What Did The Preacher Tell His Flock On St. Crispin’s Day?

(We happy ewes?)


INTELLECTUAL Sheep

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At The Moment

At the moment
of your birth
all options may open
for you.
Or they may not.

Profound experiences may befall you,
or they may not.

Difficult choices may be placed before you
or they may not.

Lessons may be learned
or they may not.

You may find meaning
in your suffering.
You may find sorrow.
You may find joy.
You may find chaos.

You may find death;
but Death will find you.

In a moment
of clarity,
Truth may come to you.
Or you may find it
through years
of struggle.
Or it may never come to you
at all.

You may wish
to understand
it all.

At the end,
you will not.

 —   —   —

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Musings on Forgiveness

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/goodletters/2013/06/practicing-forgiveness/#more-3510

Practicing Forgiveness

June 13, 2013 By Vic Sizemore

A few months ago an old friend of mine emailed and asked me to forgive him for any harm he had done me in the past. It seemed odd to me. I told him he hadn’t done me any harm but if it would give him any peace then sure, I forgive him. The very next day I saw a Facebook post from my friend and fellow “Good Letters” blogger, Caroline, also asking for forgiveness.

What was going on? Had Caroline and my old friend both joined AA and it was time to start telling everyone sorry? I didn’t even bother telling Caroline she had nothing for which to apologize—which she didn’t; she’s only ever done good by me. I just commented, “Done.”

Then I watched the same response, by different people, pop up over and over again. There was some variation in wording, but it was this: I forgive and God forgives. Please forgive me.

It was only then that, feeling rather stupid, I realized this is an Orthodox practice. The tradition in which I was reared eschewed every kind of liturgical practice, and I have to admit, though I’m somewhat familiar with the Catholic Church’s liturgical calendar, the Orthodox tradition is still something about which I am largely ignorant.

I googled the response phrase and discovered Forgiveness Sunday: on Sunday the eve of Great Lent, Orthodox Christians attend Forgiveness Vespers. The two teachings that Sunday are on forgiveness and fasting. I wondered why these two teachings are paired, but was satisfied with this explanation for the strange string of mutual forgiveness running on Caroline’s timeline.

A couple days later I heard a piece on NPR about how studies have shown that, while people feel better when they apologize, they also feel pretty damn good when they flat out refuse to apologize. As a matter of fact, according to researcher Tyler G. Okimoto, “in some cases it makes them feel better than an apology would have.” Apparently, though it doesn’t heal relationships, it does boost self-esteem and give a sense of empowerment.

So if you want to feel empowered, in control, if you want to have good self-esteem, sometimes it is best to not apologize. I suppose refusal to forgive probably works in the same way.

In Works of Love, Soren Kierkegaard examines Christian love. He differentiates between the love of the admired, and the Christian love of neighbor. Kierkegaard…groups together friendship and erotic love into… the love of preference. His focus is on love for your neighbor, which, if you are a Christian, you are commanded to practice.

The love of preference is focused on self, and is necessarily limiting, grows more intense the more exclusive and focused it becomes. I am not disparaging the romantic love of the poet. Lord knows it is rich and beautiful and worthy of praise, tacky and trashy as that praise may be in pop culture.

Love for your neighbor is the opposite; it grows and spreads as it intensifies. That doesn’t mean it feels rewarding. Most of the time it does not, because this kind of love requires self-denial, which, Kierkegaard writes, “is Christianity’s essential form.” Nietzsche agrees with him on this point: oh how Nietzsche despises the self-denial of Christianity; at the same time, he claims most Christians neither understand nor practice it.

The purest expression of this love for your neighbor is in forgiveness, giving and receiving. Both in asking for and in offering forgiveness, you put yourself in a place of vulnerability, deny yourself. You are also offering a gift in both cases, a chance to experience eternal love.

Kierkegaard’s conclusion: “Love for the neighbor has the perfections of eternity. An accounting can take place only where there is a finite relationship….But one who loves cannot calculate. When the left hand never knows what the right hand is doing, it is impossible to make an accounting.”

