The Inner Struggle

Humility … “The World” can’t be reformed or repaired or fixed.

I have been aware of and thinking about the gate for over fifty years now, more or less constantly as I go about my daily routines, the gate beyond which I can not see or understand.

All around me life goes on, banal and dramatic, indifferent and caring, hateful and loving as circumstances and moods take us.

It, daily life, appears to be self centered for the most part, although that perception might just be the lens through which I see the society around me, my self centeredness projected onto the screen of existence. More grist for the penitential mill, my ongoing failure to “Love one another” as God has loved me. Sigh, to paraphrase Dore, “Just keep Trying…”.

And all life around me seems to work hard at ignoring the gate, acting and reacting as though the gate in fact does not exist at all, that the here and now is all there is, that pleasure, gratification, license and indulgence are the only objectives, the only goals, absent anything but the material “here & now”.

But it seems (to me) the gate is THE most obvious artifact in the entire universe, the single most obvious event which no one escapes no matter what their beliefs, no matter their state in life, it all winds down to dust.

As Roy Batty says: “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. … All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”  Indeed … time to die … soon … we are all replicants, running our the clock, done in the blink of an eye.

So what does matter?  Unless one is living in Paris these days, the majority, the masses, seem more or less content with their modern comforts, pleasures, social media, belonging to the “What, me worry?” clique of “low-information” consumers, and in general quite happy with their daily existence.  Am I the only living human being currently reflecting upon the end of human life? I would bet not, and some of those who are reflecting even write about it in their version of this blog.

First Things & Last Things. A woman lights a candle on the grave of her relative before praying at a cemetery during the observance of All Souls Day in Dhaka, Bangladesh November 2, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain

One good example can be found at The American Sun  in which Mr. Greenhorn convincingly rejects the currently popular fantasy (held by some conservative pundits) that we can role back the clock to a time before separation of Church and State became the de facto modus operandi. Many of the ideas in the remainder of this post I found in the link at American Sun. Mr. Greenhorn has an articulate and refreshingly new view of reality and the plausibility of rolling back the clock to a better time.

The goal of this roll-back being to thereby refocus concerns on First Things, refocus concerns on the end of human life, because man’s temporal end is subordinate to his eternal end, and the obvious corollary that therefore temporal power must be subordinated to spiritual power.

This roll-back exercise might, from my point of view, reasonably involve a return to something resembling the political and economic world of the 1400’s, the mechanics of this would involve a kind of cross between Dr. Who and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

There are some modern examples of what this might look like, for example Iran and what used to be Iraq, but I see this model as a non-starter for the majority of folks on the planet, at least amongst those of a Western persuasion.

In the meantime … what of the discontented, those who are noticeably unhappy with the moral and economic status quo? Yes, what about us? Well, it seems that in reality there is no “us”. Some of “us” choose to dither, complain, wail and gnash their teeth, but never reach any conclusion.

“We” remain chronically dissatisfied and unhappy with whatever is fashionably top of the pond, the latest PC curdled and agglomerating deviance and corruption, and spend our leisure time articulating our discontent and pointing out what is wrong with the current status quo, a kind of negative virtue signalling to re-enforce our imagined moral superiority.

Others mourn the loss of a humanity in the general, that probably never existed in the particular, and along with that Unicorn they mourn the loss of “everything” that made up “human civilization”, holding a perpetual wake for a “Prince on The White Horse” who never really existed.

They have forgotten that funeral services are not for the benefit of the dead, That person(s) and their immortal soul are forever beyond our praise or condemnation. Rather a funeral service is for the living, who should know that before long they will follow the honored dead into a cold dark grave, and from that fact take motivation towards preparing for eternity. Railing against those who deny an afterlife, deny eternity, is an utter waste of the most precious gift we have been given – time.

Carlos Schwabe, Elysian Fields, 1903

Carlos Schwabe, Elysian Fields, 1903

Still others descend into a mordant fantasy referred to by Mr. Greenhorn, above, that somehow by dint of huge spiritual and physical effort we can role back the clock to an Elysian time in the past when everything was “better, before the (insert enemy of choice here) took over and destroyed everything that matters“.

This last group are at least active in their never ending efforts to motivate the rest of us to “get off our collective butts and do something about it” … “something” being whatever their particular prescription of the day happens to be. Many of these fall into the category which we once upon a time, in the military, lovingly referred to as “Active Stupid”.

I rather expect that the above categories encompass the majority of those who are not entranced with our modern existence. And then there are the remnant … we who don’t fall into any of those broad categories, those generalizations which are so easy to embrace because they never include us. We are left with duty, discipline, courage, and sacrifice.

We are faced with trying to understand our reality, the “parameters of our material existence” within the context of a greater “spiritual existence” running on past the end of life into eternity, and that greater spiritual existence necessarily includes the idea, the perception of GOD as an entity. And, as understanding develops (if it does) we are tasked with searching for answers about “what constitutes right living?”, and “how does one know when one is following the right path?”

One is really asking oneself “How do I know with certainty what is the will of God?”  Understanding the perfection of love, the “Agape”, that is “love of another besides myself” consists in striving towards the perfect conformity of my will with the divine will (the Manufacturer’s Instructions), and, more specifically, doing so within the context of my real day to day life, my “station” in life, rather than some “If Only” fantasy where I am trying to force others to conform to my idea of what is right.

I think the “mission” is sitting right in front of our face and residing in our soul if we are honest with ourselves. It is expressed simply, in a concrete and detailed way, in the duties of my state and the various circumstances of my life. The duties of my statedetermine particularly how I must act on a daily basis so as to be always in conformity with the divine will.

GOD gave us “free will”, and by virtue of that free will we are indeed free to deviate from the manufacturer’s instructions and “Do it our way”. But we are also just as free to learn from our choices and the results of those choices, if we accept responsibility for those results, and perhaps to repent and turn again to the narrow path.

For us, the future(s) cannot be known except in a metaphysical sense, but I believe that no single future is immutable. For “beings outside time” all futures can/could be equally known in the eternal now.

At least that is what I think, unrestrained by the current academic and theological status quo, and feeling no “ownership” of the “models” of reality currently in vogue.

These models seem to be tending more and more towards excluding GOD, the loving creator of all, and replacing it with a sort of “all dogs go to heaven, god my buddy” reality, or even a “no god at all” model. The problem with those views, IMHO, is that the path derived from those views has NO future at all. Any path which does not include GOD and eternity ends in the grave.

So, absent belief in GOD, why should Joe Citizen consent to be subservient to Nature and Natural Law, or to the will of god unless Joe first believes that Natural Law and the will of god is something he should give a Rat’s Derriere about?

Joe Citizen is not likely to give up all his convenience, gratification and “Freedom” without he first comes to believe that there is a higher good which matters more than his physical and mental gratification. The proof of this is the inexorable “democratic” trend towards ever more socialistic bread and circuses and less and less true freedom.

Why would someone who thinks they can overturn a presidential election, choose to give up their smart phones and social lifestyle choices?

There is no sign in our current society that Joe Citizen has any desire to give up, or even slow the convenience and power rendered by the last 50 years of staggering technical advances.

Jordan Peterson remarks about the demise of many “careers” which same technical advances will soon make superfluous and crush what little is left of Joe’s imagined autonomy. For this reason, any attempt to reform Liberal Progressive society is doomed … a colossal “Failure to Launch”.

To even have a chance, first, the popular belief that technical advance is natural and desirable must be overturned. Liberal Progressivism can only be derailed if modern man suddenly becomes content to be relatively weak, and powerless. The “Man in the Street”  must voluntarily reject comfort and power if  Material Naturalism is to be halted. In the modern era, the last 200 years or so, man has never done this.

So the Fantasy players, those “Roll the Clock Back” folks are faced with having to implement their “solutions” by fiat, in the same way and with the same mechanisms as used by the current societal systems of coercion which they are trying to replace. And of course the effect of these laws would be to fill Joe Citizen’s heart with anger and resentment at the state and perhaps even at God Himself, as we see in our current polite society.

Other “Greats” before us have had things to say about these sort of questions:

Marcus Aurelius – was Roman emperor from AD161 to AD180,

Marcus Aurelius reflects on Duty: Our duty is to Begin the morning by saying to thyself, I shall meet with the busy-body, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. All these things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good and evil.

On Virtue: But I who have seen the nature of the good that it is beautiful, and of the bad that it is ugly, and the nature of him who does wrong, that it is akin to me, not only of the same blood or seed, but that it participates in the same intelligence and the same portion of the divinity, I can neither be injured by any of them, for no one can fix on me what is ugly, nor can I be angry with my kinsman, nor hate him,

On Suffering, : For we are made for co-operation, like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of the upper and lower teeth. To act against one another then is contrary to nature; and it is acting against one another to be vexed and to turn away.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book Two.

We must focus on going forward in duty by virtue regardless of the consequences and violence we might suffer whenever the all too human tendency to refuse co-operation, to insist on doing things our own way, to work against each other and to experience the suffering inherent in human relations whenever the reality of selfishness and self worship impact the smooth exchanges of daily relations.

Reconquista – Moors Surrender Granada, 1492

I’m old enough to remember a time when the Catholic Church was not in a state of decline and disgrace. I was born before the Second Vatican Council, I grew up and served in the old traditional Latin Mass universe, and was blessed by a glimpse of that world where Truth was certain, handed down and defended for 2000 years.

The saddest fact about our current crop of reformers, both political and theological, is that they have many provocative ideas about improving the state, but they have nothing to say as to how to detach the Roman Catholic Church from her attachment to the modernist heretical factions and forces which have so damaged and destroyed her since Vatican II.

It is in the Church where the true natures of God and man reside, and which we must return to if we are to rebuild our smashed civilization and self loving souls. There will be no anti-modernist Reconquista until our forces know they have a home base, a home fortress, that no matter what the cost, will not open its gates to the enemy, that is not commanded by agents of the enemy.

For sixty years, the men in the Vatican have tied the Church’s earthly fortunes to the modernist zeitgeist, the modernist heresy, and gained nothing but misery, scandal, and squalor in return. If the leaders of the Church cannot understand the beauty of conforming themselves to God’s will, there is little hope for anyone outside the Church. As a minimum first baby step, the Roman Curia, the Cardinals and the Bishops, need to make themselves, or be made by others, Catholic again, before any part of the secular state can follow them up that new path.

So the focus has to be not on changing the world, but rather on changing my soul, building Divine Intimacy in that internal secret place where I can work fruitfully towards conforming myself to GOD’s will. When I have sufficiently detached from self-worship, and the things of this world, creatures and stuff as ends in themselves, then perhaps GOD will assign me another mission, but until then I must clean my own stable.

It may feel small and insignificant but it takes uncommon virtue to fulfill all one’s duties without carelessness, negligence, or laziness, to avoid the pitfall of giving everything a “lick and a promise” or just going through the motions in order to “get it done”. It takes uncommon virtue to put the effort into attention, piety, and spiritual fervor, to pay attention to the details, for the whole combination of ordinary duties which make up my daily life.

The details matter. I must not be discouraged by failure, either resulting from outside forces or from my own failure of attention or lack of competence – my mistakes and forgetfulness and so on and so forth. Always acknowledge faults and failures, take ownership of them and begin again with renewed commitment. Refrain from “killing the messenger”.

What else is there to say about “duty”? It seems something of a truism that in our great self-regard we find it easier and more attractive to identify the duties of others than our own, and inversely, there will always be a plenitude of folks more than willing to tell us what our duty may be should we find ourselves momentarily unfocused and apparently idle.

Cheers

Joe

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The Inner Struggle

Humility & Humiliation …

An old ditty goes something like this: “Love & Marriage go together like a horse and carriage”. This is redolent of a ancient age when “Love” was caring and sacrificial, willing the good of the loved one.

Our current usage of “love” mostly implies some sort of justification for fornication and the exploitation of sex objects for self gratification. We accessorize members of the attractive “sex”, whatever their biological alignment, or genetic configuration based on how good they look  with us or “how they make me feel”.

Or we pick a paramour based on the current “Flavour Du Jour” in our social circle, our Facebook group, or as a form of virtue signalling according to whichever politically correct legislation just emerged from the dung heap called “Parliament”,

And we embrace whatever drum the media are currently beating … we need to “fit in”, right? And if our accessory no longer “fits in” then it’s time to trade “it” in for something fresher.

And, Humility and Humiliation go together as well, for how is one to learn true humility without humiliation? Many souls desire to be humble, but few desire humiliation. Many souls pray to be made humble “place in me a humble and contrite heart” … but very few want to be humiliated.

Humility is truth. So, we should admit to ourselves that we possess nothing of ourselves except sin,  and so it is just and righteous that we receive humiliation and scorn. If we believed this truth we would accept it as truly just that all would humiliate us and treat us without consideration and despise us.

What honor and consideration does one deserve who has offended his Creator? Even a single venial sin is more deplorable and worthy of more contempt than the most miserable earthly condition, the poorest and lowest station in life.

And so we travel along through life on our merry way, loving ourselves infinitely,  believing sincerely that we are practically perfect in every way, that we are good, that we deserve to be treated well, even better than most others.

The result of such insulation from reality is that in our cosmic self love we interpret every correction, contradiction, every humiliation and comment detracting from our self perceived perfection as a personal attack deserving of the most fervent counterattack, the source of our discomfort must be put down, terminated, hopefully never to rise to sully our self regard again.

And in that self-referential state of faith in our own perfection we destroy totally any and every possibility of growth. We are already perfect. We choose to bask in our own perfection and reject God’s gentle reproof coming to us in the guise of other’s unhappiness with our actions.

We choose to go down the perfect wide path to eternal damnation because we cannot accept correction in any form. And lest, in our self absorption we forget, we need to understand that morality goes beyond the bedroom, to embrace every moment of our social and public lives. Lest we forget … Lest we forget.

There is no possibility of improvement in a soul that rejects all correction and humiliation. But God brings good out of even this evil.

The place where these “perfect” souls interact with others, the interface of personal relations, provide the perfect opportunity for others, more aware of and sensitive to God’s call, to accept humiliation and to practice genuine humility.

It is a true treasure to be offered the opportunity to practice genuine charity and humility, all the  while compensating in the normal train of events for the casual incompetence and even  malice of others, to practice keeping others safe and comfortable in spite of their own ignorance, incompetence, ingratitude, and slovenly self worship.

And to do all this in spite of receiving scorn and denigration and belittlement for rendering this selfless service in such a routine way that it is taken totally for granted by the recipients, their natural due flowing from their exalted state of perfection,.

Presumably, after enough practice, one can even reach a state of charitable love of the other and not resent the recurring instances of chaos needing to be forever and again repaired, fixed up, cleaned up, provided for, anticipated and planned for future rescue efforts.

