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casual_order

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Feb. 8th, 2007 | 10:55 pm
posted by: maybemonday in casual_order

not sure I agree with it, but some of it does line up with what i've been thinking -- how the whole "universal self/interconnectivity" concept can be strangely (contradictarily?) impersonal.

Shell, the Chesterton quote I was telling you about...Collapse )

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casual_order

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Jan. 14th, 2007 | 05:08 pm
posted by: maybemonday in casual_order

"It has happened that we have been afflicted with a basic deprivation, to such an extent that we seem to be missing some vital organs, even as we try to survive somehow. Theology, science, philosopy, even though they attempt to provide cures, are not very effective 'in that dark world where gods have lost their way' (Roethke). They are able at best to confirm that our affliction is not invented. I have written elsewhere of this deprivation as one of the consequences brought about by science and technology that pollutes not only the natural environment but also the human immagination. The world deprived of clear-cut outlines, of the up and the down, of good and evil, succumbs to a peculiar nihilization, that is, it loses its colors, so that grayness covers not only things of this earth and of space, but also the very flow of time, its minutes, days, and years. Abstract considerations will be of little help, even if they are intended to bring relief.

"Poetry is quite different. By its very nature it says: All these theories are untrue. Since poetry deals with the singular, not the general, it cannot -- if it is good poetry -- look at things of this earth other than as colorful, variegated, and exciting, and so, it cannot reduce life, with all its pain, horror, suffering, and ecstasy, to a unified tonality of boredom or complaint. By necessity, poetry is therefore on the side of being and against nothingness."

-- Cseslaw Milosz, introduction to A Book of Luminous Things

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casual_order

(no subject)

Aug. 25th, 2006 | 11:42 pm
posted by: maybemonday in casual_order

"When I talked about these matters with Dillard in person, we discussed C.S. Lewis's notion that we must not go to nature to construct theology; she will fail us every time. Rather, we go to nature once we have our theology and let her fill the words -- awe, glory, beauty, terror -- with meaning."

What do you all think of this?

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casual_order

(no subject)

Oct. 23rd, 2005 | 09:38 pm
posted by: maybemonday in casual_order

Anything that can be proven cannot last. We laugh at the “science” of yesterday, the Ptolemaic spheres of the universe, the balancing of choler and phlegm in the human body, the reading of a person’s character by the shape of his skull. Even a hypothesis conclusively proven true soon loses its relevance: does anybody care that the earth really IS round instead of flat? Facts falter, only ideas survive.
The Ramayana is not a fact but an idea. That is why is will continue to dominate India in a way no objectively verifiable chronicle ever could. It is beyond corroboration. It can never be confirmed, so it can never be denied.
(Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God, Jonah Blank)

Applied in this context to the Ramayana, but has interesting implications toward Christian scripture as well....particularly if you look at it in the light of Lewis's "true myth" concept of Christianity.

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The Search for God at Harvard, by Ari Goldman

Jun. 22nd, 2005 | 12:49 pm
posted by: maybemonday in casual_order

"For example, in discussing the religious power of the Koran, she told us of a wonderful ceremony that takes place when a boy reaches the age of four years, four months and four days. On this day, the boy is dressed up like a little bridegroom and sent to sechool to recite his first verse of the Koran. The verse is written in honey on a slate and, after the boy masters it, the honey is dissolved in water. The boy drinks the sweet holy words as a spiritual and physical nourishment.

...One legend has it that the buzzes of bees are the words of the Koran. Why else would honey be so sweet?

Like other faiths, Islam struggles with the question of human suffering and why some prayers are answered and some are not. One teaching says that man is like the nightingale. God keeps man in cages because He loves the music of his prayers. If He is slow to answer, it is only because He loves the song and does not want it to end."

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And Christ, under the illusion that we were penguins, was crouching down for snapshots...

Apr. 12th, 2005 | 03:39 am
posted by: sanslimites in casual_order

The People

Why do we people in churches seem like cheerful, brainless tourists on a packaged tour of the Absolute? ...

On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside of the catacombs, entirely sensible of conditions. Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies' straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake someday and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return.

The eighteenth-century Hasidic Jews had more sense, and more belief. One Hasidic slaughterer, whose work required invoking the Lord, bade a tearful farewell to his wife and children every morning before he set out for the slaughterhouse. He felt, every morning, that he would never see any of them again. For every day, as he himself stood with his knife in his hand, the words of his prayer carried him into danger. After he called on God, God might notive and destroy him before he had time to utter the rest, "Have mercy."

Another Hasid, a rabbi, refused to promise a friend to visit him the next day: "How can you ask me to make such a promise? This evening I must pray and recite 'Hear, O Isreal.' When I say these words, my soul goes out to the utmost rim of my life... Perhaps I should not die this time either, but how can i now promise to do something at a time after prayer?"

