Managing Fear Induced by the Threshold Guardians of Public Speaking

Christopher Vogler wrote a wonderful book entitled “The Writer’s Journey” in which he explains the practical application of Joseph Campbell’s analysis of the Hero’s Journey (explored in his work “The Hero With a Thousand Faces”) on story writing. Essentially, the Hero’s Journey is an archetype for all stories. The hero (protagonist) leaves his familiar environment, confronts challenges and then returns as a stronger and more integrated person. This theme seems to undergird all stories that resonate with people. There are many parts to the Hero’s Journey including various plot points and archetypical characters. The one archetypical character that I would like to explore here is the “Threshold Guardian.”

The Threshold Guardian is important because it is emblematic of a force in life that we encounter all the time. Vogler states:

At each gateway to a new world there are powerful guardians at the threshold, placed to keep the unworthy from entering. They present a menacing face to the hero, but if properly understood, they can be overcome, bypassed, or even turned into allies. (1)

It seems often the case that these Threshold Guardians manifest themselves in life as fears. Or perhaps it would be better to say they manifest themselves as forces which give rise to fear. Because fear is a highly subjective experience, every person will experience Threshold Guardians unique to them.

I have been thinking about this subject as it relates to public speaking. There are three basic steps to public speaking as I see it. First, the speaker must research and write a speech on a particular topic. Second, the speaker must practice the performance of the speech and perfect it as much as possible. Third, the speaker must actually perform the speech in front of other people. Public speaking is a unique process because it requires the public speaker to confront his own fears on many levels. In my experience, there are Threshold Guardians exploiting these fears and guarding entry for each step in this process.

Threshold Guardians seem to manifest themselves in four basic forms. Many times, they are a combination of two or more of these manifestations. They are:

  • The Mocking Threshold Guardian will appear as a critical or shame inducing interior voice. This entity may tell the speaker that he is unworthy or not smart enough to do what he is attempting to do. It may convince him that what he is trying to do is a mistake or wrong or will result in embarrassment or the disapproval of others. It is important to note that this entity is very risk averse and will try to prevent the speaker from taking a risk. Often it is focused on the near term. Following the advice of a Mocking Threshold Guardian is usually a bad choice because people learn by making mistakes and if a speaker is too cautious and too risk averse then he never makes mistakes and thus never has the opportunity to learn from them. However, this entity is also tricky in that it may cloak its “advice” as well meaning or protective. The challenge for any public speaker when confronted with this entity is to determine what is actually good advice and what is merely an attempt to derail progress.
  • The Vicious Threshold Guardian will appear as an obsessive, self-destructive or addictive tendency. I often experience this entity when I sit down to work and then am overcome by the desire to think about something unrelated to my work that depresses me or makes me anxious (e.g., finances, other people who annoy me or otherwise occupy my attention). This entity can also manifest itself as a compulsion to engage in an activity that is addictive in nature. When a person gives into this entity and engages in the behavior suggested by it, it is often an attempt to escape or push away a fear. Following the instructions of this entity will often result in a feeling of shame or disgust and it is never successful in eliminating the fear. Often it has the opposite effect in the long term. For the way to eliminate a fear is to confront it willingly. The goal of this Threshold Guardian is to distract the public speaker from the task at hand.
  • The Sabotaging Threshold Guardian typically appears as something that goes wrong in the external world which then leads a person to become angry and fixated on that problem. In the world of public speaking this can often be a PowerPoint presentation not working or the room is too hot inducing sweaty palms etc. It is anything that is out of the speaker’s control that goes wrong and then creates a negative mood (anger, hopelessness, annoyance) that dominates the speaker’s reality to the exclusion of the task that he or she is trying to accomplish.
  • The Hungry Ghost Threshold Guardian will typically appear as another person who depletes the speaker of his or her energy. This entity comes off as overly needy or a victim requiring your attention or sympathy. Often, they will make a person feel as if he or she has been caught doing something they should not be doing. Hungry Ghosts may also make a person feel selfish or ashamed because they are not focusing their attention on them or giving them the approval they wish to receive. One telltale sign of a Hungry Ghost is that they are never satisfied. They may present themselves as needing one particular thing, but usually when they have that need “satisfied” there is another need that follows. Sometimes, the Hungry Ghost will possess you and making you act as a Hungry Ghost to other people.