To charitably accept the utter obliviousness of the perpetrators of the mess and chaos when their utter lack of caring about anything except their self image spreads the chaos far and wide like some apocalyptic tsunami of trouble.

And mostly even malice is absent in this unaware ignorance. Lacking culpability in the obliviousness of daily life, can one even really identify this as sinful?

This “trouble” ranges from all the trivial rotting garbage of uncaring slights and messes left behind for others to deal with at the lowest levels of the ladder of perfection, to the rampant murder of innocents and corruption of the masses for the utility of the elite which we witness every day at the highest levels of this evil of self worship, this pride in self.

If one is unaware of the consequences and misery resulting from one’s actions, if one sincerely “doesn’t mean it”, then is remorse, penitence and correction even possible? If we are “sinless” through lack of culpability then are the narcissists actually right in their belief?

Endless opportunities for humiliation and the practice of humility, true humility. “Bear your humiliation patiently, for man is tried in this crucible as gold in the fire” (Sir 2, 4-5)

Cheers

Joe

Eeyore has a poor opinion of most of the other animals in the Forest, describing them as having “No brain at all, some of them”, “only grey fluff that’s blown into their heads by mistake” (from chapter 1 of The House at Pooh Corner).

Eeyore’s favorite food is thistles. He lives in the southeast corner of the Hundred Acre Wood, in an area labeled “Eeyore’s Gloomy Place: Rather Boggy and Sad” on the map in the book.

He has a stick house therein called The House at Pooh Corner. Pooh and Piglet built it for him after accidentally mistaking the original house that Eeyore built for a pile of sticks.

 

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

World Views & Models That Work (part II) …

Mary Poplin

Further on the topic of world views and reality. Once again I am quoting from Mary Poplin, from her book “Is Reality Secular?” She does such a good job I am not going to muck about with a work of art …

so I just decided to stop with my own opinion and just strongly recommend that you go to Amazon.com and pick up the book, just 10 bucks for the Kindle version and worth every penny. Please read it and pass on the information, the “model”, to those you care about.

This is from Mary Poplin’s, “Is Reality Secular?: Testing the Assumptions of Four Global Worldviews” (Veritas Books) (on p. 76). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

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Old-earth special creation.

Old-earth creation proponents look at the seven-day story more in terms of geological epochs or as a narrative framework for interpreting the origins account as did many of the early church fathers.55

They accept the traditional dating of the universe and earth but do not accept evolution as an adequate explanation for the origins of life.56  Some point out that the fossil record does basically follow the same order as listed in the “generations of days of creation” in Genesis, while others will disregard the apparent chronology.

These scholars use scientific evidence to argue for the existence of God and believe that scientific ideas are evident in the Bible but that not all these biblical passages are to be interpreted literally. Old-earth creationist and Orthodox Jewish physicist Gerald Schroeder is a physicist, earth scientist and theologian whose science degrees are from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

His early scientific work centered primarily on the control of radioactivity. He is a popular and prolific writer on the “confluence of modern science and ancient biblical commentary.”57 He was influential in the conversion of famous philosopher Antony Flew.58

Hugh Ross

The most prominent old-earth creationist, astrophysicist Hugh Ross, has pulled together scholars across the scientific disciplines to develop the Reasons to Believe Institute.59 RTB has a large number of scholars working to articulate the latest discoveries to a well-educated audience who may or may not be scientists.

Their mission is to equip Christians “by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research—including the very latest discoveries—consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature.”60

Ross was the youngest person (at seventeen) to serve as director of observations for Vancouver’s branch of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. He is a prolific writer articulating a biblical creation model that is testable, falsifiable and predictive.61

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God or Material Origins

John Lennox

John Lennox asks the ultimate question that theistic evolutionists, intelligent-design theorists and old- and young-earth creation theorists ask: given whatever the materials, processes and laws one believes caused the universe to exist, where did or do the basic building blocks of the material world come from, and, in particular, where did information (coded in DNA) come from?

Lennox asks, “How much more likely, then, is the existence of an intelligent creator behind human DNA, the colossal biological database that contains no fewer than 3.5 billion ‘letters’—the longest word yet discovered?”65 DNA’s storage density alone has been found to be six powers of ten denser than flash-drive technology.66

Anthony Flew

Once an apologist for atheism, Antony Flew advised us to follow the evidence where it leads. In science, as in all human endeavors, scientists cannot afford to hold on to a priori ideological commitments (secular or religious) that may become blinders for themselves or others. In all these theories, none is any more dependent on faith than any other.

Most important, none of these five perspectives on origins and agency inhibits scientific inquiry or discovery. Quite the opposite, they all encourage it. Proponents of nontheistic evolution, theistic evolution, intelligent design, old-earth creation and young-earth creation all use the same scientific methods when they conduct actual studies.

John Polkinghorne

These highly politicized metaphysical battles over five distinct scientific theories about the origin and agency of life on earth cannot be solved on one side or the other using the scientific method alone. Cambridge physicist, theologian and former chancellor John Polkinghorne, an esteemed scholar of both science and religion, reminds us that metaphysical claims need to be defended with metaphysical arguments.67

Evolutionary biologist Michael Ruse admits the naturalist’s Darwinian evolutionary bias has political intent: Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality.

biologist Michael Ruse

I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that in this one complaint the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today. . . . Evolution therefore came into being as a kind of secular ideology, an explicit substitute for Christianity.68

Oxford philosopher Richard Swinburne describes the theist logic: We find that the view that there is a God explains everything we observe, not just some narrow range of data.

philosopher Richard Swinburne

It explains the fact that there is a universe at all, that scientific laws operate within it, that it contains conscious animals and humans with very complex, intricately organized bodies, that we have abundant opportunities for developing ourselves and the world, as well as the more particular data that humans report miracles and have religious experiences.

In so far as scientific causes and laws explain some of these things (and in part they do), these very causes and laws need explaining, and God’s action explains them. The very same criteria which scientists use to reach their own theories lead us to move beyond those theories to a creator God who sustains everything in existence.69

This above is excerpted from Mary Poplin’s, “Is Reality Secular?: Testing the Assumptions of Four Global Worldviews”(Veritas Books) (pp. 76-79). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

That’s all for now folks. My point in retelling all this is to point the finger at the inconvenient truth that any world view that doesn’t include GOD inevitably results in a murderous totalitarian self centered society however it is manifested. These last two posts have been an appeal to authority supporting my own world view, but unlike the secularists, I am in no way appealing to my own self image and my own intellectual authority, my vanity and narcissism.

Today’s modern culture in the west  denigrates and belittles any one who disagrees with the prevailing view regardless of their proven integrity and intelligence and regardless of the empirical proofs offered. Today’s “brights” care nothing for truth, but rather seek license and avoid responsibility, and this worship of self and love of self always and everywhere results in the death of the innocent and the helpless.

Cheers

Joe

 

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

World Views & Models that Work …

 

Ballad Of A Thin Man”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Highway 61 Revisited”, (1965)

Cancer as a Metabolic Disease, Thomas N. Seyfried, 2012

So, slogging along between bouts of accounting, and IT frustration, I am recreating in the evening by reading my copy of “Cancer as a Metabolic Disease …”. It is slow going and were I not so interested in the “model” I might not be reading this book, it is definitely not a page turner.

On the other hand It also works way better than sleeping pills, so you win some you lose some. It is heavy going but understandable with a couple of years of university biology and chemistry under my belt and a wife who studied organic chem to whom I direct questions on occasion.

It is both discouraging in its recounting of the past 50 years and very encouraging of my fasting Keto lifestyle. I have posted snippets here and there when I found stuff clearly relevant to fasting and Keto, but for starters, a revisit to the Forward (by Dr. Peter Pedersen, Professor of Biological Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD):

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Peter Pedersen, PhD

Cancer persists as a major disease of mortality and is afflicting more people today than ever before. Few families remain untouched by this insidious and vicious disease. In fact, cancer is predicted to overtake heart disease as the prime cause of death in industrialized societies during this century (21st). …

The Nobel laureate, Otto Warburg, was the first to provide evidence during the early part of the last century for the involvement of disturbed respiration with compensatory fermentation (glycolosis) as a common property of cancer, thus perceived to be related to its uncontrolled growth and progression. Few subjects have been as controversial in the cancer field as Otto Warburg and his theory of cancer. … “

*****

And now we are reading Chapter Four “Energetics of Normal Cells and Cancer Cells”, and we find the following:

“METABOLIC HOMEOSTASIS: Homeostasis is the tendency of biological systems to maintain relatively stable conditions in their internal environment” and “This is especially important for humans that follow a feast/fast schedule of nutrient supply. Metabolic homeostasis within cells is dependent … on the energy supply to the membrane pumps. Hormones such as Insulin and Glucagon can regulate global system energy homeostasis in order to maintain steady energy balance within the cells of each organ.”

That is just the simple introduction to the chapter explaining how the above “Energetics” process takes place, at the microscopic level, in every cell and organ of our body, every second of every day of our lives. And if even a bit of it goes wrong then we die … in this case by Cancer … but there are many other killers opportunistically waiting for us, “the self”, to deviate from the “Manufacturers Instructions” and set off into the empty blank part of the map where lie “Dragons”.

And the complexity about which I am reading intuitively leads me to reject the hypothesis that reality is all just accidental random chemical processes. In my primitive ignorance I simply can’t accept the Material Naturalist or Secular Humanist view reducing everything to chemical accidents. The machinery is far too precise and complex to be an accident of evolution. I find myself coming up against the idea of irreducible complexity.

It seems that “Darwin’s theory of evolution is the great white elephant of contemporary thought. It is large, almost completely useless, and the object of superstitious awe.”  Dr. David Berlinski, Philosophy. Darwinism is just another mutation, a religion by any other name. Even Darwin didn’t believe what modern materialists and humanists believe.

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Further on topic the following is a direct quote from Mary Poplin, from her book “Is Reality Secular?” She does such a good job I am not going to muck about with a work of art …

” …  More recently, evolutionists point to genetic similarities between species to bolster Darwinian views of evolution. It has been widely reported that the human genome and that of the chimpanzee share about 95-98 percent similar DNA. This is used by material naturalists to bolster their arguments against the exceptionality of human beings in nature.

But why would we not expect God to use the same material for many different things? We use metal for children’s toys, skyscrapers, mechanical limbs and bombs. Rather, the more obvious question is how much then can the physical genome actually explain? While there are some obvious physical similarities between apes and humans, there are vast differences in our behaviors, histories and abilities.

This argument seems only to suggest that DNA studies may not be sufficient to describe the radical differences between the species. Why if there are such similarities at a molecular level are there so many differences in nature? No chimpanzee, ape or similar animal has ever set up complex societies, built houses, produced works of art and music, developed an oral or written language, or studied itself.

Where do these tremendous differences come from? Perhaps, as salmon scientist Ernie Brannon suggests, there is something more to the biblical explanation that God breathed his spirit into man and made him in his image than is thus far evident in the gene pool.

Intelligent design. On sabbatical in 1993, Berkeley law professor Phillip Johnson began reading about the theory of evolution. From his position as a lawyer, he reasoned that the theory lacked evidence. He later wrote asking some troubling questions about Darwin’s theory.

From this beginning, Johnson attracted other scientists with similar concerns. These now form a group of scientists and philosophers who collectively refer to themselves as intelligent design theorists and scientists.

Biochemist Michael Behe, famous for the study of the bacterial flagellum, argues that certain biological systems would have to have been assembled in one fell swoop in order to function. His argument on “irreducible complexity” dovetails with the argument of philosopher William Dembski’s notion of “specified complexity,” revealing the impossibility of particular complex systems to have emerged in the manner described in neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory.

Stephen Meyer’s work suggests that the complexity of the DNA genetic code is evidence alone of a designing intelligence. Other ID advocates include both religious and agnostic scholars Antony Flew, Michael Denton, Jonathan Wells, Caroline Crocker, Richard Steinberger, Robert Marks, Jeff Schwartz, Guillermo Gonzalez, Jay Richards, David Berlinski and Phillip Johnson.

ID proponents scientifically analyze systems in astronomy, biology, physics and chemistry to determine whether the observed structures are most likely products of unguided natural selection, intelligent design or some combination. Like other scientists, they advance their propositions by inference to the best possible explanation and conduct experiments that arise from these hypotheses.

They have discovered new planets and worked on the finely tuned nature of the universe and earth, the initial conditions necessary to support life, the origin of irreducibly complex life including DNA transcription, the origin of major body plans in the Cambrian explosion, biological disparity and species diversity, and the processes of mutation, such as those involved in bacterial drug resistance.

EXPELLED

Intelligent design advocates hold prestigious degrees and have considerable scientific accomplishments but are often marginalized and sometimes even excluded from the scientific establishment in elite universities and other institutions. For example, in August 2013 a university president announced that the theory of intelligent design could not be taught in science classrooms.

Thus proponents who remain in universities work largely under the radar and keep their skepticism of Darwinian evolution and their metaphysical commitments hidden. Ben Stein’s popular film Expelled, though hotly criticized (by all the usual suspects), revealed a reality that ID proponents face often from the same people who paradoxically accuse the early Roman Catholic Church of persecuting Galileo for his doubts. (the coverage of and reaction to the movie “Expelled” are defacto proof of what Mary Poplin is writing about in her book. The Wiki article is a perfect example of media bias pretending to be impartial when reporting sources that disagree with their beliefs).

In an attempt to discount the academic rigor of intelligent-design theorists and their work, material naturalists often label its advocates creationists. The term creationist has suffered so much derision in the media that it makes it easy to dismiss ID out of hand without engaging the advocates’ scientific research and theory.

Unlike young-earth creationism, ID draws its metaphysics not from arguments about the age of the earth or man but from empirical scientific data revealing the design components that would be unlikely to have formed as a result of a slow process of evolution. Intelligent design advocates define themselves as a community of scientists, philosophers and other scholars seeking to understand the “prodigious evidence of design in nature.”

The Discovery Institute serves as the primary gathering place and think tank for intelligent-design advocates. They believe that the operations of the universe and the intricacies of living things are best explained by an intelligent, purposive design and reject theoretical propositions that solely material phenomena acting according to unguided processes brought the universe and nature into being.

toppling the religion of evolution …

Since 2001, over seven hundred scientists have signed Discovery’s Statement of Dissent from Darwinism, which reads, “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

The reason that ID refers to an intelligent designer rather than God is that some members of its community of scholars are agnostics, Muslims or Buddhists in addition to Jews and Christians. Even atheists like Nagel support their work as a viable theory. Nevertheless, one of the criticisms is that most intelligent-design theorists, in fact, do believe in God or at least that God is probable.

Philosopher of science and self-described “ex-Christian” Michael Ruse quips that their use of the words “intelligent designer” rather than God is “a terminological inexactitude.” Mathematician and philosopher David Berlinski, who calls himself a secular Jew, says of intelligent design theory, “I do not know whether any of this (intelligent design) is true. (but) I am certain that the scientific community does not know that it is false.

