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The long goodbye

Reader comment on item: Conservatism's Hidden History
in response to reader comment: "Unseen", but very tangible

Submitted by Martin J. Malliet (Belgium), Sep 7, 2018 at 17:46

I had said goodbye and didn't want to take more space in this discussion. But I must thank you for your answer, which isn't bad, at all, even if a bit long. I cannot refrain from pointing out to you that it contradicts somewhat the things you said before, about reason, and about experience. Because what your answer shows is how the spirit works through reason from experience!

"As in David's case, everything I have received of God, I have heard twice: the first time was when I read or heard it from the Bible; and the second time was, after applying it, in seeing it work in my life."

In one word: you're much more of a Voegelinian (or Platonist, or transcendentalist - of the kind Poe did not dislike) than you care to acknowledge. Therefore one last link to explain what I mean.

https://voegelinview.com/testing-the-truth-of-the-in-between/

PS: For other readers who are interested in Eric Voegelin: start with his 1964 lectures on 'Hitler and the Germans'. In my opinion, it's still the best explanation ever written on the subject. His sarcasm is pronounced when he discusses the grotesqueness of the whole thing, and it will make you laugh. Just one quote: "The first concept is the concept of the unmastered past, about which, as you well know, there has been an extraordinary amount of discussion. When we hear the expression "the unmastered past," a series of questions immediately crops up: What does that really mean, in the first place? For whom is this past unmastered, assuming that we know at all what "mastering" means: for all, or for only a few people? Because it indeed was mastered by very many while it was still the present, since by no means did all the people who experienced the period of National Socialism cheerfully cooperate with it. Some were against it instinctively, because of tradition, etc. But some also knew precisely what was going on. That is to say, what is today the unmastered past, for people at the level of a Schramm or an Augstein, was a completely masterable present for the people who lived at that time. I mastered Hitler even before he came to power, and many others did too. So for whom is that an unmastered past? And if it is not mastered, what does that really mean—that it is not mastered as past? Again one can ask, Why should it be mastered? For it has indeed passed. And consequently if there is somehow the feeling that there is still something to master in the past, then we are coming to what I have continually pointed toward in all these examples, that we live in an unmastered present. Here is the first thesis for our analysis of the problem of the unmastered past: It really is an unmastered present."

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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