This is where fasting relates. [Note Bene: Fasting symbolizes the self-abnegation, unpretentiousness, the humility, so as make sure you’re not doing it to make you ‘better’ than the other] The [teachings] on fasting stress the necessary secrecy of it, of not letting the ‘right hand know what the left is doing’, not seeking recognition. Most peoplelike to trumpet their fast, make a game of it like a New Year’s resolution, which of course misses the point entirely.

The common ground of the teachings on forgiveness and fasting is self-denial. Not much fun either one. Fasting is training in self-denial. Forgiveness in love is putting self-denial to work in the world of human relationships.

Kierkegaard again: “However ludicrous, however frustrating, however inexpedient loving the neighbor may seem in the world, it is still the highest a person is capable of doing.”

Forgiveness—giving and getting—is the load-bearing point, the place at which human love breaks into the realm of the eternal.

– See more at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/goodletters/2013/06/practicing-forgiveness/#more-3510

Practicing Forgiveness

A few months ago an old friend of mine emailed and asked me to forgive him for any harm he had done me in the past. It seemed odd to me. I told him he hadn’t done me any harm but if it would give him any peace then sure, I forgive him. The very next day I saw a Facebook post from my friend and fellow “Good Letters” blogger, Caroline, also asking for forgiveness.

What was going on? Had Caroline and my old friend both joined AA and it was time to start telling everyone sorry? I didn’t even bother telling Caroline she had nothing for which to apologize—which she didn’t; she’s only ever done good by me. I just commented, “Done.”

Then I watched the same response, by different people, pop up over and over again. There was some variation in wording, but it was this: I forgive and God forgives. Please forgive me.

It was only then that, feeling rather stupid, I realized this is an Orthodox practice. The tradition in which I was reared eschewed every kind of liturgical practice, and I have to admit, though I’m somewhat familiar with the Catholic Church’s liturgical calendar, the Orthodox tradition is still something about which I am largely ignorant.

I googled the response phrase and discovered Forgiveness Sunday: on Sunday the eve of Great Lent, Orthodox Christians attend Forgiveness Vespers. The two teachings that Sunday are on forgiveness and fasting. I wondered why these two teachings are paired, but was satisfied with this explanation for the strange string of mutual forgiveness running on Caroline’s timeline.

A couple days later I heard a piece on NPR about how studies have shown that, while people feel better when they apologize, they also feel pretty damn good when they flat out refuse to apologize. As a matter of fact, according to researcher Tyler G. Okimoto, “in some cases it makes them feel better than an apology would have.” Apparently, though it doesn’t heal relationships, it does boost self-esteem and give a sense of empowerment.

So if you want to feel empowered, in control, if you want to have good self-esteem, sometimes it is best to not apologize. I suppose refusal to forgive probably works in the same way.

In Works of Love, Soren Kierkegaard examines Christian love. He differentiates between the poet’s love of the admired, and the Christian love of neighbor. C.S. Lewis broke love down into four types of love (natural affection, friendship love, erotic love, and agape love). Kierkegaard does not bother with natural affection, and he groups together friendship and erotic love into the love of the poet, or the love of preference. His focus is on love for your neighbor, which, if you are a Christian, you are commanded to practice.

The love of preference is focused on self, and is necessarily limiting, grows more intense the more exclusive and focused it becomes. With this love, “the intoxication of self-esteem is at its peak, and the peak of intoxication is the admired [the one who is loved].” I am not disparaging the romantic love of the poet. Lord knows it is rich and beautiful and worthy of praise, tacky and trashy as that praise may be in pop culture.

Love for your neighbor is the opposite; it grows and spreads as it intensifies. That doesn’t mean it feels rewarding. Most of the time it does not, because this kind of love requires self-denial, which, Kierkegaard writes, “is Christianity’s essential form.” Nietzsche agrees with him on this point: oh how Nietzsche despises the self-denial of Christianity; at the same time, he claims most Christians neither understand nor practice it.

His example is of a military officer crowing about his Christianity even while he rattles the sword on his hip and warns you not to cross him. I think of the scene in the movie Saved when Mandy Moore’s character blasts another girl between the shoulder blades with her Bible and shouts, “I’m so much more full of the love of Christ than you are.”