Mary Poplin, “Is Reality Secular?: Testing the Assumptions of Four Global Worldviews” (Veritas Books) (pp. 73-76). InterVarsity Press.

The point of this is that believing and using the wrong models is dangerous. Dangerous behaviour based on faulty models kills people. We find that in every field from Engineering, to Aerodynamics, to Social Sciences, bad models invariably get people killed either by engineering system failures, or biochemical system failures.

The Material Naturalists, and Secular Humanists pushing these failed models are not the ones dying, and they don’t care as long as their models are not questioned.  Meanwhile, the ones doing the dying are us, the little guys in the street, the victims of guidelines and regulations and policies based on “an unproven theory” for the ego gratification and fat remuneration of policy makers and department heads and ministers? Yes Minister!

More to follow in the next post.

Cheers

Joe

 

 

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Life in a small town

Thoughts on Thanksgiving …

Oh Earth Oh Earth Return”, Bill Douglas, (1996)

So, thinking about the black hole of nothingness to which we are led by the “no god, random chance, biochemical process, evolution, moral relativism” paradigm at the heart of our modern culture, our culture of Material Naturalism, and Secular Humanism, I find my whole being screaming out a huge NO! to that culture of hopeless chaotic death. I live and breath and think in this world here.

So I challenge my readers to take a moment, every morning, to think about ten things which we are grateful for, and then think about why we are grateful and to whom we are grateful.

In that vein, on this Thanksgiving Morning I am just going to post the Thanksgiving Proclamation, 3 October 1789   without commentary but with gratitude and thanksgiving for the thousands of blessings which we all take utterly for granted every day while we are focused on what is wrong in the moment.

I start with being grateful for my moment, and being able to think these thoughts, which I do not believe are the result of some chemical process rooted in random evolutionary chaos.

So without further ado:

*****

By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be—That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks—for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation—for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war—for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed—for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted—for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

Freedom From Want, Norman Rockwell (created January 6, 1941–March 6, 1943)

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions—to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually—to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed—to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord—To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us—and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go. Washington

*****

May you have a peaceful and blessed Thanksgiving

Joe

 

 

 

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Cancer Models, Complexity … and Beauty

“An Taiseirl (The Resurrection)”, Noirin Ni Riain and The Monks Of Glenstal Abbey, from the album “Vox de Nube”, (1996)

In a series of previous posts, I remarked on the effective use of models and the nature of models and the difference between hard models and soft models and the real world results deriving from the different types of models.

For the interested, that series is here, and here, and here, and here. So if models are of interest read the whole series, or not, your call, your mileage may vary. This post is about a couple of models which occupy opposite ends of reality, from the macro to the micro.

As previously noted and discussed “reality” was once a popular topic, and over the centuries, even the millennia, humanity has developed a rich, varied and often contradictory plethora of “Philosophical Traditions”, a detailed taxonomy of thought, trying to make sense of our experienced reality.

But what it all boils down to in the end is only four basic macro “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. I happen to believe and act according to the Judeo-Christian world view, or model.

Is Metaphysics useful?

Today’s thought is about the naturalist and humanist view that everything in “reality” including “self” is “simply” biochemical or physical process, random chance, and evolution, along the lines of the old saw about a bunch of monkeys randomly typing away and “randomly” producing “The Bible”, or a “Palestrina Mass”. Is “complexity” a clue to the nature of reality, or is reality personal, just another pot of muddy soup simmering on the stove top of self interest?

And opposite this simple metaphysic for simpletons I try to contrast the extraordinary complexity of cell respiration in the context of developing cancer. What I am attempting here is to show that the extraordinary complexity of cell respiration alone is ample evidence for something beyond and above the simplistic views of the materialists and the humanists without ever venturing into the massively complex inter-relation of all the universal constants and environmental and physical variables which must be precisely what they are for cells, (ie. us) to even exist.

I am everything

I find myself unable to accept a simplistic answer that all this beauty is just “biochemical processes, random chance, and evolution”.  Now, these days my model is not very popular, in fact those who adhere to the Judeo-Christian model tend to be regarded as “superstitious primitives”.

The majority of folks these days, the new”enlightened”, when they think about it at all, hold to the models of Material Naturalism and/or Secular Humanism or a kind of non-thinking spouting of bits and pieces from both depending on the circumstances of the moment and whoever they are trying to belittle and Bulverise amongst those neolithics who do not agree with the prevalent popular version of “reality”.

Of course, it’s a given that anyone who doesn’t agree with the “nice” “polite” social club we call “modern” enlightened society, anyone who doesn’t agree with The Progressive Faction, is an idiot. As I have posted before, I believe that the rise of Bulverism in any group is a sure sign of the decay, the rot, within said group.

Oh! You just say that because you are a man!

I have referenced Bulverism in a couple of previous posts but Bulverism is indeed THE sure sign of a weak and immoral argument and a failed entity, whichever and wherever they are found. Progressives, Communists, Nazis, Liberals, Democrats, Clerical Socialists, Liberation Theologians, all cut from the same cloth, dyed black or red or denim, whatever, and all serving the same master, shoveling coal for Satan.

I suspect that most of those who practice Bulverism are not even aware that that is what they are doing, since Bulverism is the stock in trade of the entire “philosophy of emotion” crowd and they have no idea that there is any other method of “discussing” ideas.  The method of Bulverism is to “assume that your opponent is wrong, and explain his error”.

So too the Liberal wing of the Catholic Church, and virtually every other left leaning group and individual, political or economic or social, on the planet  … their opponents are “obviously” wrong and “out of touch with the times”. The Bulverist assumes a speaker’s argument is invalid or false, “all right minded people know this to be true”,  and then explains why the speaker came to make that mistake, attacking the speaker or the speaker’s motive.

How do you make a phone?

The term “Bulverism” was coined by C. S. Lewis[1] to poke fun at a very serious error in thinking that, he alleges, recurs often in a variety of religious, political, and philosophical debates. Similar to Antony Flew‘s “Subject/Motive Shift”, Bulverism is a fallacy of irrelevance.

One accuses an argument of being wrong on the basis of the arguer’s identity or motive, but these are strictly speaking irrelevant to the argument’s validity or truth. But it is also a fallacy of circular reasoning, since it assumes, rather than argues, that one’s opponent is wrong.

So back to my subject of interest, the macro model known as Material Naturalism, and the beliefs arising from it, which inform the understanding of the micro model known as cell theory. In this post I am comparing what seem to be conclusions derived from the macro model Material Naturalism and applied to the micro model of cell theory.

How do you make a Pork Chop?

Material Naturalism is the “idea or belief that only natural (as opposed to supernatural or spiritual) laws and forces operate in the world.” Adherents of naturalism (i.e., naturalists) assert that natural laws are the rules that govern the structure and behavior of the natural universe, that the changing universe at every stage is a product of these laws.

In this view, it comes down to the belief that a cell phone and a porkchop have their origins in exactly the same random processes, and to further confuse these believers both items come shrink wrapped in clear plastic, so it must be true, right?

Remember when science was science, and “scientific” carried credibility? For example, cell theory In biology, is the historic scientific theory, now universally accepted, that living organisms are made up of cells, that they are the basic structural/organizational unit of all organisms, and that all cells come from pre-existing cells.

Cells are the basic unit of structure in all organisms and also the basic unit of reproduction. With continual improvements made to microscopes over time, magnification technology advanced enough to discover cells in the 17th century. This discovery is largely attributed to Robert Hooke, and began the scientific study of cells, also known as cell biology.

So somewhere in the 19th or 20th century we entered the age of Scientific Material Naturalism.  Everything which we think of as “reality”  is simply a process and everything that takes place, is thought about, or felt in our emotions, is nothing more than a biochemical reaction, evolving randomly towards chaos. What is left of “Beauty”, “Quality”, “Love” in a reality which is no longer real but rather just some random accident? You can’t touch them, or measure them, so they can’t be real, right?

Curiously, “Does it spark joy?” proves again to be a useful tool.

So, that’s part one … more to follow as I try to make clear this simple emotional muddle that dangerously contaminates our thinking about virtually everything we encounter on a daily basis.

Cheers

Joe

How do you make a million dollars?

In the age of Material Naturalism, does the question “What is Science?” even mean anything anymore? When Facebook opinions carry more weight than Nobel Prizes and “Scientific American” has more cred than “Science” we seem very close to “Burn The Witch!

 

 

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The Inner Struggle

Deceivers and Divine Mercy …

Ballad Of A Thin Man”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Highway 61 Revisited”, (1965)

Portrait of Crabbe by Henry William Pickersgill, circa 1818–19

“Deceivers are the most dangerous members of society. They trifle with the best affections of our nature, and violate the most sacred obligations.” George Crabbe 1754-1832

So, a spoiler to save the disinterested from wasting their time. This post is mostly a polemic against deception and the routine practice of it by those in positions of influence and power such that their deceptions influence the behaviour and beliefs of the innocent.

It is an appeal to authority to support my own opinion about the dangerous or even deadly influence of deception by secular and religious authorities in our polite progressive society.

Disceavers” (usage ca 1526, New Testament Translation) … the spelling and grammar are old but the message was (and is) unchanged from “The Pistle of Paul unto Titus  The First Chapter“.

Regarding “The epistle of Paul to Titus” we are, perhaps, more familiar with: ” 7For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain,

8but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, 9holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. 

10For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.

12One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, 14not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth.

15To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.” (Titus 1:7-16 New American Standard Bible)

David Warren

My favorite Idler has some interesting “treasures from the attic” in his latest post, namely: “The Chinese drawing masters were very strict (in the days before the destruction of their civilization). Any sign of an attempt to “fix” would be punished, audibly. Mistakes were punished, too; but trying to conceal them was understood to be the worse evil.

And also, aligning with one of my own treasures from the experience of blogging for over 4 years now … namely: (we bloggers) ” … must fight each temptation to replace, revise, amend. Leave margins for later comments. For the first thing is to think and write, without error, in the classical, linear way (staying “inside the box,” never straying). Later they may look back, and see all their stupidities clearly. This will make them less inclined to repeat them.

It would seem that our thoughts on “cover-ups” and “hiding or spinning the truth” are more or less congruent, perhaps because we have both experienced similar organizational “attempt(s) at erasure … and as we ought to know, dishonesty loves to hide … Should a mistake be made, it must be flagged, then corrected in the margin, in plain view. No tricks“.

Adam and Eve

Now, deception is another name for “lying”, and is Lucifer’s the stock in trade, his primary tool.  His other name is “Father of Lies”. The first big lie was what he told Eve in the garden, thereby destroying our trust in God for all generations.

Notice a few things here. After the big lie, when the deception becomes clear in 20/20 hindsight for Adam and Eve, when they hear God walking in the garden in the cool of the evening, rather than run to him, they run away. “Kids???? Where are you?”

Rather than acknowledge their sin, confess it, and jump into the embrace of God’s merciful love, they hide. Rather than trust in our infinitely good and merciful GOD, they have become afraid of him.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains what’s going on here: “Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God’s command“. This is what man’s first sin consisted of. All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness and mercy.

But Lucifer was the first and greatest deceiver. This first big lie sucked us out of paradise and lost us God’s loving presence. It appealed to our desire for more power and more wisdom and some unspecified “ascendancy”. Every deceiver since the beginning has been a child of Lucifer, a child of the Devil, an Antichrist”.

HMCS St. Laurent

And we, the gullible marks of this perpetual con game are easy targets for every huckster and spinner and politician and leader and writer and talking head “since Christ was a Killick in the Jewish Navy” as we used to say, back in the day, when referring to “forever”.

I was an “Able Seaman” during my service on HMCS St. Laurent, and a “Killick” on HMCS Saguenay,  always “Lower Decks” for this matelot.

HMCS Saguenay

Anyone from the Wardroom was suspect until they proved otherwise by demonstrated competence. Thankfully the Petty Officers and Chiefs really knew what they were doing and protected the Hands from the worst problems most of the time.

In that environment, there were always a significant number of “Subys” fresh out of Royal Roads some of whom indulged in “spin” or “cover-up” or even the blame game. They were my first introduction to “Deceivers”.

Those sorts could get you killed if allowed to run free. Most of them were weeded out but some were promoted up the line for whatever reason and eventually made their way to Ottawa, “the Hill”. So “deceiving” has been a real NoNo most of my adult life. Now, in old age, I find most, or perhaps all, of what comes out of the media and our leadership is some form of spin and deception. And just like in the days of my mis-spent youf, if it goes on long enough its gonna get someone killed.

So, this is for real, not a figment of someone’s imagination: “10For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.”

I have found from experience that “Deceivers are (indeed) the most dangerous members of society”. Not only do their lies lead to serious problems but they also often serve to protect and perpetuate the success of the liars.

This category of practitioners … practicing upon our credulity with the bald-faced intention to delude … includes what seem to be many of the brightest members of our “nice” “polite” population, and virtually all those at the level of Director and above, in most bureaucracies and organizations, those who have been most “rewarded by this world”. Deception rules, and it is destroying our world and our society.

To illustrate that the most important virtue is honesty I am going to quote from a wonderful little book by Mark Manson called “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k, A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life”:

*****

Mark Manson

There’s a bluntness to Russian culture that generally rubs Westerners the wrong way. Gone are the fake niceties and verbal webs of politeness. You don’t smile at strangers or pretend to like anything you don’t. In Russia, if something is stupid, you say it’s stupid. …

But as the weeks wore on, I got used to the Russian frankness, much as I did the midnight sunsets and the vodka that went down like ice water. And then I started appreciating it for what it really was: unadulterated expression. Honesty in the truest sense of the word. Communication with no conditions, no strings attached, no ulterior motive, no sales job, no desperate attempt to be liked.

I remember discussing this dynamic with my Russian teacher one day, and he had an interesting theory. Having lived under communism for so many generations, with little to no economic opportunity and caged by a culture of fear (and dishonesty and distrust), Russian society found the most valuable currency to be trust. And to build trust you have to be honest. That means when things suck, you say so openly and without apology.

People’s displays of unpleasant honesty were rewarded for the simple fact that they were necessary for survival—you had to know whom you could rely on and whom you couldn’t, and you needed to know quickly. But, in the “free” West, my Russian teacher continued, there existed an abundance of economic opportunity—so much economic opportunity that it became far more valuable to present yourself in a certain way, even if it was false, than to actually be that way.

Trust lost its value. Appearances and salesmanship (spin) became more advantageous forms of expression. Knowing a lot of people superficially was more beneficial than knowing a few people closely. This is why it became the norm in Western cultures to smile and say polite things even when you don’t feel like it, to tell little white lies and agree with someone whom you don’t actually agree with.

