The Inner Struggle

Staying the Course … that we may not run in vain

Mother of Sorrows”, Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent At Ephesus”, (2014)

Pandemonium

Pandemonium

Writing this on a cool grey Wednesday morning … My mood and perception of reality in this moment are a reflection of the cold grey all around me this morning.

Mass in another hour, Mass is always good, wish I could go every day but that desire will not be gratified any time soon.

Wish there was another traditional rite available to us here but that also is an unrealized desire or dream.

Vatican II, 1967

Vatican II, 1967

The Catholic Church of Rome now uses the term “extraordinary form” of the Roman Rite Mass among other terms.

The most widespread term for this form of the rite, other than “Tridentine Mass“, is “Latin Mass“. And the practice of the “Latin Mass” has indeed become “extraordinary”. Pity …

What have politics, social pressure and human pride to do with a Mass which has existed for around 2000 years now, and quite frankly has been debated very little until quite recently.

Paul gets in Peter's face

Paul gets in Peter’s face

Paul had things to say about this sort of thing. In Galatians 2,  Paul got right in Peter’s face and told him off about his mistakes and his hypocrisy. Peter was pretty much The Boss, he was the first pope, he couldn’t have been wrong, right?

This confrontation is perhaps THE most surprising thing in Paul’s letters. Some of the other apostles, and some of the church fathers found this difficult to accept, being that they were in the Jewish circumcision faction and so they made excuses for Peter.

They made excuses in pretty much the same way that Cardinal Ouellet is making excuses for Pope Francis. But Peter was wrong – in a way that we often go wrong, too, … peer pressure – everywhere and at all ages and states in life …

Cardinal Ouellet

Cardinal Ouellet

And I wonder about the peer pressure within our current crop of clerics, our current leadership, our current cadre of theological “betters”.

I wonder about the pressure to go along with certain points of view and certain agendas, certain life-style choices, which have been apparent to me since the 60’s. All this peer pressure aided and abetted by demonic stoking of the fires of normal human concupiscence.

Cardinal Brandmuller

Cardinal Brandmuller

The pressure to “not rock the boat” and voice one’s reservations even when those reservations are in the area of millennia long traditions and canonical doctrine.

Reservations about changing things just to be fashionable, to be more in step with the world, to be more “welcoming”, more “inclusive”.

Thinking about my own life … of sin … of self indulgence, the places and times when self sacrifice was not in the ascendance.

Cardinal Burke

Cardinal Burke

Lots of food for thought there, lots of decades of self-love and attachment to esteem, worldly praise, and rewards for “not rocking the boat”.  Lots of reasons for contrition and amendment.

When and why did my soul and my self start to diverge from the spirit of our times? How did I get so out of step with my own “welcoming”, “inclusive” church?

In what measurable way, what distinctive way, is the church of Rome different from any other popular protestant church? When did my church stop being a rock, a scandal to the Jews, and a stumbling block to the Gentiles and start being a “Me Too” “We have to be more open”, kind of church?

Cardinal Sarah

Cardinal Sarah

The Roman Catholic Church used to be all about the narrow path and holding true to the Word of God as handed down for two thousand years. Now we get smoke and mirrors and silence or obfuscation and confusion. Pity …

No matter what the cost, even of life itself, the Truth must be upheld even in the face of a world that rejects it all. “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” ― G.K. Chesterton, What’s Wrong with the World.

Where did the narrow path get washed out and impassable?

Saint Theresa of Calcutta

Saint Theresa of Calcutta

Or, this time I can say, with passion, “But it is not This Day! This day we fight.” This is all just one more place where we are commanded to stand and deliver, to soldier on no matter what, hold to the last man when all seems lost, keep advancing towards the light even when all the officers have run away and all hope of victory seems dashed beyond recovery.

This feeling of almost despair is merely one more round of Satan’s lies. I have become a recent fanboy of Robert Cardinal Sarah. I rather suspect that the good Cardinal and others like him, and even Saint Theresa of Calcutta would be unhappy with the current state of the liturgy in our Canadian dioceses, on the other hand we are not yet in the news for abuse scandals, so perhaps things are not as bad as I feel today.

In any case, we will continue to fight the long defeat, and if and when the victory is hard won in Rome, we will still have to return to the Shire and undertake the bitter task of scouring our home to return it to the state of cleanliness suitable for the wedding feast. Lets not be the one spoken of thus: “Then the king said to the waiters: Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”. (Matt 22:13)

Cheers

Joe

A much needed Scouring of the Shire

A much needed Scouring of the Shire …

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The Inner Struggle

Is there even one good thing?

Kojo No Tsuki” (Rentaro Taki), performed by Yo-Yo Ma, Michio Mamiya, & Patricia Zander, from the album “Japanese Melodies” (1990)

The original tenshu of Aizuwakamatsu Castle (1868),

The original tenshu of Aizuwakamatsu Castle (1868),

Just muddling along in the snow these days. Thoughts all over the map, and have been doing a lot of thinking about the scandal and controversy in the Roman Catholic Church. Been reading “Church Militant” blog, off and on for the last few weeks. We are in a real “take-no-prisoners” battle these days, and it often feels very much like we are losing.

But there is a silver lining to this storm, and that is that one must revisit and rethink comfortable conclusions taken for granted for years. It is safe to say that one is even encouraged by all this controversy to think outside the comfortable box.

I find myself revisiting modes of thought regarding the Church which I have not experienced since the late 60’s, and the disruption brought on in the Canadian Catholic Church by the “Spirit of Vatican II”.

That “Spirit” as expressed in Canada resulted in such events as the “Winnipeg Statement of 1968. and began a decades long de-facto schism between the Canadian Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

The Canadian Catholic Church has not fully recovered from this schism to this day. The Progressives, who made up the vast majority of the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops (97 out of 100 bishops) took “their church” down a separate path from Rome which was decidedly not Catholic. The damage done by these men is incalculable, and we Canadian Catholics will be reaping this whirlwind for generations to come.

Now we are faced with an even more destructive leadership crisis emanating from Rome itself, but which has all its roots in “the Spirit” of Vatican II as well as many other crisis in Church history. Satan never rests:

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St. Louis de Montfort

St. Louis de Montfort

As St. Louis de Montfort (1673-1715) says ...”(Satan) knows that we have this treasure, which is worth more than Heaven and earth put together, in frail vessels, i.e., in a corruptible body and in a weak and inconstant soul, which a mere nothing disturbs and dejects: “We have this treasure in earthen vessels” (2 Cor. 4:7).

Because all the devils, are skillful thieves, who wish to surprise us unawares. They watch day and night for the favorable moment. and they go around about us incessantly to devour us and to snatch from us in one moment, by a sin, all the graces and merits we have gained for many years.

Their malice, their experience, their stratagems and their number ought to make us fear this misfortune immensely, especially when we see how many persons fuller of grace than we are, richer in virtues, better founded in experience and far higher exalted in sanctity, have been surprised, robbed and unhappily pillaged.

Ah! How many cedars of Lebanon, how many stars of the firmament, have we not seen fall miserably, and in the twinkling of an eye lose all their height and their brightness! Whence comes that sad and curious change? It was not for want of grace which is wanting to no man; but is was for want of humility.