If one wishes to master these Threshold Guardians, it is first important to become aware of them and recognize them when they appear. To this point, one characteristic common to all the Threshold Guardians is that they make a person feel worse about themselves when they let the Threshold Guardian control their reality. When you notice this happening (especially when you are trying to accomplish a task) you can assume that you have encountered a Threshold Guardian that must then be contended with. Vogler describes it thusly:

[Y]ou have probably encountered resistance when you try to make a positive change in your life. People around you, even those who love you, are often reluctant to see you change. They are used to your neuroses and have found ways to benefit from them. The idea of your changing may threaten them. If they resist you, it’s important to realize they are simply functioning as Threshold Guardians, testing you to see if you are really resolved to change. (2)

In the beginning, it will be sufficient to simply recognize the Threshold Guardians when they appear and then form the intention to not let them control your reality. You may even want to preemptively formulate the intention to not allow them into your reality by saying out loud or in your thoughts “I do not allow these Threshold Guardians to enter my reality.” But once you attune your awareness to their existence and gain some distance from them, the next step is to learn from them.

As stated earlier, every Threshold Guardian is unique to the speaker (or hero) experiencing it. This means when a Threshold Guardian mocks you, it is mocking you with language designed to have an impact upon you. When it introduces obsessive, self-destructive or addictive ideas into your mind, these are ideas that will be attractive to you based upon your own psychology and history. When it sabotages you, it will do so in a way that will trigger you uniquely. When Hungry Ghosts try to steal your energy, they will be people in your reality. When you act as an agent of a Hungry Ghost, you will do so to the people in your reality. For this reason, these entities have something to teach you about yourself. They would not be in your reality if they did not have some special connection with you and a unique lesson to teach you.

When you feel you have reached the stage where you separate yourself from these Threshold Guardians you can then begin to work with them. Tell them you are a sovereign being and do not allow them to control your reality. Tell yourself, that you are open to learn from them, discover their origin, why they exist and what you need to do in order to master them. When you dismiss them from your reality you may also want to compassionately wish them free from suffering. Because any malevolent force practices its malevolence because it is suffering and unaware on some level.

With practice you will find that you have gained distance from these Threshold Guardians. In a sense you will have transformed them from a foe into an ally and they will no longer block your path forward as they once did. As a public speaker, you will not allow their mocking to make you feel unworthy to speak before an audience. You will not be as susceptible to obsessive distractions when you are working on your speech. When problems arise in the execution of your speech, you will be more resilient and able to think on the fly in order to create a workaround. When Hungry Ghosts vie for your attention and make you feel guilty for not giving it to them you can begin to have compassion for their suffering and not take it personally.

Obviously, these Threshold Guardians present themselves in contexts outside of public speaking. And I have found these techniques to be effective in managing them throughout my daily life. Managing Threshold Guardians, in a very real sense, constitutes our own hero’s journey which when successfully navigated will allow you to return from your adventure to your familiar environment a stronger and more integrated version of yourself.

_________________________________________

Notes:

(1) Vogler Christopher, The Writer’s Journey, Studio City, CA, Michael Wiese Productions, 2007, pg. 49.

(2) Vogler, pg. 51.

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A Change of Heart

I have explored the topic of self love previously. Recently, I came to a deeper understanding of this concept while attending a retreat. It happened while I explored why I feel inhibited at times around other people.

This exploration seemed to be related to my mother who died two years ago. Since then, I puzzled as to why I do not really miss her. I asked God why this was so. The answer came to me very clearly. There was no connection between us. I assumed a connection existed but the more I examined it the more I knew that this assumption was false. Accordingly, when she died there was no connection to miss. In my heart, beneath my denial and “beliefs” I knew this was true.

This insight left me feeling a profound emptiness. I saw how because I had no motherly connection I had never learned to love myself. And so I looked for love from other people. I sought to look good in the eyes of others, to entertain them and be the life of the party. I see now how this was a clinging, covetous, jealous love that generated friends who were not good for me. It made me hurt those people in my life who were good for me. I sought girlfriends I did everything to get and then quickly felt trapped by them. I never knew what I actually wanted in life and made quick decisions that I later came to regret. None of this ever took me to a place I wanted to be. These experiences made me feel good in the short term but never in the long term.