This is why people learn to pretend to be friends with people they don’t actually like, to buy things they don’t actually want. The economic system promotes such deception. The downside of this is that you never know, in the West, if you can completely trust the person you’re talking to.

Sometimes this is the case even among good friends or family members. There is such pressure in the West to be likable that people often reconfigure their entire personality depending on the person they’re dealing with.

Manson, Mark. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life (pp. 167-170). HarperCollins.

*****

So we have built a society of deceivers, liars, and frauds. We have built a society that rewards dishonesty and deception. and it is slowly killing us all. So, what’s the fix?  Sadly, I don’t see any fix this side of the grave. This world protects its own and if one is not “of this world” the focus has to be on the next. This world is just one night in a bad hotel.

Cheers

Joe

All the ruined castles of our lies…

 

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Life in a small town

Remembrance Day 2018 …

Into the West, Annie Lennox, Howard Shore, LOTR, 2003

Remembranceday1Last Sunday was Remembrance Day 2018. The 11th of November fell on a Sunday for the first time in my memory, (probably faulty) and the whole ceremonial routine took place at exactly the same time as our 11:00 AM and only Sunday Mass. Over the years my feelings and thoughts about “Remembrance Day have changed quite a bit. Bitterness has crept in.

I used to share all the emotional attachments about honoring my fallen brothers and so on, but lately my cynicism about the civilian leadership who have never served a day in their lives has tainted my memory and my sadness with bitterness. I guess I am turning into a grumpy old man.

So I chose to go to church and give the Remembrance Day ceremonies a pass, also one of my first times to miss this “official” photo op for all elected and appointed officials everywhere.  We played “The Last Post”, had our politically correct “Minute of Silence” at the beginning of Mass and then the smaller than usual congregation got on with the True Sacrifice.

The missing parishioners must have felt that the Remembrance Day Ceremonies were more important than Mass. “C’est La Vie” in Canada anyway.  Laurence Binyon is most famous for “For the Fallen“, often recited at Remembrance Sunday services in the UK, and an integral part of Anzac Day services in Australia and New Zealand, and November 11th Remembrance Day services in Canada.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.”

Remembrance Day  is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth of Nations member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. But do we really remember them, except in an abstract way, for a minute once a year? And how do we honour their memories, do we honour the values they died for?

The memorial evolved out of Armistice Day, which continues to be marked on the same date. The initial Armistice Day was observed at Buckingham Palace, commencing with King George V hosting a “Banquet in Honour of the President of the French Republic” during the evening hours of 10 November 1919. The first official Armistice Day was subsequently held on the grounds of Buckingham Palace the following morning.

poppy-fields-remembrance-day-1

The eleventh day of the eleventh month has always seemed to me to be special. Even if the reason for it fell apart as the years went on, it was a symbol of something close to the high part of the heart. Perhaps a life that stretches through two or three wars takes its first war rather seriously, but I still think we should have kept the name “Armistice Day.” Its implications were a little more profound, a little more hopeful.” (Ten Everlovin’ Blue-Eyed Years With Pogo (1959), p. 100)

The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day around here due to the poem “In Flanders Fields” written by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae.  At first real poppies were worn. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I; their brilliant red colour became a symbol for the blood spilled in the war.

Over the Top, Neuville-Vitasse

Over the Top, Neuville-Vitasse, Granddad’s War

This blood spilled by the self interest of secular progressive powers who, in their wisdom, declare that they do not need God and Religion, that those of us who still believe in GOD and Country are nothing but “Bitter Clingers”.

The saddest fact of our Canadian war deaths is that in fact they died in vain. They were suckered by civilian politicians into making the ultimate sacrifice to uphold immoral means to evil ends.

My grandfather, having served in most of the most vicious battles of WW I, was of the opinion that it was all just a terrible waste, the annihilation of a couple of generations worth of the best and the brightest of Christendom, before secular materialism wiped out their descendants. He is now buried in a Veteran’s cemetery near Montreal maintained by the Last Post fund.  In our respective enlistment photos we could have passed for twins except for the difference in style of our uniforms. I remember him being very proud of me signing up and serving … I still miss him.

It didn’t have to be the way it was

David Warren writes: “When, for instance, the newly-enthroned Karl I — Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary; “fanatic” Catholic Christian — discreetly proposed a separate peace to the allies in the spring of 1917, his agents were rebuffed, outed, and mocked. … our nationalist politicians could now hope to utterly crush the foe. They would demand unconditional surrender. … Drowned in the gunfire was this Blessed Karl’s expressly Christian plea. In an instant the decision was made, in the West, to persist till millions more were slain, and the conditions assembled for international violence and totalitarianism through the next seventy years.”  Go and read the whole post, it is worth your few minutes.

But the bitter truth is that Evil triumphed. The politicians got their way.

Jumping from a Dakota, training at Fort Benning

Jumping from a Dakota, training at Fort Benning, Ga, Dad’s photo

My father survived his war (WW II) because he had the great good fortune to be part of the second cadre, the second wave of reinforcements, He joined later in the war, because he was just 18.

He was part of the “replacements”, who were always about to be deployed into action when the “enemy” finally surrendered. He used to cynically joke about “they always quit because they heard we were coming into the line”, of course there were no lines for his outfit, which suffered 70% casualties at times in the missions they took on. He died in 1984, they are all dead now, including most of the people I served with.

Canadian DDH, 1970's

Canadian DDH, 1970’s, my war

I survived my war (WW III) because I had the equally great good fortune to serve in a branch that never, during my service, had anyone shooting at us in anger.

Yes, there were at times mortal danger, but not from “enemy action”. We cruised around at half strength with obsolete ships and equipment much older than we were, according to the political expediency of the day, showing the flag, showing a “presence”  and playing “chicken” with our contemporaries in equally obsolete ships and aircraft on the “enemy” side, who were also “showing a presence”.

Because budgets were more important than lives. Not enough crews to man the ships, not enough fuel to deploy to all our commitments, not enough ammo or torpedoes to come even close to a full load-out, not enough maintenance hours to fly the choppers safely. 300+ days a year at sea so that some ignorant wanker of a politician could make grandiose speeches about things he didn’t believe, in Parliament, at NATO meetings and in the UN General Assembly.

The "enemy"?

The Evil Empire, aka, the “enemy”?

I eventually stopped seeing that 20 something seaman on that ratty old Soviet destroyer 100 yards away as an “enemy”. He was just “me in another uniform” just doing his patriotic duty because of the designs of the real enemy back home in the Kremlin, and in Ottawa.

For years, I used to feel guilty that I had never “seen combat” like my army peers, until one day an older vet told me: Don’t be a stupid wanker!  I should be happy about “missing out on combat”. That was a “rain-check” he would have been grateful for. I changed my mind that day and asked God to forgive my stupidity.

WW I, II, and III only slowed down the Evil momentarily, Pyrrhic victories at best.

The truth of my Remembrance Day memories is that everything our fathers and grandfathers fought against and what we, in our turn,  believed we stood against is now running rampant at the very heart of our own polite society. And yet, God loves them all … that is difficult to understand …

Real life example … There were indeed horrible atrocities committed during the waning days of the Vietnam war. But the majority of the real “Baby Killers” weren’t “anyone in a military uniform” as the college crowd believed and attacked us for, back in the 70’s.

We were well trained and disciplined Canadian military … we and the vast majority of all serving military everywhere weren’t even remotely associated in any way with this sort of action, this sort of atrocity, which was stopped in its tracks by other members of the same military involved in the atrocity.

None of us had anything in common with the actions of the leadership of some angry draftee wack jobs in some Vietnamese village, except that we also wore “green uniforms”. But the protesters didn’t give a frack about the “truth”.  They didn’t seem to care about “facts”, or “truth”, ’cause it was “cool” to be a tool of the left, a useful idiot.  And besides, “every right minded person knows this to be true”. Evil in action.  And yet, God loves them all … that is difficult to understand … and even more difficult to emulate.

The real “Baby Killers” went on with their lives, left their protests behind, graduated from all their colleges, cut their hair, dressed up in suits and are now running the national murder show. In government, health, police and academia, the policies of death triumph everywhere. “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” (Pogo).

Carl Edward Sagan,

So about the time I retired from the military in the late 70’s I had come to the conclusion that the real enemy was in Ottawa and other government capitals. Nothing I have experienced subsequently has convinced me otherwise. Evil Triumphed. For now.

And yet, God loves them all …

I had an atheist acquaintance who, a few years ago, returned to his homeland to live out his days. He died, like all men do. I suspect that he has discovered that real “reality” isn’t even close to what he imagined it was.

Anduril, Howard Shore, LOTR, 2003

Stephen William Hawking

I imagine my old acquaintance, sitting around a back wall table in some eternal bar somewhere outside of time, along with his gods, his heroes Carl Edward Sagan, (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996 (aged 62)  Stephen William Hawking, (8 January 1942 – 14 March 2018) and Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. (December 31, 1943 – October 12, 1997), known professionally as John Denver.

There they sit, telling each other tall tales about how screwed up and unfair the outcome turned out to be. Or maybe not, after all, God loves them all …

Occasionally, when things get tough here and now, and I start to feel sorry for myself, I think I might just run away somewhere like Australia or New Zealand, but it is not this day.

We can’t really run away from our thoughts, our understandings as they evolve. Wherever we run we all die and if we have not gotten it right by then, then what?

Henry John Deutschendorf Jr.

My atheist acquaintance’s favourite theme when running down believers (often), especially Christians  was all the evil killing of all the Christian religious wars, especially Catholic religious wars, of all the centuries of history. And, as with the current “Global Warming” religious fad, the data simply do not support the rhetoric.

But, as one gent in my store said recently: “I DON’T CARE ABOUT FACTS! Everyone knows it’s true.” We are sorely afflicted, perhaps even fatally, with the philosophy of “feelings”.

Emotions trump facts and logic every time and if someone disagrees with the “emotional” excuses for faulty beliefs then they are Bulverized out of existence.

Uh-huh, and we now have Socialist Secular Progressive governments at the Provincial and Federal level who are very busy expanding the state role in eliminating inconvenient people, the economy is in the tank, we live with a 60 cent dollar and spend all our time complaining about Trump. The Kool Aide flows on in endless streams.

It has become so bad that in fact, now, at the Federal level, one is no longer allowed to even run for office unless one agrees in advance, in writing, to support killing babies and seniors and other “less desirable” people as required, in the name of “Woman’s Health” or “Quality of Life” or whatever the meme du jour happens to be this week. And yet, God loves them all ….

And no-one sees a problem with that … “Kristallnacht” anyone?  How did we get here? Doesn’t ANYONE understand that decisions and actions have consequences?

Maybe this is all just egotistical pontification, I am in love with my opinion, my version. What has this to do with Remembrance Day.

Maybe it’s because there is a huge disconnect between the people who died walking the walk for us, and the talking heads preaching and speechifying with the flash’s popping at the microphone. Funny thing how Christians in general and Catholics in particular are every gutless pseudo-intellectual non-believer’s favorite target. I would be astounded to see any of the usual suspects running down Muslims publicly.

“Je Suis Charlie”, right? Color me amazed at the sheer overwhelming unashamed hypocrisy of the whole damned lot of them. There are, obviously, individuals and groups who still misuse religion as a reason for violent behavior, but modern nation states don’t need religion as an excuse for going to war. Every major war in the last 300 years has been fought by nation states, not by the church. (death toll so far: 251.53 million conservative estimate and counting). And yet God loves them all … the politicians, the protestors, the profiteers, the bureaucrats, the civilians, and all the uniformed guys and gals sacrificing for the good of the many. God loves them all …

Union Field Hospital … American Civil War

In America’s history alone, the 4 year re-conquest of the secessionist states in the Civil War with a death toll of more than 620,000 killed and millions more injured, was a far bloodier event than the several hundred years of re-conquest of the Holy Land by the now despised Crusaders. Current estimates found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_war. place the highest estimated death toll for Christian religious wars at 18-20 million dead from all causes including civilian deaths from famine and disease, genocides and massacres.

The Battle of Arsuf was a battle of the Third Crusade in which Richard I of England defeated the forces of Ayyubid leader Saladin

The lowest estimate is about 5 to 6 million. It would seem that, whatever one’s views, reality lies somewhere in between, given the extraordinary range reported and the probable biases of the reporters depending on their religious or non-religious views. But even taking the highest estimates as veritable they are still dwarfed by the death tole inflicted by the godless progressive secular state and it’s multitude of minions in all it’s wars.

The state apparatus for investigating civilians now is far more extensive than anything dreamed up by the Spanish Inquisition, although both were created to serve the same purpose: to preserve a government’s public ideology and control of society, whether based on religion or on modern constitutional order.

Analogies can easily be multiplied, if one wants to push a thesis; but the point is that the greatest threat to world peace and international justice is the nation state gone bad, claiming an absolute power, deciding questions and making “laws” beyond its competence. And yet, God loves them all …

Boy Trudeau, Red Rachel, and all the rest ...

Boy Trudeau, Red Rachel, and all the rest …

And so we find ourselves surrounded and vastly outnumbered by the howling savages and zombies of the moral apocalypse, a kind of last ditch Fort Apache, and like others in history, sometimes you reach a place where you just have to stand and deliver.

I wear my Poppy to remind me of the generations wiped out by an insidious evil flowing through the rivers of self interest in the hearts of our secular masters who believe sacrifice is only for the other guy, the little guy, the suckers that the figureheads talk about at their Remembrance Day photo ops. And yet, God loves them all …

And I thank God this whole miserable world is just a way-station,  just boot camp, our Arrakis, created to train the Faithful. On Sunday at Mass, I thought about Boy Trudeau, Red Rachel, and all the rest and said a prayer for them, and for our Pope and the Cardinals and Bishops.

Because, still, God loves them all … and the Supreme Commander’s Standing Orders are: “Love one another as I have loved you.” This. Is. Hard. But then, just when the bitterness seems overwhelming … an answer comes. I just opened a letter, turns out to be from the grandparents of one of the children I support in the Ukraine. Their daughter, the kid’s mother, just died of cancer and now, with both mum and dad dead, the grandparents have all the children to look after. This is really what the whole point of life is, all us little people, sacrificing for the good of the other, to will the good of the other. No matter what. And I cry.

Wisdom 6:2-11
2 hear this, you who govern great populations, taking pride in your hosts of subject nations!
3 For sovereignty is given to you by the Lord and power by the Most High, who will himself probe your acts and scrutinize your intentions.
4 If therefore, as servants of his kingdom, you have not ruled justly nor observed the law, nor followed the will of God,
5 he will fall on you swiftly and terribly. On the highly placed a ruthless judgement falls;
6 the lowly are pardoned, out of pity, but the mighty will be mightily tormented.
7 For the Lord of all does not cower before anyone, he does not stand in awe of greatness, since he himself has made small and great and provides for all alike;
8 but a searching trial awaits those who wield power.
9 So, monarchs, my words are meant for you, so that you may learn wisdom and not fall into error;
10 for those who in holiness observe holy things will be adjudged holy, and, accepting instruction from them, will find their defense in them.
11 Set your heart, therefore, on what I have to say, listen with a will, and you will be instructed.

