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‘The Omnicompassant State’
Impressions of The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis: 11/18/21
© 2022 James LaFond
For the past 20 hours I have lain in bed listening to a three-part lecture by a man who I have come to regard as the preeminent thinker of the Modern World, for in 1944, he predicted every aspect of our current social order.
The First Chapter is titled Men Without Chests
I have covered some of his thoughts in my old book review, “Against the Green Book” and is troubled that two “modest practicing school masters” whose publisher had sent him their book on English grammar, which was mostly a display of postmodern secular philosophy that taught nothing of grammar. Lewis is not of the opinion that these men and another author he cites, are up to no good, but that they are unconsciously engaged in a then wide-ranging practice of education of the young student not “as birds teaching birds to fly” but “as a poultry keeper” manages the life of the birds under his care.
The misuse of teaching English as a platform for implanting self-negating and humanity-erasing assumptions, not even rising to the level of theory, that will result in the student who had thought he was learning English rather than social negation, and hence ten years later in life, the boy become a man would practice internal self-deformation of mind.
A key passage is a discussion on the sublime as a state induced by an object [such as a waterfall] and so regarded by reflective men for eternity, but regarded by these educators of Modernity as a mere internal emotion projected upon the fall. [0]
Lewis describes how English has not been taught in this book and how the school boy is being robbed of something he was not even aware of. He then considers that the two objects of his general disdain, “the trowsered ape” and the “urban blockhead” are exactly the type of subhuman modern citizen that these two teachers are perhaps, unwittingly cultivating.
Lewis discusses that his experience as a teacher has taught him that “a hard heart is no infallible protection for a soft head” and that rather than most students being in need of having inaccurate impressions debunked that for every one such, three needed to “be awakened from the slumber of cold vulgarity.”
Lewis reaches back in an interdisciplinary fashion to the ancient metaphysics of Christian, Aristotlean, Platonic, Pagan, Hebrew, Hindu and Daoist China, and settles on The Dao as the generic expression of cosmic reality, “the reality beyond all predicates, the abyss that was before the Creator himself,” the literal path “into space and time.”
His means is to establish objective value, that the happiness of young children and the venerable representatives of old age, have an intrinsic value. He states that he does not “enjoy the society of young children.” In so doing he declares that this is a fault of his, that since he lives “within The Dao,” [Greater Reality] he recognizes the value of young children and that his inability to appreciate their company as a defect of his own character. His take here is very similar to Aristotle, in On Poetry and the dictum of Glaukon, damning critics as people who merely argue in support of their own misconceptions.
The old form of education was initiation and the new form of education is conditioning, taking western education of the 1700s and changing it by the 1900s from a “propagation” to “propaganda.” His focus is on the “middle element” or the heart, or the chest, that thing in our center that regulates our minds and appetites, without witch either dissolve into dream or devolve into a thing of rampant hunger.
“We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate men and wonder that they are not fruitful,” closes Lewis a she reflects upon the gathering death of human values.
Chapter 2 The Way
Lewis identifies the mindset of the authors of The Green Book as a common conceit held by “moderately educated young men between the two wars,” an expression of hedonism and decadence justified.
The key exercise here is why a man should die for the greater good of his society. The practice of debunking, which is now currently expressed as fact-checking, negating, attacking the messenger, blaming the victim, name-calling such as “racism” with such terms having been invented in Lewis’ life time, is the shroud under which this is discussed.
Lewis follows the reasoning expressed in modern debunking to show that such a world view leads the rationalizing debunker who claims to value the greater good of society to a belief “in infinitely regressive instincts.”
“I am rather prone to think of remote futurity,” states Lewis as he cites the fact that even he, a science-fiction writer, does not favor his remote and unborn descendants for his actual children and grandchildren as is suggested by the “tearing of a child from the breast” to put them in kindergarten for the good of “Progress and the race.” As a high level educator he was keenly aware of the inhumanity of pubic schooling.
That an “ought” should not be dismissed for lack of producing an “is” frames his initial summation in favor of human tradition as true and the recent innovation of Modernity dedicated to negating such traditions as false.
He points out that with the duty for descendants and children in traditional culture is a commitment to ancestors and that rejection of the past is the radical pitfall of Modernity, with its arbitrary and fragmentary ideologies borrowed from tradition in bits and “swollen to madness in their isolation”. The world of ideologies rebelling against tradition is the revolt of branches against the tree, which is certain suicide.
