Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Models of Self Love …

CCCP Vega Probe Engineering Model

CCCP Vega Probe Engineering Model

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

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

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

Systems Engineering Models

Systems Engineering Models

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

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

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

An Engineering Model that works

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

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

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

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

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

Freud' Commitee, Ideological Models

Freud’ Committee, Ideological Models

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

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

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

The Mind is not an iceberg

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Value of Metaphysics

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

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

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

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

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

The Worship Pool

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

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

BUT … Its really a LOT simpler than all that.

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

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

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Mary Poplin

Mary Poplin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers

Joe

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

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

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

The Parliament Buildings

The Parliament Buildings

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

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

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

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

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

Kristallnacht

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers

Joe

Winter Is Coming 

 

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

Models … and Socratic Dialogue …

St. Mathew and the Angel

St. Mathew and the Angel

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

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

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

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

Destruction of Jewish Temple, AD 70 by Roman Legions.

Destruction of Jewish Temple, AD 70 by Roman Legions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

Models …

Ground Control, Apollo 13

Ground Control, Apollo 13

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

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

Bell X-1b cockpit 1947

Bell X-1b cockpit 1947

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

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

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

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

The "Hockey Stick graph" is now "settled science

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

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

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

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

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

The "Great Leader" and cronies ... 2016

The “Great Leader” and cronies … 2016

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

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

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

9/11 Joy!

9/11 Joy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moral Relativism

Moral Relativism

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

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

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

Hypothetical premise – opening statement:

LGBT is true and OK, just not for clerics

LGBT is true and OK, just not for clerics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Like who?

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

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

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

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

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

What is "normal"?

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

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

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

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

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

A lobbyist

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

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

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

What Is Lobbying and Can It Be Good?

What Is Lobbying and Can It Be Good?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers

Joe

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

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

… 82 … 82 … 82 … 82 …

Pius XI, 82;

Pius XI, 82;

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

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

Pius XII, 82

Pius XII, 82

“I think PF will soon be 82 years old.

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

John XXIII, 82;

John XXIII, 82;

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

Paul VI, 82

Paul VI, 82

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

St. John Paul II, 85

St. John Paul II, 85

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

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

 Pope Francis

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

Pray Brothers and Sisters, pray for the Holy Father …

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

Cheers

Joe

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

The Murky Mirror of Self-Love …

Looking at the mirror of the world today … what we see daily unfolding within the church of Rome and, coincidentally, outside the church, in the citadels of power throughout western society leads to a thought. I just read an interesting article here.

It would seem that such a thing  as “due diligence” is found to be seriously absent in both Roman and international ecclesial administrative and theological policy and procedure.

It seems even more absent than experience suggests is the case outside the church, especially if that diligence would mitigate against moving in the direction which the current bureaucratic leadership desires. The school of “I didn’t know” is in session.

One of the hallmarks of the great cultural revolution in China was the compromise of the entire population by involving them all as active agents in the purges. That model seems to be paralleled in the conduct seen since 1967 in our polite Canadian society and our Roman church, worldwide.

I know The Book of Wisdom does not have a place in the Canon outside of the Catholic Church, and most definitely does not appear in the required reading library of Progressive Managers everywhere.

So it seems relevant that, in the name of ecumenical confraternity, some of the alleged theological and ecclesial conduct in the church of Rome, parallels conduct which is described in the Book of Wisdom, as Progressives in the Roman hierarchy have risen to the top of the pool:

*****

“Let us lie in wait for the righteous man, because he is inconvenient to us, and opposes our actions; he reproaches us for our sins against the law, and accuses us of sins against our training.

He professes himself to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord. He became to us a reproof of our thoughts: the very sight of him is a burden to us and his ways are strange, and he avoids our ways as something unclean.

He calls the last end of the righteous happy and boasts that God is his father.. Let us see if his words are true and let us test what will happen at the end of his life, for if the righteous man is God’s son, he will help him and will deliver him from the hands of his adversaries.

Let us test him with insult and torture that we may find out how gentle he is and make trial of his forbearance.” (Wis. 2: 12-19).

*****

The "Dubia" Cardinals

The “Dubia” Cardinals

We are looking at the results of serious attempts to “change the rules” to suite and promote the desired direction of travel.

Objectors are marginalized and removed, silenced until death takes them. Ironically, the removal of the objectors seems to have removed many of the most credible episcopate in the Roman church.

Those who remain are mostly silent, although, fortunately there are still outspoken members of the Catholic Episcopate surviving and speaking truth in spite of the risk. I am in mind here of men like Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Bishop Robert Baron, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano,  and Archbishop Georg Gänswein, to name a few. There appears to be light on the horizon far off under the edge of the current gale force winds, thunder and lightning and heavy overcast.