Cheers

Joe

Ready to jump … Dad’s photo, Fort Benning, Ga.

Mind The Step!

 

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The Inner Struggle

So, Sin, and Fomenting Spirits … where to now?

Setting Your Rocks Back …

I hope you all remembered to set your rocks back one hour to adjust for the end of “daylight savings time”, whatever that is. Didn’t we invent electricity so we didn’t have to worry about daylight and darkness?

I’m just trying to inject a little “light” humor since my last two or three posts, if given consideration and thought might be a real downer, a reminder of just how miserable folks can be.

I can’t imagine any honest review of the lists that wouldn’t find something familiar for virtually every one alive today, probably every human who ever lived starting with Adam.

So, “Daylight Saving Time”, what a joke … a friend of mine sent this stony humor picture to me Sunday morning as a bit of a pick-me-up. I needed it after the last week. Another Facebook post was the Old Indian meme from kevin-stafford.weebly.com.

Old Indian

Old Indian

Humor is good. Without humour, dark or light, life would truly be a never ending grim slog to death and desolation.

And without being able to laugh at ourselves, we would have a grim old time getting through the crap that we create ourselves so that we can continue to pretend that we are really “nice, good” people.

On the mundane side of the ledger, I started watching a new series on Netflix, “Designated Survivor” staring Kiefer Sutherland.  I actually am enjoying it in the same way I enjoyed “West Wing” with Martin Sheen, as satire rather than political drama as the left wing reviewers and publicists on the Left Coast like to present it.

The series message is a glaring exposition of the efficacy of the big lie in our materialist lives. The words of the prophets truly are written on the subway walls, and tenement halls …

The Sound of Silence, Simon & Garfunkel, 1964

The publicists rather obvious underlying intent is that a “political drama” has some resemblance to truth and reality, some street cred, as opposed to satire which is obviously a mockery of the point of view espoused in the entertainment.

C.S.Lewis presents an ideal of satire in the “Screwtape Letters” but far enough down the path to perdition, a reader might in fact fail to appreciate the satire in the book and find it rather a boring training manual for liberal bureaucrats and publicists.

The series “Designated Survivor” follows the structure of: “if you are going to tell a lie make sure its a WHOPPER”, and make sure that the fabric of the lie is at least entertaining and invites one to suspend belief for the duration of an episode, even if it will still be obviously a lie to anyone with two neurons firing. When we watch Superman fly we all know its a lie, but it is fun to suspend belief for an hour or two.

As “political drama” it falls “flatter than piss on a plate” as we used to say in the NAVY, but as “satire” it is hilarious. and while we are in the neighbourhood, just take a look at “Heartbreak Ridge” starring Clint Eastwood for another variation of this sort of satire. Even the plays of Shakespeare combine “political drama” and “satire”, and let the audience take what they will from it. Watching others take themselves too seriously is always rather entertaining.

“Designated Survivor” was actually cancelled for primetime in May 2018 and its fate was said, by ABC, to have been sealed by a ratings plunge in season two and its loss of traction in delayed viewing. Whatever, and maybe some people believe that, but why did the ratings drop is the real question.

In its first season, the show regularly registered triple-digit gains in Nielsen’s live-plus-7 ratings, but the second season it averaged 8.6 million viewers and 1.7 rating in adults 18-49 in L7, compared to 12.1 million viewers and 2.9 in adults 18-49 in season one.

In the absence of a clear narrative road map for a third season and declining poll numbers, “Designated Survivor” couldn’t recover from the loss of its base. Like politics, primetime TV is a fickle business.

Well, like it’s previous version, “West Wing”, the primetime “Designated Survivor” failed because, at its root, it is a big lie. Politics, and the media representation of it really is all about the big lie. Lets take a look at the fact based reality of recent history. Who are the haters?

Ya can’t fact check Facebook, nor is it possible to disagree with the trolls who just scream down any voice of dissent in the belief that theirs is the only “right” truth.

Lies sell well on Facebook and amongst progressive leftist cliques and their dupes like “Occupy Wall Street” in big urban centres, and lies can even be entertaining for a while as one watches the true thoughts and “feelings” of the authors pour out in all their malicious ugliness.

But when the fundamental premise of anything passing for “entertainment” is a bald faced lie, a re-writing of reality to suite the producer’s circle-jerk fantasy du jour, it’s demise is foreordained regardless of the excuses offered.

That meme, the entire “Not My President“, Evil Military Masterminds, evil Republican congressperson, evil treacherous treasonous military hero meme, is in fact, entirely the position, the fortress of solitude, the religious belief of the Democratic party, and all their thoughtless legions of supporters, media, voters and academics.

Thinkers and those even slightly interested in fact check-able truth and reality and having more than a 10 minute event horizon and a bit of memory are definitely not the target audience.

And “The Folks”, as O’Reilly calls them, are not even remotely as stupid and gullible as the left seem to sincerely believe.

The knuckle-dragging, red-necked, bitter clinger, in flyover country only ever existed in the minds of left wing haters like Obama and Trudeau, and the rest of the parasitic horde.

These are folks, just like everyone else, but they find the idea that someone doesn’t share their perverse and deviant system of beliefs simply “inconceivable!”. This whole mindset is just so “sophomoric”.

This series premise, in re-writing and reversing the clear evidence of recorded history, is a reliable indicator that even the producers of this cartoon series understand at a deep level that they are on the wrong side of history and will be remembered as “useful idiots” at best.

Truth be known, their true role is as malicious purveyors of evil, divisive, propaganda on behalf of shadowy interests whose only goal is the destruction of America and what it once represented in the world.

The goal, of course is to re-write history into the ‘acceptable” version for enough voters that it will become politically incorrect to ever mention the historic truth. And if enough people believe the lie, then we really get the government we deserve, with collapsing banking systems, declining manufacturing, a service economy of burger flippers and dog walkers, valueless dollars and social welfare all around.

The end game is the total dependence on a government which has now made it perfectly legal to kill anyone and everyone who is found to be “inconvenient”. This all seems so “Eastern Block” somehow, doesn’t it?

Oh Canada

Do you doubt it? What do you call Abortion, and Euthanasia, and Eugenics, and how do you explain the total absence of Downs Syndrome sufferers, crippled seniors, and other handicapped people in Iceland and Belgium and soon Canada.

Right here at home, in “Toronto the Good”, the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children is now offering both full term partial birth abortions and even euthanasia for children covered by federal “health” funding, free, without parental consent or involvement.

And that’s just  the start of the slippery slope aimed at creating the master race, Lest we forget, Canada has a long and proud tradition of eugenics going back to the 19th century. Ever hear of the “Famous Five”? George Bernard Shaw?

Those are just a few of the famous folks, lauded in Canada, who subscribed to the “too many of them and not enough of us” social philosophy that inevitably results in the sterilization or murder of those considered “socially undesirable”, those lesser races, like Blacks, and Slavs, and Gypsies, and Catholics, and Jews, well, you get the drift ….

And here you thought this was a NAZI problem? Ha! Welcome to reality. I learned about all that stuff in History class, long before History was sanitized into politically acceptable “Social Studies” by our “self esteem” focused indoctrinators in our public “education” system. The left wing Socialist, NAZI regime had nothing on the super efficient modernization of the Canadian Final Solution. Evil is evil is evil, no matter how you dress it up.

So ATTENTION CLASS! Pay attention now, remember Arbeit macht frei ? This is a German phrase meaning “work sets you free”. The slogan is known for appearing on the entrance of Auschwitz and other popular Nazi summer camp programs.

So the question is, for extra credit, “What is the moral difference between the Nazi social policies which gave rise to death camps, or Soviet social policies which gave us the Gulag, and the current Western government policies which facilitate cleaning up the population by killing inconvenient people?” Anyone?  Anyone? Evil, is evil, is evil, even if we would prefer to believe that we are nice good people.

*****

When we tolerate the killing of people simply because of who they are, we lose our own moral standing (and our right) to exist. Recall what Abraham Lincoln wrote about the justifications offered in defense of slavery.

You say A. is white, and B. is black. It is color, then; the lighter, having the right to enslave the darker? Take care. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with a fairer skin than your own.

You do not mean color exactly?—You mean the whites are intellectually the superiors of the blacks, and, therefore have the right to enslave them? Take care again. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet with an intellect superior to your own.

But, say you, it is a question of interest; and, if you can make it your interest, you have the right to enslave another. Very well. And if he can make it his interest, he has the right to enslave you.

Do you lose your right to life because of who you are? Because you are gay, or a girl, or a Tutsi, or black, or a Jew, or a Christian, or have an extra chromosome?

Does a person lose his right to live because of his geography? Did a person lose his right to live in Mao’s China because of where he was? Would he have retained that human right had he been in Taiwan? Does a person not have a right to live because he is a few centimeters inside the birth canal and then gain it when he is a few centimeters outside of it? “

*****

This is all just part of the big lie, that killing people is a “solution” as long as the people in question are not me, and maybe not you, but the jury is still out on you. Accepting and not questioning the big lie in our entertainment makes accepting the big lie much easier in our social policies.

So back to “Designated Survivor”.  How about the lies in this series, the distortion of truth, the re-writing of history … ?

Traitors in Michigan ...

Traitors in Michigan …

Just one tiny example of the lie in the TV series, is casting Michigan as a hotbed of treachery and malice. In the context of historical fact, this is an understandable revenge attack, dressing up slander in nice makeup and flashy clothes.

The ignored “Sure Blue Union State” produced a Red Tide of betrayal when election night rolled around. They need to be punished for their treachery! So, lies sell,  lies sell well, because at the root of all things we all want to believe that we are actually  “good” people, not tools of evil.

We all want to “feel  good” about ourselves, no matter what the truth is.

Remember all that BS about “self-esteem” that became the bulk of our academic curriculum in the last few decades?  Well, what we see around us now is how unfounded “self esteem”, “it takes a village”, “no child left behind”, plays out in the real world.

The masses, sincerely believing that the world owes them, simply because they have a pulse, produce and consume lies as reality, they vote for the sunshine pumpers, and the Kool Aide just keeps flowing.

circa 1965: Head shot portrait of American comedian and actor Flip Wilson (1933-1998), (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Unfortunately, that fantasy doesn’t play well in reality. Evil is evil and always will be evil, and evil doers are not “good” people, no matter how many mountain ranges of propaganda come out of the progressive media everywhere.

There are no “good” people. We all do evil. And in the end, lies are just lies. and the liars are merely useful idiots working for the Father of Lies, shoveling coal for Satan, as some wag once remarked.

I just finished re-reading through the lists of my last 3 posts, and I find it chilling. Our modern society has perfected the art of pretending that demons and evil spirits do not exist, “that stuff” is all just silly superstition, simply superstition or imagination.

And of course if we are believers, that doesn’t give us all a free pass for bad behavior, as Flip Wilson used to say “The Devil Made Me Do It!”, well … that just doesn’t cut it. We are personally responsible for our behaviour, our acts and our thoughts.

My last two posts are rather grim if one is even a little interested in the problem of sin, and eternity. If one is not interested then there is just no problem, everything in life is OK and these posts are just the delusional rambling of some old school superstitious peasant in the boondocks of rural Western Canada.

Here we are, church going riflemen, out standing in our fields, the Great White North, last bastion of the Bitter Clingers. That’s certainly what my urban Atheist sisters would say, or my equally urban Wiccan Priestess auntie, and all my non-religious, but “very spiritual” extended family and in-laws.

Whited Sepulchers

We have perfected the art of pretending that these are just “human” problems, demons and evil spirits do not exist, they are simply superstition or imagination, and of course I don’t have any of these problems because I am practically perfect in every way.

Really? Superstition? Imagination? Of course, I really don’t have any of these problems, and they have government Programs for those people who do have these sorts of problems or there’s an App for that. Really? This view is not actually very helpful, is it?

Pope Francis recently referred to Pope Paul  VI, who, in 1975, covered this well in his speech on Christian Faith and Demonology: placed emphasis on the fact that:

Pope Francis

“… evil is not simply a force in the background but rather (is) truly present, a living being who is spiritual, perverse, and who renders perverse (everything it touches). … (It) is a horrifying reality, a mysterious force who spreads fear.”

I am thinking about millions of people completely ignorant of actual demonic and evil spiritual activity in the material world and the manipulation of the minds and self of human beings by these spirits.

It is chilling, an unimaginable horror story involving all humans, both the innocent and the guilty everywhere, every day.

The lists are literally a catalogue of almost every imaginable social problem, iniquity and misery afflicting our modern progressive materialistic society, our “polite”, “nice”, “friendly” Canadian culture.

So once again, I think that I am faced with an apparent binary choice … to accept the massive cognitive dissonance radiating from literally every Canadian News report and polite cultural meme,  OR to reject it all in favour of measurable reality  and abandon hope of ANY possible positive resolution to the “challenges” I see before us on every side.

I am invited, tempted in fact,  to see a binary choice and only a binary choice … accept that the media talking heads and the politicians know the truth and are telling the truth and things things are better than they have ever been and are getting better, if only we acquiesce to their chosen “solutions, OR … accept the despair of a no hope future where all ends in misery and death.

But that is really a false choice, offered by one who has everything to gain by the misery and despair inevitable on the track we are following. The real choice is actually GOD, or no god. We always find ourselves falling short, full of miseries, failures and sin, always indebted to GOD. We deny and lose faith in GOD because our souls always shiver with fear because we are aware of our failing and dread how GOD will receive us,

Will He turn us away and punish us for our failure and lack of faith? Our miserable selves always answer yes to the punishment concept when in fact that is the age old lie that led Adam to hide himself when he heard God walking in the garden. We don’t trust that GOD loves us. Our limited God holds guilt and justice for us or worse as god we refuse to acknowledge His very existence.

And how can that turn out well? Because we are literally “dead” wrong about GOD. GOD is different from what we believe. I believe that GOD loves me and wants to take me back if only I will acknowledge my sins humbly and simply and sincerely ask for forgiveness as did the thief on the cross beside Jesus. “The Lord saith: I think thoughts of peace and not of affliction. You shall call upon Me and I will hear you, and I will bring back your captivity from all places.” these are consoling words taken from the Catholic Mass. they open our hearts to the sweetest of hopes. GOD loves us in spite of all.

More on GOD’s love and mercy later

Cheers

Joe

Frodo … was asleep almost before the words were spoken. Sam struggled with his own weariness, and he took Frodo’s hand; and there he sat silent till deep night fell.