They thought themselves capable of guarding their own treasures. They trusted in themselves, relied upon themselves. They thought their house secure enough, and their coffers strong enough, to keep the precious treasure of grace. It is because of that scarcely perceptible reliance upon themselves, though all the while it seemed to them that they were relying only on the grace of God, that the most just Lord permitted them to be robbed by leaving them to themselves.  … 

It is difficult to preserver in justice because of the strange corruption of the world. The world is now so corrupt it seems inevitable that religious hearts should be soiled, if not by its mud, at least by its dust; so that it has become a kind of miracle for anyone to remain in the midst of that impetuous torrent without being drowned in it or stripped by the pirates and the corsairs, in the midst of that pestilent air without being infected by it.”

St. Louis de Montfort, “True Devotion to Mary: With Preparation for Total Consecration” (Kindle Locations 1030-1040). KIC. Kindle Edition.

*****

One result of stepping outside my comfort zone, is a brief glimpse I have had that my “God” is not the “god” of our modern culture, nor, perhaps, the “God” of my Church, but rather something, someone, much, much, more, “GOD” for want of a better descriptor.

My “God” is not my buddy, not “nice”, not accommodating,  not fashionable, but he is Merciful, and Loving in sense of Agape, “the highest form of love, charity” and “the love of God for man and of man for God”, and He is above all a God of Justice who demands commitment … “Come, Follow Me”. He guarantees “Free Will” and the choices available with it. But He also insists on “Responsibility” for one’s choices and actions. And “Responsibility” is very much missing in action these days.

So what was I thinking about …  Oh, right, “god”, and “God”, and “GOD”.

Just going with a quote from another good book I have been reading, Not God’s Type: An Atheist Academic Lays Down Her Arms, by Holly Ordway.

*****

Holly Ordway

Holly Ordway

There are various levels of self-involving statements. If,  walking down the street, I say ‘I think that was the Number 10 bus,’ the statement is only minimally self-involving; I do not want to go where the Number 10 bus goes, and anyway I prefer to walk.

But if, arriving breathless at the bus-stop on the way to a vital appointment, I look despairingly up the street and say ‘I think that was the Number 10 bus,’ knowing that the next one is not due for another two hours and that there is no other means of arriving on time, the statement not only involves me, it plunges me into gloom.

The point is that one cannot say ‘Jesus of Nazareth was bodily raised from the dead’ with the minimal involvement of the first of those statements. If it happened, it matters. The world is a different place from what it would be if it did not happen.

Saying that ‘Jesus of Nazareth was bodily raised from the dead’ is not only a self-involving statement; it is a self-committing statement, going beyond a reordering of one’s private world into various levels of commitment to work out the implications.

We cannot simply leave a flag stuck on a hill somewhere and sail back home to safety.”

N.T. Wright, quoted by Holly Ordway, “Not God’s Type: An Atheist Academic Lays Down Her Arms” (Kindle Locations 1834-1844). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.

*****

It seems to me, now, that the Resurrection is the signal Truth of Christianity. The Truth of the Resurrection is the foundation of everything handed down to us, which we have been taught to believe, or in our wilfulness, have refused to believe.

I get a brief glimpse, here and there, that the “God” I have believed in all my life is not in fact the “GOD” which the Apostles, and the Fathers, and the Doctors of the Church believed in. The “God” that I have believed in is not the “GOD” which the Magisterium of the Church was intended to hand down to us and teach to us.

I have a sense that I am standing in a hurricane of ecclesial controversy and I have a suspicion that even the “God” that the modern church of Rome is talking about is not in fact the “GOD” of Peter, and Paul, and the rest of the Apostles and the first century Christians. Fleeting though this vision is it seems hugely important, and I keep trying to get my hands on it in a more permanent way.

Nicholas Thomas Wright FRSE (born 1 December 1948)

Nicholas Thomas Wright FRSE (born 1 December 1948)

Once we have glimpsed the true portrait of God, the onus is on us to reflect it: to reflect it as a community, to reflect it as individuals. The image of the true and living God, once revealed in all its glory, is to be reflected into all the world, as was always God’s intention.

The mission of the Church can be summed up in the phrase “reflected glory.” When we see, as Paul says, the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, we see this not for our own benefit, but so that the glory may shine in us and through us to bring light to the world that still waits in darkness and the shadow of death.” N.T. Wright,

Are Catholics reflecting the true portrait of GOD right now? There is just so much more to the Truth than C.S. Lewis’ simple statement: Jesus was either mad, or bad, or he was “who he claimed to be.” Lewis was indeed trying to make it simple and did a very good job of it, but the Truth is further up, and further in!

Reading N.T. Wright is like cutting my way through a lush and fruitful jungle towards Understanding.

Cheers

Joe

 

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The Inner Struggle

Despair, “Dover Beach” … Matthew Arnold, 1822 – 1888

Snow”, by Kobudo, from the album “Ototabi”  (2013)

More poetry, and a bit of historical background, a sort of “how did I get here?” moment.

I once had a co-worker, almost 20 years ago now, who was an intelligent and articulate atheist, and who never tired of explaining to me how ignorant and superstitious was my embrace of the Catholic Faith. I think of Pauros sometimes, and the irony of his name, whenever I dwell upon the inevitability of self worship in any philosophy which denies the existence of God.

DelphiHe, Pauros the Greek, was an Ubber Geek, and knew not much at all outside of our shared programming specialties, namely COBOL, Pascal, Borland Delphi, and C++Builder. That was back when the civilized world was completely engulfed in its Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt regarding the approaching end of the world, the secular end-times, also known as Y2K.

We were both employed in part because of our knowledge of and ability to program in COBOL, and to maintain the COBOL based financial systems for a Health Region with thousands of employees.

These systems were running on a UNIX platform, a large-scale computer system, Hewlett-Packard if I remember correctly, although I was not the network admin. I think I might have also been employed there because I was the only other programmer in the whole department who could work with Pauros the Greek.

Anyway, the point was that he could not bring himself to imagine anything that couldn’t be tested and proven scientifically, empirically, he always insisted that he needed data to back up anything and everything. He refused to contemplate or imagine the universe and everything in it as a subset of reality, created by a being who existed outside the universe.

Solipsism

My fallback position when beaten down by yet another tirade about my “primitive superstitions” was “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” – Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio, or simply to drop some offhanded remark to the effect that “Solipsists are out of touch”.

This always provoked sulking followed by further tirades on the “stupidity” of my views. It was a really fun place to work. Pauros the Greek simply couldn’t admit that his “beliefs” were every bit as much “faith based” as mine.

He and another similar friend, Caoimhín the Celtic Prince, who I met later, have always personified what I see as wrong with Atheism. Behind all their precisely articulated views was the same premise: there is no God, no ultimate meaning beyond ourselves, beyond self.

SolipsismBut, if there is no real meaning to our lives, what is the point of living? No answers there … nada. Caoimhín the Celtic Prince, at least, would admit that his worldview was faith based like my own.

Both were fundamentally unhappy people, for example, Pauros was working hard on getting rid of his third wife without loosing any money and Caoimhín never landed a wife, though not for want of trying. They both were completely wrapped up in and focused on what was wrong with the world of their existence.