I saw all this and saw how empty I was. So I asked God to fill my emptiness with his love. To my surprise, the very clear answer I received was, “Fill it yourself.” He was right. I had to love myself first before I sought love from an external source. Having never really loved myself in the past I was at a loss as to where to begin. This was a place where God could help me.

It was through intent that God created this universe in which we live in all its mystery and complexity. Intent comes from God. And so I intended to love myself. I made the conscious choice to do so. Then God miraculously transformed me, and my own love for myself welled within me. I felt it. I wore a yellow and black checkerboard cloak. “I love myself,” I said inside with a silly, bemused fascination. I felt love within me in a way I had not felt as far back as I can remember.

Then I felt a profound love and gratitude for God. I felt his presence deeply but I longed for him to reveal himself in some more obvious way. I held my hands in prayer looking at the ceiling. “I love you, I love you, I love you…,” I repeated over and over. “I am so grateful!” And tears of grief for all the hurt that led to this point streamed down my face. All the regret for the emptiness and missed opportunity I held in my life for so long became starkly revealed. But my tears were also tears of joy. I sobbed for what seemed like hours.

I saw how my lack of self love made me incapable of offering authentic love to anyone else because I needed their love to make me whole. It was a transaction. I was a hungry ghost. I saw how my lack of self-love inhibited all my aims because I felt I had no entitlement to achieve them. I saw how my lack of self-love drove me to addictive behavior to fill the emptiness. I saw how if I don’t love myself and need validation from others then I will be inhibited in my actions because I will fear failure and humiliation. For how can I be validated from another person if I am a humiliated failure? And I saw how my mother had no love for herself either and therefore could not give me authentic love. I asked her forgiveness for never having a connection and for my lack of compassion. I forgave her as well.

Over the course of that long night, the tears would leave for a time and then came back again and again. Finally, the tears subsided and I felt peace and the healing process at long last began.

To love authentically I must first love myself. When I love myself I don’t need the love of another to feel whole. When I love myself I am capable of freely giving love to another who can then reciprocate freely and authentically. And of course, that authentic love is what I do need. Loving myself is liberating because I am not reliant on others or external circumstances to feel whole. If I love myself and find joy in myself then I never have to feel like I must engage in addictive or self-destructive behavior to fit in. My  presence (in theory) will be a joy to others. If I love myself then I will not demand of others to be a certain way. I can teach and set an example and they may follow of their own accord. If they do then we will be in a superior harmony than if I compelled them against their will.

I said the healing began, but it is far from complete. I spent a life time not loving myself and it will take a while to build up an internal reservoir of self love to sustain me. It will also take time for me to learn the new patters associated with self love and to discard the old patters associated with its lack. Finally, it will take time for me to trust in the divine plan overseeing this transformation. Whatever it is and whatever it takes and whatever uncomfortable feelings I must endure to get to the other side of this I will do it. There are old internal forces of darkness within me who do not want me to change and will fight this process. But there is also an internal force of light that allowed me to love myself and that seeks my change of heart. That internal force is of course, the hidden one, the one who created the universe with his intent, the one I love and the one to whom I am eternally grateful.

 

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Taking on Responsibility

Jordan Peterson frequently makes the argument that life is made meaningful by taking on as much responsibility as possible. The idea of taking responsibility occurs frequently in “self-help” literature. Mark Manson, author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, for example, talks about taking responsibility as opposed to being “entitled” and expecting success to be given without earning it. Jack Canfield and Dave Andrews talk about committing to their program 100% (integral to taking on responsibility as I will explain) as a means of cutting off the internal, mental debate that would ensure if one committed anything less than 100% to the 30 Day Sobriety Solution.

Although the idea of taking responsibility is approached from different perspectives by each author there is a common theme present among them all. That is, the best way to live one’s life is by taking on the responsibility of living it. Put another way, the best way to live one’s life is to embrace the responsibilities that present themselves rather than avoiding them, treating them as a burden or blaming them for your own problems. Whether this means deriving meaning through responsibility, accepting the consequences of one’s actions without excuses, complaint or blame, or simply deciding to leave no wiggle room to escape when one makes a decision, the taking on of responsibility brings forth an authenticity to one’s life that would not otherwise be there. This authenticity, in turn, improves the quality of existence because it is aligned with Truth.