The purest expression of this love for your neighbor is in forgiveness, giving and receiving. Both in asking for and in offering forgiveness, you put yourself in a place of vulnerability, deny yourself. You are also offering a gift in both cases, a chance to experience eternal love.

Kierkegaard’s conclusion on love of preference versus love for your neighbor: one is temporal and passing, the other eternal and lasting.  “Love for the neighbor has the perfections of eternity. An accounting can take place only where there is a finite relationship….But one who loves cannot calculate. When the left hand never knows what the right hand is doing, it is impossible to make an accounting.”

This is where fasting relates. The Forgiveness Sunday reading on fasting stresses the necessary secrecy of it, of not letting the right hand know what the left is doing, not seeking recognition. Most of the people I know who give up something for Lent like to trumpet it, make a game of it like a New Year’s resolution, which of course misses the point entirely.

The common ground of the teachings on forgiveness and fasting is self-denial. Not much fun either one. Fasting is training in self-denial. Forgiveness in love is putting self-denial to work in the world of human relationships.

Kierkegaard again: “However ludicrous, however frustrating, however inexpedient loving the neighbor may seem in the world, it is still the highest a person is capable of doing.”

Forgiveness—giving and getting—is the load-bearing point, the place at which human love breaks into the realm of the eternal.

– See more at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/goodletters/2013/06/practicing-forgiveness/#more-3510

Practicing Forgiveness

A few months ago an old friend of mine emailed and asked me to forgive him for any harm he had done me in the past. It seemed odd to me. I told him he hadn’t done me any harm but if it would give him any peace then sure, I forgive him. The very next day I saw a Facebook post from my friend and fellow “Good Letters” blogger, Caroline, also asking for forgiveness.

What was going on? Had Caroline and my old friend both joined AA and it was time to start telling everyone sorry? I didn’t even bother telling Caroline she had nothing for which to apologize—which she didn’t; she’s only ever done good by me. I just commented, “Done.”

Then I watched the same response, by different people, pop up over and over again. There was some variation in wording, but it was this: I forgive and God forgives. Please forgive me.

It was only then that, feeling rather stupid, I realized this is an Orthodox practice. The tradition in which I was reared eschewed every kind of liturgical practice, and I have to admit, though I’m somewhat familiar with the Catholic Church’s liturgical calendar, the Orthodox tradition is still something about which I am largely ignorant.

I googled the response phrase and discovered Forgiveness Sunday: on Sunday the eve of Great Lent, Orthodox Christians attend Forgiveness Vespers. The two teachings that Sunday are on forgiveness and fasting. I wondered why these two teachings are paired, but was satisfied with this explanation for the strange string of mutual forgiveness running on Caroline’s timeline.

A couple days later I heard a piece on NPR about how studies have shown that, while people feel better when they apologize, they also feel pretty damn good when they flat out refuse to apologize. As a matter of fact, according to researcher Tyler G. Okimoto, “in some cases it makes them feel better than an apology would have.” Apparently, though it doesn’t heal relationships, it does boost self-esteem and give a sense of empowerment.

So if you want to feel empowered, in control, if you want to have good self-esteem, sometimes it is best to not apologize. I suppose refusal to forgive probably works in the same way.

In Works of Love, Soren Kierkegaard examines Christian love. He differentiates between the poet’s love of the admired, and the Christian love of neighbor. C.S. Lewis broke love down into four types of love (natural affection, friendship love, erotic love, and agape love). Kierkegaard does not bother with natural affection, and he groups together friendship and erotic love into the love of the poet, or the love of preference. His focus is on love for your neighbor, which, if you are a Christian, you are commanded to practice.

The love of preference is focused on self, and is necessarily limiting, grows more intense the more exclusive and focused it becomes. With this love, “the intoxication of self-esteem is at its peak, and the peak of intoxication is the admired [the one who is loved].” I am not disparaging the romantic love of the poet. Lord knows it is rich and beautiful and worthy of praise, tacky and trashy as that praise may be in pop culture.

