The Essence of Magical Thinking…

…is the demonic belief that reality can be created by the lying word of man in exactly the same way that it is created by the creative Logos of God. It is an an attempt at will worship.

You can see it first in the story of Simon Magus, who tries to buy the power of the sacraments from Peter with money and who then tries to will away the consequences of his action, not by repentance, but by simply demanding those consequences go away. It is the template for all magical thinking.

We see it in epic highlight as Stalin has meteorologists who engage in “counter-revolutionary weather forecasts” that don’t agree with his Five Year Plans shot. We see it in Hitler, moving phantom armies around on maps of the area around Berlin as the Red Army closes in. We saw it in Saddam Hussein, cut off from reality and surrounded by sycophants only telling him what he wanted to hear. And we see it in the entire MAGA cult, deeply committed to lies, lies, lies as they blame everybody but themselves for the January 6 Insurrection and kill themselves and those around them to the tune of over a million Americans in the COVID Pandemic. We see it as QANON cultists evolve more and ever more complex lies for themselves as they try to will into reality nonsense about JFK, Jr. returning to Dealey Plaza to “reinstate” Trump as President.

And we see it in spectacles like this:

The amazing thing about the Cult is its unshakeable belief that a man who keeps running rings around them is senile. They are so deep inside their own epistemological bubble of lies that it is literally unthinkable to them to consider the possibility that they are a) wrong, b) liars, and/or c) idiots. Sin makes you stupid and pride is the greatest sin.

This is why the Cult endlessly whipsaws between denouncing those it hates as utter fools and whining that they are diabolical geniuses whose cunning forever makes victims of them. The Cult are forever congratulating themselves on their inevitable march to victory over the fools they hate while also forever complaining that they are persecuted and cannot catch a break. What they are chronically unable to do is simply address reality. Because they have embraced the conviction that only the Lie can save them.

This is why they think nothing of tossing off sheer nonsense like this on my social media (in response to my posting of quotes from Church Fathers who show that Catholic Social Teaching is not and never will be compatible with Libertarian or MAGA dogmas):

“Mark Shea is a Liberal Modernist who endorses Marxist positions.”

The trouble with living by the lie is that it cuts you off from reality because you come to believe your lies. A really effective lie always includes an element of the truth and a really effective and stinging accusation hurts for the same reason. When you reach the point that your accusations simply bear no relation to reality, they lose their sting. So with the accusation above.

What I always find amazing about the all-consuming pride of the Greatest Catholics of All Time is that when you point out to them that they just said something either spectacularly ignorant or wilfully lied and are, either way, bearing false witness against their neighbor in direct violation of the eighth commandment, they never say, “Yikes! I’m sorry!” and apologize, just as the MAGA cult is no longer capable of asking themselves why the man they think a senile fool keeps making fools of them. They just double down and tell you that they know what you think better than you do.

Here’s reality: I am an ordinary orthodox Catholic who believes every word of the Creed. That’s it. That’s all. If you want to know what I think, you can just ask me. Telling me what I think is dumb. Getting it wrong and doubling down on the lie is even dumber–and a sin.

Sin makes you stupid and pride is the stupidest sin of them all.


4 Responses

  1. I don’t watch TV, but but saw Fox News one morning in a surgical waiting room, when Trump was headed to the Vatican. And one of their talking heads said that the Pope wasn’t positive enough about Capitalism, and maybe was some sort of Marxist….

    Same sort of idiocy — but hey, you’re in good company.

  2. The thing to understand about the MAGA crowd is that they do no simply believe a lie, or a set of lies, or even a full narrative of lies.

    They have retreated into an imaginary holodeck universe entirely of their own making. External objective reality simply does not exist for them. They believe reality itself is simply an emanation of their personal wills. Human driven climate change does not exist for them. Not because they have carried skepticism beyond their ability to reason from facts. It does not exist because they have not personally given the universe permission for the phenomenon to exist. It therefore cannot possibly exist.

    Anything that manifests in the real world that happens without their leave and approval simply did not happen as far as they’re concerned. It’s fake news. The warming that is triggering excessive heatwaves that have effectively turned the entire southwest into Death Valley isn’t happening. The Canadian wildfires that left our cities in the Midwest with Victorian London levels of smog for weeks aren’t happening. The million plus Covid deaths didn’t happen. Nor did any of the deaths from our innumerable mass shootings in schools. They’re not just denying these things because a conscious lie about them serves their agenda. They have come to truly believe that they, and they alone, control the fabric of space and time and all physical manifestations of reality by thought alone.

    That’s not simply being led astray by sin. It’s much more like a self-induced psychotic break.

    1. Such people, having abandoned the very possibility of having wisdom for their teacher can only learn, if at all, from excruciating self-inflicted pain.

      1. Your “if at all” is horrible in its necessity. Witness how many people literally died rather than admit they were wrong about COVID and its associated vaccines.

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