to Herder, the first history philosopher, the different cultures have something in common. He calls the cultures "Folk" - and he mentioned folksong, folkhistory and folksoul (in danish folkesjæl) The idea was that you can find your own individual soul in connection to the culture you are a part of by studying the history.

Now this idea had very different results in Denmark and Germany - in Germany it lead to Second World war and was one of the inspirations behind nazism. You still have reminiscents of this in the carmaker volkswagen.

In Denmark however it lead to FolkeHøjkole, andelsbevægelse and the preservation of danish culture in the freeschool system. A peaceful movement.

It is the longterm effect of the ideological current of nationlism (the spook of Europe) you see right now. Germany is at this point a country that pains to have its identity back, and be allowed to read the Niebelungens Ring again.

So by preserving a positive understanding of the self, or in Herders terms the soul of the people - the society develops positively.

The conclusion to this development is, as i see it, to strengthen the cultural self - but not at the expense of other people. Find truth and positive elements in your own community, and be proud of it. Grundtvig had this saying: "Hvad udad tabes skal indad vindes" "What we loose from outside, we should win in the inside" (Denmark was at that time almost extinct).

Semantes said...

Commenting to let Phanny know I actually read this.

Profitsbeard said...

The "self" is the core of all human values.

Without it, there is only an ant colony.

"Selflessness" has been misunderstood in the multiculti world.

Because you cannot truly be "selfless" without first having a strong "self".

Paul said...

Phanarath:

I've enjoyed many of your comments at GoV and believe you are a thinker and seeker of foundational truth.

In your note you have mentioned 'the rejection of self'. I am reminded that Christ mentioned the two most important things: to love the Lord with all you being, and to love your neighbor *as yourself*.

God's communication to man in scripture tells us man is flawed. But there is hope for us, even though we are flawed. That hope is in Christ, in what he did on our behalf. We can accept ourselves, and love ourselves, even though we are messed-up because God puts tremendous value on us. He gave Jesus for us even though we are flawed and messed-up. Let us accept his assessment of us and his redemption on our behalf.

Then let us get on with our lives without having to be concerned about self-rejection. He doesn't reject us, he loves us deeply and values us highly. We have tremendous hope and resources in this.

Just some thoughts this morning. Have a good day in Denmark!

CBDenver said...

One of the saddest statements I ever heard:

"Any normal dane today knows more about american indian culture then he knows about danish culture"

Phanarath said...

I would like to say that; Having the this posted here by the Baron has been very exiting for me and it made me extremely nervous. If some of my comments here seem somewhat hysterical, its because I was. I have a huge amount of respect for this blog and the people who post and comment here.

Subvet.. Yes I think you understand me perfectly.

I believe that if we understood the importance and potential of the self, we would do many things differently.

A very simple example: Little children sometimes can be very reluctant to share their toys, they can become hysterical and cry while they grab their toys and scream: "mine mine mine". I have seen this enough times to realize that its normal behavior for children. Many times I have also seen grownup wrestle the toy away from the child, while telling them about how good it is to share and how they would also want others to share with them.

a 2 or 3 year old will not understand those explanations. Its was only starting to explore the concept of ownership, and it was taken from it by the adult.

We need a sense of ownership in order to take responsibility for our lives. Without that we will feel powerless and vulnerable. And yes, I think you are right about the alcoholism.

Its extremely important that we understand that the primitive selfishness of a child is the same as what can later become great understanding and caring for others and that its also the same force that can grow into communal spirits for good and bad. When we cripple one we cripple the other.

Yggdrasil
Thanks for the idea-historical backgrounds. I wouldn't be able to provide that myself, with my native American background and all *grin*. I remember in my childhood people used to talk alot about the Danish spirit and the national feeling. After the self was declared evil, those things are not so well liked anymore, being as they are manifestations of that evil thing. But the idea that a strong self was a good thing, was not esoteric to our grandfathers, and we need to get that back.

Profitsbeard
That summons up the whole thing very nicely

Poul
The religious angle to this was surprising for me when Pastorius first brought it up on his blog, but I was a very good surprise. In my own country it seems that religion has traded places with sex as topics of conversation, in the last hundred years or so. Today people might talk about their sex life in public and only talk about religious matters with extremely close friends and it used to be the other way around. This makes outsiders sometimes see us as nonreligious people. But I think we are still religious. Just as we where also sexual beings back when we didn't talk about that.

Its a good thing I am not a very shy person, so I can take it, when you and Pastorius bring up such an intimate thing :-)

And I agree very much. Christianity has been somewhat abused by the self loathers, to serve the needs of the envious and the vain. But it was never part of the original message and mostly trough history, it has served mankind well.

Thanks for your kind words in general. I remember a post you made about how we needed to use prayers against the Islamification. I agree with that. If we ignore the spiritual front, we will loose no matter what else we do. Some very good and intelligent people might consider this to be completely idiotic, but that's not really a problem as long as they do their parts on other fronts. Prayers alone might not do the trick.

CBDenver
I used a word that was a little to strong when I said culture. It would be more precise to say historic awareness.

But its still very sad.

Knute said...

Pharanath, you writes about the Self, it remids me of C G Jung och Erich Fromm: You have to be able to love yourself (your own culture) to be able to love others. Muslims have such a unpleasant culture and are full of self-hatred. Psykological explanations, a quagmire. But better than marxististic.