Thursday, July 27, 2006

Is There a Problem?

Suppose someone calls the police and, disguising their voice and refusing to give their name, lets a detective know of a crime committed. It is called a tip. The police like it when it happens. The anonymity protects those in the know to sufficiently to allay their fears of being embroiled more than they wish. The tipster usually has some criminal connection or guilt that they would rather not discuss with the police. That said, the tipster has information the police need to and should want to know because it gives the forces of righteousness something to go on, a task and direction to pursue. Of course, anonymous testimony would and should never be admissible in court but the tip is not a trial. For the police to treat the tipster as if some unconstitutional blasphemy had occurred is to confuse categories.
"You must confront the alleged mobster yourself first, sir," replied the flatfoot.
"Geez, copper! He'll kill me!" sez the garbled voice.
"He has a right to face his accuser, son. And be sure to take all witnesses against the accused with you. It wouldn't be grave justice in this great country of ours if you didn't."

When a conversation occurs in which I am informed by "anonymous" of some bad action (either of mine own or some others) I have two choices:
1] I can disallow the charge on grounds afforded to me in formal courts, behaving like all actions of this nature were essentially formal. The generic guilt of tipsters is cause enough.
2] I can thank the vague voice and promise to investigate, the guilt of the tipster notwithstanding as the tip refers to something with which I should be very concerned.
The first is that of a martinet. He has confused low things for high things (himself first on the list) and has claimed the bureaucratic dignities of the high as a buffer.
(\mar-t'n-ET\, noun: A strict disciplinarian. One who lays stress on a rigid adherence to the details of forms and methods.)
The second is a virtue called humility of a little practiced Near Eastern religion called Christianity.

But what if the claims are outlandish? What, O Oracle, what if it were about YOU?!
I don't imagine that any of my sins are reposited in my soul without a force field of significant justification surrounding them. My friends won't say anything because they either believe my justification or want to remain my friends. My enemies, whose eyesight regarding my failings is acute and is likely no more tainted with animus then my justification is tainted with self love, they wish, for whatever foul motive, to bring me to my knees. Odd, if I sin, it is just where I should be. They are Assyria, more wicked than Israel by far but God was being faithful to the Jews by reminding them of righteousness at the hands of the Gentile.
They, the anonymous Assyrian, is an ample target for scorn but I, the chosen, the Israelite, am gifted at neck stiffening.

Is knowing a name all so important when we are trying to hear the Lord's direction and correction? If our spirit is being admonished we should be thankful that our spirit is alive enough to hear the admonishment and not so closed that it demands a name be attached. Would the discovery that my accuser is a sinner himself (as is probable) merely relieve my curiousity and send me before God to examine my conscience? No, it would be added justification that my desire not to listen would be confirmed.

Anonymous accusation is a test of our humility. This is no institutional trial before our peers (they would need to prove the claim) but a trial of our souls before our selves (for we can know, without awaiting the formalities of trial, the proof).

We must not wait until our madness is restrained by a speaking ass.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Grace That Was Alexa

On the death of my niece, Alexa Grace Wilson

And should we say this child with life as such
Must be bright with light and sight to bless?
And should we pray in tears o’er trifles much,
Define the best and love th’unworthy less?
Now would this race of earthbound men refuse
To grant e’en fifteen quiet months below
And would we trace and speed the minutes? Muse
Upon here numbered mourning hearts and throw
Your minds into the time that calls us all.
Wonder, we with sight and ear, if at Death
We will draw friends to compass such a hall
That here at fifteen months appear. Her breath,
Bless’d, unbreathed now, taught the hearts of men
In better ways than many, without Grace,

by Evan Wilson

The Code of the Futilitarian

Live as to enjoy earth today.
Live today as to enjoy heaven later.
Live as to die inbetween.

There is nothing better for a man to do.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Of Peace and Glory

There have been men like Cyrus the Great, the Emperor Trajan, William the Conqueror, and Saladin, whose exploits warm your heart as they marched their legions along a bloody path to peace.

And then there are people like the 7th Earl of Cardigan, James Thomas Lord Brudenell. What a world-without-end idiot!

The wonderful lessons of war stand close to the disciplines. While some gloried few learn that they are called to a greater mandate, most will learn that they have stepped too far.

Bully Beer

Lift high and hail the amber glass
Or darker still, the stout.
Nectar distilled of barley grass
And hops to stop about.
Salute one time the brewer's men
They've labored weeks to this.
And toast the one who bought this round
Bestowing blessed bliss.
And thank your God for life and friends
Whose hints of heaven cheer,
Good conversation without end
In warmth with bully beer.

by Evan Wilson

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Quo Vadis

If you are a Christian, the Mosaic Law ought to be abolished in your life. The Law was used, according to Galatians, as a custodian for the unregenerate, as the world, filled with the unregenerate, awaited the advent of Christ. The world's history can be a metaphor for the progress of your own soul.
You began in...
1. A state of innocence
2. The Law came
3. Sin came to life
4. You died.
5. Because you are dead, more and more Law is added in order to keep you in custody.
6. "Who shall deliver you from this body of death?"
7. You were set free from the Law and Sin and called to Righteousness by Jesus Christ
8. You, perhaps, insulted the work of Christ by turning back to the Law.
9. "What shall deliver you from this second death?"
10. Oh, I dunno, maybe it is in the Book of Galatians.