I liken our current ecclesial storm to a storm disaster from the the 20th century, “Fastnet, Force 10, only now it is “Vatican, Force 10”. Trust me, a Force 10 is nothing you want to experience, and I speak from experience.

Robert Cardinal Sarah

Robert Cardinal Sarah

The “Rainbow” no longer appears in the heavens as a sign of God’s promise, rather it has a much more malignant connotation in our “enlightened” times.

I am becoming a sort of Robert Cardinal Sarah “fanboy” in my appreciation of his writings on reverence and silence, for example, found in “The Power of Silence”, through Ignatius Press and also found on Amazon.com for the Kindle reader.

Another impressive book is “The Benedict Option”, by Rod Dreher, also available on Kindle from Amazon.com.

The Benedict Option is a manifesto, and a rallying cry for all Christians who, if they are not to be conquered, must learn how to fight on culture war battlefields like none the West has seen for fifteen hundred years.

It’s for all mere Chris­tians—Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox—who can read the signs of the times.

Neither false optimism nor fatalistic despair will do. Only faith, hope, and love, embodied in a renewed church, can sustain believers in the dark age that has overtaken us.

These are the days for building strong arks for the long journey across a sea of night.

Is it becoming reasonable, even charitable, to pray for another cleansing flood?

Cheers

Joe

This is a bad storm, and only the Master of the vessel can be trusted.

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

… A Time of Grace

Excellent articles here, and here, and here

, and here and also here.

20The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Romans 5: 20-21
Cheers

Joe

 

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

… If … “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose“ …part 1

Winter is coming. It has been snowing all day. Its only September 13th. Blahhh!  A Facebook meme:  Mother Nature: “It is not possible to have all seasons in one week!”  Alberta: “Hold My Beer!”

I guess this effort will be part one, of I don’t know how many parts, over how many days, dealing with the current media scrum relating to misbehavior and crime on the part of nominally catholic prelates of the highest rank.

Pope Francis and Scalfari

Pope Francis and Eugenio Scalfari

What a mess, its what PF likes to call a “lio”. Speaking extemporaneously he likes to encourage others, like young fans, to “Start a “Lio! Make a big ruckus!”. Well, Pope Francis wanted a “lio” and now he has got himself a nice big “lio”.

His problem is that he didn’t expect it to be in his courtyard and his publicists have dropped the ball big time. Where is Eugenio Scalfari when one needs him?

I guess PF didn’t understand that his darling media friends are not his friends, they just want blood, whether it’s PF’s enemies blood or his own blood doesn’t matter to the media devils.

So now we are expecting a big bishop’s conference to … to what? To deal with the problem that has come up? I wonder how that will play?  And really, truly none of this matters.

This is the long defeat, mentioned by J.R.R. Tolkien who expressed this well in his stories. Borrowing somewhat from the Norse mythos of the “twilight of the gods,” the Elves of Middle-earth fight what they call “the long defeat,” both against the evil forces of Morgoth and Sauron, and against the decay of all things.

The immortal elves themselves do not age, but as the world around them does, it wearies them. Thus great elf-lords like Elrond and Galadriel use their power to preserve their havens of timelessness, Rivendell and Lothlorien.

Tolkien wrote in his letters that this was not simply a story convention, but a basic belief of his, derived from his Catholic faith. He wrote:  “Actually I am a Christian, and indeed a Roman Catholic, so that I do not expect ‘history’ to be anything but a ‘long defeat’— though it contains (and in legend may contain more clearly and movingly) some samples or glimpses of final victory. (Letters, 255)”

“Quid Hoc Ad Aeternitatem”.

If mankind were actually holy, as his Creator commands him to be:  1 Peter, 1: 15  then the current crisis in the Roman church would not exist.

Rome

Rome

We have a crisis today because we did not and do not strive to be holy, and this has been a human constant since long before Christ and the Catholic Church came into the world.

Rather, we always strive to do whatever we want, whenever we want, as often as we want, and then rationalize why its OK for us to do what we want. This is so even though there are many rules of behaviour for everyone else, and our one article of faith is that the rules do not apply to us.  And now we are ruled by Pandemonium, are we not?

And if anyone does object to our current peccadillo, we belittle, discredit, and attack our detractors with all manner of ad-hominum character assassinations, or if that doesn’t scare them away we deny, deny, deny, and shove the blame off onto any handy scapegoat we can lay hands on. Everyone does that, right? And all right minded people know this to be true.

