Life in a small town, Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, Politics and Economics, The Inner Struggle

Back to Death … and Pride … Part Two …

Continued from part One …

House of Their Dreams”, Casting Crowns, 2013

“The Pajamadeen” guarding the crease “for the team”.

So I remarked last post that someone(s) once nicknamed us all “The Pajamadeen” because we sit at our keyboards late at night (or in my case early morning) in our pajamas writing scathing commentary about whatever torques our fancy at the moment.

We are not alone, and that feeling of being part of something bigger feeds our passion. We guard the goal “for the team” even when the fans are booing us.

And the cognitive dissonance grows and grows and we believe we are seeing something which the “others” don’t acknowledge. And we don’t realize that the clock is winding down and we are lost in our anger and it all seems so “reasonable”.. because we’re different, we know better … right …

Welcome to my office …

“I’ve seen things …” is perhaps a common belief in the minds of those who have spent much time living “on the edge” … living where getting it wrong will likely kill you, and your mates as well, or at least be a painful reminder about  “details matter” and “personal responsibility” and “we are in this together and we have each other’s back”.

We are a team. And for this team, it IS “life and death”. And the brutal reality is that WE ARE DIFFERENT … for the rest of our lives we are condemned to a life of not fitting in with a society where everyone is “out for number one”, “what’s in it for me?”.

That unit identity, that willingness to put it all on the line because you are unwilling to abandon the others for your own benefit, that mind state where you never stop to think “what’s in it for me?” is more easily trained into young men,  late teens – early 20’s and young men are hard wired to respond to this stripping away of the individual and reforging a “pack” into an effective mission centered unit.

It never occurs to most young “mil-spec” ordinaries to run away, they would rather die for their squad-mates than run away … and in the NAVY at least, there is nowhere to run … everyone from the skipper (god) to the lowest ordinary seaman works together, and lives or dies together, because after all it is a damned long swim home and if you screw up you just might kill the whole crew, and it is the chief’s job to make sure you don’t.

we are in this together and we have each other’s back”

You better just knuckle down and put out that engine room fire before the whole crew (your mates) become Post Crispy Critters. And if you are not wired that way you don’t last long. Either you decide to muster out (“take release”) or you ARE mustered out (released from service) because of your PERs, for the good of the rest of the team.

If one is never exposed to this training by the time one gets to 25 years old or so the brain is fully formed and it is too late. That opportunity to learn self sacrifice is gone, probably forever. You are now a child in an adult body and you have an unfounded belief in your own worth based on “self esteem” driven into by “20 years of schoolin’ an they put you on the day-shift“.

And that hurts your ego … you “deserve better” “you are special”. That’s what your teachers taught you because that is what they were taught in “Teacher’s College”. That’s why you want to start at a $100,000 a year management position instead of spending 20 years earning your ticket. You start blaming the ones who who DO have $100k a year jobs for your failure to get one. and so it starts … and it has been going on for a looong time.

Cain killed Abel because he blamed Able for his failure, and Eve had more children by Adam who is reported to have lived around 800 years. Remember, Adam and Eve were perfect in all things, genetically, physically, mentally, in every way … in all ways except that they sinned, they sinned and had to leave paradise for that, but GOD was merciful, and GOD helped them get started in the world and to populate the earth even after they sinned.

19In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth out of which thou wast taken: for dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return. 20And Adam called the name of his wife Eve: because she was the mother of all the living. 21And the Lord God made for Adam and his wife garments of skins (leather), and clothed them.

22And he said: Behold Adam is become as one of us, knowing good and evil: now therefore lest perhaps he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever. 23And the Lord God sent him out of the paradise of pleasure, to till the earth from which he was taken. 24And he cast out Adam: and placed before the paradise of pleasure Cherubim, and a flaming sword, turning every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:19-24)

Subterranean Homesick Blues, Bob Dillon, from the album “Bringing It All Back Home”, 1965

Early diversification of genetic groups

But remember that Adam was still Adam and Eve was still Eve, the original GOD-made Superman and Superwomen, and they had many many children, and even back then there were two groups, two sides, just like the angels before them, and the children of Cain went their way and the children of Seth went theirs and never the twain agreed. This was the original split between the “blame others” tribe, and the “take personal responsibility” tribe. We ain’t likely to find a fix here in 2019 AD.

