Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mind Fried over Easy

Sorry for the absence of postings but I have been preparing to speak at the Society for Classical Learning conference in Raleigh. I leave tomorrow and will be back in Moscow later on Saturday. I will be giving four talks .
They are:
1) From Dusk to Dark: The Fall of Rome
2) The Discarded Image: Lewis on the medieval model of the universe
3) The High and Lifted Up: Hierarchy and Egalitarianism
4) Education to Order the Soul

Pray for my audience. I will be saying the unthinkable.
Pray for me. The unthinkable needs to be well thought and well spoken.

I will also be taking copies of my new edition of A Biblical Antiquity to see if schools might be interested in using it. If you are interested in using it, I have posted a minicatalog at the Big Haus website with an order form.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Are You Annoyed Yet?

Annoyance bugs the heck out of me.
You too?
The annoyed are an unpleasant lot.
Let us dissect their importune contribution to our social life.

This is a low level emotion that seems less controllable for that lowness.
Let us define what, in the Oracle's world, emotions are all about. Emotion is the directional, axis specific valuation of the impact Reality has on your view of it. The intensity of said emotion varies in the distance which your "view of reality" discovers itself to be relative to Reality and the inevitable insult that discovery is.
Now back to the annoyed.
Someone did something wrong, incorrectly, without consulting the handbook you mentally published on the topic.
You are annoyed.
Is it because you hold ultimately true opinions and your love for truth automatically measures those that failed?
Is your heart, both pitying and seeking justice, wrestling with their failure and the needed correction?
Are you only seeking to bring Reality into conformance with your "view of reality"?

I think I see what you see as the problem. You say it is an "Is and Oughtness" problem. Reality is, and your intentions for Reality is described as the Ought.
Where do I place the problem? Naturally the annoyed are a greater problem in my world. It may be because I annoy so many and am annoyed by so few. Forgive me this one time.
The annoyed have posited that those that failed are the failure that bothers them. I think that what annoys the annoyed is their own failure. The unwillingness, the incompetence, the outright rebellion of those that messed up the assigned task, is due to the unwillingness, incompetence and outright uppityness of those that claim governance over the tasked region.
The suggestion I make regarding the annoyed's annoyance at the failure of task efficiency, quality, and correctness is easy to spot when the task is not ultimate or moral. To not sweep the sidewalk "correctly" is not a violation of cosmic standards. It is felt like it is when the annoyed look on from the side. Annoyed people treat it like a slap in the face. Why? Because it is like a slap in the face. It is an insult to their will. Will is the center of all that a person is and this annoyance grabs them like some stranger had bossed their wife or child.

So it is, O Oracle, but now what?
The place annoyance holds on the sliding scale of negative emotions is due to the distance the annoyed's "view of reality" had to the impertinence of Reality. If this is you, you are actually annoyed ( in a way that those of us who watch do not enjoy) because you have discovered that you are not the god of sidewalk sweepage. You thought you had such great views on sweeping that the universe and all opinions therein, should seek out your abiding wisdom and conform to it. You would rather have your standard examined in your annoyance than your claim of governance. Reality did not tell you were wrong in the standards, it told you were not in charge. The offended majesty of kings is a noble thing. The offense your majesty endured is petulant and above itself.
You would not be annoyed so much? Accept Reality's suggestion. They, the task idiots, just told you that you were not able to govern or it wasn't yours to govern. Find out if you really are the lord of all sweeping. If you are not, shut the heck up and be about your own business. If you are, find out how to govern that laudable arena. That responsibility steps past the pettishness of your discovery that you, not they, were doing it all wrong.

Friday, June 08, 2007

You Want A Peace of Me?

There is a lot of Evil in the world. We see it all round and we see it in ourselves. Since there is Evil and must be a God (or nothing would exist), we have two choices about who He is.

Either God’s omnipotence is irresistably necessary to the existence of all phenomena, evil included.
God’s potency (whether omni or just poly) functions monarchically and relationally with an Other and is, because of the presence of such Other wills, phenomenally resistible (if only temporarily), hence evil.

So you have, in the most subjective of wordings, an omnipotent demon or a thwartable benevolence.
I am less interested (in this post) in the selection between the two positions with reference to the arguments, subjective or otherwise. I was thinking about something else today. I consider that the chief end of man in a futile world is the pursuit of peace. I was wondering which kind of peace was offered by each.

