The Inner Struggle

A Crisis of Manhood …

The only thing for which you will not be envied, is the lowest place; therefore, the lowest place place  is the only one where there is no vanity and affliction of spirit.” (Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, also known as Saint Therese of Lisieux, 1873 – 1897).

One of the great stumbling blocks to receiving God’s mercy is to live in the past. I am coming to believe that is what Jesus means when he states, in the Gospel of St. Luke, “No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

We focus too much on our dark side, our ugliness, our past sins, and not enough on GOD who is the Light of Light. We need to have confidence in the consuming furnace of GOD’s Love and GOD’s mercy for us.

As I remarked in a previous post, I have finally understood that it is impossible for a proud man to give himself humility … it is impossible for an impoverished man to give himself wealth … it is impossible for a sick man to give himself health.

Therefore, to be humble, genuinely humble, I have to apply myself first of all to humility of heart and continue to deepen the sincere recognition of my nothingness, my weakness.

I can take full credit for all my sins and wrongdoing, evil is a natural part of mankind for all time. But anything good is GOD’s doing, a gratuitous gift. I cannot take credit for doing what GOD wants me to do and instructs me to do and expects me to do.. That is just following the Manufacturer’s Instructions.

An important part of that recognition is a sincere acceptance of responsibility for my thoughts, words, and deeds. Isn’t it funny how accepting responsibility shows up as the foundation of every attempt to know oneself.

I must acknowledge and accept my faults and my failings without trying to assign any other case or cause for them than my own miserable failings. There are no reasonable excuses for bad talk, or bad behaviour, or bad thinking. My bad is just that … my bad.

I cannot slough off responsibility for myself and my conduct by blaming others, or the situation I find myself in, or the actions or faults of others now or in the past. I am responsible and I am to blame for that evil which I do, or think, or say.

Regarding responsibility as a part of humility, we are not immune here in “Nice” Canada to the popular western phenomena manifested as part of the religion of narcissism.

Here in polite Canada, a country of “tolerance” and “non-judgement”, we have witnessed one of the greatest injustices, even tragedies, of the 20th century, namely the development of the cult of “repression” amongst Psychologists, Psychiatrists.

And the cult continues to this day, alive and well, even amongst those who have become practitioners known as “mental health” counselors, sometimes known as a Registered Clinical Counselors.

The cult of “repressed emotions” arose in concert with the development of psychoanalysis, which grew out of the theories of Sigmund Freud.

A more current phenomenon related to important aspects of Freud’s “repressed emotions” theory has been the “modern”  Western teaching of contempt for men in our popular culture, known as Misandry.

A very lucid analysis of the impact of this “feminist” religious dogma can be had in “Spreading Misandry” (2001) and “Legalizing Misandry” (2006) by Paul Nathanson and Katherine K. Young.

They have since come out with a third book which unfortunately I have not read, maybe I will get to it this year … just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

It is also interesting, and amusing,  that Paul Nathanson doesn’t get a mention in most search engines. It is affirming for one, like myself, who believes in a “feminist left bias” in our culture, and our media, to find again that anti male, anti conservative, bias in action in the “Wikipedia” search engine which I mentioned in another previous post. Katherine K. Young must have broken through the filters because she is a female PhD.

Anyway, the widespread  acceptance of Misandry in Canadian society is one of the defining factors in the breakdown of the family in this country and, I suspect, other major western nations as well.

Another factor identified in the breakdown of the family is the decline in marriage. One cause of this decline is the truth that women tend to marry up and men tend to marry down.

This is not a value judgement but rather simply an acknowledgement that women tend to marry men who make more money and/or have a higher education than they do and men tend to marry women who make less money and have less education than they do.

So one of the unintended consequences of the great leveling of the employment playing field in the name of gender equality, the big push to equalize how men and women are treated is that fewer women and men than ever before in history are finding suitable mates, and along with this trend we see a general devaluation of men and the scapegoating of men as the reason for every women’s failure to achieve self actualization.

Men are being relegated to the back rows as “punishment” for all the imagined sins of their forefathers, the “Dead White Males” of the repressive Patriarchy and are being effectively removed from the central role once culturally accepted in our society.

We see this especially in church, just look at who shows up in the pews. Where are the “Alter Boys”? Where are the male lectors, the male cantors? It is widespread and serious. Unless the Church, including all  bishops, priests and lay men begin to take notice and make the evangelization of Catholic men a priority, the Catholic Church in the West will continue to decay, as more and more men abandon the Church.

