Sunday, 27 November 2011

Aphorism or what?

*

I have experimented for a week with a blog of aphorisms (listed below) but find that this is not the right medium for my ideas/ notions - it seems I would rather write a mini-essay (or indeed a micro-essay) than a free-standing aphorism.

Nonetheless, I suspect that aphoristic knowledge - not argument, not evidence, not opinion - is probably what we most need now: only it will have to be someone else who provides it!

***

The Good News

*

A simple Christian message.

If you seek God, you shall find. You will make the right choice (and before it is too late).

If you have not yet found, do not despair: keep seeking. You will not be disappointed: you will get the real and eternal essence of that which you seek.

(Only pray also that you seek that which is Good for you.)

*

Thursday, 24 November 2011

The triumph of the Left

*

That the best-behaved people are on the wrong side; and most of the kindest people are in service to evil.

*

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

We resemble Eloi...

*

but we are not innocent; what we truly are is Cowslip's Warren.

*

The Eloi are from The Time Machine by HG Wells' - Cowslip's Warren is from Watership Down by Richard Adams.

I regard Watership Down as a multifaceted, multi-level work of poetic and narrative genius.

*

Nihilism is not believing nothing

*

(although it may self-describe as such); To be a nihilist is to seek destruction of The Good.

*

Do not seek humility directly -

*

...Instead seek Love of God: humility is a by-product.

*

Advice for middle aged reactionaries

*

Don't read: re-read.

*

(You have already read what you need to know.)

*

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Common sense, tradition, revelation versus hurt feelings

*

On the one hand we have common sense (spontaneous human instinct), two thousand years of uncontradicted tradition, and divine revelation (as revelation has been understood for two thousand years and by the Holiest people ever known)...

And on the other hand we have hurt feelings; or, at least, the expression (or at least imagined attribution) of humiliation of some individual person or group of persons at being excluded.

No contest! Very Obviously hurt feelings carry the day.

To say otherwise would be unkind.

*

The mass media are the primary therapy of modernity

*

...because the mass media provide the two main answers to alienation: distraction and desensitization.

The mass media first distracts with deliberate inversions of the Good: ugliness, depravity and lies, which keeps our minds off the overwhelming fact that modernity depicts life as meaningless, purposeless and isolated;

then the mass media desensitizes us to the hideous, the immoral and the dishonest.

The ratchet turns another notch.

*

Monday, 21 November 2011

Man is a creature incomplete

*

Man is a creature incomplete, maimed; but which can become complete if he acknowledges his incompleteness; and further acknowledges that he can become complete only by Grace of God deriving from the healing completeness of Christ.

*

Jesus Christ was the completion of Man maimed by loss of his primordial supernatural and specific continuous-awareness of God: Christ was the restoration of this primordial awareness in a new completion: which is called Son of God, and is made available to those who recognize the need and its source, and choose to accept the gift and its consequences.

*

Natural Man is the relation with the real nature of things - this is natural Good. But natural Good does not, cannot, restore the lost supernatural and specific awareness of God because it relies on human resources which are radically incomplete.

So Natural Man relying on his own resources is alienated.

Natural Man can only be healed via the recognition that supernatural and specific awareness of God can come only from God.

(This acknowledgement is termed humility. Humility can only come from trust, which can only come from Love - from conviction that God Loves each of us specifically and personally. This is why the Love of God is primary for Christians - the primary commandment without which the others are inoperative. When God is acknowledged but not Loved, there is submission but not humility. And only an incarnate God can be Loved by a human - hence the necessity for Christ.)

***

Note: the above ideas are derived from Charles Williams, especially The Descent of the Dove and the commentary on this in Alice Mary Hadfield's An Introduction to Charles Williams.

*

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Nihilism defined

*

Nihilism is denial of the reality of the real.

Which is to say, nihilism is denial of the reality of The Good.

(The Good - Truth, Beauty, Virtue in Unity - is one conception of primary reality) 

*

The denial is necessarily in-practice, as well as theoretical.

Thus nihilism is destruction of The Good.

*

Yet the Good cannot be destroyed - only distorted: all things are necessarily motivated by seeking Good - but innately only one or more aspect of Good.

In practice, therefore, operationally instantiated: nihilism is the purposive destruction of The Good in Unity in pursuit of a partial Good.