The claim for the need of Law in a Christian's life carries with it two errors.

Correction #1: First, a factual mistake of identity. If someone is in Christ and in His grace they don't need it. "Sin shall have no dominion over you for you are not under law but under grace."

Correction #2: The second error is more of an "oops", rhetorical/PR blunder. The persistent claim that Christians do need the Law, far from defining the deeper walk club, defines the user as "slaves" not "sons", living in "shadows" not "substance". The more Old Covenant you apply, the less valid your claim on the New Covenant. This error is based in the logic sprung from the definitions of the two covenants. The Old is external law under which a person dies and the New is internal law by which a person lives. This, folks, is their difference and their place of contention. One cannot be a "strong" Christian and be under the Law. Such a Christian has "nullified" the grace of God. If under the Law, you are either claiming you are a Christian that is morally retarded, internally prepared for the impious, and needing to be led around by a keeper or... you are not a Christian at all. The presence of Law claims one thing, that the person cannot be trusted to naturally live in accordance with Holiness. It says, "Hey Jesus, thanks for nothing!"

What place is there for those under the Law? They can fit in with the Mormons nicely and they'll always look better than the profligate. They get all those heady benefits of making their own religion and the gratification of insisting on it for others. Luckily "Jesus" and "Christian" are not copyright which will make what they design look more like the real thing for the other "spiritually challenged". They'll get a lot of help out of church history because their kind of spiritual retardation has been prevelent in many of the more famous chuckleheads. They'll feel like they are part of something big and lasting, you know, like "falling away from grace"(very popular over the last two millenia). It would be nice to have the help of Jesus and His Spirit but "This persuasion is not from Him who calls you." So, tragically, they will still look worse than those for whom "born from above"and "fruit of the Spirit" meant something.

Jeremiah 31:31-34 "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, `Know the LORD,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

The oracle is this: The less restrained a person is internally, the more restrained they will need to be externally. Go figure.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Let Me Think

Of my life,
on having memories of the Anne Arundel County Library
whose children's section was in the basement
down a worn, colonial staircase.

On narrow step and ever down,
My own small feet descend and rise,
Small arms filled full with pictures bound
In blessed books for children eyes.
I searched for those, an alibi
For looking, longing at my dreams
Which held a story in this wise;
To sit in quiet thought unseen.

But child life is life around
Many things of play. It tries
To, sneering, snatch away what's found
By quiet wits. They criticize
My daemon, and to exorcise,
Build games and tawdry toys between,
But pictures still within me rise
To sit in quiet thought unseen.

With age words were with pictures crowned
Without the drawings loved and prized
And hid my passion in the town
Of souls. I should apologize
To those who meanly memorized
The plays of sport and business teams.
I'm a cripple man, black-avised
To sit in quiet thought unseen.

I do not tempt, evangelize
These latent ways, my creed serene
But cross myself and catechize
To sit in quiet thought unseen.

by Evan Wilson

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Buying, Selling, and Getting Gain

Perhaps because I thought these things out in your company or perhaps it is merely the curse of thinking too much while being a graphic designer with a Kinkos nearby, but, for whatever reason, you are looking at the product resulting from my interest in the social philosophies of gentlemen and ladies.
Yes, now you can have these available for easy reference in your own pudgy hands.

The posters are 11x17 on card stock for $10 each.
The booklets are sixteen pages of tightly packed, perfunctory pith for $6 each.
Go to
for the means of contacting us with any requests.
Checks can be made out to: Evan Wilson
(Throw in $3-$5 for mailing if you are overwhelmed by the opportunity, ignoring any rational objection made by your spouse, and just send in an order.)

For the curious: The background is the carpet in my bedroom.
For the critical: perfunctory \pur-FUNGK-tuh-ree\, adjective:
1. Done merely to carry out a duty; performed mechanically or routinely.
2. Lacking interest, care, or enthusiasm; indifferent.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Petty Kingdoms, Poorly Run

"And he said to him, `Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.'"
Our lives are kingdoms held in fee. While few of us are or ever will be truly great (I have a corner lot in Moscow, Idaho and Alexander was dead by the time he was my age) we have to stand up and recognize that we are not animals. Our humanity is in our Will, our Governance, and the extent of our internal Civilization. In fact, though we are smallish kingdoms, our self knowledge has come to us accurately when it knows where is the border of our realm and the peace of the life inside it. I meditate on this when speaking to others who can't seem to find the simplest wisdom by which they could govern better.
I think, "You don't do "You" very well, do you? Maybe if you had less in Life, you could do it better.
"Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required"
We have been given humanity. It is a station, a dignity a little less than the gods. How have we scribed out the ways and orders of our lives? How have we governed? The rest of humanity watches and measures the joy of our citizens, the contentment of our queens, and the peace of our souls. Are they thinking that perhaps we were given too much?