And it took many many generations of decline to get to the pathetic creatures we see today. By the time of Moses, things had already got so bad that GOD even had to bring in laws regarding incest because of genetic and health concerns in the gene pool, and to protect them from the diseases of the Egyptians.

So now we have endured what … a hundred thousand years of decline? The children of Cain as of 2013, estimating for the age Y-MRCA, insist that the human genome is at least subject to substantial uncertainty, with a wide range of times from 180,000 to 580,000 years ago (with an estimated age of between 120,000 and 156,000 years ago, roughly consistent with the estimate for mt-MRCA.).

So how long we have been here varies wildly depending on who you listen to, who you “trust”. Lots of room for error and moving goal posts in the difference between 100,000 years and 580,000 years. Just like lots of room for climate data error between 30 years of data and 4.5 billion years of data. It’s never really about truth and honesty and all about power and control, about who gets to decide and who gets the money. The ultimate proof is that data and the scientific evidence that doesn’t fit the current social narrative just gets dropped and buried.

The name “Mitochondrial Eve” alludes to biblical Eve. This has led to repeated misrepresentations or misconceptions in journalistic accounts on the topic. Popular science presentations of the topic usually point out such possible misconceptions by emphasizing the fact that the position of mt-MRCA is neither fixed in time (as the position of mt-MRCA moves forward in time as mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages become extinct), nor does it refer to a “first woman”, nor the only living female of her time, nor the first member of a “new species”.  So …

Whatever we believe, whether we are children of Seth, or children of Cain, everyone agrees that is rather unclear how long we have been around and everyone agrees that there has been plenty of time for humanity to degrade to the desperate pathetic critters we now are, with only a tiny percentage of our genes being expressed and a multitude of self inflicted biological and cultural problems destroying our lives.

So back to sacrifice, or running away … doomed by age 25, sigh … this is just so sad.  Or maybe you get a lucky break, you get another chance. One finds a girl, settles down, gets married,  and maybe has children (not DINKS), and maybe even finds one’s “soul mate” and signs on for the duration “till death do us part”, which seems to be very much unfashionable these days where the majority of marriages end in divorce. If you are one of the lucky few, GOD gives you another chance to redeem yourself and learn about sacrifice up close and personal.

So we get a couple of chances in life to learn about sacrifice and a lot of us cut and run at the least sign of that dreaded dragon. In fact, maybe its because we are hanging onto our wonderful youth as long as possible and avoiding adult responsibility. We are putting off getting married later and later – ’til we are past that 25 year magic milestone where it becomes “all about me”.

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 out the clock, done in the blink of an eye.

Steven DenBeste 1952-2016

Meanwhile, what about us “Pajamadeen”? For those of you who may have never heard of the Pajamadeen, here is one reference:  “FrauBudgie, a “proud member of the 101st Keyboarding Division of the Pajamadeen,” chalks it up to Kim Jong-il playing hardball because of a Clinton-era promise of a reactor.”  This was pulled from a Slate post from 2005, referencing numerous members of the “Pajamadeen”. What we write “Never Dies”. Da Da Da Dumm!

I was introduced to blogging around 2000, by Steven DenBeste’s blog “U.S.S. Clueless”, DenBeste was an electrical engineer, and one of the first Pajamadeen and still one of the best, may he rest in peace. The next bright light in that constellation of stars was Bill Whittle, author, director, screenwriter, editor, internet personality, blogger, and his blog “Eject!, Eject!, Eject!” around 2003. That domain has unfortunately been taken over by robots and no longer resembles the original at all. But the Way-Back-Machine can almost always be trusted to find what once was, even if we delete it. We will find you no matter where you hide! Bwahahahaha!

