Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Liberal Art Challenge

The Liberal Art (not to be confused with
the liberal arts) Challenge
How to make a monkey out of Common Sense,
Out of Received Tradition. Out of Specialized
Knowledge and Expertise. Out of Economic
Theory & Deep Ecology. Technologic Secular
& Sacred Humanism & Fundamental Dogmatism.
Logical Positivism & Nu-Age Spiritualism; out of
the latest in Medical Advice and Health, Welfare
& Surgeon General Warnings, Studies Show,
Cave Concerns: culture and convention and
closet issues: idols of the anthropomorphic mind .
Stick in My Thumb: Pull out a Plumb. Speaking
from a whole systems standpoint (pretending I could):
the more I know, the clearer my focus & attention-
efficiency: the wider my circumference of ignorance.
This is not hard to consider from my armchair. I
imagine my self going into a closet with a flash light
to study darkness, riding a beam of illumination thinking
I’ve got it covered. O what a good boy am I.

Conscious Knowing: as “demonic” as it is “angelic,”
as luciferous as lucid, generating a partial brilliance
that occludes the whole & holy & ignores the dark
side of its equations. Can't blame me: more light under
the street lamp.


  1. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2014/08/the-third-form-of-atheism/#more-19682

    Some people seem to see Plato's "third form of atheism" running rampant. It may work for you, but does it work for the caliphate.

  2. Don't know about the Caliphate--but the strictures, constraints, demands, etc. God makes seems to be an agony of contention and debate, discussion, argument among the True Believers. "For those not in love: there's LAW: to rule, to regulate, to rectify." (Wm Gass--part of my catechism).

  3. It helps to see things as good or evil, and God is good. But we can't make it up. Beheading so-called infidels is not "good" and therefore not from God. But the relativist and the nihilist... seem to want to acknowledge no good or evil. And maybe some self-centered liberals... On the other hand: freedom is good.

  4. Let the nihilist and relativist be what they are, and the self-centered liberals too. I confess it's more entertaining and engaging to twit and tweak the righteous. We're all making it up--best we can: how it makes our sense. Some realize it; others don't

  5. Sticking to the rules has often brought me good. Flexibility sometimes is the thin edge of the wedge.

  6. Glory and Shame.

    Another son is dead.

    It happens to be a high profile case,
    a murder, almost broadcast world-wide,
    but we all know about it,
    a martyrdom, it turns out, some say.

    A true humanitarian, a man
    of prayer and photography,
    beloved by scores
    is gone

    ...his mother a saint,
    of steadfast vigils and rosaries,
    of community involvement and charity.

    I heard her speak
    and I recognized her.
    She was strong.
    She was loving.
    She was graceful.
    She was carried by an invisible force.
    With it,
    she comforted the whole world.
    She turned evil to good.
    The shame became glory.

    She, too, will never be the same.
    When she stops bleeding,
    and comforting,
    she will still bear the scars.
    May the tormentors hide their faces,
    and repent in dust and ashes.
    Their glory is nothing but shame.

    Psalm 130:4
    "But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared."

  7. National Post on martyrdom.


  8. sons, daughters, mothers, fathers--in Gaza, Israel, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ferguson. Victims. Who's to blame? What? Why?

  9. Maybe we can start with a definition or description of martyrdom, and branch from there to warrior codes to patriotism and true religion.

    According to Bushido code, if you have done something wrong you should kill yourself. That would be honourable. To this day, the Japanese throw themselves off cliffs and in front of the subway with regularity. My sister had a baby there, and was given no anestetic. My brother-in-law was embarrassed to find her shouting out in pain. -- seems a little excessive, the whole scenario.

  10. Martyrdom is a description given to one by others, like sainthood. One might give both terms to oneself, but it's not the same.

  11. "The samurai warrior code is an internally-consistent ethical code, grounded in the spiritual approach of the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism."

    According to internet, the Samurai ruled Japan for 1000 years. They had overlords who were constantly fighting each other. The progressive emperor abolished the system, but the spirit lives on.

    I was in the castle of the samurai lord in Kyoto. Paranoia must have reigned. Everyone sat at least 10 m away from the overlord, so no one could hide a knife in the folds of the garments and rush at him.

    It sounds something like one jihadist group fighting another, all for the same paradise. Moderates can't survive in this climate. Physically. Japan was opened from the outside.

  12. According to jihadist you can call yourself a martyr if you go on suicide mission.

  13. I don't think you can deliberately become a martyr. It goes against the internal consistency of the meaning. A bomber is a bomber. And someone who works himself to death should have tried to take better care.

    What about Jesus then. He foresaw the thing, but then we also never call him a martyr for a cause.

  14. Makes sense to me. Cultural relativity. What are the criteria for calling you self a saint in Christiandom? I think it's calling your self a sinner. Wretch like me.

  15. One becomes a saint from the outside. A gift. A blessed exchange. My filth for his goodness.

  16. Replies
    1. Wretchedness. Filth is too strong for you?

  17. No deliberate saints and no deliberate martyrs. But deliberate decency would be nice.

  18. What do you think it is about men and their honor. Why can they stand no insult to it? ( In women it takes a little different form.) The true martyr will suffer the insult.

  19. Insult? Honor You are merely describing your self--filthy It's how you chose to describe you relationship with God. Apparently it does justice to your understanding.

  20. How is filthy different from wretched?

  21. Not righteous, faulty, missing the mark, lacking what we should have...

  22. You just described wretched (psychological state); filthy describes a physical state. Filth. Dung. You're filth and filthy. I'm wretched--wrangling and wrestling. We're both goodies--wanna be good so bad...

  23. Answer?

    How is "filthy" different from "wretched". Some just like the image of the beggar. What do you say to "beggar"?

    The Pope phoned Foley's parents.

    When my son died, the pastor rushed over the following morning and we prayed a liturgy. It was immensely strengthening. We could palpate that The Lord (I pad insists on capitalizing) is still the same. You can pray the Lord's Prayer, as before, only now it means much more.

    I should write about that.

  24. I am not talking about filthy in a physical state.

  25. You like your wretched not to be so wretched. Your wretched is noble.

  26. You can't have it both ways with this one. Sorry. Either wretched or not.

  27. Yes to everything you say. A colleague told me his step-daughter advised him to agree to anyone's accusation because it's true how they feel and one's denial of it doesn't change theiri belief. Don't diminish anyone's fears, my good wife taught me. It's how they feel and diminishment simply generates appropriate defense. I have a filthy mind and it's a beggar's bowl of receptivity to whatever suits it's belief & bias system.

  28. I am not talking simply of feelings. When anyone believes and contemplates praying to and asking of a one and only true and good God, they will view themselves as inadequate. We are not worthy to ask. Which is also the beautiful thing. We can stop trying to make ourselves feel worthy when we are not. The worthiness and the invitation comes to us from another in spite of ourselves. This is how we become happy. And yes, that, happy, is a feeling and it buoys us up.

  29. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=y6Sxv-sUYtM

    1. Happy. Like grace, comes and goes not even the father knows when, where.

  30. I was responding to your "you like your wretched not to be so wretched. Your wretched is noble" Yes yes, I was saying--amplifying your accusation.

  31. But it is a dialectic. While we are here, we do battle, as you say. Still, joy is a fruit of the Spirit.

  32. Yes. No quibble. No quarrel.