Love for your neighbor is the opposite; it grows and spreads as it intensifies. That doesn’t mean it feels rewarding. Most of the time it does not, because this kind of love requires self-denial, which, Kierkegaard writes, “is Christianity’s essential form.” Nietzsche agrees with him on this point: oh how Nietzsche despises the self-denial of Christianity; at the same time, he claims most Christians neither understand nor practice it.

His example is of a military officer crowing about his Christianity even while he rattles the sword on his hip and warns you not to cross him. I think of the scene in the movie Saved when Mandy Moore’s character blasts another girl between the shoulder blades with her Bible and shouts, “I’m so much more full of the love of Christ than you are.”

The purest expression of this love for your neighbor is in forgiveness, giving and receiving. Both in asking for and in offering forgiveness, you put yourself in a place of vulnerability, deny yourself. You are also offering a gift in both cases, a chance to experience eternal love.

Kierkegaard’s conclusion on love of preference versus love for your neighbor: one is temporal and passing, the other eternal and lasting.  “Love for the neighbor has the perfections of eternity. An accounting can take place only where there is a finite relationship….But one who loves cannot calculate. When the left hand never knows what the right hand is doing, it is impossible to make an accounting.”

This is where fasting relates. The Forgiveness Sunday reading on fasting stresses the necessary secrecy of it, of not letting the right hand know what the left is doing, not seeking recognition. Most of the people I know who give up something for Lent like to trumpet it, make a game of it like a New Year’s resolution, which of course misses the point entirely.

The common ground of the teachings on forgiveness and fasting is self-denial. Not much fun either one. Fasting is training in self-denial. Forgiveness in love is putting self-denial to work in the world of human relationships.

Kierkegaard again: “However ludicrous, however frustrating, however inexpedient loving the neighbor may seem in the world, it is still the highest a person is capable of doing.”

Forgiveness—giving and getting—is the load-bearing point, the place at which human love breaks into the realm of the eternal.

– See more at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/goodletters/2013/06/practicing-forgiveness/#more-3510

Sitting Next To Death

Mr. D.S.President and Facilitator —  Los Angeles

International Association for Near Death Studies

Dear Mr. S,

First let me tell you something about myself.  In 2002, at age 59, a had a stroke which left me paralyzed and unable to comprehend language.  Couldn’t understand reading, writing, or speech.  Its called aphasia. I was told that I ‘coded’ several times.  All I felt, [internally, as it were] was nauseous and dizzy.  And suddenly it was three weeks later.

I was in  a rehab hospital for several months.  But slowly, over the past decade, more and more competencies have returned.  I’m still paralyzed [right-side] but I have a good life.

Recently a dream from those times returned.  And that’s what prompted my inquiry to IANDS.  In the dream, I’m in some sort of temple.  Not clear if its Christian or Jewish, but there’s a distinct middle-eastern theme.  And the temple is HUGE.   And  empty.

A mysterious man comes in and sits right next to ME!!  Doesn’t do or say anything.  His very presence is ominus.  Just sits right next to me.  But why is he sitting next to ME.  There’s plenty of space elsewhere.  But he’s invading my space.

Well that’s all there was to the dream.  Until about a week ago.  But then, Kla-blam!!  I realized what it all means.

“HE” is Death. He’s not ready for me.  Yet.  He’s, like, sizing me up.

He knows he’ll win.  He always wins.  Just not today.   Not today!!  I respect him.  And he seems to respects me.  We’ve staked out our territory.

And it goes.   Until it doesn’t ‘go’ anymore.
—   —   —
So that’s my story.

You must know many stories, many instances like these.   I just need to be with in touch people who understand it all.

Hopefully you can help me find some.

—–

 

Sartre; and Peanuts

From “Philosophy Now” magazine:

—–

Nathan Radke claims that Charlie Brown is an existentialist

—–

Our anti-hero sits, despondent. He is alone, both physically and emotionally. He is alienated from his peers. He is fearfully awaiting a punishment for his actions. In desperation, he looks to God for comfort and hope. Instead, his angst overwhelms him, and manifests itself as physical pain. There is no comfort to be found.

Poor Charlie Brown. He waits outside of the principal’s office, waiting to hear what will become to him. He offers up a little prayer, but all he gets is a stomach ache.