Or if the rules do actually apply to us then we change the rules … most of the current “sexual misconduct” incidents reported in the current spate of media frenzy, something in the order of 80% to 90%, actually involve adult males indulging in mutual attraction, lust, and drug use. This is now legal in most western nations so what’s the big deal? Whatever … the real crime here is the breach of trust and the subsequent coverups at all levels.

This sort of behaviour has been very much the norm in our current polite progressive culture, which flagrantly does whatever it wants every day around us and has done pretty much all my life.

Oh Canada … why should we be hypocritically pretending to be shocked or upset by some inappropriate diddling in another elite management hierarchy in the good old US of A, eh?

It doesn’t matter the brand or the organization, senior bureaucrats are all highly susceptible to temptation and corruption. They place high value on the perks of power, have a lot to lose, and are very willing to compromise, go along to get along, especially if they have no particular faith except in themselves.

And everyone does it, right? Didn’t the Elder Trudeau, way back in 1967, begin that round of charades with his famous line “The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation“?

Then-Justice Minister Pierre Trudeau (Justin’s old dad) was everywhere a media darling when he introduced modernizing reforms to the Criminal Code1 in 1967 that decriminalized homosexual acts. It’s now cool to be a tool.

Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky on February 28 1997

Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, February 28 1997

None of this is in any way new and shocking. These sort of things have been going on within and without, both society at large and all churches pretty much since the day that  churches and politics came into existence.

What about Billery and Intern-Gate? Ever hear of Profumo? Corrupted power always turns to abuse and eventually to sacrifice to their chosen god. At least Bill and John were into girls … seems that is not so exciting any more.

This whole bucket of filth, along with a serious dearth of answers from ecclesial authority figures, was a huge part of why I left the Roman Catholic Church as a youth back in 1969 … Vatican II and the “Spirit of Vatican II” and never ending homosexual sex scandals … No more trustworthy authorities …

No cred, no cred, no cred,  so I decided, in my know-it-all 16 year old mind, that I would Do It My Way!  First of all, let’s observe that no 16 year old boy even has something resembling a mind, and secondly, “doing it my way” is the penultimate foundation of all Liberal Progressive evil in the world. The 60’s were just our generation’s edition of the book which humans have been writing since there were humans on the planet.

I returned across the Tiber about 25 years go after exhausting all avenues looking for Truth – no other religion or political system had it.  Not Communism, not Fascism, not Zen Buddhism , not Shinto, not Democracy or Socialism, … Monarchy had a clue but only in the context of being under God. But where is the Truth?

Christ and Christ’s Church is the sole repository of Truth regardless of the corrupt and fallible sinners working within that church. It’s not about the human beings wading through the muck of corruption and perversion for their own ambitions. Its all about Eternal Truth.

Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr (24 November 1808 – 29 September 1890)

Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr (24 November 1808 – 29 September 1890)

plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose“, Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr (24 November 1808 – 29 September 1890) was a French critic, journalist, and novelist. His epigrams are frequently quoted, and the first link line, plus ça change, is one of his best.

Another of Karr’s targets was a proposal of the period to abolish capital punishment, which injustice, that is capital punishment, was recently inveighed against by Pope Francis thusly: “Pope Francis has once again appeared to contradict two millennia of clear and consistent scriptural and Catholic teaching.

The Vatican has announced that the Catechism of the Catholic Church will be changed to declare the death penalty “inadmissible” given the “inviolability and dignity of the person” as understood “in the light of the Gospel.”

Karr’s acerbic opinion is “je veux bien que messieurs les assassins commencent” or “let the gentlemen who do the murders take the first step”, or “I wish the assassins to go first”, a view which I happen to share.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

And, indeed, there is absolutely nothing new about deviant sexual shenanigans in the hierarchy of the Roman Church, and all the other western churches as well.

Here is just a short timeline to give us a better perspective not only on how serious the current crisis is but also on how often men and women, human souls, insist on pursuing their own diverse objectives in search of worldly pleasure and gratification.

Even before there was a real established Catholic Church we can start our little reminiscence. What was the societal norm before the Catholic Church? First, just a bit from St Paul’s Letter to the Romans:

St. Paul

St. Paul, Pieter Paul Rubens

18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 

21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools, 

26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice.

30They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.

32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

As in the pre-Christian world, so now in post Christian Canada … they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. These days, just you try to get nominated as a Liberal Candidate in any Canadian Federal election anywhere any time … HA!

Good luck with that unless of course you literally signed a statement, on the line, for Justin and the Liberal Party, affirming that you personally support killing babies and seniors and endorse putting your pecker into places it really shouldn’t be put EEEEWWWWW! Personally, and in writing. That’s Justin’s rules – you don’t like it …To Bad So Sad for you.

