Thursday, April 11, 2013

Clustered-Up

One of the things that I learned from reading the entire collected works of C. G. Jung was his idea of constellations or clusters of ideas or attitudes in the psyche.

I'm thinking about that because of the internet battle now raging between Rad-Trads and sane bloggers, in which it is becoming obvious that anti-semitism, or at least excusing anti-semitism, is endemic to the Rad-Trad mentality.

Let me again issue the caveat that I'm not talking about all Traditionalists, but I am talking about the vast majority of radical traditionalists, or "Rad-Trads" - meaning not merely lovers of the Latin Mass and chant and the beauty of solemn worship (I'm in that number; I'm a "Traditionalist"), but the extremists within that group, those who are perpetually angry and bitter at the state of the Church since Vatican II - those who claim that Vatican II was not authoritative or who are sedevacantists or who are SSPX-ers, etc.

This group of folk tend to have constellations or clusters of ideas or behaviors, such as

  • A Puritanical dislike of anything fun or casual
  • An OCD-type attitude toward life
  • A predilection for conspiracy theories
  • An attraction to hell, judgment and punishment above mercy and forgiveness in Scripture
  • Anti-semitism

Now what does this say about their intellectual arguments?  By pointing out the personality type of the Rad-Trad am I making an ad hominem, an attack against their persons so as to avoid confronting the points they're making?  This is exactly what I accuse them of doing to Dawn Eden and the like when they discount her argument by attacking her personally as "uncharitable".  

Well, the fact is that sometimes an intellectual argument cannot be explained except as part of a personality type.  Yes, the intellectual argument must still be addressed, but if the argument is asserted irrationally or compulsively, understanding constellations that adhere to personality types can be very helpful.

For example, when your wife says, "You never listen to me", she is making both an intellectual argument, the validity of which must be addressed, as well as displaying one of the clusters of behavior that come with wives, which I have not the courage to enumerate here.  Do I never listen to my wife Karen?  Well, I don't listen as well as I should, but I also know that sometimes Karen is a bit over-sensitive and that this fits in with a larger pattern of behavior - a constellation or cluster - inherent in women.

But I do have the courage to enumerate the Husband Cluster ... 
  • Inattention to details that interest the wife
  • A desire to approach issues directly
  • Impatience with feelings and the sharing of feelings
  • Contentment with routine

... and so forth.  

We also know the effeminate promiscuous Gay Male Cluster ...
  • Affectation
  • Inordinate interest in Judy Garland, Joan Rivers, Barbara Streisand or Lady Gaga
  • A love of gossip and "cattiness"
  • Over-sensitivity
  • Lack of team spirit to the point of being subversive
... and so forth.

Does this mean every gay male is a gossip, every husband direct and impatient, every Rad-Trad a Jew-hater?  Of course not!

But these are more than "stereotypes".  They are recognition of traits in the aggregate that come with people in various roles or attitudes.  They are recognition of constellations or clusters that really do adhere.

Recognizing these things is part of Wisdom, if only worldly wisdom; for it is recognition of actual distinctions and traits that do indeed exist.

Take, for instance, The Actor Cluster.  Actors tend to be ...
  • Moody
  • Emotionally volatile
  • Childish
  • Narcissistic 
  • Fun at parties
  • Often homosexual
  • Not very intelligent
That last one is really quite true.  Thus, you are free to doubt what I'm saying due to the constellation that comes with me as an actor.  But you are not free to discount what I'm saying, for the validity of my argument  goes beyond my personal limitations - including my occasional and stunning lack of intelligence.

***

But let me get serious and go back to the issue at hand.  Dawn Eden's implied point was that a Holocaust denier not be trusted in reporting any alleged facts - that if a man is so driven by hatred as to overlook reality, said man is not trustworthy when it comes to much of anything concerning his view of the real world.  And that observation, like recognizing a constellation or a cluster, is a valid conclusion drawn from data.

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