Prophecy” Adrian von Ziegler, from the album “Feather and Skull”, (2013)

Fortunately, an archive of the original Eject!, Eject!, Eject! can be found here.  I link to just one of the archived posts here … WARNING! as Bill himself says “(Folks, there’s R-rated language throughout this thing. Normally I can edit it out; this time, not so much. I may do so later, but now I want to leave it as I wrote it.)”.

Whittle in 2014.

He wrote the post, angry, on September 5, 2005, about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. It is called “Tribes”, and at the time, for me, was the best articulation I had ever read of my own opinion of humanity, based on my 30 years or so of real-world exposure in the NAVY and the Department of Justice. I was a faithful reader of Bill’s and other blogs for years.

I eventually started blogging myself in 2014 here at notmyfirstrodeo.  Now it seems, in retrospect, that what we all had and have in common, we Pajamadeen, is a very high opinion of our own opinion and ideas, and a desire to share with the universe what we see as wrong with the socially reported status quo as seen through the eyes of social media and the MSM.

Many of us “disagree” with the currently popular “attribution of blame” and demands for “compensation” by all the usual players (victimologists) and and their chattering Facebook groupies.

That’s their life style choice, rather than the acceptance of personal responsibility and making an effort to improve through hard work and self discipline. This divide has existed as long as there have been humans on the planet, which we discussed earlier in this post. As discussed in previous posts, in our modern society that other tribe have seriously altered their biochemistry and further accentuated the gulf between the sides, by the addition of many and varied chemical aides to forwarding their chosen “lifestyle” and “gender”. The chasm between grows ever wider … inexorably.

This Guerrilla War was and is a battle of “cold hard facts against the tyranny of emotion and feelings”, against what I now call “The Howler Jungle”, and by God, we could/can prove that we were/are right  and all those others were/are sniveling emoticons.

Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare in which a small group of combatants, such as paramilitary personnel, armed civilians, or irregulars; use military tactics including ambushes, sabotage, raids, petty warfare, hit-and-run tactics, and mobility to fight a larger and less-mobile traditional military. Organized Guerrilla groups are a type of violent (more or less) non-state actor, For example the FLQ in Quebec, and Bill Ayers and the Weathermen in the U.S. Ayers was never convicted for the murders of security guards and police carried out by his group and ended his career as an honored University Professor of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago,  where he spent most of his high profile career sponsoring and promoting “Community Organizers” including one Barrack Husein Obama.

The real big change since the 1960’s is that the Left, and their “Community Organizers” have now become the State actor, and the old establishment supporters have now become the Guerrilla fighters, minus the violence for the most part, although both sides have had their share of violent crazies, such as the Uni-bomber and now The Christchurch massacre which atrocity NPR blamed on Trump and has somehow turned into an anti-Trump dialogue … sigh, that is hugely worse than the Howler Tribes blaming our Chinese crisis on EVIL Harper because he sold the Wheat Board to the Saudi’s.

Anyway, it turns out that regardless of whether we were and are right or wrong about anything this is really “Pride” talking, our own pride. There is just no “winning” this battle. It started with the Angels and has been going on here on earth since Lucifer was cast down.

In the meantime … what of “We” the discontented, those who are noticeably unhappy with the moral, ethical 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. Some have been labeled “Merchants of Outrage” or some such “Straw-man” inanity by the Left Howlers, although that label does seem to apply objectively much more to the MSM and the Left but it’s all OK when they do it.  Others slip under the radar because we have no large and influential following … not a big enough target I guess.

“We” remain chronically dissatisfied and unhappy with whatever is fashionably top of the pond, the latest PC pond scum, 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 by GOD, namely “Time”. We get a “do-over” every morning that we wake up, right up until we don’t wake up.

And in the end, it is all just Pride, Pride, Pride, an overweening sense of personal outrage and a serious attachment to the things of this world and the worship of self. I didn’t think this way even as recently as back in 2014 but the evolution of my thoughts over the intervening years has produced a heightened awareness of Pride as it applies to what I do, think, and say, every day. I still have outbursts, fairly regularly even, but I also regularly now regret and reconsider what I think and say and reevaluate it in the light of Pride and self love as a sin.