The final of the three chapters is The Abolition of Man
“When he got me home to his house he would sell me for a slave,” quotes Lewis from some classic fiction as he embarks on a discussion of man’s quest to dominate nature. He begins with the airplane, radio and contraception, pointing out that all of these technologies, rather than placing man over nature, “places some men over other men with nature as its instrument.”
A world state he declares will result in the power of majorities over minorities in principal, and “in the concrete” of a tiny group of rulers over the ruled, which has already occurred before the official declaration of its advent. He ingeniously charts the life of a race and how technology will inevitably cause the continual reduction of each generation by its predecessors and how the last men will be most under the power of “the dead hand of the great planners and conditioners” of the past.
“Human nature will be the last part of nature to surrender to man...the power of some men to make other men what they please.”
The scientist has the same origin as the magician and is fated to fall into the magician’s bargain. Lewis holds a keen understanding of the fiendish framers of Modernity, who included Bacon and Locke.
His metaphor of nature surrendering to man is beautiful, “What looked to us like hands held up in surrender, was arms awaiting to enfold us forever...”
“...till the moon falls and the sun grows cold,” finishes Lewis’ vision of how Nature has lured us with her conquest so that we might conquer ourselves.
“Little scientists and other unscientific followers of science,” is but one line in which Lewis seems to have envisioned the postmodern media-medical hysteria hat now rules us.
“Rule” of the “dehumanized” conditioners” over “human material,” reduced to artifice is disturbingly reflected in the phrase for a promising student of the 20th century, “potential officer material.” That term once though old reminds this reader as well of the induction of the mechanistic cults of corporate “human resources” that currently rule the day-to-day lives of employed people.
Lewis has read and understands the early modern and medieval source texts, as well as the ancient, and declined to cartoon these. He has a rational view of such transhuman thinkers as Plato, Locke and Bacon. The latter, the arch fiend and “chief trumpeter” of modernity rejected the pursuit of truth uncoupled from the pursuit of power. Lewis returns to the fable of the Irishman and his two stoves [1] and places the key weakness of the modern mind as its addiction to the worship of “perpetual linear progressions” and the abandonment of the view of cycles. He credits the good sense of mothers, nurses and children with maintaining what sanity remains to the human race by resisting these various social engineers.
Lewis makes it clear, that “the pubic enemy of the moment” being the German National Socialists were fundamentally no different in ultimate social direction than comparatively slavish communists and mild-mannered liberal capitalists, who all, through their hostility to tradition and their will to triumph through science over nature, will result in a future world of “a few hundreds” of [social] “conditioners” ruling over “billions” of conditioned humans. He further notes that the survival and hunger instincts of the few conditioners will drive them to both despise their degraded subjects and also regard them with jealousy, just as eunuchs envy men.
Here he even obliquely predicts the current mania for surgical sexual mutilation, a very obviously top-down initiative.
He finishes in genius with, “to see through all things is not to see.”
Lewis sees the “conditioners” and “motivators” the rulers of the future as post-human, as not men at all in the traditional sense. One suspects that Tolkien was getting at the same predictive future with his villains the “undead” [post-human] Nazgul and their Dark Lord in his Tower. These beings will stand outside of any field of traditional value and therefore operate on animal instinct as such men have invariably done in the past.
-0. This reader, not Lewis, defines this as a postmodern urge to godhood on behalf of our “conditioner” as he describes social engineers.
-1. This Irish idiot noted that his new stove saved him half his fuel expenditure, so he bought a second stove assured that he would require no fuel at all.
-2. Potential servants and guardians of humanity who set themselves up as motivators, will be alone unmotivated by design and be motivated by nature, since they are exterior to the clinical social design. “They know fare well how to produce a dozen conceptions of good with in us.”
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Terres Rouges     Feb 20, 2022

My radar beeps, we've got an initiate. Tripartite man, i.e. mind-, heart- and appetite-man, also known as spirit, soul and body, or intellect, feeling and will, is fundamental to any mystery school. Esoteric Christianity especially insists the first step on the path is to develop the soul/feelings. (This explains the success of early christians, who did not impress by their intellectual output: it was their superior souls that set them apart).

There's also the recognition that the common man's morals are fashioned by a small group of people who have transcended those very morals. The pharaoh's head being pictured with a small flame on top of it was a sign that the title of god-king was very literal. Hence my confusion at modern kings trying to attain godhood through technological gadgets. Haven't they known how for thousands of years now?
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