But, no answers were forthcoming to the “Why?” question. If life was meaningless, why didn’t they just kill themselves? Pauros’ reply to that question was, “Well, a lot of people do kill themselves because they don’t have the courage to live with the truth.” Caoimhín, on the other hand, believed that it was possible and desirable to be a good person (where did his standard of ‘goodness’ came from? No answer there).

Caoimhín, curiously a big fan of LOTR, maintained that life was worth living, even at a time when he was dieing of bowel cancer. Maybe Caoimhín, in his clear and present understanding of the end, was perhaps more of an “Atheism Lite” philosopher, maybe “meaning” was creeping in “at the end of all things”.

At the End Of All Things

Neither Pauros nor Caoimhín could ever explain how life could be worth living and yet have no meaning? This paradox was not even acknowledged. But atheism, when consistently, logically, lived out, seems to me to be a life of self-deception or despair, or some combination of both, a sliding scale of illogic and unhappiness, a pride in despair, so to speak.

This is all about pride, despairing pride, lonely pride, providing the self I worship with a dark comfort. This is sin, this feeling of superiority is terribly attractive, easy to get attached to, like so many of life’s pleasures.

Once you are there, in your despairing superiority, it is hard to to give it up. Its akin to the feeling of superiority one is tempted with when the current government, which one didn’t vote for, takes everything to hell in a hand basket, and one feels a smug “I told you so…”.

On the part of the atheist, any departure from this “rational” superiority of despair, any turn towards not having “the courage to live with the truth”, would mean that all those superstitious people you have so enjoyed mocking and sneering at really do know more than you. It would mean you’re not so special any more, it would mean giving up being special by virtue of the belief that everyone else is a fool.

Unfortunately, self-referential meaning is only a short-lived stop-gap: it is real only in the sense that the stage set of Elsinore Castle (see Hamlet quote above) or Darth Vader’s Death Star is a real place. We can suspend disbelief while the play (our life) is being performed, but at some point, the curtain falls and one must leave the theater. The “poor player” strutting his stuff must leave the stage.

So, if “Helping Others”, “Doing Good Work”, and “Having Friends” are just a “stage setting” and “green screen special effects”, then what? Pauros and Caoimhín seemed to share a vision, that vision which John Lennon articulated in the popular song “Imagine”, and it’s beautiful song . . . if you don’t think too hard about it. If we don’t think about it then the “nowhere” outside our “ME” universe surrounds our cold fortress of solitude, and there is nothing else, no joy, no forgiveness, no point in anything, just put your Ruger in your mouth and save the planet from your wasteful consumption of resources..

The vision: “Imagine there’s no heaven. Imagine there’s no hell. Imagine all the people, living life in” … WTF Man? Take religion out of the picture, and everybody spontaneously starts living life in peace? Whaaa?  Now I have been around the block a few times, my blog is named “notmyfirstrodeo” for a reason. In my experience, peace is not the default state of human beings. All I need to do is look at myself, and most of the people I have met over the last 50 years, to recognize that anger, jealousy, insecurity, envy, contempt, selfishness, fear, and greed are deeply rooted in the core of every human.

Even a cursory look and listen about us today with unjaundiced eyes reveals the big lie of our atheistic culture. There is no god, there is no devil, there is nothing outside of the self … and all the evil we see playing out everywhere around us is just a figment of our imagination. They are not really people, they have no value, out out brief flame. Medical malpractice, traffic accidents, abortion and euthanasia, mercy wagons, 9/11, all the same … erasing the inconvenient …

It seems to me that a cultural embrace of atheism, namely “Secular Humanism”, leaves folks with all the same problems as history suggests, but worse! The 20th century’s atheistic human rights track record, that is, the human-rights track record of atheist countries, like China, and the Soviet Union, and Canada, is poor.

I know and understand the difference between imagination and wishful thinking. If atheism is true, if life truly has no meaning, then all of our actions cannot have any meaning either, there is no right or wrong, no rights and no responsibilities, no justice, no love, entropy rules and at the end of all things we are just so much rotting meat turning into dust.

And the difference between imagination and wishful thinking is beautifully captured in the poem “Dover Beach” by Mathew Arnold:

Dover Beach

Matthew Arnold, 1822 - 1888

Matthew Arnold, 1822 – 1888

Matthew Arnold, 1822 – 1888

The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast, the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,

Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Aegean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Cheers

Joe

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

… and miles to go before I sleep …

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Gerard Manley Hopkins … “Carrion Comfort”

“Ladies in Lavender”, Joshua Bell, from the album “the Essential Joshua Bell”, (2005)

Ayodeji Malcolm Guite (born 12 November 1957)

Ayodeji Malcolm Guite (born 12 November 1957)

Courtesy of Malcolm Guite,  I seem happily to have rediscovered poetry after a hiatus of several decades. Ayodeji Malcolm Guite (born 12 November 1957) is an English poet, singer-songwriter, Anglican priest, and academic. Born in Nigeria to British expatriate parents, Guite earned degrees from Cambridge and Durham universities.

His research interests include the intersection of religion and the arts, and the examination of the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, and British poets such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

He is currently a Bye-Fellow and chaplain of Girton College, Cambridge and associate chaplain of St Edward King and Martyr in Cambridge.

On several occasions, he has taught as visiting faculty at several colleges and universities in England and North America. Guite is the author of five books of poetry, some of which are available on Amazon.com Kindle editions.

The poem caught my attention was “St. Michael and All Angels” from “Sounding the Seasons: Seventy Sonnets for the Christian Year” (London: Canterbury Press, 2012). Found on Amazon.com, for a few bucks.

And by the wandering connections of serendipity I later found Gerard Manley Hopkins. Born at Stratford, Essex, England, on July 28, 1844, Gerard Manley Hopkins is regarded as one the Victorian era’s greatest poets. He was raised in a prosperous and artistic family. He attended Balliol College, Oxford, in 1863, where he studied Classics.

In 1864, Hopkins first read John Henry Newman’s Apologia pro via sua, which discussed the author’s reasons for converting to Catholicism. Two years later, Newman himself received Hopkins into the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1884, he became a professor of Greek at the Royal University College in Dublin. He died five years later from typhoid fever. Although his poems were never published during his lifetime, his friend poet Robert Bridges edited a volume of Hopkins’s Poems that first appeared in 1918. His collected poems, exercised a profound influence on modern poetry.

This volume features all of Hopkins’s mature work, offering a sampler of the poet’s striking originality, intellectual depth, and perceptive vision. Hopkins is considered by many to be the greatest Victorian Poet.

Featured works include his well-known elegy, “The Wreck of the Deutschland,” “God’s Grandeur,” “Hurrahing in Harvest,” “The Windhover,” “Pied Beauty,” and “Carrion Comfort.” Additional verses include “The Caged Skylark,” “The Bugler’s First Communion,” “The Starlight Night,” “The Silver Jubilee,” “Henry Purcell,” “Andromeda,” and others.

Carrion Comfort

By Gerard Manley Hopkins

Not, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
Not untwist — slack they may be — these last strands of man
In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan
With darksome devouring eyes my bruisèd bones? and fan,
O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?

Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.
Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, chéer.
Cheer whom though? the hero whose heaven-handling flung me, fóot tród
Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night, that year
Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.

The volume is available from Amazon.com for a couple of bucks … well worth the read.

Cheers

Joe

… and miles to go before we sleep …

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Michaelmas … The Feast of St. Michael and All Angels

Snow”, by Kobudo, from the album “Ototabi”  (2013)

Malcolm Guite,

Malcolm Guite,

This is an edited re-post of a previous post from August, and the Feast has arrived, as all good things do. Today is September 29th, the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.

As previously mentioned, I came across some interesting books of poetry while browsing my Amazon account like I used to do as a young man in my favorite used book stores in Montreal and Ottawa, long before the days of internet and online anything.

In this enlightened age, following the suggestions of their algorithm of choice on Amazon, or Netflix, or any other marketing bot attempting to sell us stuff, can really end up in a deep ditch of habit unless considered and actively rejected.

Sometimes it pays to actually go on a quest for something different than normal, thinking for oneself can be refreshing … found this poet … Malcolm Guite, interesting man … and very worthwhile considering on our cool fall days. Winter is coming.

St. Michael, Archangel

St. Michael, Archangel

Popularly knows as Michaelmas; also known as the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, the Feast of the Archangels, or the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels) is a minor Christian festival observed in some Western liturgical calendars on 29 September.

It is observed by Anglicans, Catholics, Lutherans, and Eastern Orthodox communions. From my Daily Roman Missal:

St. Gabriel

St. Gabriel, Archangel

“St. Michael (“Who is like God”) is the Archangel who fought Satan.  He is the protector of all people and reminds the faithful of the real existence of the Devil and demonic activity. He is invoked for protection from the snares of the Devil.

St. Gabriel (“Strength of God”) announced to St. Zechariah the birth of St. John the Baptist and to the Blessed Virgin Mary the birth of Christ. His greeting to Our Lady, “Hail, full of grace,” is one of the most familiar and frequent prayers of the Church.

St. Raphael, Archangel

St. Raphael, Archangel

St. Raphael (“Medicine of God”) is the Archangel who, in the Book of Tobit, cared for Tobias on his journey. Every person on his or her pilgrimage through this life also has a guardian angel.”

In some denominations a reference to a fourth angel, usually Uriel, is also added. In Christian angelology, the Archangel Michael is the greatest of all the Archangels and is honored for defeating Satan in the war in heaven.

He is one of the principal angelic warriors, seen as a protector against the dark of night, and the administrator of cosmic intelligence.

Michaelmas has also delineated time and seasons for secular purposes, as well, particularly in Britain and Ireland as one of the quarter days.

*****

St. Michael and All Angels

Michaelmas gales assail the waning year,
And Michael’s scale is true, his blade is bright.

He strips dead leaves, and leaves the living clear
To flourish in the touch and reach of light.

Archangel bring your balance, help me turn
Upon this turning world with you and dance
In the Great Dance.

Draw near, help me discern,
And trace the hidden grace in change and chance.

Angel of fire, Love’s fierce radiance,
Drive through the deep until the steep waves part;

Undo the dragon’s sinuous influence
And pierce the clotted darkness in my heart.

Unchain the child you find there, break the spell
And overthrow the tyrannies of Hell.

Malcolm Guite, This poem from “Sounding the Seasons: Seventy Sonnets for the Christian Year” (London: Canterbury Press, 2012). Found on Amazon.com,

*****

Cheers

Joe

… and miles to go before we sleep …

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Models of Self Love …

CCCP Vega Probe Engineering Model

CCCP Vega Probe Engineering Model

Still thinking about Models. Thinking about what all Models seem to have in common.

It appears to me that Hard Models, those Engineering Models and Physics Models, which keep literally everything we depend on to stay alive and more or less healthy running smoothly, are based on a tangible reality, a measurable reality.

All those Grey Tribe models which the majority of folks take totally for granted and never think about, are mostly based on provable facts, and, or, theories based on facts.

Systems Engineering Models

Systems Engineering Models

Striking similarities between all Hard Models are that they can be used predictively, in fact their utility increases if they are found to be highly predictive and they are all replicable by any number of independent engineers and scientists.

One of the striking aspects of Soft Models, Pink Tribe Models, is the striking lack of anything real or absolutely quantifiable shown in those models. The fudge-factor in Soft Models is huge.

A good site to have a quick look at what I am talking about here is the Semantic Scholar site and the article here.  All the Soft Models have this in common, that they exclusively model “ideas”, they are rooted in “Ideology”. Soft Models may make use of real world objects or observed phenomena but only in the sense that they “need” some reference to reality by analogy to give a patina of reality to their ideology.

An Engineering Model that works

A Hard Model rooted in empirical facts about real world parameters of the modeler

In the world of Soft Models, Pink Tribe models, are all about how we would like things to line up with the “desirable” outcome.

Even in the Soft Model world of pseudo-science like political “science” and social “science”, even there, they at least give lip service to these characteristics of predicative value and replication of models.

Of interest, aside from my purpose here, on the same site are several articles like “3 Secrets to Outsmarting a Narcissist“, and “It Takes Just One Question to Identify Narcissism“, and  “14 Thought-Control Tactics Narcissists Use to Confuse and Dominate You“.

Just remembered something, back in 2014 when I started blogging, what tipped me over the edge into writing about my experiences was the reality of dealing with Narcissists. Wow, I am coming up to four years blogging. That’s over a million words since 2014, self centered words flowing from my own model. My own Narcissism. This change of focus is what I was aiming for when I started writing.

Freud' Commitee, Ideological Models

Freud’ Committee, Ideological Models

I was pretty angry at the time and started writing about things, here, and here, and here, and here, as a kind of self help therapy. I wanted to have some sort of narrative available to which I could refer back when the reality of my experience was re-written by others.

After all, it is not only history which is re-written to cover up the past. Individuals do it every day in their thinking about what happened and how it reflects on their conduct. Freud probably would have had something to say about my hidden motives.

Anyway, the point of this is to illustrate the degree of self love apparent in the kinds of models we make use of to interact with our world, our “reality. Hard Models tend to have more “real” stuff and significantly lower “self-love” factors. Soft Models tend to have significantly less “real” stuff, and significantly higher levels of the “self-love” factor.

The Mind is not an iceberg

The Mind is not an iceberg. The Ideology is that the Mind is “sort of” like an iceberg in “some ways”

Models rooted in empirical facts and measurable hard data tend to be less about the brilliance of the modeler and more about the real world item being modeled.

Models rooted in Ideology and self referenced opinion of individuals or groups tend to be more about the brilliance of the modeler(s) and less about reality on the ground.

At the foundational level, all this is really about metaphysics and spiritual truths.

Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the essence of a thing. This includes questions of being, becoming, existence, and reality. The word “metaphysics” comes from the Greek words that literally mean “beyond nature”.

“Nature” in this sense refers to the nature of a thing, such as its cause and purpose. Metaphysics then studies questions of a thing beyond or above questions of its nature, in particular its essence or its qualities of being.