When we are exposed to something every day we can eventually lose sight of its brilliance. Newspaper readers have been exposed to Charles Schulz’s comic strip ‘Peanuts’ for over half a century. Even now, a few years after Schulz died, many newspapers continue to carry reruns of his strips, and bookstores offer Peanuts collections. His characters are featured in countless advertisements, and every December networks dutifully show the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. Is there any philosophical insight that can be gleamed from such a mainstream and common source?

There has been much discussion concerning Peanuts as a voice of conservative Christianity, including several books such as the 1965 work The Gospel According to Peanuts. This is not without reason; even a cursory glance at a Peanuts anthology will reveal enough scripture references to fuel a month’s worth of Sunday school classes. However, to suggest that Schulz’s philosophical insights didn’t make it past the church door would be a mistake. While Schulz had a great interest in the Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ, he was also highly suspicious of dogmatic pious beliefs. In a 1981 interview, he refused to describe himself as religious, arguing that “I don’t know what religious means”. Charlie Brown was no comic strip missionary, blandly spreading the word of organized religion. Upon reflection, the trials and tribulations of the little round-headed kid provide deep and moving illustrations of existentialism.

This mixture of Biblical teaching and existential thought is not uncommon. The Danish Christian philosopher Søren Kierkegaard was one of the first existentialists, and his religious beliefs impelled his philosophy, rather than limiting it. Kierkegaard was forced to confront his deeply held belief in the existence of God with the tremendous empty silence that returns from the prayers of humans, and the results were his vital and compelling theories of faith and freedom.

It should also be noted that while Schulz did not consider himself religious, neither did he refer to himself as an existentialist. In fact, he was unfamiliar with the term until the mid 1950s, when he stumbled across a few newspaper articles about Jean-Paul Sartre. He was certainly not formally schooled in philosophical works. And yet, his simple line drawings provide illumination into the questions and problems raised by existentialism.

In order to identify examples of Schulz’s philosophy, a bumper-sticker version of existentialism should prove helpful. In his seminal 1946 work L’Existentialisme est un Humanisme, Sartre outlines some of the core aspects of his theories. A key aspect is the idea of abandonment. Kierkegaard felt that there was an unbridgeable gap between God and Man. Sartre goes even further, and argues that even if there is an unknowable and unreachable God, it wouldn’t make any difference to the human condition. Ultimately, we exist in an abandoned and free state. We are responsible for our actions, and since Sartre argues that there is no God to conceive of a human nature, we are responsible for our own creation.

How does this apply to Peanuts? Like the existential human in a world of silent or absent deities, Schulz’s characters exist in a world of silent or absent adult authority. In fact, the way the strip is drawn (with the child characters taking up most of each frame) actually prevents the presence of any adults. Schulz argued that, were adults added to the strip, the narratives would become untenable. While references are sometimes made to full-grown humans (normally school teachers) these characters are always out of frame, and silent. The children of Peanuts are left to their own devices, to try and understand the world they have found themselves thrust into. They have to turn to each other for support – hence, Lucy’s blossoming psychiatric booth (at five cents a session, a very good deal).

An ideal example of abandonment is the relationship between Linus and The Great Pumpkin. Every Halloween, Linus faithfully waits by a pumpkin patch, in the hopes that he will be blessed with the holy experience of a visitation by The Great Pumpkin. Of course, The Great Pumpkin never shows up, and He never answers Linus’ letters. Despite this, Linus remains steadfast, even going door to door to spread the word of his absent deity. Does The Great Pumpkin exist? We can never know. But from an existential point of view, it doesn’t matter if he exists or not. The important thing is that Linus is abandoned and alone in his pumpkin patch.

Sartre did not deny the existence of God triumphantly. Instead, he considered it “… extremely embarrassing that God does not exist, for there disappears all possibility of finding values in an intelligible heaven.”. Without God, everything we do as humans is absurd, and without meaning. Certainly, spending all night in a pumpkin patch would qualify as embarrassing as well. In the absence of any parental edicts, the characters in Peanuts have had to become very philosophically minded in order to establish for themselves what is right and wrong. When Linus gets a sliver in his finger, a conflict erupts between Lucy’s theological determinism (he is being punished for something he did wrong) and Charlie Brown’s philosophical uncertainty (when the sliver falls out, Lucy’s position crumbles). At Christmas time, Linus dictates a letter to Santa, questioning the validity of Santa’s ethical judgments regarding the goodness or badness of the individual child. “What is good? What is bad?” asks Linus. Good questions.