We are seeing an acceleration of decline, the slippery slope is getting steeper. As the scandal of homosexual religious swells at the heart of the failure of the clerical bureaucracy, the exodus of Catholic men from the faith is likely to continue and to grow, as men become increasingly casual about Catholicism, or any other denomination, as just another domain of politically correct male deviance, a domain of evil, a domain of Anti-Christ.”

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, before he stepped down, called for a “Year of Faith” that seeks to awaken humanity at a critical moment in history: “In vast areas of the earth the faith risks being extinguished, like a flame without fuel,” the then Pope Benedict warned, “We are facing a profound crisis of faith, a loss of a religious sense which represents one of the greatest challenges for the Church today … The renewal of faith must, then, be a priority for the entire Church in our time.”

We need much more than a “Year of Faith”. Having stepped down, it seems that he recognized the impossibility of human intervention and turned the arresting of the decline over to Mary Immaculate and Divine Intervention at the behest of the prayers of the remaining faithful … the Remnant. Pray, and keep on praying … do not stop praying …

“1AND he spoke also a parable to them, that we ought always to pray, and not to faint, 2Saying: There was a judge in a certain city, who feared not God, nor regarded man. 3And there was a certain widow in that city, and she came to him, saying: Avenge me of my adversary. 4And he would not for a long time. But afterwards he said within himself: Although I fear not God, nor regard man, 5Yet because this widow is troublesome to me, I will avenge her, lest continually coming she weary me. 6And the Lord said: Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7And will not God revenge his elect who cry to him day and night: and will he have patience in their regard? 8I say to you, that he will quickly revenge them. But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth? (Luke 18: 1-8)

Cheers

Joe

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The Inner Struggle

Humility … and the cultivation of same …

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

The only thing for which you will not be envied, is the lowest place; therefore, the lowest place place  is the only one where there is no vanity and affliction of spirit.” (Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, also known as Saint Therese of Lisieux, 1873 – 1897)

Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, also known as Saint Therese of Lisieux, 1873 - 1897

Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, also known as Saint Therese of Lisieux, 1873 – 1897

One of the great stumbling blocks to receiving God’s mercy is to live in the past. I am coming to believe that is what Jesus means when he states, in the Gospel of St. Luke, “No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

St. Therese of Lisieux in her “Little Way” understood this very well. She thought that we focus too much on our dark side, our ugliness, and not enough on God who is the Light of Light. She believed that we needed to have confidence in the consuming furnace of His Love for us.

Shortly before her death, St. Therese stated, “You may truly say that if I had committed all possible crimes, I would still have the same confidence; I would feel that this multitude of offenses would be like a drop of water thrown into a flaming furnace. All possible crimes, a multitude of offenses, a drop of water in an immense furnace; that is the proportion”.

The Pool Of Worship

The Pool Of Worship

As I remarked in a previous post, I have finally realized that it is impossible for a proud man to give himself humility … it is impossible for an impoverished man to give himself wealth … it is impossible for a sick man to give himself health.

Therefore, to be truly humble, that is genuinely humble, I have to apply myself first of all to humility of heart and continue to deepen the sincere recognition of my nothingness, my weakness. An important part of that recognition is a sincere acceptance of responsibility for my thoughts, words, and deeds. Isn’t it funny how accepting responsibility shows up as the foundation of every attempt to know oneself.

I must acknowledge and accept my faults and my failings without trying to assign any other case or cause for them than my own miserable failings. There are no reasonable excuses for bad talk, or bad behaviour, or bad thinking. My bad is just that … my bad. I cannot slough off responsibility for myself and my conduct by blaming others, or the situation I find myself in, or the actions or faults of others now or in the past. I am responsible and I am to blame for what I do, or think, or say.

In a brief aside, a little wandering off the path, but on point regarding responsibility as a part of humility, is the occurrence of one of the greatest injustices, even tragedies, of the 20th century, namely the development of the cult of “repression” amongst Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and the cult continues to this day, alive and well, even amongst those who have become practitioners known as mental health counselors, sometimes known as a Registered Clinical Counsellor (at least in B.C.).

Katherine K. Young, 2015

Katherine K. Young, 2015

The cult of “repressed emotions” arose in concert with the development of psychoanalysis, which grew out of the theories Sigmund Freud.  A more current phenomenon related to important aspects of Freud’s “repressed emotions” theory has been the “modern”  Western teaching of contempt for men in our popular culture, known as Misandry.