So, enough for this little post. Much to follow from St. John Chrysostom, the Medici Popes, The Avignon atrocity, St. Catherine of Sienna, St. Theresa of Avila, St. Josemaria Escriva, St. John Paul II, St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Clement, St. Alphonsus Liguori, Julian of Norwich.

And also from St. Thomas More, St. Francis de Sales, St. Isidore of Seville, St. John Vianney, St. Claude de la Colombiere, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Pio of Pietrelcina, etc. etc. and possibly others.

Not necessarily in that order but more or less progressing historically as things continued to develop and be preached against by the true practitioners of the One True Faith, unless, of course, I get sick of writing about all this evil BS or lose interest before I finish.

The one thing that all of this evil has in common is Human beings. Its a very good thing that ALL Humans die.

Now its Friday the 14th, and David Warren has a good post on the same theme but better written …

*****

“A gentleman who wears the collar expresses surprise at the surprise. He has been wearing that collar for some time. He was in the seminary so long ago, that he can remember when the classes were taught in Latin. He has lived with degeneration in the Church since before Vatican II — has seen it all, and heard it all, and now he is seeing and hearing more.

“I find it hard to stomach all the misplaced surprise. I hear echoes of Genesis‎: ‘Who told you that you were naked?’ …

“Where were these alarmists as our children’s catechism was denuded, our altars disobediently despoiled, our Catholic institutions‎ demolished? … Catholic Children’s Aid, gone‎. … Catholic Hospitals, gone‎. … Catholic Schools, no longer Catholic. … Immigration Services for Catholic immigrants, gone. … Seminaries, not even a shadow of their former institutional selves. … Convents turned to condos. …

“As to clerics who lived lifestyles not in keeping with their calling: one would have had to ‎be a member of the Orange Lodge not to have rubbed shoulders with a multitude of them in the ’sixties and thereafter. …”

***

I’d guess it is appropriate to end this post with a small passage from John 6: 67-71.

67“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

68Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

70Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” 71(He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)

This is, after all, and forever, Christ’s Church, and we believe that He is the Holy One of God.

Cheers

Joe

 

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Charity, Justice and Purgatory …

“Eternity’s Sunrise”, Bill Douglas, from the album “Eternity’s Sunrise”, (2000)

Harvest Time 2018

Harvest Time 2018

Days finally starting to turn cool, got down to about 5 degrees last night. Welcome relief from the 30 to 40 degree days of a couple of weeks ago. Harvest is getting into full swing around this part of the Shire. No complaints yet from anyone about a “bad year”. We can always hope, right?

Thanking God today, for time, for life, for insight, more opportunities for repentance, remorse and regret, atonement and perhaps an efficacious do-over with each new day, and in the end, absent complete reparation at the time of death, thanking God for merciful Purgatory and eternity of reparation, in hope, to look forward to. Ad Aeternitatum …

Sincerely hoping the prayers of others might have some transferable benefit in this economy of prayer and suffering. Pray for the dead and the dead will pray for you. Pray for your enemies and those who make your life miserable. Forgive, forgive, forgive, I have read somewhere that sins forgiven in this life are not held to one’s account in the particular and in the final judgement. Sincerely hoping that this memory is not simply the wishful thinking of a lost soul.

That is what one would do, should do,  as a charitable effort towards saving the souls of our neighbors, especially the ones we don’t really like. That is the effort of making one’s actions fit the idea of “fraternal charity”. Hoping that a rising tide of prayer lifts all souls, not only the praying, but the prayed for as well, in this great economy of prayer and suffering.

Love your enemies

What benefit is there to me of treating well those who treat me well? Of what spiritual utility is reciprocity of self love and self regard?

As Christ says, you have already had your reward for that. Everyone does that, there is nothing special or particularly meritorious about returning good will for good will.

But, the rubber hits the road when we start to put into practice the idea of loving our neighbor, even our neighbor who is our enemy. By demonstrating it in the reality of our daily conduct, the logical application of the moral idea, we live Truth as we find it in the Gospels..

I can’t speak well to history but in this day and age it appears that there are two paths. The first is the difficult path on which our actions follow on from and derive from our ideas, no matter how distasteful or difficult that may be. That path is known as the path of principal, that path which Albert J. Knock referred to in his paper on the “remnant” and the “masses”..

Ideology on the nature preserve. ideology needs protection to survive.

The other way is the more common or easy way in that we choose our ideas, our friends, our activities, and so on to cast ourselves in the best possible light and we espouse those ideas and beliefs which best make our actions out to be reasonable. Virtue signalling as a national Mantra …

This choice is embracing ideology instead of reality and truth, instead of the provable facts of daily existence. While the generally accepted rule of social conduct today is “all right minded people know this to be true” there is still the other path, the hard path, and it will not be denied no matter how loud the opposition gets.