*

(For instance, modern nihilism is characteristically the destruction of Truth, Beauty and all virtues but one: kindness. In sum, modern nihilism is constructive of a world of ugliness and lies and vice in the name of a single Good, namely kindness - the desire to alleviate suffering, misery, pain: at any price and with any consequence. Most past nihilisms have been less complete than modern; partial but with a larger number of Goods.)

*

Saturday, 19 November 2011

You may ask one question

*

You will receive one answer.

That answer must, of necessity, be brief.

(Hence incomplete, hence distorted, hence enigmatic at best - probably ambiguous - at worst misleading.)

Tough - that's all you can have.

*

If you don't understand the answer then that is your problem

- go work on yourself until you do understand.

*

Friday, 18 November 2011

Who would want to be a Zen master?

*

I think I understand what Zen is trying to achieve, I know of the method/s by which it might plausibly be attained, and I believe that at least some people have successfully reached this objective.

But what I do not understand is this: why would anyone want it?

Suppose Zen enlightenment was available at a shop and for a reasonable price - but was, of course, non-returnable: who would buy?

*

The pure quest for 'enlightenment' seems nothing more than a very long and uncertain path to analgesia - and there are swifter and surer paths to the alleviation of pain such as intoxication, sleep or suicide (unless further factors are introduced, like the immortality of the soul, and then we have gone beyond Zen).

*

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Modern man and metaphysics

*


Modern man is the most metaphysical creature in history; so much so that he denies the existence of metaphysics. 


*


Metaphysics is the frame around the world: man is born with a natural frame, and has been offered a different and better frame but at a price. 


However, modern man prefers a different and worse frame on 'easy terms' (the price is higher, but the payment is due later). 


*


Modern metaphysics does not pretend to be more real than common-sense metaphysics; it does not pretend to be as desirable as Christian metaphysics.


Neither real nor desirable... why are there so many takers? 


Because the poison is administered in small, sub-lethal doses, and is sugar-coated.


*

Participation in the reality of The Good

*

The Positive Way is participation in the reality of The Good.

This works indirectly, via the imagination.

The participation must be real; that which is participated-in must be reality.

To use the imagination to engage with reality...

not a paradox, just very difficult to sustain.

*

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Can The Left make poverty history?

*

Too late, already happened (7 billion people and rising).

Prosperity is the problem, not poverty.

Make prosperity history, then?

Be patient, we're nearly there...

*

The complacency of 'doubt'

*

Surely complacency is a great sin of intellectuals? That characteristically smug self-satisfaction which comes from denial of the duty of worship. Ingratitude.

*

Tom Bombadil and the hierarchy of things

*

No detail is too small for the notice of Tom Bombadil, yet he observes the whole world unfold and die.

He observes from a tiny and obscure corner far away from what appears to be the centre; and yet not with resentment nor with provincial pride, but with unquestioning faith that this is his place, his role.

*

Reading Pascal's Pensees...

*

I have the conviction that anyone who understands must become a Christian; unless he be sure that Christianity was false.

Pascal explains the human condition, and that Christianity is the answer: the only answer.

The others are not answers but denials and distractions.

*

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Humility cannot be a primary goal

*

Love of Man is not, cannot be, the primary goal of life - it must be second to Love of God.

Thus Humility is not, cannot be, the primary goal of life - it must be second to Love.

(When we love, we are humble in respect to that which we love.)

*

Insufficient reform is worse than none

*

Insufficient reforms are worse than none in the long term since they allow things to get worse for longer.

Excessive reforms are worse than necessary in the short term, but effective in the long term (so long as the patient survives).

Ergo all effective reform is excessive.

*

2 comments:

  1. I agree that the mini-essays are your stronger suit. I like your aphorisms best after you explain them. They become helpful reminders. But one can't really shift someone's paradigm with an aphorism. Aphorisms are malleable enough to fit within whatever existing paradigm they meet.

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Jonathan - thanks for the feedback.

    The trouble with essays and explanations is that they invite more of the same, and it feeds our addiction to distractions!

    I think that what we really need (but do not deserve!) is someone who can make memorable and arresting statements of reality - to clarify our vision without pointing on to ever more arguments.

    Someone like Pascal - but then, we already have him, so probably it would be redundant.

    What we need (but do not deserve) is a Holy Fool who cannot be categorized - a Diogenes, Socrates figure (but Christian, of course!). Someone who subverts the endless 'questioning' in favour of direct practice/ life/ reality - seeking of the Good etc. The positive doctrine implied and shown rather than argued...

    ReplyDelete