One might reasonably argue that the aforementioned authenticity comes from both taking control of one’s life by actively deciding to take on responsibility as well as from submitting to the higher power that bestowed the responsibility upon the self. In other words, authenticity is found by navigating that middle ground between ego and selflessness. The ego is needed for survival in this world. But selflessness or service to a purpose other than the self is where meaning can be found. Obviously, meaning in this world cannot be found if one is dead, so one must first survive. So in a sense, it is authentic (or real or truthful) to acknowledge both the need for the self to survive and the need to be selfless to provide meaning to the self’s existence at the same time.

Manson talks about the difference between fault and responsibility. He asserts that we are not at fault for the situations in which we find ourselves much of the time. But we are always responsible for how we act in response to those situations. This means that we frequently find ourselves in situations not of our own making that we are, nevertheless, responsible for. In The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, he provides the example of someone leaving a baby on another person’s doorstep. In this scenario, the person to whom the doorstep belongs is not at fault for the baby’s predicament, but once he becomes aware of the baby, he becomes responsible for acting to protect the baby or deliver it to someone else who can. In this situation he could theoretically avoid responsibility and pretend he has not seen the baby or in some other way ignore it. But (I assume few people would contest) that the right thing to do would be to take responsibility for the situation.

Notice, that pretending he has not seen the baby or ignoring the baby requires the doorstep owner to act inauthentically. He is pretending he has not seen the baby when he actually has seen it in order to avoid responsibility for it. Of course, one could argue that if the baby is not a member of the doorstep owner’s tribe (however he chooses to define it) he could authentically not take responsibility for the baby out of principle. That is, he is only responsible for those people he defines as inside his tribe. But this, in my eyes, would be denying the innocence and humanity of the baby who is neither at fault nor responsible for its situation and therefore, the doorstep owner’s denial would necessarily be another form of inauthenticity.

Now, it is not immediately obvious that the taking on of responsibility should be a proper aim in life. For example, many people often assume that happiness should be the proper orienting principle. But this would be a mistake from the position of those who hold that responsibility should be the orienting principle. Peterson argues that happiness is nice when it comes around but is not the proper goal because unbridled happiness is antithetical with survival in the material world. Manson argues that happiness is not enough because life is suffering and the only way for a person to grow and learn is by encountering problems and solving them. Happiness comes as a by product of solving problems but the problems, and solving of the problems, are integral parts of the process and should be accepted as such.

In the final analysis, the only way any individual can determine if taking on responsibility should be their proper aim in life and whether pursuing this aim will improve their life is to try it for themselves and to learn from it empirically. In a sense, taking on responsibility requires this empirical investigation because in a sense, taking on responsibility is itself an empirical investigation. That is, one who takes on a responsibility will necessarily learn from the experience. But again, the responsibility should be taken on willingly and not viewed as a burden or imposition. This is the connection with Jack Canfield and Dave Andrew’s concept of committing 100% to a process. Because any commitment that is less than 100% is not taking full responsibility for whatever is being undertaken. If a responsibility is not taken on with 100% commitment then it is not seriously being taken on. This, in turn, will open the door to the internal debate as to whether the responsibility should be taken on it the first place. Whereas, taking on a responsibility with 100% commitment eliminates this internal debate.

 

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Thordaddy’s Claim that his concept of “white (S)upremacy” accords with Christian Doctrine

This post is part of a series of posts designed to address the common topics brought by a frequent commentator to my blog named Thordaddy. Please see this post for an introduction to this series.

Thordaddy claims that Christianity is a “(S)upremacist” religion, therefore any white Christian must be a “white (S)upremacist”. There are two problems with this claim. First, (as always) Thordaddy’s unique terminology is vaguely and confusingly defined. Second, there is no scriptural basis for this assertion.

(a) The reoccurring problem with definitions

Thordaddy uses two definitions for white supremacy: (1) the mundane definition, and (2) the absolute definition. The mundane definition of white supremacy is the common definition that most people share. That is, “the belief, theory or doctrine that white people are superior to those of all other races, especially the black race, and therefore should dominate society.” By contrast, Thordaddy argues that he practices the “absolute” version of “white (S)upremacy” which he defines as a “white man who believes in and therefore strives towards perfection.” Thordaddy admits that these practices are not mutually exclusive. That is, a practitioner of absolute white (S)upremacy will often also be a practitioner of mundane white supremacy.