Then at last, to keep himself awake, he crawled from the hiding-place…. The land seemed full of … noises, but there was no sound of voice or of foot. Far above the Ephel Dúath in the West the night-sky was still dim….

There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him.

For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself.

Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and laid himself by Frodo’s side, and putting away all fear he cast himself into a deep untroubled sleep.

 

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The Inner Struggle

Sins & Fomenting Spirits – part 2

Adam Blai

Adam Blai

To quote Adam Blai , from the larger quote at the end of this post, “… It is easy to become distracted by the drama of deliverance and exorcism and lose sight of the fact that the source of demonic problems is a relationship with sin, and usually involves the First Commandment. It is often the case that, over time, emotional wounds lead to sin, which becomes habitual.”

Quoting from Father Chad A. Ripperger’s little book : “Deliverance Prayers”, here is what the first commandment and sins relating are all about:

*****

THE FIRST COMMANDMENT: I AM THE LORD THY GOD; THOU SHALT NOT HAVE STRANGE GODS BEFORE ME

Sins contrary to the First Commandment are the following:

neglect of prayer; ingratitude toward God; spiritual sloth; hatred of God or of the Catholic Church; tempting God (explicitly or implicitly, e.g. by exposing oneself to danger of soul, life, or health without grave cause); not behaving reverently when in church (e.g. not genuflecting to the Blessed Sacrament when entering or leaving the church, etc.); excessive attraction to things/creatures (e.g. over-affection to animals, being a sports fanatic, having movie star /music/TV idols, love for money, pleasure or power);

idolatry (worshiping false gods such as giving honor to a creature in place of God (e.g. Satan, science, ancestors, country); superstition (ascribing powers to a created thing which it does not have); hypnotism (without sufficient cause); divination (communication with Satan, demons, the dead or other false practices in order to discover the unknown;

Father Ripperger

Father Ripperger

consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, fortune telling); attaching undue importance to dreams, omens or lots; all practices of magic or sorcery (e.g. witchcraft, voodoo); wearing charms; playing with Ouija boards or rotating tables; spiritism (talking with the spirits);

sacrilege (profaning or treating unworthily the Sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist, and other liturgical actions, as well as religious persons, blessed things such as sacred vessels or statues, or places consecrated to God); sacrilege by receiving a sacrament, especially the Holy Eucharist, in the state of mortal sin; simony (buying or selling of spiritual things); profane or superstitious use of blessed objects (sometimes done in order to remain in sin);

practical materialism (one believes he needs and desires only material things); atheistic humanism (falsely considers man to be an end in himself, and the sole maker with supreme control of his own history); atheism in general (rejects, denies or doubts the existence of God, either in theory or practice, i.e. ignoring Him in the daily living of one’s life); agnosticism (postulates the existence of a transcendent being which is incapable of revealing itself, and about which nothing can be said or makes no judgment about God’s existence declaring it impossible to prove or even to affirm or deny).

Sins against Faith: Wilful doubt of any article of faith; deliberate ignorance of the truths of faith which ought to be known; neglect of instructing oneself in the faith according to one’s state in life; rash credulity (e.g. giving credence to private revelation too easily or believing in a private revelations which has been condemned by the lawful Church authorities); apostasy; heresy; indifferentism (to believe that one religion is as good as another, and that all religions are equally true and pleasing to God, or that one is free to accept or reject any or all religions); reading or circulating books or writings against the Catholic belief or practice in such wise as to jeopardize one’s or another’s faith; to remain silent when asked about one’s faith; engaging is schismatic or heretical worship; joining or supporting masonic groups or other forbidden societies.

Sins against Hope: despair of God’s mercy (to give up all hope of salvation, and the means necessary to be saved), or want of confidence in the power of His Grace to support us in trouble or temptation; no desire to possess eternal happiness in heaven or after this earthly life; presumption (to hope for salvation without help from God or to assume God’s forgiveness without conversion, or to hope to obtain heavenly glory without merit); presuming on God’s mercy or on the supposed efficacy of certain pious practices, in order to continue in sin; refusing any dependence on God.

Sins against Charity: not making an act of charity at regular intervals during life especially during times of necessity; egoism (one cares only about himself, praises himself, selfish, enjoys receiving praise) wilfully rebellious thoughts against God; boasting of sin; violating God’s law, or omitting good works through human respect.”

Ripperger, Father Chad A.. Deliverance Prayers: For Use by the Laity (pp. 112-114). Sensus Traditionis Press.

*****

Here then, are the rest of the lists, part two, and the conclusion. Remembering the instructions from Fr. Ripperger on the subject of “Fomenting Spirits” and reading the lists … is to bear in mind that since so many demons and evil spirits identify with the vice or attitude they seek to foment, they answer to these names.

As a result some of the entries in these lists will correspond to those vices, disorders and attitudes which these spirits and demons foment. However, other entries can be such that they correspond with a purely natural problem or disorder, or even in some cases not a disorder in itself  but something which may become disordered by the involvement of demons and spirits.

Some of the list entries indicate nothing harmful in itself but may describe the victim’s interior struggles in that fashion, such as “marionette/puppet” may describe how a person might feel interiorly in their struggles.

So, while reading through the lists, one should not presume that a natural activity which in itself is not disordered is somehow by nature driven by diabolic influence. Remember, these “fomenting demons” or “fomenting spirits” are evil spirits whose primary task in our material reality is to incite or cause troublesome acts; to encourage; to instigate and to otherwise get humans to misbehave in more or less serious ways, they indeed are … all the evil spirits who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls”. And my main question is “Where do all these spirits come from?”

*****

Matthias Grünewald - Temptation of St. Anthony, Isenheim Altarpiece Detail. 1515

Matthias Grünewald – Temptation of St. Anthony, Isenheim Altarpiece Detail. 1515

Spirits Against Matrimonial Sacramental Unity: Neglect of Responsibilities toward Children Physically, Emotionally, Mentally, Spiritually; Cursing of Children, Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Incest, Betrayal, Abandonment, Inability to Give Love, Detachment & Indifference Due to Self-Absorption, Abandonment of Religious Practices & Teaching the Faith to Children, Lack of Affection, Over Affection, Lack of Tactility, Lack of Affectivity, Lack of Nurturing, Misuse of Authority, Religiosity & Abandoning Children & of Family for Church; Lack of Availability, Competition for Attention with Children for Spouse, Pitting against Spouse with Children-Putting Children in the Middle of an Argument, Putting Children above Spouse in the Family Relationships, Living out Your Identity in Your Children, Manipulation, Control, Dominance, Over-protection-Stifling because of Fear, Non-protection-Abandonment, Permissiveness, Allowing: Provocative Clothing, Movies, No Discipline, Over Eating of Junk Food; Swearing, Crude Language, Abusive Language, Unapproachability, Fearful Dominance, Deceiving Children, Over-Doting on & Spoiling Children, Disordered Love & Affection for Children, Preferring One Sibling more than Another, Pitting Siblings against Each Other; Disordered Shame & Guilt about Their Character or Bodies, No Discipline, Disciplining without Explanation or Full Cycle of Love, Teaching Error, Mocking or Belittling of Children; Allowing Cynicism, Sarcasm or Critical Humor, Uncontrolled Use of the Tongue, Preferring Friends to Family, Not Allowing Children to Express Themselves, Fighting with Spouse in Front of Children, Allowing Children to be the Parents to their Parents; Adultery & Its Effects, Any Disorders in Children Produced by any Unnatural Sex in Home; Sarcasm, Critical Humor, Gossip, Belittling & Allowing Sibling Rivalry, Permissiveness: Teaching Contraception & Giving Contraceptives to Your Children, Teaching Immorality to Children, Exposing Them to Loose Conduct & Alcoholism, Exclusion in their Rooms; Permissiveness: No Chores around House, No Responsibilities, No Money Management; Occult: Harry Potter, Pokemon, Monster toys, T.V., Books; Non-Protection of Child’s Soul or Spiritual Development & Schooling, Non-Protection & Non-Awareness of Relationships within Family Members & Friends, Herding Children with No Personalized Attention (Large Family), Allowing Uncleanness & Chaos in Family; Murder in Womb, Abortion, Contraception, Scheming, Plotting, Deviant Plans; Non-Explaining & Training in Sexual Behavior, Addictions: Alcoholism, Drugs, Smoking, Gambling, Sexual Addiction

Children: Defiance, Deviant Behavior, Laziness, Unruly & Wild, Out of Control, Temper Tantrums, Hitting Parents; Deceiving-Lying, Curiosity in Sexual Behavior; Procrastination, Rebellion, Stubbornness, Assertiveness & Independence, Leading Parents Around on a Leash; Sibling Rivalry, Fighting, Bickering & Belittling Siblings, Pouting, Daydreaming, Coquettishness, Provocativeness, Mischievous, Impishness, Troubled Behavior, Non-Attentiveness; Coercion of Parents, Manipulation of Parents, Pitting Parents against Each Other; Negative Attention Behavior, Fascination with Occult and Powers, Too Much Time with: Video Games, Sports, TV, Internet; Sexual Perversion, Animal Torture, Stealing & Theft, Anti-Social Behavior, Rebelliousness, Indulgence, Fear, Nightmares, Thumb-Sucking, Bed-Wetting, Nail-Biting; Touchiness over Corrections, Anger & Rage, Fear, Rejection, Sulking & Pouting, Abandonment & Fear of Abandonment In Utero, Fear of Death & Dying, Unwanted Pregnancy, Attempted Abortion, Cord Around Neck, Traumatic Delivery, Following a Miscarriage or Abortion: Suicidal Thoughts, Darkness, Death & Fear of Death, Sadness, Sorrow; Fear of Dark, Nightmares, Emotional Trauma: Panic, Guilt, Shame, Reclusion, Shyness, Ineptness, Low Self Esteem, Bad Self Image, Aggravated Abuse & Jealousy of Others

Sexual Spirits: Seducing, Perverse, Whoredom, Bondage, Masturbation, Sexual Fantasy, Romanticism, Infatuation, Daydreaming, Pornography, Romance Novels, Lust, Fornication, Promiscuity, Contraception – Condoms, Adultery, Disordered Love Relationships, Bestiality, Necromancy, Unclean Thoughts & Desires, Prostitution, Homosexuality (Baal), Lesbianism (Ishtar), Incubus, Succubus, Pedophilia, Jezebel (Seduction) (N.B. re: Homosexuality, she is called the Pestiferous Queen of the Sodomites), Incest, Voyeurism, Coquettishness, Flirtation, Petting, French Kissing, Fondling, Provocativeness, Internet Porn, Lewd Conduct, Lewd Dancing, Molestation, Oral Sex, Unnatural Intercourse, Lack of Modesty, Nudity, Shame, Guilt, Child Perversity, Sadomasochism, Perverted Acts, Sexual Delusions, Obscenity, Wasting of Seed, Indecency, Pleasure Seeking, Premarital Sex, (Need to Forgive Sex Partners & Remove Hooks & Tentacles), Murder of Spirit, Murder of Purity, (Necessary condition to see God), Sexual Gluttony, Sexual Addiction, Ritual Sex, Ritual Sexual Abuse, Insatiable Lusts, Sexual Gratification, Predator, Prey, Orgy (Sexual Carnival), Exhibitionism, Porn Films, Porn Magazines, Dirty Jokes, Squalor (Unclean), Permissiveness, Immorality, Impurity, Sexual Rage (for denying pleasure), Rape, Sodomy, Lack of Custody of the Eyes, Sacrilegious Sexual Abasement (Priests), Gender Mutilation, Ray Knee Kay Fee, Shay Knee Kay Lee (they work together to destroy our God given maleness/femaleness-Gender Mutilation)

The Garden of Earthly Delights is the modern title given to a triptych oil painting on oak panel painted by the Early Netherlandish master Hieronymus Bosch, between 1490 and 1510, when Bosch was between 40 and 60 years old. It has been housed in the Museo del Prado in Madrid since 1939.

Fear: Ministering Spirits, Fear, Torment, Violence, Fear of Death, Murder of Spirit, Spirit of Death-Ichabod, Suicide, Impending Death, Tension, Fear of People & their Opinions, Human Respect, Torture, Trouble, Anguish Darkness, Grief, Night, Black Disordered Grief, Trauma, Weeping, Oppression, Morbidity, Fixation, Helplessness, Hopelessness, Insomnia, Disturbances, Apprehension, Edginess; Phobias: Heights, Crowds, Cars, Planes, Water, Elevators, Hospitals, Claustrophobia, etc.; Inner Conflict, “I am not worthy”, Self Condemnation, Self Abandonment, Ruminating, Unworthiness, Fear of Disapproval, Fear of Persecution, Fear of Reproof, Fear of Accusation, Fear of Failure, Perfectionism; Crisis, Implosion, Nightmares, Excitement, Turmoil, Horror, Dread, Disgust, Gloom, Doom, Desperation, Disappointment, Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Fear of Pain, Fear of the Cross, Fear of Being Hurt, Repression, Suppression of Joy, Suppression, Panic, Anxiety, Worry, Paranoia-Suspicion, Fear of Condemnation, Fear of Judgment, Fear of Rejection, Projected Rejection onto God & Others, Fear of Close Relations, Disordered Fear of God or Hell, Restlessness, Nervousness, Tremors, Tension Headaches, Roaming Around, Nervous Habits, Shackled, Pressured, Viced, Trapped, Barbed Wire, Squeezed, Captive Spirit, Frozen, Isolation, Negativity, Reclusion, Staying Alone, Abandonment-Betrayal, Seclusion, Withdrawal, Indifference, Blockages, Numbness, Closed up, Shut up, Stupor, Locked up, Paralysis, Immobilization, Shut Down, Wall, Coldness, Apathy, Sloth, Escape, Loneliness, Fear of Loneliness, Sluggishness, Listlessness, Sleepiness Others: Yawning, Stress, Laziness, Lethargy, Withdrawal from God & People, Stoicism, Discouragement, Foreboding, Darkness, Sadness, Despair, Despondency, Dismay, Distrust, Disheartenment, Powerlessness, Fatality, Melancholy, Joylessness, Fear of Loss, Fear of Failure, Separation Anxiety, Fixation, “Don’t touch me”, “Leave me alone”, Heaviness, Depression, Neglect, Lost, Strangulation, Suffocation, Immobility, Recoil, Defeat, Weakness of Will, Seductibility, Sentimentality, Blues, Bondage, Bound & Gagged, Tied up in Knots, Chained, Caught, Snared, Trapped, Imprisoned, Netting, Webbing, Black Tar – Verbal Barrage in Hearing Faculty, Self Preservation, Avoidance, Humiliation, Inability to Overcome, Workaholic, Attachment Disorder, Fear of men, Fear of women, Fear of Abduction, Secrecy/secretive, Uselessness, Non-existent, Claiming, Hoarding & Owning Negatives, Holding on to Good Things, Attachments, Bigotry, “I’m not allowed to be here”, “I should be punished”