Back in 2001, when this particular journey started for me, I didn’t spend much time and energy thinking about death. Oh, I was certainly fully aware of death daily, having buried numerous friends and acquaintances since 71, and I had no doubt of, or fear of my own mortality, but it wasn’t an immediate sort of presence, a minute by minute worry in my thoughts. I couldn’t hear the clock ticking then like I can now.

Almost 20 years on I am much more aware, on a daily basis, of my own impending death. And that awareness has refocused my thoughts on what happens afterwards, on eternity, and am I ready for eternity and if not why not? This is not a “Why, Poor Me” sort of why. It’s a “why am I not ready” why? Why do I still sin without even giving it a moment’s thought? Why? It is that insidious loss of the sense of sin which renders us less aware of what is wrong with what we are engaged in.

“A Dhia Ghleigil” (Oh Glorious God) Noirin Ni Riain & The Monks of Glenstal Abbey, from the album “Vox de Nube”, 1996

I will insert a short quote from  Daniel O’Connor’s “The Crown of Sanctity: On the Revelations of Jesus to Luisa Piccarreta”  touching on the subject of “Why?” This is a massive book on the writings of the mystic Luisa Piccarreta, an Italian nun in the late 19th to early 20th century.

*****

Jesus Himself takes this teaching further, telling Luisa (Piccarreta):  “My daughter, in almost all of the events that occur, creatures keep repeating, over and over again: ‘And why? And why? And why? Why this illness? Why this interior state? Why this scourge?’ And many other why’s.

The explanation of ‘why’ is not written on earth, but in Heaven, and there everyone will read it. Do you know what ‘why’ is? It is egoism, which gives continuous food to love of self. Do you know where ‘why’ was created? In hell. Who was the first one that pronounced it? A demon.

The effects produced by the first ‘why’ were the loss of innocence in Eden Itself, the war of untamable passions, the ruin of many souls, the evils of life. The story of ‘why’ is long; it is enough to tell you that there is no evil in the world which does not carry the mark of ‘why’. ‘Why’ is destruction of divine wisdom in souls.

And do you know where ‘why’ will be buried? In hell, to make them restless for eternity, without ever giving them peace. The art of ‘why’ is to wage war against souls, without ever giving them respite.”

Obviously, by repudiating the “why,” Jesus is not condemning innocent inquiry into matters; He is, rather, insisting that we not ask the accusatory “why” every time something goes the way our self-wills did not want it to go.

We must, instead, understand that, as St. Alphonsus Liguori said, “it is certain and of faith that, whatever happens, happens by the Will of God.” It is that simple. If it happened, it was God’s Will. By lamenting what has happened, we lament God’s Will.

How are we supposed to submit to—much less live in—God’s Will if we lament that very thing? Instead, any complaining of any sort has no place in the life of any Christian, and must be repudiated by one who wishes to live in the Divine Will. But we must go farther than merely refuse to complain of crosses; we must love them.

O’Connor, Daniel. The Crown of Sanctity: On the Revelations of Jesus to Luisa Piccarreta (p. 274).

*****

“Over The Hills And Far Away”,  Jon Boden,  from the album “A Folk Song a Day”, 2011. The song is  also the Theme from “Sharp’s Rifles” an historic series set in the Napoleonic Wars in Spain.

So about my problem of “Why”, it seems to me that often the “Why” is really in the context of “Why Me”! I believe that “Why” is because I have been too busy trying to grab the splinter out of my brother’s eye and not busy enough dealing with the plank in my own eye. That has got to change.

I know now, I UNDERSTAND that it is not my role to “save the world”, and even though I remain convinced of the correctness of my argument, my pride will not let me “let it go” and  acknowledge that the person or persons with which I have a difference is not really the enemy! We are not marching off to another foreign war to the sound of the drums and the pipes … we are not!.