Monday, July 10, 2006

It Has To Be Said

OOOOh! The stars in heaven and all the saints in heaven preserve us! Aiiiieeee! Italy! Beats ! France!

Yes, I know they are great athletes but so are the cannibals that chase you through the jungle.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Oh Yeah, it is the Fourth of July

Having a cookout. Ribs, beans, fixin's, friends, fireworks. The usual. There is a slight difference that I have with my fellow traveling evangelicals. They want to have the current citizen remember the sanctity of the Founders to inspire a better patriotism. I want the current citizen to be a patriot for the country as it stands today. If they think at all of the Founders, they should briefly consign such Founder's souls to a place of unremitting torment where the worm dieth not.
For the easily confused"
1. The Founders were not patriots, they were sinful rebels against their nation's king and God's anointed.
2. You can be a patriot, but love it for what it is today with today's authorities.
3. Putting a powdered wig on an evil man will not make him godly.
4., Our later benefit (financially and politically) is a crass reason to stand the teaching of Christ and His apostles on its head.
5. "Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment." Romans 13:2

Abject Again

What was I thinking? It should have been:
1. The Self is the region defined by Feeling.
(Wait a year)
2. Plus the government thereof.
(another year)
3. Any questions before we proceed?
(Two years this time because some people are shy)
4. So on and so forth....

Any more on the Self, the Will, etc. will await your personal visit to the Halls of Power (The Big Haus) where any "huh?" can be immediately responded to.

Remember that the other oracles (Delphi, Siwa Oasis, Sibyl) were notoriously obtuse. Tell me I am not qualified.

Monday, July 03, 2006

An Idea: Knowledge of the Will

The Self is defined to us in contradistinction to the Other by encountering Feeling. I am initially the extent of my Feeling and the extent of Me grows as I exercise Will to arrange my life according to my valuation of those Feelings.
That said (whether of not it finds agreement in you), it would be impossible for another sentient agent to obtain certainty of those valuations and thereby "know" which decision my Self will make necessarily. Why is this impossible? Valuation of Feeling is made in the Self from the vantage point that only that Self occupies. Another agent (by some magic) might be able to link up with my Feeling in some objective accuracy and even know every aspect of vantage that my Self brings to that Feeling. But here is the rub. The other agent cannot "only" see my Feelings from my vantage, their own vantage is inexorably tied to it. I value my Feeling without the addition of the Other agent's vantage. The Other agent could only hope to gain the true vantage I have by completely relinquishing their own additional vantage. If they did this, they would have become me for I am the agent that Feels and values from this vantage and this vantage alone. Such is the Self.

But freedom from outside knowledge of my valuation's necessity does not free the Self from the accusation of valuing and deciding in some mechanistic necessity. How is the Self free? It could be that merely its autonomy can be called free. No one else but the Self was involved in the procedure. This seems insufficient as my valuations might be necessary, given my vantage and memories of earlier vantages. Stated thus , "Anyone who stood on this spot with this history and felt thus will necessarily value said feeling as X and decide predictably." We would be the sum of some mathematical complexity running down through history from the Creation. Is there an aspect of Feeling and or Valuation that may step aside from the mathematical sum? If there is an answer it need not be for all decisions (as we know that many of our decisions are made according to the autopilot) but only needs be shown possible for one decision.

I will suggest incoherence. There may be a True portent in a given Feeling (be it Pain or Pleasure) which the feeling agent may not be privy to. It will be his valuation that grants that Feeling the working intensity on which his decision stands. It will be felt subjectively. The key word is "felt". A Feeling is an assault on a sense receptor which does not have the capability of rigid accuracy but comes in with a possible range of sense benefit or insult. It merely claims good or bad broadly and awaits the Self's valuation to have any decisional merit. But it is "Felt" and for good or ill. It does not claim to communicate how good or ill and that valuation is up to the sensation (inaccurate but actual) and our opinion of how that makes us feel. For the good of Self and the task of Self (ordering such Feelings with the fluxuating range of sensation and the similar fluxuating range of accessible data from our vantage) our exercise of decision is the first anchored point in the process. If God or another has not decided to anchor all our actions and the Life provide to us was incapable of communicating an anchor of necessity because of its vagaries, it is left then to us. Our will makes the unnecessaries of Feeling and Vantage into a necessary and we, for Peace, continue through Life, not bound by necessity but trying to bind necessity to it.