“En Priere”, Bill Douglas, from the album “Kaleidoscope”, (1993)

*****

Fulton Sheen said: What a blood transfusion is to the body, reparation for the sins of another is to the spirit. Instead of separating when there are difficulties and trials, the Christian solution is to bear the other as a cross for the sake of his sanctification. The wife can redeem the husband, and the husband the wife. This transferability of sanctification from a good wife to a bad husband, or from a good husband to a bad wife, follows from the fact that they are two in one flesh.

As skin can be grafted from the back to the face, so merit can be applied from spouse to spouse. This spiritual communication may not have the romantic satisfaction in it that carnal communication has, but its returns are eternal. Many a husband and wife after infidelities and excesses will find themselves saved on Judgment Day, as the faithful partner never ceased to pour out prayers for his or her salvation.”

Fulton J. Sheen,  “Go to Heaven: A Spiritual Road Map to Eternity” (pp. 167). Ignatius Press.

*****

Praying Together

Praying Together

As I have remarked previously, real food for deep thought here, food to nourish consideration of love of neighbor as a real, active, concrete, pursuit rather than merely sterile words as part of some ritual.

As between two people in a marriage, between spouses, so also between siblings, and between children and parents, and even between friends and acquaintances, and neighbors, after infidelities, and excesses, after strife and turmoil and betrayal, and oceans of pain, the sinners will find themselves saved on Judgment Day, as the faithful never ceased to pour out prayers on their behalf for their salvation.

Even the prodigal son upon his return can storm heaven’s gates on behalf of the lost sheep of his or her family and friends and neighbors, and in so doing perhaps atone and make reparation for the multitude of sins of his and their past. So how does this apply to “Loving One’s Neighbor”, “Loving One’s Neighbor as One Loves Oneself”?

Working Together

Our self love, that love with which we regard ourselves and all our actions and thoughts is a very concrete love. It includes all our peculiarities, needs, tastes, feelings, beliefs and habits.

We are geniuses at rationalizing our own way of thinking, and in making excuses for our many faults and failings. We each have a vast sea of sympathy and understanding for our self in all these areas. And we should flood the sins of our neighbor with that vast sea of sympathy and patience and understanding.

This is My commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you” (John 13, 34 – 15, 12).

But we seem to continue, mired in our self love to the exclusion of all else, and that self love expresses itself in outrage about the conduct and sayings of others, our neighbors.

Reflecting on the writings of Robert Cardinal Sarah, it is easy to see that our modern polite media society drifts from moral rebellion to sentimental rebellion and back to moral rebellion, virtue signalling like a bitter wind on a winter afternoon, striving, like Sisyphus, desperately, ceaselessly, climbing the mountain, always pushing the rock of their discontent and outrage.

Our media, Facebook, Twitter culture demands its rebellion, its hatred, in the moment, of whatever it  self-centeredly defines as unjust and unfair today.

This is the howler jungle, the parrot jungle, screeching its outrage, proud of its correct opinions, which are, in reality, the most pretentious pompous ideas we could ever find, baseless and founded in emotion and self love.

Cynical and shameless, it despicably revels in its dislikes. “I don’t care about the facts, Joe, I just want to have a pleasant hate with my friends”. Our modern polite existence is a propped-up life built entirely on noise, artificiality, and the tragic rejection of Truth.

What is Truth? Well, it depends … From revolutions to conquests, from ideologies to political battles, from our frantic crusade for “equality” to our pathological fixation on “progress”, silence is impossible.

The more noise, the more we “run in circles, scream and shout”, the less the likelyhood that we or especially others will notice what is wrong with us, our failings, our sins, our deviance.

And even worse, our “transparent” societies are all in hot pursuit of anonymity in noise, with an implacable hatred of silence, which we regard as contemptible, a backward primitive defeat, “What have you got to say to that?” “What do you think of that?” “There! that will shut up your jabber!” Let the bright light of noise shine on everything, just as long as it doesn’t shine on my own darkness, my own crimes, my own sins.

Waiting On The Night To Fall”, by “Casting Crowns”, from the album “Thrive” (2014)

Charles Pierre Baudelaire,  April 9, 1821 – August 31, 1867 was a French poet who also produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. His most famous work, a book of lyric poetry titled Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil), expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the 19th century.

Baudelaire’s highly original style of prose-poetry influenced a whole generation of poets including Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud and Stéphane Mallarmé, among many others. He is credited with coining the term “modernity” (modernité) to designate the fleeting, ephemeral experience of life in an urban metropolis, and art’s responsibility to capture that experience.