The Value of Metaphysics

“The Value of Metaphysics”, as communicated in a Beautiful Artsy Media Graphic meant to “simplify” the “idea” of metaphysics for the simple man-in-the-street.

Now, we “Brights” of our sophisticated modern age, have a way of cluttering up the landscape of thought with ever finer divisions and subdivisions and categories of things.

We do this until the origins of whatever we are discussing are completely obscured in generations worth of Erudite Academic Bafflegab.

For example, we have philosophical periods, thus Ancient, Medieval, Modern, and Contemporary.

And within these periods we, as a culture, classify Philosophers somewhat along these lines: Aestheticians, Epistemologists, Ethicists, Logicians, Metaphysicians, and then there are the Social and Political philosophers, the “Johnny-Come-Latelies” of philosophical history, riding on the authoritative coat-tails of the giants who went before, mostly wrapped up in debating and implementing various Pink Tribe Models for government, that serve various sociological agendas and programs amongst various elites in our Progressive polite society.

The Worship Pool

The Worship Pool, O see how bright and beautiful I am … Practically Perfect in Every way.

And to further obfuscate Truth, all these philosophers toil away within an array of “Traditions”. We have split up philosophy into many, sometimes rather arbitrary “Traditions”, such as African, Analytic, Aristotelian, Buddhist, Chinese, Christian, Continental, Existentialism, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Pragmatism, Eastern, Islamic, Platonic, and Western.

BUT … Its really a LOT simpler than all that.

The reality of all these “traditions”, this detailed taxonomy of thought, comes down to only four basic “Models”. Those models are worldviews at their most basic level. The Four Models, the four major global worldviews are Material Naturalism, Secular humanism, Pantheism and Monotheism, represented by Judeo-Christianity.

Now this is all about our Models, and about whether our Models best reflect reality or something else. I am going to quote from a book by Mary Poplin, “Is Reality Secular” because she does such a good job of setting this all out clearly and concisely. Here is her explanation of the four Models:

*****

Mary Poplin

Mary Poplin

“Material naturalism is the belief that all that exists in the world is ultimately reducible to material phenomena. From this perspective, Mother Teresa was just a unique bundle of brain chemistry with particular psychoneural processes acting predictably, prompting her to do what she did.

Secular humanism is the belief that human beings are alone in the world and must act responsibly by forming their ethics solely from their human experience, human reason and science. From this perspective, Mother Teresa simply decided who she wanted to be and what she wanted to do and garnered the fortitude, determination and self-discipline necessary to do good works.

Pantheism is the belief that everything in the universe is a manifestation of a universal spirit. From the perspective of this nonsecular worldview, Mother Teresa might be interpreted as a more highly enlightened or reincarnated soul who had a strong spiritual connection to the divine spirit inside all of nature, including human nature.

And then there is Monotheism, (and as some of us might know,) this is the belief that there is a transcendent personal God, external to us, living and acting in the world, as well as in and through us.

In this worldview, the fact that Jesus appeared to Mother Teresa in three visions and asked her to do precisely what she did when she left the safe cloister of the Loreto convent, is an admissible fact. Within the orthodox principles of the Judeo-Christian worldview her visions of Christ and obedience to his request are wholly credible.

For the other three world views, the other three Models, the visions and interactions experienced by Mother Teresa simply cannot be considered an admissible fact. It isn’t plausible through the lenses of the secular worldviews. It isn’t part of the Western secular plausibility structure (the set of meanings in a culture that qualify as being possible).

Even Westernized Christians often find her visions incredible, acceptable only if interpreted as a personal psychological state, not as a reality. Now there are five characteristics of all four worldviews.

First and most consequential, all worldviews begin with faith, a metaphysical belief that cannot be verified using scientific methods. Robert Bellah points out that the Latin word for faith, “fides”, is more akin to the English term for trust rather than belief.

Though these faith statements can be argued philosophically, and from evidence we can inductively and deductively hypothesize, none can be proven empirically through scientific methods, including material naturalism. Every worldview begins with faith in something empirically or scientifically unknowable.

Second, every non-Christian worldview holds within it some principles of the Judeo-Christian worldview. Thus there is an overlap between principles of Judeo-Christianity and those of material naturalism, secular humanism and pantheism.

Third, there are also principles held by each of these three worldviews that lie outside of the Judeo-Christian worldview, such as the material-naturalist belief that everything that exists is ultimately a material or natural phenomenon. From a Judeo-Christian standpoint, these principles would be considered errors of commission.

Fourth, there are principles of Judeo-Christianity that lie outside the purview of believers in these other three worldviews. The absence of these principles in other worldviews would be considered by Christians as errors of omission.

Finally, none of these worldviews is more progressive or modern than the other. They have all existed ever since recorded history. The only real question is, are one or more of these an adequate description of reality?”

Mary Poplin, “Is Reality Secular?: Testing the Assumptions of Four Global Worldviews” (Veritas Books) (pp. 28 – 31). InterVarsity Press.

*****

St. Mary Magdalen die Pazzi, (April 2, 1566 – May 25, 1607)

St. Mary Magdalen die Pazzi, (April 2, 1566 – May 25, 1607)

At the end of this it all comes down to personal spiritual values. and I am going to end this with a quote from a saint in my Monotheistic worldview, St. Mary Magdalen die Pazzi, (April 2, 1566 – May 25, 1607), a Carmelite Mystic, thus:

What then, O my God, deprives the soul of Your Spirit? It is perverse self-love, the source and origin of every sin. Alas, I well see that the world remains wholly submerged and drowned in self-love! Some persons are sunk in it by their intellect, some by their memory, some by their will, and some, with their whole soul, submerge themselves in it. What is most displeasing to You, O God, is that this perverse self-love dwells even in Your Priests and in Your (Religious). The disorder of our self-love, of our attachment to our own will is no small thing. It does not require mountains of enormous sins to block the course of this rapid stream, this ocean of love; the sands of our defects, which we think trivial, but which are not, suffice to do so.”  (St. Mary Magdalen die Pazzi,)

It really is all about our Models and Self-Love. When one gives it some thought it becomes clear that virtually every evil which we experience in these enlightened times is the direct result of self-love.

Cheers

Joe

The examination of conscience is a long dry march to contrition. Place in me Lord a humble and contrite heart.

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

More Models … How do we know our model is moral?

The Parliament Buildings

The Parliament Buildings

Cold and snowing for the last two days, but today it is starting to melt and is now raining. Gotta love that Global Warming, eh? Today’s post has turned into a bit of a rant.

Tornado in Ottawa last week, but unfortunately it missed the Parliament buildings and we are still stuck with Boy Justin and his merry band of … Hmmmm … I really don’t have a politically correct collective noun for what passes for politicians in Canada these days.

Been thinking about Models. Thinking about how adopting models which support what we already believe is truth, is much easier than actually developing our own model based on logic and our own personal observations and experience about reality on the ground. BUT, just running with whatever our personal howler jungle on Social Media tells us to believe, is really, really, dangerous.

Easy but dangerous, hmmm, sounds familiar somehow. Maybe from a past life? Hold My Beer!

Found a decent article from back in September 2017, about a year ago, about moral discernment as it might apply to judging the efficacy of models. How do we know these days, in our polite society, the difference between right and wrong? Can our culture even begin to understand the difference any more?