Now, Thordaddy often argues that the “dull masses” abhor the practice of absolute white (S)upremacy because they cannot see past the mundane version of white supremacy. This, I believe is incorrect. First, I do not think anyone would object to a white person striving for perfection unrelated to the mundane definition. I certainly cannot think of an example of this happening. Second, if the mundane and the absolute practices are often “intertwined” (as Thordaddy has said) then this is very likely the reason why the “dull masses” cannot see past the concept of mundane white supremacy. Moreover, Thordaddy is unwilling or unable to provide a clear definition regarding what he means by “striving towards perfection.” When asked for a definition or example the best he could offer was his “spreading his righteousness” to people he encounters. I assume this means him communicating his racist message in his unique communication style which again seems to only reflect the mundane definition.

In conclusion, if we are defining “supremacy” as trying to be the best you can be and a “white (S)upremacist” as someone trying to be the best they can be who also happens to be white, then I suppose Thordaddy could legitimately make the argument that Christianity is a “(S)upremacist religion”.  However, if the mundane definition is employed, then there can be no doubt that Christianity is not a supremacist religion because there is no scriptural support to support this contention. In fact, quite the opposite, as we will discuss in the next section.

(b) The lack of scriptural foundation

In the past, when confronted with the argument that his concept of “white (S)upremacy” accords with Christian doctrine has no scriptural basis, Thordaddy has never once countered with a scriptural passage supporting his position. This suggests to me that he is not at all familiar with scripture. Further, I suspect his lack of familiarity with scripture is on some level intentional, because if he was familiar with scripture, he would then have to explain the discrepancies between his arguments and the scripture. There are many obvious discrepancies. The following are a few of the most glaring examples.

(i) “Love thy Neighbor as Thyself”

In the past, Thordaddy has taken the novel position that the Second Greatest Commandment does not instruct a Christian to actually love his neighbor as a general proposition. Rather the commandment is to love his neighbor only to the extent that he loves himself. Accordingly, if a person does not love himself he is under no obligation to love his neighbor. He uses this as a license with the blessing of Christian dogma to hate his neighbor if he so chooses. I find this a novel interpretation of the commandment chiefly because, it has been my experience that (with the exception of Thordaddy alone) all Christians seem to agree that there is an underlying assumption embedded within the Second Greatest Commandment that a person would naturally love himself.

Moreover, Thordaddy’s interpretation of the Greatest Commandment is logically inconsistent with his unique interpretation of the second great commandment. His interpretation of the Greatest Commandment is to give all love to God such that there is no love remaining for the self and less still for the neighbor. In other words he sees love as a zero sum game in which there is a finite amount of love to go around and if all of a person’s love goes to God there is none left for anyone else. I would argue that the plain meaning of the Greatest Commandment speaks to the intensity of love and not to the percentage of love available. Furthermore, Thordaddy’s interpretation of the Greatest Commandment eliminates the need for the Second Greatest Commandment. That is, it would not make sense for Christ to specifically emphasize the Second Greatest Commandment in the gospels if the Greatest Commandment effectively rendered it moot.

His unique interpretation of the Second Greatest Commandment is made more peculiar still by the fact that he is obsessed with the concept of the (presumably sinful) act of self-annihilation which he seems to take delight in accusing other people of committing. I asked him point blank if he loved himself and he repeatedly dodged this question which surprised me. I would think a person who feels so strongly that the act of self annihilation is so morally wrong would naturally love himself. I assume, however, that he does not want to admit to loving himself because by his own logic he would then be compelled by the Second Greatest Commandment to also love his neighbor. In this light, his reluctance to admit to loving himself seems to prove that even he is dubious of his unique interpretation.