Another key aspect comes from this monstrous freedom that abandonment allows, and this aspect is despair. In a nutshell, we are created by our actions. We are responsible for our actions. Therefore, we are responsible for our creation. What we are is the sum total of what we have done, nothing more and nothing less. But why should this cause despair? To answer this, Sartre examines the characteristics of cowardice and bravery. When Sartre describes the position that opposes his own, we can see how it may be comforting to not be responsible for one’s creation:

If you are born cowards, you can be quite content, you can do nothing about it and you will be cowards all your life whatever you do; and if you are born heroes you can again be quite content; you will be heroes all your life, eating and drinking heroically. Whereas the existentialist says that the coward makes himself cowardly, the hero makes himself heroic; and that there is always the possibility for the coward to give up cowardice and for the hero to stop being a hero.
(Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism and Humanism 1957)

It is this very possibility that causes despair. Why does Charlie Brown tear himself into knots over the little red-haired girl? The very possibility that he could go over and talk to her is far more distressing than its impossibility would be; he must take ownership of his failure. When she is the victim of a bully in the school yard, Charlie Brown’s despair threatens to leap right off the comic page. He isn’t suffering because he can’t help her, but because he could help her, but won’t: “Why can’t I rush over there and save her? Because I’d get slaughtered, that’s why…” When Linus helps her out instead, thereby illustrating his freedom of action, Charlie Brown only becomes more melancholic.

In order to combat despair, Charlie Brown succumbs to bad faith, which is to say, he denies his freedom: “I wonder what would happen if I went over and tried to talk to her! Everybody would probably laugh … she’d probably be insulted too …” It is only by falsely denying his freedom that Charlie Brown can overcome his despair. But by hiding behind bad faith, he does himself no favours. Another lunch hour is spent alone on a bench with a peanut butter sandwich.

Existence is problematic and disturbing. In one weekend strip, Schulz succinctly describes the horror of discovering one’s own existence in the world:

Linus: I’m aware of my tongue … It’s an awful feeling! Every now and then I become aware that I have a tongue inside my mouth, and then it starts to feel lumped up … I can’t help it … I can’t put it out of my mind. … I keep thinking about where my tongue would be if I weren’t thinking about it, and then I can feel it sort of pressing against my teeth …

Sartre devoted an entire book to this experience – his 1938 novel Nausea in which his character Roquentin is alarmed to discover his own actuality. But Linus sums the point up very well in a few frames.

Existentialism has been accused of being defeatist and depressing (and Sartre didn’t help his cause with terms like ‘abandonment’, ‘despair’, and ‘nausea’). But Peanuts also demonstrates the optimism of the philosophy. Why does Charlie Brown continue to go out to the pitcher’s mound, despite his 50 year losing streak? Why try to kick the football, when Lucy has always pulled it away at the last second? Because there is an infinite gap between the past and the present. Regardless of what has come before, there is always the possibility of change. Monstrous freedom is a double edged sword. We exist, and are responsible. This is both liberating and terrifying.

Schulz should be considered part of the generation of authors who saw active duty during World War II; he is in the company of writers such as Joseph Heller, Kurt Vonnegut, and of course Sartre himself. It is foolish to disregard literature simply because it appears in the funnies section of the daily paper. Schulz’s simple line drawings and blocky letters contain as much information about the human condition as entire shelves full of dry books.

While it is difficult to say what Sartre would have thought of Peanuts, we do know what Schulz thought of Sartre: “I read about him in the New York Times, where he said it was very difficult to be a human being, and the only way to fight against it is to lead an active life – that’s very true.” If any character has shown us the difficulties in existence, it is Charlie Brown

© NATHAN RADKE 2004

Nathan Radke teaches workshops and tutorials in philosophy at Trent University in Peterborough, Canada.