Womb: Darkness in Mothers Womb, Unwanted Pregnancy, Fear of Pregnancy, Cord around Neck, Undue Sadness from Mother to Child, Birth Trauma, Incubator Abandonment, Adoption, Non-bonding at the Breast, Blood Transfusion, Oxygen Tent or Hospitalization, Previous Abortion, Previous Miscarriage, Premature Pregnancy

Self: Narcissism, Self Awareness, Inadequacy, Self Rejection, Rejection, Self Pity, No Self Confidence, Self Hate/Ugliness, Self Contempt, Self Love, Self-Seeking Behavior, Self Gratification, Self Will, Self Destruction, Self Abandonment, Self Aggrandizement, Ego, Independence, Bad Self Image, Self Depreciation, Sensitivity, Inferiority, Self Absorption, Blockages to God Because of Self Absorption, Self Idolatry, Introspection, Insecurity, Timidity, Ineptness, Shyness, Loneliness, Cowardliness, Self Indulgence, Uselessness, Ideas & Dreams, Agenda, Preconceived Notions, Presumption, Disordered Love, Disordered Responsibility, Disordered Compassion, Self Assumed Heavy Burdens, Self Assumed Pious Burdens, Self Assumed False Burdens, Inability to Receive Love, Inability to give Love, Faith Crisis, Shame, Guilt, Self Reliance, Self Sufficiency, Feeling Accused, Blame, Impulsive, Labor & Toil, Obedient Toil, Drudgery, Aversion, Avoidance, Feeling Unloved, Feeling Unwanted, Pessimism, Indifference, Tepidity, Lukewarmness, Defeat Spirits That Say: “I must be punished”, “That’s not fair”, “I am not allowed”, “This cannot happen for me”, “I am not worthy”, “I can do it myself, “I can’t”, “I wont”, “God can’t”, “God won’t”, “Oh yes I can”, “You can’t make me”, “You can’t help me”, “I can’t be healed” Others Continued: Mine, Perfectionism, Rigidity, Give Me, Doubt, Incredulity, Unbelief, Paranoia, Suspicion, Irrational, Instability, Unstable, Fickle, Folly, Unmovable, Changeability, Unpredictable, Surprise, Irresoluteness, Weakness of Will, Inconsistency, Sloth, Slovenliness, Non-Forgiving of God, Non-Forgiving of Self, Messiah Complex, Imbalance, Deaf & Dumb Spirit, Distorted Hearing, Perverted Judgment, Perverted Thinking, Indecisive, Scrupulosity, Procrastination, Postponement, Postponing Prayer, Inability to be Influenced by Grace, Trance, Anesthetized, Numbness, Spiritual Blindness, Wall, Dazed, Fog, Indecision, Obstruction, Inability to be Taught, Blockages, Non-Formed Conscience, Analysis Paralysis, Distorted Thinking, Hardness of Heart, Wounded Heart, Disconnectedness of Thoughts & Feelings from Head & Heart, Disjointed Spirit, Fractured Spirit, Split/Severance, Undo/Breaking, Opposites – Dual, Paralysis, Forgetfulness, Attention Deficit, Memory Lapse, Memory Loss, Obsessive Compulsive, Passivity, Imprudence, Impulsiveness, Compromise, Displaced Feelings, Transferred Feelings, Negativity, Non-Creativity, Grotesque Self Image, Preoccupation with Appearances & Body, Ignorance, Attachment, Concerned with Things Outside One’s Own Realm, Passive Aggressive, Finality, Dead End, Stunting, Halting, Interruption, Hesitation, Cutting Off, Dismissal, Defilement, Shock, Entrenchment, Temptation, Passivity, Slave of Constraint, Unfixability, Repudiation & Condemnation, Coveting, Being Served, Not Serving

The last Judgement, Hans Memling, painted between 1467 and 1471

The last Judgement, Hans Memling, painted between 1467 and 1471

Anger: Anger, Rage, Outrage, Blind Rage, Resentment, Unforgiveness, Spite, Animosity, Brooding over Injuries, Vindictiveness, Violence, Temper, Temper Tantrums, Out Bursts, Revenge, Lashing Out, Retaliation, Murder, Murder of Spirit, Abortion/Never, Bitterness, Bitterroot, Defiance, Avenging, Mercilessness, Belittling, Biting, Cruel, Inconsideration of Others’ Feelings, Inability to Feel Others’ Pain, Wicked Penetration, Agitation, Destruction, Accusation, Disfigurement/Mutilation, Relentless Rage, Pulverizing, Overkill, Compassionlessness, Torture, Predator, Stubbornness, Rebelliousness, Contempt, Vehemence, Contrivance, Strife, Division – Dabbles, Contention, Arguing, Quarreling, Bickering, Fighting, Rejoicing in Evil, Sadism, Masochism, Pouting, Impatience, Marital Discord, Hatred for Parents, Opposition, Disagree, Enmity, Cruelty, Envy, Bludgeoning, Jealousy, Spirit of Wickedness, Spirit of Wicked Penetration, Screaming, Feeling out of Control, Blame, Vulgarity, Foul language, Uncontrolled use of the Tongue, Name Calling, Cursing, Lying, Discord, Disorder, Dysfunctional Behavior, Havoc, Chaos, Confusion, Calamity Calumny Verbal Abuse Physical Abuse Addictions: Drugs, Alcoholism, Sex, Smoking, Gambling, Deviant Behavior, Curtness, Gossip, Talkativeness, Spitting, Blasphemy, Sarcasm, Cynicism, Jeering, Wishing Evil, Relishing Evil, Holding Secret Antipathies & Hatred, Coldness, Hatred, Hatred of Men, Hatred of Women, Bigotry, Willfulness, Mockery, Mimicry, Criticism, Yelling, Dirty Jokes, Critical Humor, Cursing of Children By Parents or Grandparents, Tearing of Flesh, Mutilation, Self Inflicted Pain, Destruction, Spirit of Detraction, Hurtful, Ruinous of Others’ Reputation, Destruction of Others’ Property & Reputation, Depreciation, Fault Finding, Frenzy, Adversity, Emotional Hostage-Taking, Disunity

Pride: Boasting, Bragging, Haughtiness, Pride, Arrogance, Detraction, Obstinate Pride, Conceit, Wounded Pride, Aggrandizement of Self, Grandiosity, Judgmental, Spiritual Wrath at God, Pride of Vocation, Nursing Wounds, Insolence, Vanity, Vainglory, Superiority, Indignation, Self Righteous, Resistance, Non Submissive, Repelling, Opening Ears to Evil, Cloak & Dagger (political), Reverse Polarization, (Repels Self from God (Magnets), Supremacy, Challenge, Opposition, Spoiled, Will not receive correction, Willfulness, Worldly Success & Achievement, Prowess, Fanaticism, “I will do if,” Self Idolatry, Holding Secret Antipathies, Distortion of Truth, Agitation, Religiosity, False Sense of Confidence, Self Magnification, Machismo, Egoism, Worldliness, Competition, Exaggeration, Bloated, Control, Manipulation, Dominance, Domineering, Power, Exalted Feelings, Scheming, Plotting, Dishonor, Disprove, Cunning, Conniving, Idolatry, Intellectual Prowess, Intellectualizing, Self Actualization, Self Elevation, Judgment Comparison, Acquired Situational Narcissism, (Adulation in Early Life-Complicated with Pressure), Buffoonery, Jocularity, Party Foolishness, Uncontrolled Behavior, Intemperance, Drunkenness, Gluttony, Mirth – Gaiety – Foolishness, Debauchery, Minimalization of Sin, Undisciplined, Unruly, Wild, Free Spirit that Obeys & Follows No Law, Lawlessness, Self Righteous Indignation, Spiritual Superiority, Sacrilegious Communions, Aversion to Others, “Below My Dignity”, Unrest, Agitation, Irritation, Spiritual Wrath Directed at God, Because of No Consolation, Emphasizes Letter of the Law & Not It’s Spirit, Burning Desire to Justify Self, Burning Desire to Correct Others and Judge Them, Rebelliousness, Rebelliousness against Leaders & Authority, “I will not serve”, “I will not submit”, “I will not”, Touchiness over Correction, Hypocritical, Self Righteousness,

Judas Spirit: Betrayal, Won’t Forgive Self, God Can’t Forgive Me; Divided Loyalty, Pharisee, Sanctimoniousness, (Pretending to be of High Morals without Being So), Self Denial & Discipline for Worldly Gain, Self Achievement, • “I will do it”, • “Only I can do it”, Diabolic Strength – Strength apart from God, Empowerment, Severity, Disciplinarian – Dictator, Workaholic, Stubbornness, Curiosity

Ripperger, Father Chad A.. Deliverance Prayers: For Use by the Laity (p. 101- 111). Sensus Traditionis Press.

*****

There is another interesting and helpful article at St. Paul Center, by Adam Blai . Blai is an expert on religious demonology and exorcism for the Pittsburgh Diocese. He has been an auxiliary member of the International Association of Exorcists in Rome for a number of years. Blai is the author of Hauntings, Possessions, and Exorcisms, a field guide to defense against the demonic. thus:

*****

“… Over the last fifty years or so, most deliverance work was done by Protestant denominations, and the books on deliverance over that time were from those perspectives. One erroneous idea that comes out of this tradition is that anything commanded to a demon by a baptized Christian in the name of Jesus will be obeyed immediately.

This is a magical-thinking approach as it doesn’t take into account the free will of the person in relationship with that demon. We cannot foist our choices onto other adults; they have their own free will.

In some Protestant books on deliverance, one is encouraged to speak directly to, and command, the demons. This is imprecatory prayer, a direct command. It is critical to understand that imprecatory prayer directly commands a demon, which is a tacit acceptance to a personal battle with that demon, while deprecatory prayer asks God to act against the demon.

The Catholic Church has understood that the full authority to command demons was given to the Twelve Apostles, therefore a priest needs Apostolic authority given to him by a bishop before he engages in a battle with a demon. Of course a bishop, cardinal, or pope can do an exorcism at any time.

It is easy to become distracted by the drama of deliverance and exorcism and lose sight of the fact that the source of demonic problems is a relationship with sin, and usually involves the First Commandment. It is often the case that, over time, emotional wounds lead to sin, which becomes habitual. The person grows in the wrong direction, like a tree that is bound and canted to the side as a sapling.

The deception of the demon is to hide in these wounded feelings and distorted sense of self, seeming integral and necessary while fomenting more harm. People affected by demons must begin their healing by letting go of their own sins through repentance and of the sins of others through forgiveness.

The cycle of repentance and forgiveness is bolstered by reaffirming one’s loyalty to God, such as with the recitation of the Apostles’ Creed, the renewal of baptismal promises, and participation in the sacraments. God works with the person where they are and they are usually given as much insight into their own wounds and sinfulness as they can handle at the time. It is like training that tree to now grow in a new way: change too fast and the tree breaks. …”

*****

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

That’s plenty long enough, isn’t it? I find just reading through these lists to be chilling. Our modern society has perfected the art of pretending that demons and evil spirits do not exist, that they are simply superstition or imagination and this is not actually very helpful.

And of course if we do believe, that doesn’t give us a free pass for bad behavior, as Flip Wilson used to say “The Devil Made Me Do It!”, just doesn’t cut it. We are responsible for our behaviour, our acts and our thoughts.

Pope Francis recently referred to Pope Paul  VI, who, in 1975, covered this well in his speech on Christian Faith and Demonology: placed emphasis on the fact that,

evil is not simply a force in the background but rather truly present, a living being who is spiritual, perverse and who renders perverse. He is a horrifying reality, a mysterious force who spreads fear. Anyone who refuses to recognize his existence is distancing themselves from the framework of Biblical and Church teaching.

This really is the end of this topic. I find the whole thing chilling. Thinking about millions of people completely ignorant of actual demonic activity in the material world through the manipulation of the minds and self of human beings.

Joe

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The Inner Struggle

Sins & Fomenting Spirits – part 1

This has turned into a rather long post, perhaps too long for comfort, so I just decided to split it into two parts with the division being in the middle of the lists. So this becomes part one and the next post is now part two probably to be posted tomorrow or the next day.

I started this post in order to just to get all this stuff into one place where I can think about this and work with it. I am creating this post and the next one,  to hold my new list. The “new” thing for me here is the realization of the actions of evil spirits on the real material world, rather than simply their existence in the spiritual plane.

This is a list of “fomenting spirits” together with quotes from source documents and articles, drawn from my recent reading of works  by and about exorcists, about the (probably) billions of evil spirits referred to in this popular Catholic prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel:

Holy Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do you, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.”

Destroyer, Heavy Seas

Destroyer, Heavy Seas, Please! GAWD! HELP US!

My father taught me that prayer, or at least tried to when I was a youngster, although, after leaving the Catholic Church of the late 60’s in my all knowing teenage arrogance,  the prayer which I prayed most in my military service in my late teens and 20’s was:

GAWD! PLEASE! Help us survive this and I swear I will be good for the rest of my life. I will never have another drink and I will go to church and I will never again lust after women! Please! GAWD! HELP US!

prayed with deep sincerity as we found ourselves, again and again, in situations and conditions which seemed at times to leave no hope of survival no matter how professional we might be. It’s funny how we all promise to be good when death is eminent, God gets real when situational things over which one has absolutely no control, are getting worse and you might actually be stepping through the last door in a moment.

Anyway, on with the subject of “Fomenting Spirits”, I never really held this sharp a focus on the action of evil spirits in this world as opposed to their mere existence. Important things to remember when reading entries on these lists is to bear in mind that since so many demons and evil spirits identify with the vice or attitude they seek to foment, they answer to these names.

As a result some of the entries in these lists will correspond to those vices, disorders and attitudes which these spirits and demons foment. However, other entries can be such that they correspond with a purely natural problem or disorder, or even in some cases not a disorder in itself  but something which may become disordered by the involvement of demons and spirits.

Some of the list entries (below or in part two) indicate nothing harmful in itself but may describe the victim’s interior struggles in that fashion, such as “marionette/puppet” may describe how a person might feel interiorly in their struggles. For example, were a demon or spirit to succeed in inducing a contemplative religious to compulsively bite his nails it would be a great victory to distract that would-be man of prayer from that which he and the world need most.

So, while reading through the lists, here and in part two, one should not presume that a natural activity which in itself is not disordered is somehow by nature driven by diabolic influence. These “fomenting demons” or “fomenting spirits” are evil spirits whose primary task in our material reality is to incite or cause troublesome acts; to encourage; to instigate and to otherwise get humans to misbehave in more or less serious ways, they indeed are … all the evil spirits who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls”. Where do all these spirits come from?