(ii)  “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”

From its inception, Christianity has been a racially ecumenical religion. This is expressly stated in the Gospel of Mark:

Afterward [Jesus] appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:14-15)

Here we see Jesus himself commanding his disciples to preach the good news of his resurrection to “every creature” in “all the world.” He, by no means instructed them to limit their teachings to their own kind, let alone exclusively white people,

(iii) “The fruit of the spirit”

Racism is also at odds with St. Paul’s conception of the “Fruit of the Spirit” he writes about in his letter to the Galations:

[T]he desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh…  Now the works of the flesh are evident: … enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, … and things like these. (Gal 5:19-21)

Racism, seems very much in accord with what St. Paul describes as the “desires of the flesh” particularly including “enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy”. By contrast, Saint Paul describes the fruit of the spirit:

[T]he fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… (Gal 5:22-23)

I must say that I do not see these qualities in any of Thordaddy’s comments. This is one of many reasons (beyond his incoherence and his illogical arguments) I hold his contempt and judgment of his fellow Christians suspect. Accordingly, if he intends to hold himself out as a righteous Christian, perhaps he should reconsider the spirit behind his message. And if the spirit behind his message cannot be reconciled with his message perhaps he should reconsider his message.

 

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Thordaddy’s Use of Private Jargon / Secret Language

This post is part of a series of posts designed to address the common topics brought by a frequent commentator to my blog named Thordaddy. Please see this post for an introduction to this series.

An Overview of Thordaddy’s Method of Communication

Thordaddy chooses to communicate in a purposefully obscure and at times annoying manner. I am not the only one to make this observation. He does this in various ways including:

(1) making up terms such as (a) radical autonomy and (b) self-annihilation and not adequately defining or providing examples of these terms as he uses them so that I can properly understand what he is attempting to communicate;

(2) creating new definitions for terms such as (a) supremacy and (b) perfection and then refusing to adequately define or provide examples that would fit within his created definitions;

(3) using punctuation in a non conventional manner such as “(P)erfection” and then not adequately explaining what this use of punctuation means, then expecting me to employ his convention without understanding what it implies;

(4) annoyingly substituting homonyms or near homonyms (often with racially hostile overtones) for regular words in an effort to appear clever or perhaps comical. An example might be instead of writing, “why to you think that?” he might write, “why do Jew think that?”

The problem with this form of communication that Thordaddy seems unwilling or not  able to grasp is that we cannot have a conversation about the ideas he is attempting to articulate unless we both share and understand a common definition.

Thordaddy’s Possible Motivations for Choosing to Communicate Obscurely

The overarching theme to Thordaddy’s communication style seems to be dishonesty. He could communicate clearly if he chose to do so. This would require the use of standard English syntax and definitions. If, for some reason, it was necessary for him to communicate using an invented, non standard syntax or definition, he would then have to clearly explain the reason for this non standard usage as well as explain the meaning he intends. He not only refuses to do any of this, but he then accuses his readers of being dishonest for pretending to not understand him or too stupid to understand him. I cannot help but assume this is psychological projection on his part.

All this begs the question, why would he want to communicate dishonestly? My experience (both personal and observational) tells me that dishonest communication of this sort (i.e., trolling) has its origin in toxic shame. A good resource on the subject of toxic shame is “Healing the Shame that Binds You” by John Bradshaw. Specifically, he writes:

There are two forms of shame: innate shame and toxic / life-destroying [self-annihilating?] shame. When shame is toxic, it is an excruciatingly internal experience of unexpected exposure… It divides us from ourselves and from others. When our feeling of shame becomes toxic shame, we disown ourselves. And this disowning demands a cover-up. Toxic shame parades in many garbs and get-ups. It loves darkness and secretiveness. (Bradshaw, p. 5)

Thordaddy’s obscure communication style is a form of secretiveness. His hostility towards anyone who challenges his form of communication seems to fit a personality that has something to hide. Theoretically, he chooses to hide his shame with a thick fog of obscure communication. But hiding behind this fog is a lonely place to be which is why he reaches out to other people on the internet. Hostile and annoying interaction is apparently better than no interaction at all.

With this in mind, it is entirely possible that Thordaddy does not want to actually want to have a conversation about his ideas. Rather, he wants to “get a rise” out of people reacting to his hostile and annoying behavior. This motivation defines the classic internet troll. It is also entirely possible that the terminology Thordaddy uses actually has no real meaning and therefore is incapable of being defined. If true, this would also fit the classic troll motivation.

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Thordaddy’s Twin Concepts of “Radical Autonomy” and “Self-Annihilation”

This post is part of a series of posts designed to address the common topics brought by a frequent commentator to my blog named Thordaddy. Please see this post for an introduction to this series.

I.  Radical Autonomy

Thordaddy has accused me of being “radically autonomous” but has consistently refused to define this term or has provided inconsistent and obscure definitions. His comments to this blog post articulates this pattern well.