During Baudelaire’s day there was then perhaps even more scandal and turmoil in the Catholic Church than we now see. Starting with the French Revolution and it’s bloody trail of excess, the massacre of the Vendee, and up to Pius IX’s “Syllabus of Errors,” which was often held up to ridicule as an absurd statement of the church’s stand against the modern world and progress. The Syllabus is certainly comprehensible against the reality of these threats from modernity. In hindsight doesn’t theSyllabus of Errors seem prophetic in the light of secular modernism realized in our society of today.

My dear departed mother often remarked of my Atheist sister that she was “deeply spiritual”, also in commenting on her own sister, my Wiccan Priestess Auntie, that she was a “wonderful spiritual person, so good”. Baudelaire, in one of his most famous aphorisms says: “Everyone believes in God but no one loves Him, no one believes in Satan, but his smell is everywhere“.

My mother, in her short 92 years on this earth, went from devout Christian to total non-belief … dragged down by Vatican II, Church Scandal and personal tragedy … refused the counsel of a priest and extreme unction, the last rites on her deathbed. And her prodigal son storms heaven’s gates daily on behalf of the lost sheep of his family, in hope against hope that the sinners will find themselves saved on Judgment Day, as the faithful never ceased to pour out prayers on their behalf for their salvation.

This is the tenor of our times; evil, evil everywhere and ne’er a drop of good … love of self, love of our plan, our way, begetting a never ending, ever strengthening, downward spiral of deviance and rationalization of ever greater excesses, no escape from the mirror of our self regard without the grace of the Divine Will and the Word..

Why, when I am so conscious of my own misery and sins, my utter failure to be the creature God willed and wills me to be, without Whom and without Whose gratuitous gifts I am all misery do I have so much room left over in my soul to look with cynicism and censure upon the sins and failings of my fellow man, my neighbor who God wills me to love as myself?

There is a confusion in our day … modernity has conflated poverty and misery as if these two states are one and the same. They are not … misery seems to be the most common state of those who are the least afflicted with poverty. Attachment and ownership and the failure to find satisfaction in these seem to be at the root of misery

From Robert Cardinal Sarah, his commentary regarding noise … “The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise”

327. Unless we seek to suppress all the superficial aspects of our lives, we will never be united to God. By detaching ourselves from everything superfluous, we enter little by little into a form of silence. Throughout her life, Mother Teresa sought to live in great poverty so as to find God better in silence. Seeking God in her heart was the only wealth she had. She could spend hours before the Blessed Sacrament without uttering a single word. The nun drew her poverty from the humility of God. The Father possesses nothing, and Mother Teresa wanted to imitate him. She asked that her sisters be absolutely and sincerely detached from all material goods.

Sarah, Robert Cardinal. The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise (Para 327). Ignatius Press.

To paraphrase a famous hymn … “My life flows on in endless noise about earth’s lamentation, I catch the faint, though far-off hymn that hails a new creation.”  Yes, the far off hymn … that hails a new creation … the undiscovered country … beyond my self love and attachment to all the “stuff” to which I am so enamored … to leave the self behind and all the misery of stuff … to embrace the poverty and silence of God, impossible without His gift of grace … Aye, there’s the rub.

Maybe this blog is just part of all the noise? I have to consider that thought some more … what am I trying to achieve with this scribbling. I have changed quite a bit from when I started this work back in 2014.

Back then I was consumed with what was wrong with everything and everyone else, and how it all could be fixed, if only … pick my bright idea of the moment … Wow, watch me string all these disconnected events together … looking at them from the “right” perspective, look at what they reveal about motives and intent of the faceless ones … so in love with my cleverness …

so much self love … so little “fraternal charity” …

Cheers

Joe

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Common Sense & Love …

Inner Thoughts”  Rodrigo Rodriguez, from the album “Inner Thoughts” (2006)

John Martin, Sodom and Gomorrah, 1852

John Martin, Sodom and Gomorrah, 1852

Good Sunday morning, Gentle Readers … thinking about “Common Sense” these warm summer days …

“Common Sense” is the foundational apologetic for our modern polite society, the cornerstone upon which rests all manner of vacuous, unfounded, Potemkin Villages of unproven assumptions regarding whatever we are needing to justify according to the appetites of the moment and our animal desires at any particular time.

As I have been told at times, in no uncertain terms, “we don’t care about your facts Joe, we just want to have a pleasant conversation with our friends”, which logic justifies everything from pushing into the lineup at Starbucks to cutting across five lanes of traffic to make our exit, to murdering any inconvenient creature which might interfere with our “practically perfect in every way” lives.

