Here is part of my friend reggedieh’s response to my response to him
My first thought is- it doesn’t matter what Strauss thinks. Relatively speaking anyway. He was only a scholar, and he himself called himself that. To restate the matter using an obvious example- he wasn’t Heidegger. His “authority” is nothing compared to the ones he was a scholar OF, and this is often forgotten in the Straussian literature. Just because Strauss was one of the best minds America produced, that isn’t a compliment! The continent that Strauss fled from produced lots of minds that Americans know next to nothing about.
Just for context- these days I feel this sort of “distance” from even Nietzsche. Maybe it’s just me, after meditating on certain thinkers enough you cease to see them as an impeccable authority.
Put a different way- I’m not a Nietzschean, I AM Nietzsche. Further, I am not even Nietzsche because he’s so thoroughly incorporated into me that it’s more reliable to consult my own intuition than one of his texts. Knowing you, you might be this way with Blake.
Still, speaking of it this way might relativize things too much. There’s a definite decline from Nietzsche to Strauss.
To answer one of your questions more directly though- I take this to be an “occult” understanding of Strauss. He was a humble man, he knew this. That’s why he was a scholar, because he knew in his marrow the magnitude of the thinkers he discussed.
Sure, we can be that way with Strauss too. It’s undeniable that he’s an enigma. I AM humble regarding him, it’s just an I kind of got the point and time to move on kind of thing.
I want to show you something kind of crazy in this context
The reason I hate the Sabbatean modern world is because I understand it so well! The “revelations” of Sabbatai are just really old news to me. Time to move on, thank you, Sabbatai.
This ties in pretty seamlessly with another one of your questions. I’m glad you articulate that you sense that Strauss “discovers” atheistic rationalism written between the lines of the great minds of history. Scholarship usually isn’t so blunt about that “sense”. I get it too.
Strauss and Nietzsche are similar in that they’re not from OUR time. They can’t speak directly to us for that reason. In THEIR time it was something befitting of a philosopher to go against the grain and promote atheism.
That’s one of the main things I lament about Nietzsche actually- he was born so close to the “Gospel of Darwin” that he could never escape atheism.
And Strauss isn’t too far away from that really. Nor is Heidegger! And that’s why Corbin is important. Please tell me your thoughts about Shia Islam.
Anyway, in other words, Strauss insinuated atheism because that’s what his time called for. Christian Fundamentalists might as well be Satanists in how surface-level they are about things. And I think these are the ones Strauss was speaking to. And on the political plane, he was putting liberal democracy into question, which is the secular version of Christian Fundamentalism.
Another “occult” factor I can think of with Strauss- Plato. That’s not atheism, it’s quite the opposite. Let’s bring up my personal favorite student of Strauss
It’s not “atheism” to be rationalistic in the Platonic sense- that’s arguably a higher type of theism.
Let’s zoom out now- Strauss certainly does not speak like Plato. Heidegger gets closer to speaking like Plato.
The megalomaniacal mustached freak known as Friedrich tries to BE Plato.
Differences to keep in mind.
We’re speaking here of realms of reality virtually all of humanity doesn’t have the attention-span for. It’s icy places consciousness can ascend to. I don’t claim to be able to go there myself, outside of temporary visits, I at least try to tell people about it.
Synchronously, four Qabbalistic books arrived at my house as I was writing this.
Strauss, yeah I get the point, neech yeah I get the point, the list goes on. Regarding Kabbalah I do not yet get the point. It’s because they’re so secretive. Like I’ve said before, Kabbalah is the ultimate culmination of Strauss.
Or if you want to get “spicy”, Athens versus Jerusalem is so-called “Nazis” like me versus the most esoteric Kabbalists.