Pascal's Wager

Pascal’s Wager for modern progressives … The “I am going to heaven because I am nice” crowd

I consider my incredulity regarding the popular modern notion of “everybody goes to heaven because God is merciful and doesn’t send souls to hell”. And then I look at the observed actuality of the majority view always getting things wrong about pretty much everything that there is a majority opinion about, from politics, to science, to social structures, to economics.

In all these fields of human endeavor, it is pretty much a given that if most folks agree on something then it is probably wrong or mistaken. Probably the Pareto principal applies here as in every other thing, that is 80% of the people are wrong 80% of the time. Remember that Pareto formulated the 80/20 rule for wealth distribution and curiously it seems to apply to many other fields of observation.

Anyway, with that likelyhood in mind, I inevitably find myself thinking about the alternative view, the 20% view, which incidentally seems also to be Christ’s words  when answering questions on things like this in scripture, namely that God truly doesn’t send anyone to hell.

It’s all about the wide road and the narrow gate and realizing too late that the door is now closed, and few go to heaven. OOOPS!

And scripture tells us in many places, that God truly doesn’t send anyone to hell, God is indeed merciful, and he gives everyone the gifts and grace to get to heaven. The trouble is, that we reject those gifts. In fact souls actually choose hell because they cannot stop loving themselves. Souls in the depths of their self love cannot, humbly, and with sincere contrition, acknowledge their sins, beg God’s pardon for their sins.

And while they are at it, they cannot accept that literally everything in our lives is a gift from God, because we really cannot do it ourselves. Humility and gratitude have gone missing. This necessary “attitude of humble gratitude” just doesn’t line up very well with the prevailing modern opinion that “of course I am a nice person, a good person, I don’t sin, and I am practically perfect in every way … what I have taken to calling “Poppins Syndrome”. Lets visit a paraphrase of some ideas by Ulrich L. Lehner, in his book “God Is Not Nice: Rejecting Pop Culture Theology …” thus:

Ask yourself: “If you died tonight, why should God let you enter heaven?” The most frequent answer I, Joe, personally have heard to this question, namely: “if you believe in heaven, do you think you are going there?” are simply variations of “I have done good things, and I haven’t killed anybody or committed adultery or theft. I am a good person.

It seems that most folks I have talked to seem to have some warm and fuzzy idea of some place after death that equates to “heaven” and they feel somehow that it is their right to go there. But that is definitely not what the Church really teaches. What the Catholic Church teaches is that no one actually deserves heaven.

So lets do a little walk through that logic, the logic of “I am going to heaven because I am nice and a good person…”, a little thought experiment  (German: Gedankenexperiment, GedankenExperiment, or Gedankenerfahrung,) considering this heaven hypothesis, for the purpose of thinking through its logical consequences.

Well, I am 66 years old now. Let’s say I live another 14 years, to eighty years. Of these eighty years, I will have been able to use reason and be morally responsible for perhaps between sixty to seventy of them. Within this 60 year time span I sacrifice a bit, put it all on the line for others for a while, I get married, have a kid, maybe some grand-kids, maybe I help a few people along the way, give a bit to charity every year, and retire happily and live out the remainder of my short life doing good deeds and singing in church.

The question then becomes: “For the relatively few good actions in a very short life, should I earn an infinity of bliss and happiness?” That sounds a lot like fraud, like an impossible Ponzi scheme!” To remind us, a Ponzi scheme (/ˈpɒnzi/; also a Ponzi game) is a form of fraud which lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors by using funds obtained from more recent investors.

The Church rejected that view in the fourth century by declaring Pelagianism a heresy. Pelagius was a pious monk who lived in the fourth century and believed in free will but also stressed that it is our good works that save us. For St. Augustine, Pelagius’s view did not make sense. If we can merit our own salvation, then Christ died in vain, Augustine reasoned.

So, Pelagianism was opposed by Augustine, bishop of Hippo, who asserted that human beings could not attain righteousness by their own efforts and were totally dependent upon the grace of God. Pelagianism was condemned by two councils of African bishops in 416, and again at Carthage in 418, Pelagius and his disciple Celestius were finally excommunicated in 418; Pelagius’ later fate is unknown.

The controversy, however, was not over. Pelagianism proved to be a right pernicious heresy.  Julian of Eclanum continued to assert the Pelagian view and engaged Augustine in literary polemic until the latter’s death in 430. Julian himself was finally condemned, with the rest of the Pelagian party, at the Council of Ephesus in 431. Another heresy, known as Semi-Pelagianism (q.v.), flourished in southern Gaul until it was finally condemned at the second Council of Orange in 529.

So the teaching of the Catholic Church is that nobody can work herself or himself into heaven. If we are saved, it is only by the grace of Jesus Christ, and our works are only meritorious because of Christ’s merits. Only if we “bet” on Christ and his grace, as the philosopher Pascal said, (see Pascal’s Wager graphic above) will we win eternal life. So why do so many of our contemporaries have a problem with this basic, universal Christian doctrine?

Calvin & HobbsWhy is it that almost all Catholics, and almost all Christians these days, are secretly (whether they realize it or not) Pelagian? I think one of the main reasons lies in the development of modern transactional thinking in the last three hundred years, the notion of receiving wages and a “just compensation package” for fulfilling our side of the transaction, combined with the current culture of self love, namely we actually deserve whatever we want as a “right”. We don’t feel gratitude for something which is our right.

By throwing out gratitude, we also got rid of humility. And the departure of these virtues has changed our image of God. Now we seem to, sort of, think of God as a fuzzy, nice guy, sort of insurance policy which pays out bliss and happiness for eternity. We have paid our premiums by living a “good” life and the payout comes when we die. It is our “right ” as part of the transaction.

If we are no longer fundamentally grateful and humble, God is no longer in the picture because “we can do it our own way.” I am not saying that we should not be proud of our achievements, but rather that we should realize where they originate. Everything is “Gift”. If we fall into the trap of believing that we are “lords of our lives,” we will also go down the road of deceiving ourselves that we can make it to heaven without God.

paraphrased from: Ulrich L. Lehner, “God Is Not Nice: Rejecting Pop Culture Theology and Discovering the God Worth Living For” (pp. 29-31). Ave Maria Press.

My take on scripture is that, absent humility, contrition and atonement, and absent a state of grace, the default destination is Hell for the majority of humanity throughout time. I don’t believe this in a “Jansenist” sort of way but rather that this outcome just seems to be the logical outcome of the evidence observed throughout history and in the world around me. And this leads to the next thought, namely, if these souls, these spirits don’t end up in purgatory or heaven, then where exactly do they go?

The only answer left, allowing for a “spiritual” world view, is hell. But hell is really the absence of God, and Revelations 12:4 tells us: “And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son“. So presumably, along with a third of the angels, the fallen angels or demons, these spirits who reject God end up wandering throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. So, numbering them in the billions doesn’t seem such a stretch.

So if it is accepted as true that only a “few” souls get to heaven, and the rest all become wandering evil spirits here on earth, we are subject to the ultimate form of “peer pressure” that of all these evil spirits encouraging us to believe lies and to behave badly, and to indulge ourselves in our desires and attachments and self centered behaviour, and all the while we tell ourselves that we are good people.

Because ultimately, all these spirits want us to stay in the “evil” club, the “No God” club, or group, or clique, the ultimate “cool clique” for all eternity. In a way it is a lot like Socialism and its direction to deliver all people to a lowest common denominator of misery, we are all “equal” in our misery.

I first read about these sorts of spirits, “Fomenting Spirits”, while reading about the Desert Fathers, Saints, and other Christian mystics, for example the Torment of St. Anthony. The following lists are found in Appendix 1 of “Deliverance Prayers for use by the laity” by Fr. Chad A Ripperger PhD . The following are lists used by exorcists to determine the sin, vice or (fomenting) spirit involved.  So, finally, here are the lists! These are:

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The Torment of Saint Anthony, Michelangelo

The Torment of Saint Anthony, Michelangelo

Lying Spirits: Pretension, Unreality, Denial, Delusion/Labyrinth, Convoluted Thinking, Cheating, Neglect of Responsibilities, Irreverence, Circumvention, Folly, Concealment, Blindness of Spirit, Evasiveness, Deceit, Mask, Game Playing, Deception, Illusion, Diversion, Error, Drama, Marionette-Puppet, False, Farce, Hallucination; Smoke & Mirrors, Harlequin Mask, Imitation, Pantomime, Counterfeit, Role Reversal, Fraud, Detraction, Incredulity, Coy, Cunning, Undermining, Aping, Dichotomy, Juggling, Duplicity, Facade, Dual, Showmanship, Theatrics, Show, Acting, Trickery, Magic, Mockery, Appearances, Fantasy, Heresy, Legion, Subversive, Irony, Mimicry

Unclean Spirits: Unclean & Offensive Conditions, Compulsiveness to Clean, Involuntary Vices (Obsessive Compulsive), Compulsion, “I have to”, Distortion of Truth, Busybody, Nosey, Curiosity, Violation of Confidentiality, Rumors, Critical Judgment, Perverted Judgment, Perverted Thinking, Scandal, Spirits that cause Accidents

Theft: Stealing, Greed, Avarice, Materialism, Possessiveness, Hoarding, Covetousness, Collecting, Exclusiveness, Making Excuses for Sin & Infidelities to God; Neglect-Omission; Inability to Pray Because of Worldly Cares; Inability to Give or Share, Stingy; Inability to Give Praise & Thanksgiving to God or to People

Mental Illness: Dyslexia-Learning Disabilities, A.D.D., A.D.H.D., Schizophrenia, Multi-personality, Bi-Polar – Manic Depressive, Mania, Insanity, Depression, Borderline, Neurosis, Psychosis, Paralysis, Post-Traumatic-Stress Syndrome, Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Disconnected Spirit, Disjointed Spirit, Fractured Personality, Split Personality, “Undo”, Opposites, Retardation, Tension, Chronic Fatigue, Eating Disorder, Memory Loss, Distorted Thinking, Distorted Hearing, Mental Torments, Confusion, Procrastination, Compromise, Indecision, Doubts, Anorexia, Bulimia, Stuttering, Death Wish, Physical Ailments: GI Problems: Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity, TMJ – Grinding Teeth, Spoliosis, Night Sweats, Night Tremors, Palsy, Paralysis, Parasites, Crippling Disease, Enuresis, Bleeding, Vomiting, Coccyx Bone Crack, Sinus & Respiratory Problems, Birth Defects, Migraine Headaches, Back Problems, Vision Problems, Hearing Problems, Speech Problems, Metabolic Problems, Gland & Hormone Problems, Tumors, Cancer, Arthritis (unforgiveness), Smell, Taste, Throat & Vocal Cords, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Liver, Lungs, Exhaustion, Weakness, Life’s Breath, Pneumonia, Tuberculosis, Insomnia, Hay Fever, Deaf & Dumb, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Allergies, Asthma, Lyme Disease

Torment of St. Anthony, Martin Schongauer, 1470

Torment of St. Anthony, Martin Schongauer, 1470

False Religions & Philosophies: Jehovah Witness, Christian Cults, Christian Science, Scientology, Eastern Religion, Zen, Buddhism, Ancestor Worship, Taoism, Islam, Karate-Martial Arts, Yoga, Mind Science, Paganism, Pantheism, Druid, Celtic, Bahai, Heathen Worship, Lodges-Masonic, Renew 2000, Future Church, Protestantism, Schism, Mormonism, Rainbow Girls, Rosicrucians, Moonies, Unity Churches, Secret Societies, New Age Religions, Social Agencies, Freemasonry, Indian Religions, Socialism/Communism, New Age, Quakers, Shakers, Native American Spirituality, Indian Powwow, Shamanism, Hinduism, Atheism, Agnosticism, Heresy, Anti-Clericism, Mafia, Nationalism-Nazism

Abandonment of Religious Practices: Minimalization of Sin, Spiritual Pride, Abandonment of Vows, Abandonment of Vocation, Anti-Christ Spirit, Religious Errors, Apostasy, Doubters of True Faith, Jansenism/Puritanism, Spiritual Gluttony, Spiritual Wrath aimed at God, Spiritual Envy of the Gifts of others

Those against the Spiritual Life: Spiritual Sloth – Sadness of the Things of God, Sacrilege, Sins against Vows, Scrupulosity, Fear of Vocation, Abandonment of Promises, Feminism, Liberalism, Hatred of the Catholic Church, Fascism, Racism, Marxism, Blasphemy, Apostasy, Contempt for God, Sacrilege of Priestly Sacred Character, Occult

Superstitious practices: Satanism, Divination (Methods of Seeking Guidance & Knowledge from the Demonic), Familiar Spirits, Witchcraft-Wizardry, Wicca, New Age Practices, Out of Body Experiences, Santeria, Voodoo, Celtic, Druid, Evil Eye, Bohomo, TM (Transcendental Meditation), Mantras, Crystals, Reiki, Eneagrams, Magic, Evil Levitation, Handwriting Analysis (the predicting of the future, the reading of the past of a person’s life by the analysis and so forth), Seance, Ouija Boards, Yoga, Black Masses, Devil Worship, Palm Reading, Tea-Leaf Reading, Tarot Cards, Horoscopes, ESP, Silva Mind Control, Hypnotism, Centering Prayer, Martial Arts, Any powers Apart from God, Acupuncture, Homeopathic Remedies with Ritual, Channeling, Contacting the Dead or Disembodied Spirits Through: seances, dreams, Divining with Tree Root, Curses of the Occult Against The Priesthood, Celebration of Halloween – Costumes of the Demonic, Wearing of: Devil’s Horn, Rabbit’s Foot, Pentagram, Tattoos, Mood Ring, Biofeedback, Dungeons & Dragons, Rock & Roll/Jazz, Bloody Mary, Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board, Eastern Star, Job’s Daughters, Good Luck Charms, Lucky Coins, Magic Eight Ball, Numerology, Spiritism, Astrology, Pyramids, Parental Spirits

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Pope Francis

Pope Francis

That’s plenty long enough, isn’t it?. I find just reading through these lists to be chilling. Pretending that demons and evil spirits do not exist, that they are simply superstition or imagination is not actually very helpful. And of course if we do believe, that doesn’t give us a free pass for bad behavior, as Flip Wilson used to say “The Devil Made Me Do It!”, just doesn’t cut it. We are responsible for our behaviour, our acts and our thoughts.

Pope Francis recently referred to Pope Paul  VI, who, in 1975, covered this well in his speech on Christian Faith and Demonology: placed emphasis on the fact that, “evil is not simply a force in the background but rather truly present, a living being who is spiritual, perverse and who renders perverse. He is a horrifying reality, a mysterious force who spreads fear. Anyone who refuses to recognize his existence is distancing themselves from the framework of Biblical and Church teaching.

Not much to cheer about in this and the next post … part two… a lot to think about, and pray about.

Joe

 

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