Kristallnacht

The morning after Kristallnacht (November 1938)  Love Trumps Hate? Gee, haven’t we been here before? No, wait a minute … that was the REAL Nazi’s, not the latest hate crime by the perennially disgruntled left.

I am not going to cut and paste,  Read it all here.  Just click the link and read the whole thing in context, or not, since the difference between right and wrong doesn’t really seem to matter any more even amongst those charged with teaching the rest of us what the difference is. Bad personal choices are on a par with bad fashion sense these days so who cares anyway.

Its hard to believe, (this in a country that is not the U.S.A.) but I am still coming face to face weekly with everyman-in-the-steet choosing to rant about Trump instead of having any sort of meaningful discussion or chat about the reality on the ground.

Where are they getting this Kool Aid? Remember Kool Aid? The phrasedrinking the KoolAid” refers to the 1978 Jonestown massacre, in which more than 900 people committed mass suicide by drinking a flavored drink mixed with Valium, chloral hydrate, cyanide, and Phenergan. It wasn’t really Kool Aid but who cares about truth anyway.

Social Media is truly the new Kool Aid, the great global tyranny. More dangerous than ISIS, Stalin, Chairman Mao, Pol Pot, Pierre Eliot Trudeau, pick your disaster, Social Media is more dangerous than a nuclear strike.

“Obviously” its all Trump’s fault … Ferguson Riots.

Because people are looking for truth, and they just want to belong to the “In Crowd”, or maybe just any crowd. The Kool crowd and all these Neo-Brights who missed the boat in high school can make up for lost ground on Social Media.

We get rants here from various folks, about the economy (Trump’s fault), and the weather (somehow all Trump again), and cancelled pipeline projects (Trump again), and why things are so screwed up (yet again Trump screwing things around), and everyone else is stupid (Trump’s fault?) cause they don’t get it (Trump’s fault?) and they don’t agree with me. Its liiiike … WTF!!!

Yes!  Trump is a dick with a capital D! Get over it people! Get a life! Trump doesn’t have anything to do with the cosmically stupid political and economic decisions of Canadians! Trump is America’s problem, not ours.

WTF! Everything that is screwed up here is conceived, born, raised and carefully brought to fruition right here in Any-town, Any-province, Canaja.

We do stupid stuff all the time, just like everywhere else, and we elect dangerous people, not as bad as some places but bad enough, and then when things go in the crapper we blame TRUMP? What is WRONG with you people?

These are all home grown problems created by and for Canadians. Trump is too busy doing real world class stuff (however we feel about it) to be bothered dickin’ around with some minor third world country like Canada!  Jeez, get a life.

Obviously” Canada’s economy has nothing to do with Canadian policies and Carbon Taxes, and shutting down pipeline projects because some Sierra Club Tracy Two-Tits waved a sign in boy Justin’s face for a couple of minutes and threatened his opinion polls. No, its all just Trump’s fault.

And the weather is bitterly cold and it’s snowing in September and we are getting December weather and of course that just has to be caused by Global Warming so see the Carbon tax insanity above (AND its all Trump’s fault).

Were people always like this or is this something new? “Obviously“, this kind of thinking was popular in Germany, the morning after Kristallnacht (November 1938). (Could THAT have been Trump’s fault as well?)

So, given the precedent of November 1938, what could possibly be wrong with the same kind of thinking here and now, when all these anti-global warming, anti-gun control, anti-abortion, anti-carbon tax, anti-East, anti-West (pick your tribe), knuckle dragging losers in flyover country are “obviously” idiots and don’t know their butts from a hole in the ground.

“Obviously, all right minded people know this to be true”.

Well, feel so much better now. Haven’t indulged in a rant for a while, and I am out of practice. Just standing around looking at the flagpole.

Cheers

Joe

Winter Is Coming 

 

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

Models … and Socratic Dialogue …

St. Mathew and the Angel

St. Mathew and the Angel

Failed and failing models have been with us for most of history. In the Catholic world, today is the Feast of St. Mathew. Little is known about St. Matthew, except that he was the son of Alpheus, and he was likely born in Galilee.

He worked as a Roman tax collector, a profession which was a hated during the time of Christ. According to the Gospel, Matthew was working at a collection booth in Capernaum when Christ came to him and asked, “Follow me.” With this simple call, Matthew became a disciple of Christ.

From Matthew we know of the many doings of Christ and the message Christ spread of salvation for all people who come to God through Him. The Gospel account of Matthew tells the same story as that found in the other three Gospels, so scholars are certain of its authenticity. His book is the first of the four Gospels in the New Testament, Mathew, Mark, Like, and John

Many years following the death of Christ, around 41 to 50 AD, Matthew wrote his gospel account. He wrote the book in Aramaic in the hope that his account would convince his fellow Jews that Jesus was the Messiah and that His kingdom had been fulfilled in a spiritual way.

Destruction of Jewish Temple, AD 70 by Roman Legions.

Destruction of Jewish Temple, AD 70 by Roman Legions.

It was an important message at a time when almost everyone was still expecting the return of a militant messiah brandishing a sword, and restoring dominance to the Kingdom of Israel. That was the “Model” generally accepted by the majority of Jews in Palestine at that time.

The foundational failure of that archetypal Model was worked out in agony and suffering when Roman Legions destroyed Jerusalem in 70 ADSome reports put the death toll of the conquest of Jerusalem at over 600,000 from both the actions of the Roman conquerors and the fratricidal combat between various disagreeing factions amongst the Jewish defenders.

Even when facing death the factions of believers of conflicting sub-models couldn’t let their models go. So folks really get attached to their model being right and will not accept anything else even on pain of death. Not testing our models can be, and often is, deadly. So, how to test our models?

Father Hunwicke presents a nice little Socratic Dialogue on his site today.

Now Catholics have a model regarding Jesus Christ being the only Child of the Virgin Mary. One of the interesting things about Models (previous post here) is that the elements of a Model or a “Worldview” can be identified and considered in a logical and rational manner, devoid of subjective emotionalism and moral relativism. Design and construction of a worldview can be analyzed without having a physical creation present to hammer on.

We can employ and enjoy “Gedankenexperiments” which rely on generally accepted rules of conduct and logic to maintain the focus on truth, the subject of the discussion, and give direction of the discussion. The name of this particular experiment is “Socratic Dialogue”, named after Socrates, of course, one of the early practitioners of such logical discussion.

Perhaps the biggest flag regarding the validity or failure of any model is the willingness or unwillingness of the developers and adherents of the model to engage in these sorts of discussions. Father Hunwicke’s short piece perfectly illustrates the fruitless pursuit of discussing most “soft” models with the developers and adherents of same.

