Saturday, May 31, 2008

Elaborate Falsehood

You need rudimentary intelligence to understand a simple truth and average intelligence to deny it, but superior intelligence to replace it with an elaborate falsehood.
--Gagdad Bob

I know (or, at least, know of) a guy who's absolutely brilliant and stunningly erudite. What's more, he has a one-of-a-kind blog that features some of the best writing I've ever read. And I'm blown away by the fact that he sits down every morning and composes dazzling entries about spirituality, theology, philosophy, politics, psychoanalysis, and popular culture with virtually no planning. It just flows out of him onto his keyboard and into the blogosphere like a Mozart symphony. You may think I'm engaging in hyperbole, but I mean what I say. I'm tremendously impressed by this man's intellect and writing art.

There's only one problem. A lot of what he writes strikes me as the "elaborate falsehood" of a man so smart that his cleverness overwhelms his good sense, and he really believes the systematic nonsense he posts. I guess I'm just not smart enough (or dumb enough) to get taken in by it. But I continue to enjoy it much as one might revel in a great, brilliantly told fairy-tale.


Scatter said...

There is nothing "brilliant" or "dazzling" in Gagdad Bob's erudite lies. He puts his so-called intelligence to satanic ends, which poisons his mind at the very root. To touch his beastly blog is to touch pitch. I would stay away, and stick with authentic spiritual geniuses like Tony Robbins, Ken Wilber, and Barack Obama.

shirley said...

You forgot to mention Jeremiah Wright in your list of Biblical scholarly geniuses.

ned said...

I think your assessment of Gagdad is spot on.

And the thing is, as an Aurobindoan, I find that on the mental plane he says a lot of things that make sense from time to time, but it's absurdly easy to write/speak about Truth, and incredibly difficult to *live* it.

Especially on subjects like gender he spins wild stories using spiritual symbolism that are very unsubstantiated and often completely contradictory to the ideas of many spiritual giants.

And no, he doesn't understand Sri Aurobindo. He just uses parts of Sri Aurobindo's philosophy that suit him and his political agenda but he is a dilettante when it comes to the integral yoga, as any scholar of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother would tell you. I've especially been dismayed by the way he has blatantly abused Sri Aurobindo's ideas about spiritual warfare to justify the war on Iraq. I hope people bother to read Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in the original and realize that they aren't quite saying what people like Gagdad or Ken Wilber or whoever say they are.