A very lucid analysis of the impact of this “feminist” religious dogma can be had in “Spreading Misandry” (2001) and “Legalizing Misandry” (2006) by Paul Nathanson and Katherine K. Young. they have since come out with a third book which unfortunately I have not read, maybe I will get to it this year … just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

It is also interesting, and amusing,  that Paul Nathanson doesn’t get a mention in most search engines. It is affirming for one, like myself, who believes in a “left bias” in our culture to find again that anti male, anti conservative, bias in action in the “Wikipedia” search engine which I mentioned in another previous post. Katherine K. Young must have broken through the filters because she is a female PhD.

Sigmund Freud (sitting left), Sàndor Ferenczi, and Hanns Sachs (standing) Otto Rank, Karl Abraham, Max Eitingon, and Ernest Jones.

In Studies in Hysteria (1895) Freud proposed that physical symptoms are often the surface manifestations of deeply repressed conflicts. At the time Freud attracted many followers, who formed a famous group in 1902 called the “Psychological Wednesday Society.” The group met every Wednesday in Freud’s waiting room.

As the organization grew, Freud established an inner circle of devoted followers, the so-called “Committee” (including Sàndor Ferenczi, and Hanns Sachs (standing) Otto Rank, Karl Abraham, Max Eitingon, and Ernest Jones). At the beginning of 1908, the committee had 22 members and renamed themselves the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society.

So thanks to Freud and his true believers in the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society every bad actor in the 20th century could get a “get out of jail free” card just by showing up and getting psychoanalyzed. Gee, I wish I had been psychoanalyzed … maybe then I would not have to suffer all this guilt for not being humble …

But, and it is a very BIG “but” (no dietary pun intended), Freud’s theory is good at explaining but not at predicting behavior (which is one of the goals of science). For this reason, Freud’s theory is unfalsifiable – it can neither be proved true or refuted. For example, the unconscious mind is difficult to test and measure objectively.

Overall, Freud’s theory is highly unscientific …  most of the evidence for Freud’s theories are taken from an unrepresentative sample. He mostly studied himself, his patients and only one child (e.g., Little Hans).

The main problem here is that the case studies are based on studying one person in detail, and with reference to Freud, the individuals in question are most often middle-aged women from Vienna (i.e., his patients). This makes generalizations to the wider population (e.g., the whole world) difficult.

However, Freud thought this unimportant, believing in only a qualitative difference between people. Freud may also have shown research bias in his interpretations – he may have only paid attention to information which supported his theories, and ignored information and other explanations that did not fit them.

Annnnd back to humility … seriously folks, I have to recognize that the good that is in me is a pure gift from God and never claim it for my own. Jesus Christ taught “responsibility” not “It’s not your fault, sweetheart.”

I suppose that it is normal to desire to  be humble, and I also suppose that it is normal not to desire humiliation. I pray for God to make me humble but I resist mightily any occurrences and events which I find humiliating. So, I figure that the self (my “self” anyway) started out life very proud, in fact the exact opposite of humble. I started out absolutely convinced of my own superiority. I loved myself with an absolute love.

Life seems to have been a more or less steady grinding away of that feeling of superiority. Now I ask myself, my “Self”, how is it possible to become humble without enduring humiliation? Today, this seems like a reasonable question, and looking back over the years I wonder why it never came up before?

And I think that the reasonable answer is that it’s impossible to achieve humility without experiencing and enduring humiliations. And it is probably reasonable to assume that the sturdier my self regard, the more extreme and enduring are the required humiliations to effect a change in my self regard.

Saint Teresa of Avila by Peter Paul Rubens

Saint Teresa of Avila by Peter Paul Rubens

Humility is truth, and and the practice of humility is sincere recognition of truth. If I was sincere in recognizing this truth I would find it very just to be humiliated and scorned and treated without consideration.

So the pain I feel when treated unjustly and without consideration is a sure sign that I have not embraced true humility.

I have read that the saints were so firmly convinced of  this truth that they never found the humiliations which came to them too painful. The saints always considered these humiliations less than they deserved.

I never heard anything bad said of me which I did not clearly realize fell short of the truth. If I had not sometimes  — often indeed — offended God in the ways they referred to, I had done so  in many others, and I felt they had treated me far too indulgently about these” (Teresa of Jesus, also known as Teresa of Avila, 1515 – 1582)

More coming on humility, and also on judgement, of oneself, of others, and Final Judgement …

Oh Joy

Joe

If it looks proud, and walks proud, and talks proud, it must be proud, right?

Humility are not us …

 

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