The statement “all right minded people know this to be true” no more imparts truth, than the man in a dark room yelling that “there is no sun” blots out the sun. Still it shines … and here is the dialogue … with pretty typical results …

*****

Haereticus: The Gospels make it quite clear that Jesus had brothers.
Catholicus: They don’t. “Adelphoi” can mean kinsmen. It doesn’t have to mean uterine (that is, born-of-the-same-womb) brothers.
Haereticus: So you say. But that’s the obvious meaning if anyone talks about “Jesus’ brothers” in any language, isn’t it?
Catholicus: Not at all. Mark’s and Matthew’s Gospels, in their accounts of the Crucifixion, both talk about “Mary the mother of James and Joses [or Joseph]”. If this Mary had been the same as Christ’s own mother, it would have been very odd for them not to refer to her as the Mother of Jesus. The “obvious” and natural inference is that the “Mother of James and Joses” was a different Mary from “Mary the Mother of Jesus”.
Haereticus: So what?
Catholicus: Well, in Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55, the places where those “brothers of Jesus” are mentioned, the full text reads: ” Jesus the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses [or Joseph] and Judas and Simon”. We’ve just seen that this James and this Joses are apparently the sons of some Mary who was not the same as Mary the Mother of Jesus. And they’re the first two on the list here. The list is thus clearly not itemizing individuals who were uterine brothers of Jesus.
Haereticus: Well, I still think it’s obvious that …
Catholicus: If it’s so “obvious”, you’ve got some explaining to do. Throughout the second century the Gospels were increasingly regarded as ‘canonical’ and authoritative. If it is so “obvious” that James and the rest of those listed in the Gospels were uterine brothers of Jesus, then the tradition that Jesus was Mary’s only child must have arisen well before those Gospels came to be regarded as authorities. Otherwise, when somebody started saying “she never had any more children”, somebody who had read the Gospels would have said “Aha, you’re wrong: here’s a list of his brothers”. So, if you’re right about it being so “obvious”, you’re going to have to admit that Mary’s perpetual virginity is so early a tradition as to predate the acquisition of authority by our Four Gospels; which modern scholarship dates to the beginning of the second century at the latest. I’ve got you either way.
Haereticus: That’s all gobbledygook. It’s obvious …
Catholicus: That’s the problem with you Prods and you Liberals. You’re impervious to evidence and to reason.
Haereticus: Of course we are. “Reason is the Devil’s Whore”. Martin Luther said so. It’s obvious.

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

Models …

Ground Control, Apollo 13

Ground Control, Apollo 13

Models matter, just like details matter. Good models can provide insight into mechanisms and into directions for better predictive utility and better responses to problems which we encounter in the world.

Engineering models give us airplanes that mostly don’t crash, cars that mostly get to their destinations, bridges that mostly don’t fall down, sewer and water systems that mostly keep us healthy, elevators that mostly don’t drop us to our deaths, and civil infrastructure systems that keep us alive in spite of much of our stupidity.

Bell X-1b cockpit 1947

Bell X-1b cockpit 1947

Good models also help us figure out better solutions when things don’t work the way we were expecting, when things go wrong. And in the hard disciplines, at least, the people who make and use the models are held accountable for the results when the models fail.

Unfortunately, outside of the hard sciences and engineering, where reality matters and failure usually results in blood on the floor, many models often fall short of replicating and predicting the full spectrum of reality.

But what’s really going on here … in this rant? This whole Post reflects MY model of reality … can I back it up with research? No. Can I make real world predictions based on this model? Yes, most of the time this model predicts quite effectively the coming course of events … BUT … and its a BIG BUT! This is just MY model about what I perceive as other faulty models. What makes my model right?

In spite of being somewhat successful at predicting it fails utterly in telling me anything about motives, malice, intentions, thoughts, and desires on the part of those individuals who collectively make up the “Herd”. All those are MY sins resulting from MY model. I am judgemental and self centered, I feel good about myself because “I am just so bright”. My ego gets stroked every time my model proves accurate. My model is all about me.

The "Hockey Stick graph" is now "settled science

The “Hockey Stick graph” is now “settled science”,

The Global Warming Environmental Model and the now infamous “Hockey Stick graph is now “settled science” depending on who you talk to and what their agenda is.

But that hugely flawed model continues to wreak havoc and cause untold misery for millions of regular folks every day.

And I judge and attribute intent and malice because of my model, but I don’t really have any data on motive and intent.

Keynesian Economic Models are still robustly defended in all government and management circles despite massive evidence to the contrary which was front and center from every source after the great “Too Big To Fail” financial meltdown of 2008.  And, again,  I judge and attribute intent and malice because of my model, but, again, I don’t really have any data on motive and intent.

The "Great Leader" and cronies ... 2016

The “Great Leader” and cronies … 2016

Then there are the multitude of Political Models of various persuasions, and the Social and Anthropological models of how society works, how humans work together in groups.

And, of course, my model gives rise to the question of “How can people be so crazy and stupid as to vote for (fill in your favorite enemy party)? They don’t agree with me, therefore they must be wrong, right?

Curiously, when these models fail to reflect reality no one seems to be responsible, no one is held accountable for the failure of the model and the often deadly results (see the Guidelines link below)

9/11 Joy!

9/11 Joy!

Outside of the hard sciences like Engineering, few are held accountable when the latest soft model fails to produce as advertised.

People die, and huge amounts of resources are pissed away chasing fantasies based on models which have only a passing connection to any real research and development and testing. Well, this is pretty obvious in my model, but how do I know that as fact?

You have doubts? You need more data to see the validity of my model? How about just one example for now: the Beta-Blocker fraud … check out this article for a starting place:

‘Guidelines Based on Discredited Research May Have Caused 800,000 Deaths In Europe Over The Last 5 Years.’

“I would replace the word ‘May’ with these two words ‘almost certainly.’ You would think, would you not, that if any other event in the world, at any time, had killed eight hundred thousand people, this would be front page headlines around the world for weeks, probably months, maybe even years.

The reality is, I am willing to bet, that you have never even heard of this gigantic scandal. It will not have appeared in any national television programme, or newspaper. The blogosphere is also, almost totally silent.”

“Ideological”  models permit and encourage divergence of action and activities from truth and natural law into fantasy. “We hold these truths to be self evident” is manifestly false today for many people, perhaps even most people, because our morally relativistic “Ideological models” say otherwise, that there are no truths so they can’t be self evident.

Ideological models encourage paradoxical fantasies about how things would be “if only” … how things “should be” in order to conform with whatever the protagonists, the brights and elites, the legislators, the advocates, want to do onto others in the real world … supporting their desire to indulge in the latest fashionable “deviance du jour”.

One small example of this moral relativism in action is the vast tide of “government money” and “Human Rights” legislation now being poured into advancing the politically correct agenda of the Rainbow Coalition.

Of course, this is what my model predicts and from this I, in my egotistical, self centered wisdom, draw conclusions leading me to attributions about people’s motivations and thoughts that are really only known to God.

Moral Relativism

Moral Relativism

There a lot of problems with models … Weather models (global warming), Economic models (Keynesian), Health models (Beta-Blockers or Cancer causes), Political models (Liberal or Democratic or Conservative ), Ideological models (Socialism, Communism, Fascism, Genderism, Progressive Humanism, Monarchy, Theocracy).

Simplification, Elegance and Spin are more important than facts and truth, remove all distractions that detract from the objective and argument being presented, Elegant Theory is more desirable than Messy Reality.

