Sunday, May 09, 2004
If you hold something as precious, do not sit complaisantly by as others speak ill of it. One will hold this or that date as precious, while another will see them all the same. We stand alone before our God on this, and it is not our place to alter another's view on such matters. Seduction seems to be the way these days. What would it take to seduce you into a new way of thinking? What would it take? Words and actions mingle to alter ideas, but no manipulator of these is ever guaranteed their intended result. "The key is not to wish." Perhaps, but isn't this a human characteristic that drives us to act? I will keep my wishes, but act in such a way as to make them come about, as far as it depends upon me, and as far as it infringes not upon another.
I was stunned to hear this day...this special day upon which we remember our mothers...that a pastor and his son were mutilated and burned in Somalia yesterday. Were they infringing? Perhaps so, but I believe not. They were welcomed and invited as far as offering medical assistance to those in need. A separate group thought differently about the invite and carried out the brutal act-in front of wife and mother? What drives us to do as we do? If you would destroy a life of any sort, what would stop you from destroying any life?
Is it ok to lie? Is it ok to lie under any circumstance? A mob of beautiful intellectuals seeks to remove form their society, a degenerate. He seeks refuge with you. You find evidence to show he is innocent. The mob of intellectuals does not buy it and wishes to have him out. You refuse. They threaten to destroy you and your family. What do you do? They threaten to blow up the city if you do not comply. What do you do? A Jewish family, hotly pursued by a heavily armed Nazi unit, seeks to hide behind your secret bookcase. You hide them moments before the aggressors break in. "Are you hiding any Jews here?" What do you answer? If you lie over any article or subject, can you be trusted to tell the truth in any situation? By what standard do you live?
Cause for Laws
Laws of nature are not easily broken (are they ever able to be?), but what is to guarantee that the reality we hold as valid today will be valid tomorrow. Cause and effect are common in scientific inquiry, but have you noticed that we never really see the cause? We presume the cause. Two things happen in close chronological proximity, and we associate them. Who is to say that we are not missing something? Our senses are faulty after all. It is said that every effect has a cause, but have you noticed that not every cause has a cause? If the law of gravity dictates that I fall from a building at a certain rate per second; this is not disputed. The cause of my fall may be disputed, and judgment may be given in regards to it. Was I pushed? Was it just that I was pushed? Who is to say? Maybe I tripped while attempting to steal my boss' lunchboxbox, and fell through an open window. Maybe it was just that I fell. Maybe my past actions - actions that others regarded as unjust and wrong - were paid for in the act of my death. Who is to judge this? This judgment is moral. It is not natural. Is there a moral imperative as Kant proclaims? What is it? Is the moral imperative meshed with the natural laws? They are different. We do judge.
In truth, we make decisions and act according to our beliefs and values. To say you hold to a belief and yet to act contrary to that belief makes it not true belief. Every belief is like a wild stallion upon which you jump, holding tightly and riding where you are taken. This is honest. What would seduce you to jump upon that horse? What do you name that horse? I name it Christ. It is not a safe ride, but I am on it, and to jump off at this point would be to end my life as it now exists in the world. What horse are you riding?
I have shared this quote many times over, but it haunts me daily, and it is my ethos, so here it is again in paragraph form:
No, not one shall be forgotten who was great in the world. But each was great in his own way, and each in proportion to the greatness of that which he loved. For he who loved himself became great by himself, and he who loved other men became great by his selfless devotion, but he who loved God became greater than all. Everyone shall be remembered, but each became great in proportion to his expectation. One became great by expecting the possible, another by expecting the eternal, but he who expected the impossible became greater than all. Everyone shall be remembered, but each was great in proportion to the greatness of that with which he strove. For he who strove with the world became great by overcoming the world, and he who strove with himself became great by overcoming himself, but he who strove with God became greater than all. So there was strife in the world, man against man, one against a thousand, but he who strove with God was greater than all. So there was strife upon earth: there was one who overcame all by his power, and there was one who overcame God by his impotence. There was one who relied upon himself and gained all, there was one who secure in his strength sacrificed all, but he who believed God was greater than all. There was one who was great by reason of his power, and one who was great by reason of his wisdom, and one who was great by reason of his hope, and one who was great by reason of his love; but Abraham was greater than all, great by reason of his power whose strength is impotence, great by reason of his wisdom whose secret is foolishness, great by reason of his hope whose form is madness, great by reason of the love which is hatred of oneself.
One final note: In the mid 1800's in Denmark, Copenhagenggen to be exact, a rather large catch of salmon was brought to market. The local officials ordered a decree that only one serving of the fish per week should be given to the household servants. This was due to the richness of salmon and its effect upon the bowels. One could wish for a similar law against the indulgence of sentimentality.
- posted by -g @ 9:13 PM | | 0 rocks in pond
diarrhea of the brain
bad haiku daily
emily joy joy
|design by: dan|