They, those others, may or may not be a tool of the enemy but fixing that is not my responsibility, my responsibility is to spend all my effort on accepting and doing the will of GOD to the absolute best of my ability and if GOD wants me to fix something He will clearly let me know.

It may be true that “they” don’t really understand empirical reality or care about the others who occupy that reality and it may be true that “they” are willing to commit literally any atrocity from simple verbal abuse up to and including physical harm, even murder, if “they” are not granted their way. BUT IT IS NOT MY JOB AND NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY TO FIX THAT. The Lone Ranger has hung up his gun and mask and Tonto has gone back to the reserve. “Thy will be done Oh Lord, Thy will be done”.

The sin of pride creeps in when I am coming to conclusions about whole classes of people, conclusions that are way above my pay grade. Only GOD knows what lurks in the heart of man, but He knows it ALL, and he is a just and merciful GOD, and that judgement stuff is HIS job, not mine.

The sin of pride creeps in when I find it very hard to back down in the face of injustice (as I see it). My pride most desires to be esteemed, and approved of and understood. My pride most fears being despised, calumniated and ridiculed.

Words are indeed much more hurtful than sticks and stones, no matter what the old rhyme says, and psychologically I have always been a “Best defense is a good offense” kind of guy, it’s kind of my default. “If you hurt or threaten me or mine, I am coming after you and we will fix your breathing problem” … not much patience or charity in that mind-set.

In 2000, I was a background follower, a lurker, back in the beginning when Steven DenBeste was being routinely excoriated by all the usual outraged liberal progressive bloggers who did their level best to destroy him by mockery, innuendo, malice, lies, exaggeration, misdirection and misrepresentation but never once did they ever try to match facts and logic with facts and logic.

They just howled and threw shite. There were many times when the overwhelming emotion I felt was that it was impossible to deal reasonably with these “unprintable” individuals and it was time to “Bring The Rain”.

That critical judgement of his detractors involved my pride acting out on his behalf. DenBeste himself accepted all the vitriol as just part of the job of shining the light on hard facts. I eventually lent my support by email and we became distant acquaintances although we differed mightily on many things, number one being he was a confirmed Atheist and I was and am a confirmed Catholic.

Unlike exchanges with other Atheists, our discussions were always civilized, polite, respectful and thought provoking, even when we disagreed and he taught me a lot about Power Grids among other things, and he was a joy to exchange views with.

We shared the belief that Bulverism was anathema and unfortunately most public discourse had degraded into just that sort of exchange.

As DenBeste himself has written, “By the way, I don’t think that “Listen to yourself!! Do you realize what you just said???” is a useful response. I know full well what I wrote; it took me four hours to write it.

And I knew it was “politically incorrect” when I wrote it; I said so. If you think there’s a problem with this, tell me what it is. Respond on the merits. Deal with the issues I discuss.

If you don’t like my solution, propose another and explain why it’s better, in execution or result. If you think my identification of the problem is wrong, explain why.

But don’t bother trying to shame me into retracting it. Don’t bother delivering that here; addressee unknown. I don’t subscribe to postmodernist or transnational progressivist standards about what is right and wrong.”

Mike_Godwin_photographed_by_Voice_of_America_(Cambodia),_September_2017

Godwin’s Law states: “As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”

There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress.

I was a big fan of Usenet back when I was in love with Unix and Linux. In my posts I have referred to Godwin’s Law as Bulverism in previous posts and it is not limited to the use of the term “Nazi” and any of it’s cognates.

BUT … None of this “He said – She said” emotional Howler behaviour leads to any kind of resolution.

Wow, I am really long winded. Please help me Lord. Time to sign off for now.

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You“.

The words of this prayer given to the young visionaries of Fatima may seem simple. But the words outline our responsibilities as Christians—to believe, to adore, to hope, and to love God. As well, to ask pardon for those who do not act in this way. And further, to beg pardon for them, we should make reparation for their sins too, for they know not what they do.

Continued in Part Three …

Cheers

Joe

“Reaching for heaven”

 

 

 

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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 out 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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