Annie Dillard

"An Expedition to the Pole," Teaching a Stone to Talk

------------------------------

I have never given much thought to the afterlife. The eternal, yes- but the eternal has always been, for me, rather inseperable with the divine in its very nature; not so much representing timeless continuation or unearthly being, but the sheer plausible existance to those things between the lines we see.

continued; longish.Collapse )

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Huston Smith, Why Religion Matters

Mar. 28th, 2005 | 07:49 pm
posted by: maybemonday in casual_order

"As he was driving home from one of his live-in visits to the monastery, preoccupied with the question of whether monks were escapists, he noticed a department store and stopped to pick up an item that he needed. It was early in the morning and he found himself in a crowd of women waiting for the store to open its doors, which it did a moment or two after his arrival. It turned out to be the opening of a giant lingerie sale, so Walter was swept into the store by a river of women who plunged for its mountains of underwear and began pawing through them frantically to get their pick of the bargains. The spectacle, he told me, threw light on the question that had been troubling him. Was it the monks he had left an hour earlier who were the escapists, or those bargain-seekers who looked as if they were trying to assuage their spiritual emptiness with cut-rate underwear?"

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casual_order

(no subject)

Jan. 23rd, 2005 | 05:58 pm
posted by: mendaciloquent in casual_order

Hi. I’m new to the group. If you want to know more about who I am and why I’m here, read furtherCollapse )

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casual_order

Mostly tangental, but there's info in here somewhere.

Dec. 13th, 2004 | 12:39 am
mood: ::sighs happily::
music: Rich Mullins- If I Stand
posted by: sanslimites in casual_order

Finally, I have found someone who has put my own thoughts on paper. It it not necessarily not knowing how to communicate my thoughts, per se, but I think it is because I spend so much time locked up inside my own head that I never know what is more important or different from everyone else's way of thinking. I have always struggled with that, especially with those things that are more instinctive, more pulling, those ideas or ways of formulating concepts that have been inherent for as long as i can remember. 

The concept of Celtic Christianity has been niggling in the back of my mind for some time now, as something that seems to have always been my way of thinking but never fully developped where i could put my finger on how to even remotely define it. I generally hate associating myself with general labels or formed groups, because so many of my conclusions I have come up with on my own, and I'd rather not have those ideas or pieces of my personality brushed off as shaped by another following.  There is a quote about George MacLeod that reads,  "Even to the end, he did not want his spirituality to be regarded as a pious practice seperating him from life and from others, but rather as a search for God in the whole of life, in everything he said and did." Often now, at least in the people that I run into, any form of spirituality writes you off as a nut, and claiming to be a christian puts you down as a blind, biased, egotistical nut; in my life, i would like people to realise that I have lived through the same kind of life that they have, and come to my conclusions through my own searching and not through a biased upbringing where i was accustomed to propaganda.

And, to switch to a similar note, Celtic Christianity also worried me some because a lot of it comes off as a warm and fuzzy comforting worldview. Depending on who you talked to, obviously; but i was worried that it was the majority. Because it has such a strong emphasis of the beauty/importance of nature and the world around us, and how tightly the spiritual is tied to the tangible, the more talkative followers have a tendency to come off sounding like passionate poets with their heads never beneath the clouds, wandering around and exclaiming the wonderfulness of it all rather incessantly. And while there seem to be a good many of those kinds, (though that's a lot more emphasis on the celtic spirituality, not christianity; they tend to hold something that cannot strictly be called unchristian, but also not necessarily biblical)  but I am also starting to find those who have the same concepts but are actually logical about it.  One of the primary ideas to the celts is the sheer majesty of the world around us; it is a pull that i have felt deep within myself all of myself.  I have heard the arguement countless times that religion is a weakness, that it is for people who cannot accept reality as a whole, for comfort; i have always been the first to say that if i wanted to be comfortable and happy, I would be following no definite religion.  But celtic christianity has *such* a strong emphasis on goodness that it seemed to me very easy indeed to slip into that impractical passion & comfort; aand it worried me vaguely because, quite frankly, i have no desire to be comfortable. Or to make the world any more or less than it is-  I am a cynic, who cannot help to feel this kind of drawing to the world at large. I don't want to have to come off as any more illogical than I have to.   

All of this mostly incoherent tangent was to build up to simply say- I have found a good, clearcut definition of what I believe celtic christianity to be, this lovely informative article.  So many things I have found in this not a new way of thinking but merely how to put it in words.  I am glad that somebody else was able to, because it might have taken me much longer to be able to define it myself.  The article would be here:  http://nctimes.net/~celt/page7.html

Be forewarned, it's rather long, but well worth the read, or at least I found it so. The first section is history- feel free to skip that if you will, especially as it might make more sense/have more relevance after you read what it truly is at its heart. But I found it very well-phrased and informative, pulling out all the nice important bits.

The one thing that I can't say I agree with is the general idea of the afterlife, especially, but I could hardly expect it all to fit.  

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casual_order

Here's another interesting article.

Dec. 1st, 2004 | 11:17 pm
posted by: amequo in casual_order

As a journalist, I bristle at the way the writer inserts his own opinion and doesn't let the sources speak for themselves (they seem articulate enough, let them say it! bah) But it's an interesting article. I would really like to read what y'all have to say.

http://www.pghcitypaper.com/
12/2/2004
"Beyond Belief: In an age of "moral-values" voters, do local atheists have a prayer?"

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