WHOA! Tsunami of cynicism … who pissed in your coffee this morning Joe?  Yeah … whatever …

John Martin, painted “Sodom and Gomorrah“, oil on canvas, in 1852, 100 years before the birth of Joe. Many regarded Martin, while he lived, as a great British artist, perhaps one of the great British painters of the nineteenth century, he was a contemporary of  and surpassed only by his older contemporary colleague J. M. W. Turner, who he had a competition with for recognition.

John Martin, Le Pandemonium, 1841, in the Louvre.

John Martin, Le Pandemonium, 1841, in the Louvre.

But John Martin’s reputation declined after his death. His vision of reality and eternity seemed at odds with the tenor of the times, the acceleration of the precipitous slide into degenerate ruin touched off by the disaster of the French Revolution and culminating in the anti-christian progressive Charnel House we see all around us today.

We find ourselves comfortable ensconced in the visitors gallery at “Pandæmonium” watching the debate among the “Stygian Council” in the council-chamber of Pandæmonium.

John Martin, Satan Presiding at the Infernal Council, 1824

John Martin, Satan Presiding at the Infernal Council, 1824

Of course we need not travel to the capital to view the proceedings, they are available for all the public on any “parliamentary” channel on virtually every Main Stream media channel selection on every network.

What passes every day for the “wisdom of our times”, “what all right thinking people know is true”, is accepted more readily than our own mother’s milk as the truth and reality to which we should strive … “its only common sense” to … “fill in the blank with whatever you feel like doing or saying” at this moment.

For example, something “common” … these days it seems that it is only “common sense” to abandon one’s partner of the moment at the drop of a hat, if they fail to amuse and edify, if they fail to build up our “self”. The trophy wife and the accessory husband or child, our latest hook-up, like a coordinated purse or a good suit, part of the desired image, of keeping up. As soon as they might become a liability, or even just “boring” it is only “common sense” to “move on”.

And those of us , the remnant, rejected and repudiated, for our antiquated views, mores and beliefs, are chastised to “get with the times” … “Oh please, why don’t you grow up?” …  or cries of “Treason! Kill the traitor!

For “traitors” indeed are we, those who once emphatically embraced our modern way and now have turned their coats and found another path, now questioning the current meme which informs all our lives, no longer running with the herd but questioning the current direction of polite society. We knuckle dragging neanderthals, questioning what everyone knows is true.

We are the fifth column of the past, the “resistance” left behind, the “Pathfinders” lighting beacons for the coming invasion of Truth, the Centurions who left their shields in the heather and took barbarian brides because Rome was no longer that shining city on the hill and Jerusalem was laid waste, plowed up and sown with salt.

There is another way to look at this and no better explanation than that given by Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, in his great little book.  “Go to Heaven: A Spiritual Road Map to Eternity” (pp. 164-167), from Ignatius Press.

So I am going to quote about 4 pages on Christian Marriage and Love, because there is no way I could write better and because the sentiments and ideas expressed here go straight to one of the largest problems with modern culture and our polite society:

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

*****

In the days of romance, the eternal emphasis was on the ego’s durability in love; (but the days of romance wear off, don’t they? ed) and … in the crisis of nothingness, the eternal element is God, not the ego.

Love now says, “I will love you always, for you are lovable through eternity for God’s sake.” He who courts and promises eternal love is actually appropriating to himself an attribute of God. During the dark night of the body, he puts eternity where it rightly belongs, namely, in God.

Once purified (by the nothingness, by mortality. ed), love returns. The partner is loved beyond all sensation, all desire, all concupiscence.

The husband who began by loving the other for his own sake, and then for her sake, now begins to love for God’s sake. He has touched the depths of a body, but now he discovers the soul of the other person.

This is the new infinite taking the place of the body; this is the new “always”, and it is closer to the true infinite because the soul is infinite and spiritual, whereas the body is not.

The other partner ceases to be opaque and begins to be transparent, the glass through which God and His purposes are revealed. Less conscious of his own power to beget love in others, he sees his poverty and begins to depend on God to complement that poverty. Good Friday now passes into Easter Sunday with the Resurrection of love.

Love, which once meant pleasure and self-satisfaction, changes into love for God’s sake. The other person becomes less the necessary condition of passion and more the partner of the soul. Our Blessed Lord said that unless the seed fall to the ground and die, it will not spring forth into life. Nothing is reborn to a higher life without a death in the lower.

The heart has its cycles as do the planets, but the movement of the heart is an upward spiral, and not a circle which turns upon itself. The planetary circles are repetitious; the eternal return to a beginning.