In a comment Thordaddy provided the following definition for “radical autonomy”:

The consistent application of tolerance and nondiscrimination, ie., the continuous exercising of liberal ideology. Ergo, “radical autonomy” is an all-accepting indiscriminancy, ie., the surest path to self-annihilation.

He also articulated that “autism” is an example of “radical autonomy” because an autistic person “cannot know his parents.”

When asked how I fit these definitions and examples he responded:

You are radically autonomous because *you* claim that “Roman Catholic” teaching is in accord with anti-racist ideology. The reality of this contention is the exposure of your deracinated state of mind and self-annihilating tendencies. So Roman Catholic teaching isn’t of the fathers (read: racial), but rather, a matter of devoted osmosis (read: permeatingly ideological).

The standard definition for “radical autonomy” might be “extreme independence” but this begs the question as to what I am being extremely independent from. In these comments he seems to be saying that a person who is “radically autonomous” has achieved extreme independence from his race. To wit, a person who tolerates other races and tries not to discriminate on the basis of race is distancing himself from his own race / ancestors and therefor does not know his parents in the sense that his parents’ racial identity is the most important part of their identity. I suppose the connection with autism here is that in extreme cases an autistic child cannot emotionally connect with his primary care givers and therefor does not know them. I am not sure this is a good example, however, because some autistic children certainly can know their parents.

In summary, if Thordaddy does define “radical autonomy” as “extremely independent of one’s racial identity” I wonder what he hoped to achieve by resisting, defining this term all this time. Secondly, I suppose my response to his accusation would be, “so what?”

II.  Self-Annihilation

Thordaddy has also consistently accused me of being a “self-annihilator” without providing an adequate definition for what he means by this term. Presumably, there is a racial component to this term. That is, because I practice “anti-racism” (his term) that I am somehow annihilating myself through the annihilation of my race. As far as I can tell, however, I still exist, my race still exists and I have procreated two members of my race. As such, I really have no idea what he means by this accusation.

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Thordaddy’s Concept of White Supremacy

This post is part of a series of posts designed to address the common topics brought by a frequent commentator to my blog named Thordaddy. Please see this post for an introduction to this series.

(1) The Ambiguous Definition

Thordaddy has defined what he refers to as “white (S)upremacy” in the following manner:

White men who believe in and therefore strive towards objective (S)upremacy are white (S)upremacists. … [T]he definition of objective (S)upremacy is (P)erfection. What is (P)erfection? HE WHO WILLS ALL (R)IGHT.

This definition, however, does little to clarify what Thordaddy has in mind when using these terms. Declaring “objective (S)upremacy” means “(P)erfection” means “HE WHO WILLS ALL RIGHT” does not give me an understanding of what these terms mean or what a person would do to strive towards “objective (P)erfection”. I assume the “HE” Thordaddy refers to is Jesus or perhaps God the father. But if one were to imitate Jesus, it seems very unlikely that they would act as Thordaddy does particularly his hostility towards other races. Ultimately, a person trying to understand what he is attempting to articulate is left confused which he then claims is evidence of “radical autonomy” and “self-annihilation”.

(2) Thordaddy’s claim “white (S)upremacy” is distinct from “white supremacy”

On a general level, it seems to me that the “definition” above is an attempt by Thordaddy to distance his concept of “white (S)upremacy” from the commonly understood concept of white supremacy, which by its plain meaning promotes the idea that white people should be supreme over (and thus hostile to) other “nonwhite” races. Thordaddy, however, denies this by saying:

This is exactly what I AM NOT TRYING TO DO. The “commonly understood concept” of “white (s)upremacy” is the liberated concept whereas my articulation represents the absolute concept. … [T]he liberated concept has perversely illegitimated the absolute concept in the minds of the degenerately dull mass. And those who participate in this deception are almost certainly hell bound without repentance.

As we have established supra, the “absolute concept” of “white (S)upremacy” is white men who strive towards perfection. Although Thordaddy has consistently resisted defining what he means by perfection, or what one would do to achieve perfection, we can assume that he means something along the lines of “white men trying to be the best they can be morally and in other dimensions.”