My model sees everywhere serious compromises of the primary predictive purpose of models in favour of theoretical elegance, simplicity of presentation, and punchy delivery. All these polished models are divorced from real-world relevance in favour of establishing and increasing individual wealth and power. That’s how the 30 second sound bite model stacks up … in my model … which of course is the only correct model, right? What about “Judge not, lest you be judged by the same standard”?

Hypothetical premise – opening statement:

LGBT is true and OK, just not for clerics

LGBT is true and OK, just not for clerics

In the West, “Government” was once a “higher calling”, for example Marcus Aurelius, or Thomas More. But the line of Lords weakened and failed, the torch has fallen to lesser men “the Stewards of Gondor”. Government and Public Administration have become the least rewarding of all fields of endeavor. As a result, government attracts only the most fearful and mediocre players and workers“.

Hmmm … in my model, there is no apparent opposition to the hypothesis … must be true then, right?

Our government seems to attract career drones … those lacking vision, capacity for thought, and unable to succeed elsewhere, or unable to gain employment in other fields. Drones are remotely controlled, lacking in autonomy and intelligence, simply following orders.

Whether from lack of freedom or lacking the confidence to strike out on their own, they “middle of the road” everything. Everything and anything can be seen and presented as acceptable in the right light, with the right “spin”. My model, again.

By Christoph Lange / Langec - Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=543303

By Christoph Lange / Langec – Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=543303

Government and administration, aka “Management” seems to attract those who would rather remain a part of the faceless herd, faceless but powerful in their anonymity, secretive gang members operating in Nacht und Neble”.

My model again. So what if the historic facts support this model, it is still just my model, right? See the moral relativism image above.

Hmmm, well who else seems to share my model as their model? This is called “Appeal to Authority”. I validate my model based on the credibility of others in authority who share, or seem to share, my model.

Well, lots of other people share my model, at least in part. Lots of unpopular thinkers who are no longer fashionable in the western bureaucracies, or academia, and especially unheard of in the media of our day.

Perhaps, having read their works, they have in fact influenced my model.

Like who?

How about this one:  Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (1909-1999) , wrote a book about the phenomenon, “The Menace of the Herd, or Procrustes at Large“. Super book, and available on Kindle for pennies. Definitely worth the read.

Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn was an Austrian nobleman and socio-political theorist who described himself as an enemy of all forms of totalitarianism and as an “extreme conservative arch-liberal” or “liberal of the extreme right.” Note: This is NOT our current usage of the term “Liberal”, but rather the classical definition of Liberal.

Described by contemporaries as “A Walking Book of Knowledge”, Kuehnelt-Leddihn had an encyclopedic knowledge of the humanities and was a polyglot, able to speak eight languages and read seventeen others. This man had and has huge cred.

That is just so unlike our “Bottom of the Barrel” bureaucrats, who are most desiring of personal “security” and most motivated by fear”, all these special ones who don’t want to be blamed or held accountable for anything. My model again … nasty model, eh?

Ironically, our culture has also gifted those very same mediocre players and workers with vast wealth as the  gatekeepers of the public treasury. “Public Money” and “Public Programs”, those programs most concerned with direction and disbursement of those same “public monies” have become the Holy Grail of all treasure hunters everywhere.

What is "normal"?

What is “normal”? All cuteness aside, it seems that only one of the above actually keep folks safe.

“Government funding” has developed into the ultimate “mother-lode” for everyone and every agenda outside of the government herd, the mythological “Horn of Plenty” colloquially known as “The Big Tit”.

To ease the draining of the horn we have perfected the art of elegant simplicity to the exclusion of reality. This has been done in order to impress simple gatekeepers with elegance and erudition.

This is colloquially known as “BS baffles brains”. My model again.

If you can’t say it in a 20 slide Power Point presentation or a one line Blackberry text, or best of all just one cute picture,  then management just doesn’t have time to investigate the reality of a proposal or to consider potential outcomes which in any other field would be career stoppers. And by all means you must prevent minutes from ever being recorded at any meeting where decisions are being made.

A lobbyist

A lobbyist can be anybody who cares about a group of people, or a cause. Paid or unpaid, that person engages directly with a representative to discuss concerns, problems, and solutions.

The unstated purpose of all this simple elegant BS is to convince the simple gatekeepers to open the taps of “public monies” to pursue goals ever more distant from genuine benefit for “the public” and ever more focused on the benefit of a few elite “Elegant Theory” peddlers.

These Neo-snakeoil Salesmen of our modern progressive mythology, these “self-love” gurus called “lobbyists” are everywhere, lobbying and schmoozing away for Academic and Private “research” funding.

What Is Lobbying and Can It Be Good?

What Is Lobbying and Can It Be Good?

Schmoozing away for Guidelines and Regulations to control those who don’t agree.

Advocating for policies and programs and interests and causes which benefit a tiny segment of the population while often destroying or even killing tens or even hundreds of thousands of taxpayers and other innocent bystanders.

I draw attributions about the processes and thoughts that are really only known to God.

I draw attributions about the processes and thoughts that are really only known to God.

Of course, once a “program (in whatever the theory of the day happens to be) is adopted, there is huge incentive on the part of the government adopters to be seen as wise and of course “right” in the sense that they are authoritatively correct.

And there is huge incentive for the Lobbyists and the junior ranks to feed that hubris and self love indulged by the gatekeepers so that the taps keep flowing through multiple generations of gatekeepers.

And the whole pyramid is founded on models which are totally divorced from everyday reality. Food for though … every government program or initiative, seems tailor made to destroy human beings, destroy their livelihood, their families, their lives, and ultimately, their soul.

But are they really? What about unintended consequences? Models matter, just like details matter, models can be predictive and can help us going forward, but models are utterly incapable of telling us anything about folks intentions.

Cheers

Joe

Hard science and engineering are easy, “Rocket Science’, right? People science is much harder, no matter how we model it. Only God gives us the “right” model. His name is Jesus Christ.

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

… 82 … 82 … 82 … 82 …

Pius XI, 82;

Pius XI, 82;

Pope Francis, Born: December 17, 1936 (age 81 years)

Father Hunwicke remarks on the estimated time of departure of Pope Francis basing it on the precedent and habit of previous Popes. Thus:

Pius XII, 82

Pius XII, 82

“I think PF will soon be 82 years old.

Since more and more voices world-wide seem to be talking about the possibility of this pontificate coming to a conclusion, I have been looking through the age-at-death of recent Roman Pontiffs.

John XXIII, 82;

John XXIII, 82;

According to the rough notes I have made on the back of an old envelope next to my computer, the following ages, since Pius XI inclusively, seem at least roughly right [I excluded Pope John Paul I, the one-month pontiff]:

Paul VI, 82

Paul VI, 82

Pius XI, 82; Pius XII, 82; John XXIII, 82; Paul VI, 82; John Paul II, 85.

St. John Paul II, 85

St. John Paul II, 85

[Benedict XVI was elected at the age of 78 and five years later is still ‘making his pilgrimage home’.]”

Ephesians 6:18 In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

 Pope Francis

Pope Francis Korea Haemi Castle. By Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service (Photographer name), CC BY-SA 2.0

Pray Brothers and Sisters, pray for the Holy Father …

we are in sudden death overtime and the clock is ticking …

Cheers

Joe

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