What if the husband becomes an alcoholic or unfaithful or beats his wife and children? What if the wife becomes nagging or unfaithful or neglects her children? Suppose the promise of marriage “for better or for worse” turns out for the worse; suppose either husband or wife becomes a chronic invalid, or develops antisocial characteristics. In such cases, no carnal love can save it. It is even difficult for a personal love to save it, particularly if the other party becomes undeserving.

But when these lower loves break down, Christian love steps in to suggest that the other person is to be regarded as a gift of God. Most of God’s gifts are sweet; a few of them, however, are bitter. But whether that other person be bitter or sweet, sick or well, young or old, he or she is still a gift of God, for whom the other partner must sacrifice himself or herself.

Selfish love would seek to get rid of the other person because he is a burden. Christian love takes on the burden, in obedience to the divine command: “Bear the burden of one another’s failings; then you will be fulfilling the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2).

And if it be objected that God never intended that anyone should live under such difficulties, the answer very flatly is that He does: “If any man has a mind to come my way, let him renounce self, and take up his cross, and follow me. The man who tries to save his life shall lose it; it is the man who loses his life for my sake that will secure it” (Mt 16:24, 25). What sickness is to an individual, an unhappy marriage may be to a couple: a trial sent by God in order to perfect them spiritually.

The Apostle Paul, Peter Paul Rubens, ca 1612

The Apostle Paul, Peter Paul Rubens, ca 1612.

Without some of the bitter gifts of God, many of our spiritual capacities would be undeveloped. As the Holy Word of God tells us: “We are confident even over our afflictions, knowing well that affliction gives rise to endurance, and endurance gives proof of our faith, and a proved faith gives ground for hope. Nor does this hope delude us; the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom we have received” (Rom 5:3-5).

*****

The Beatitudes”, from the album “Biscantorat – The Sound Of The Spirit From Glenstal Abbey” – The Monks of Glenstal Abbey – (2009)

(St. Paul, pictured on the above right, is all about sacrifice of self, self denial, dieing to self and suffering like Christ as atonement and reparation. Around 1612 Peter Paul Rubens made a series of portraits of the apostles, in commission of the Duke of Lerma.

All were shown with an attribute, a personal symbol. Rubens shows Paul with a sword and a book. The book refers to the teachings of Jesus which he helped spreading. The sword can have multiple meanings.

In his letter to the Christians of Ephesus Paul speaks of “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17). The sword may also refer to his early life as a persecutor of Christians. Or it may refer to his alleged beheading: as a Roman citizen he had the right to be decapitated instead of being tortured to death.) But enough of St. Paul’s letters, back to Christian Love and Marriage …

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Christian love, on the part of one spouse, will help redeem the other partner. If a father will pay his son’s debts to keep him out of prison, if a man will give a blood transfusion to save his friend’s life, then it is possible in a spouse. As the Scriptures tell us: “The unbelieving husband is sanctified by the believing wife; and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the believing husband” (1 Cor 7:14).

This is one of the most forgotten texts on the subject of marriage. It applies to the spiritual order the common experiences of the physical. If a husband is ill, the wife will nurse him back to health. In the spiritual order, the one who has faith and love of God will take on the burdens of the unbeliever, such as drunkenness, infidelity, and mental cruelty, for the sake of his soul.

What a blood transfusion is to the body, reparation for the sins of another is to the spirit. Instead of separating when there are difficulties and trials, the Christian solution is to bear the other as a cross for the sake of his sanctification. The wife can redeem the husband, and the husband the wife. This transferability of sanctification from a good wife to a bad husband, or from a good husband to a bad wife, follows from the fact that they are two in one flesh.

As skin can be grafted from the back to the face, so merit can be applied from spouse to spouse. This spiritual communication may not have the romantic satisfaction in it that carnal communication has, but its returns are eternal. Many a husband and wife after infidelities and excesses will find themselves saved on Judgment Day, as the faithful partner never ceased to pour out prayers for his or her salvation.”

Fulton J. Sheen,  “Go to Heaven: A Spiritual Road Map to Eternity” (pp. 164-167). Ignatius Press.

*****

Real food for deep thought here.

As between two people in a marriage, between spouses, so also between siblings, and between children and parents, and even between friends and acquaintances, after infidelities and excesses, after strife and turmoil and betrayal, and oceans of pain, the sinners will find themselves saved on Judgment Day, as the faithful  never ceased to pour out prayers for their salvation.

Even the prodigal son upon his return can storm heaven’s gates on behalf of the lost sheep of his or her family and friends, and in so doing perhaps atone and make reparation for the multitude of sins of his and their past.

Cheers

Joe

Naked Came I ... Job 1:21

Naked Came I … Job 1:21

Things look pretty grim towards the end of this life … no more distractions … Hmmm

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