All quotations in this article come from the following books:
Charles M. Schulz: Conversations edited by M. Thomas Inge, University Press of Mississippi 2000.
Existentialism and Humanism by Jean-Paul Sartre, Methuen & Co. Ltd. 1957.
Peanuts Treasury by Charles Schulz, MetroBooks 2000.

Meditations On The Ultimate Nothingness

+++++++++ +++++++++ +++++.

+++++++++ +++++++++ +++++++++ +++++++++ +++++++++ +++++++++ +++++++++++++ ++++++!!  +++++++++++, ++++++ + ++ +++++++++++++ +++ +++++++++++++?

On the other hand,

So you see, ++++++++!  ++++++++++++ ++ +++++++++.

Yet,

—–     —–     —–

Ultimately, ++++ + +++, +++++ ++ and ++ +++ +++++++.

And so,

Thanks for nothing.

TD

Science, Religion, And God

Due Nota Benes

  • Uno – Actually, I was looking for references to the “Foundations of American Political Conservatism” in order to make a post about what I believe will be an historic 2012 election.   At the same time, I’m preparing a lecture on the juxtapositions between science and religion.  Are they compatible, but different, belief systems?  Are they diametric opposites to explain everything?  Exciting discussions will evolve.

Along the way, I got a bit of peanut butter in my jelly jar, as it were.  And found a video about the demonstrators at historic Hyde Park, London.  Which I’ll write on next week.

  • Due – At first, the  report came to a sticky mess; from which I’m desperately to extricate myself.  Cerebrally, as it were.  Intellectually.   Gastronomically too!!  I am drawn to sweets…   …   …innocuous confections with little nutritional value.   Where’s Joy [Of Cooking] when you need her?  Should I be switching sieves?   Am I re-straining myself?  Thank God for Cinna-bon-mots!!

—–     —–     —–

Anyway, for a start, watch the following 20 minute movie, which lays out a path from biological science, through neuro-scientific research, to religious experiences, to consciousness.   Is this The Ultimate Truth?

View This Video Link; Here….

Peter Russell — Science and God

In this professionally video taped presentation, Peter Russell starts with the hard problem of consciousness – why do we have an inner world of experience? Diving into his eye, and into his mind, we enter a surreal world in which we discover that all we ever know directly are the forms and images arising in the mind. But, he asks, where does consciousness itself come from? Has conventional science got it wrong? Peter explores the mystery of consciousness from two perspectives – the mystery of its origins from matter, and the mystery of the “I”, the self. Shot in high-quality digital, this production utilizes animation and innovative post-production to create an exciting experience that takes the viewer to the heart of the emerging new paradigm on human consciousness.

Other discussions will follow to flesh out the report.   Keep tuned in.  Good advice in all situations.  Being “tuned in”, I mean!

——     —–     ——

Related Wikipedia References

The Two Men With The Three Names [Part 2]

Dave’s death became a marker for my life.

My dreamer’s mind had brought me the story of “Jonah“..  And I thought I needed to memorialize it.

Remember?

I would BE less docile, less accepting.  I would speak speak out.  Take responsibility.  “Life Is Short”, the poster states, and the poster is right.  So I changed my name.

Jonah [the coward, the whiner, the sailor, the prophet] runs from his obligations.  Is afraid of his power.  And runs.  And he learns that his actions have consequences.  Running away doesn’t work.  Facing UP is the only way OUT.   In the biblical story, Jonah throws himself into the sea, taking responsibility for his action.  And learns an onerous [and odorous] lesson.  Floundering at sea, just for the halibut,

SMELT Funny To Me!!

“Cod” Himself summons him to Nineveh.   And he finally does what he is suppose to do.  Influence people.   But still he whines…   …   …”the sun is too hot”…   …   …”where’s the water”…   …   …”why haven’t you invented the ‘Frigidaire‘ yet”…   …   …yada yada yada.  And He comes along, after all of Jonah’s whining, and He says, “Look, dude.  What do you want from me!!  Just do your work already”.

I was already in my mid-30’s before I learned this lesson.  Learn who you are…   …   …and be it.

I don’t always live up to my words.  It IS hard to do.  But each day, [well, most days] I’m reminded who I am.  And that itself is a gift.