This begs the question as to how “absolute white (S)upremacy” has been “perversely illegitimated” by the commonly understood form of white supremacy? For example, I don’t think anyone equates the 2019 white supremacist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand with other white men trying to act morally in other contexts. The two have nothing to do with each other as far as I can tell. But Thordaddy seems to believe the two are connected and that liberals have somehow conspired to make them connected.

(3) Thordaddy’s claim “white (S)upremacy” has nothing to do with other races.

Thordaddy has at times argued that “white (S)upremacy” has nothing to do with other races and that “striving towards objective (P)erfection” is something akin to white people trying to be the best they can be on their own, and not related or in comparison to other races. He becomes very dodgy when asked what “perfection” means in this context nor does he seem to be able to provide concrete examples of what a white man would do whilst in the act of striving towards perfection. For example, he stated the following in the comment section to this blog post:

If I offer every individual who crosses my path my righteousness then I have expressed a desire for (P)erfection. It need not be anymore complicated than this.

If a group of white men share this desire, the horde of orcs call it “white (s)upremacy” (or racist a [sic] Christianity).

In the quoted passage above we see Thordaddy give an example of his “striving towards perfection” as him “offer[ing his] righteousness”. I assume the literally hundreds of comments he has posted on my blog is an example of him “offering” me “his righteousness”. If that is the case, then I am unclear as to what is “perfect” about this. On the contrary, it seems obsessive and maladapted. Moreover, if he really wanted to offer his “righteousness” perfectly, I would think he would be able to communicate it in a manner that could be understood.

Further, I am unsure why he believes his acts of “offering his righteousness” to be unrelated to other races when his “righteousness” is replete with racial epitaphs. His own logic seems to betray him on this point as well as is evidenced in the following quote:

So when I say that my offering of righteousness to whomever crosses my path has nothing to do with other races, this is no different than saying that my offering of righteousness is not contingent upon the existence of other races.

I think what he is saying here is that when he offers his righteousness (i.e., insults other races, or labels those who question this behavior “radically autonomous” or a “self-annihilator”) it has nothing to do with other races because he, himself is white. He seems to believe his “white (S)upremacy” and his hostility to other races are unrelated and coincidental. But I think any reasonable person would find this argument dubious at best. The dubiousness of this argument is further reinforced by the following comment he posted:

I need only point to the single instance of the entire socio-political “spectrum” being against [a] white man desiring “supremacy.” IOW, the dulled, mass desire for “equality” JUST IS animus for white men desiring (P)erfection. [The] “Equality” dogma JUST IS the reaction to white man’s desire for objective (S)upremacy.

Why is desire for (P)erfection racial?

Because desire for “equality” is anti-racial.

Here we see Thordaddy explicitly contradict his own claim that his concept of “white (S)upremacy” is unrelated to other races. He says quite clearly that the “desire for (P)erfection” (i.e., his concept of “white (S)upremacy”) is racial. And that “equality” (i.e., the opposite of a “desire for (P)erfection”) is “anti-racial”. One marvels at the mental gymnastics he must put himself through to make sense of all this.

Ultimately, it is obvious that Thordaddy is racist according to the common understanding of this term but is unwilling to fully own his racism as is evidenced by his attempts to philosophically or “intellectually” justify it. Moreover, the fact that he is incapable of clearly defining what he means by “striving towards (P)erfection” or what one can do to accomplish this state (besides trolling my blog with hundreds of comments) is also telling.

(4) Thordaddy’s Queer Assertion – “Your Race is Your Father”

Thordaddy often makes the claim that a person’s race is his father and that a line of fathers extends back to God the Father. The implication to this assertion is that a white person’s line of fathers is different from a non-white person’s line of fathers. Therefore, because the lines of fathers are different between races, there is no requirement to love a person of a different race. In fact, to love a person of another race is an act of self-annihilation according to Thordaddy. Of course one glaring problem with this theory is that “race” is not so easily defined and certainly blurs around the edges when examined closely. Moreover, a recent study has shown that every living person on Earth today shares a common male ancestor. Accordingly, every living person shares the same, ultimate line of fathers.

What also makes this claim strange is that Thordaddy apparently does not believe women to be a part of a person’s race. He asserts this even though women are required to procreate just as much as men are. This is yet another example of Thordaddy taking an obvious concept, claiming the opposite is true and then justifying it with a line of complicated mumbo jumbo.

 

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