It would seem that he who realized he worshiped an omnipotent demon (aside from the knowledge that his knowledge regarding this omnipotent demon was suspect, since that thought was itself the result of some irresistible external power) would realize that the best, nay only, rational response is impotent resignation (which of course you could only feel if the demon decided it was in his best interests to so design). The Stoics (whom I admire) took this tact. You weren’t gonna dodge the bullets that Fate shot at you, so step into them like a man. If peace is the emotional condition of being in order, the impotence of man steps into a peace by letting, without cavil, the god to do his whatever and agree with it. Order (crafting pattern) could not be divined (no pun intended) if any nonacceptance of event is kept. All that is, is the expression of the omnipotent will, all that is, is His pattern. We see Evil and Chaos because His will is unreachable by the human participant. But our chief end is not Peace conceptually gained in the heavens by some other agent, we want Peace felt in ourselves because we feel things, dang it. In the pantheism of the exhaustive omnipotence, the only felt peace for the man is in fatalistic acceptance. The order/pattern is found by matching one's own will with the obvious Over-Will known by what happens.

I know some folks who have found that degree of peace. Sometimes it is academically peace-giving (if God’s greater glory is impugned in an argument that theorizes a spouse running off with the neighbor) or circumstantially peace-giving (should your spouse actually do it). “Who can make straight what God has made crooked” but you can at least align your opinions with His.

The peace potential of the Polypotent (potent in many ways) or the Omnipotent (if He created an Other) is different. Since it is a relational power of the God, (potential thwarting is necessary for Other to exist), His benevolence is possible to acknowledge discreetly since all that happens is not necessarily His doing. Since He can be averred to be good and one who desires peace for me, (acknowledging a commonly understood good that we both desire), his great power is an aid and a lordship to mine own potency. I can have a potent hope in crafting a peace unintended by the Nature of things or the evil will of others. If God’s power can be thwarted (in the phenomenal moment), most certainly, so can all other powers.

This is certainly incomplete. It was a morning coffee thing which ended up on scratch paper. Correct away! Spare not my feelings! I think that "polypotent" may be a new word.

If you comment, discuss what I have missed in the pursuit of Peace aspect of each theory, not which theory is true about God.

As C.S. Lewis said, “The doctrine of Total Depravity — when the consequence is drawn that, since we are totally depraved, our idea of good is worth simply nothing — may thus turn Christianity into a form of devil-worship.”
and “I am going to submit that not even Omnipotence could create a society of free souls without at the same time creating a relatively independent and “inexorable” Nature.”

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

An Oracle: On the Effect of your Company

Now or tomorrow
Lift or descend
Broaden or narrow
Light or dark
Touch or shun
Immortal or moment
Deep or shallow
Language or lingo
Venture or hide
Conquer or bow
Fit or divide
Find or lose
Better or worse

Monday, June 04, 2007

Vanity on Top of Vanity

In the publishing world, the self published go to vanity presses which gouge their customers for copious amounts of money because these under appreciated artistes so want to see their efforts (Collected Songs of Kansas in the Quiet Solitude of Love by Eleanor Spasm) in print.

Here is mine.

Feeding off rejection like it were the Breakfast of Champeens, I have rewritten, edited, combined into one volume, what Logos Materials used to publish as two.

A Biblical Antiquity
Ancient History in Context with the Bible
190 pp.
Coil bound
Covers antiquity from Egypt and Mesopotamia through First Century Rome and illuminating where it interfaces with the Biblical record.

The Amazing Missus is doing the final edit for comma abuse and insensible sense.
If you want one (or twelve) badly, it'll cost you $25 each plus $3 shipping.

Write for more info or to demand your fair share of my vanity.
My email should be at the top of this page.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Groove

I spoke to the graduates of Montrose Academy this year. I centered my speech on the Groove.
The note below sums it up.

The Groove is a good place to be. You are “on” and everything goes well. People like you and are willing to consider and even agree with your positions. People thrust jobs and accolades on you when you find yourself in the Groove. Eligible young women stand slack jawed at your approach. Or conversely, valiant young men nervously stand, with hat in hand, and consider calling your father. It is the result when, out of your piety and education, a moment happens when the theories of correct loves and of ordinate placement becomes an effective, lived action matching a moment perfectly. You get it right and you are on the beat, in harmony, and you know the words of the song that’s playing.
A brief and cursory examination of the phenomena gives us immediate things to consider
Here are four parts I’ve recognized from when it happens.
“The Groove” has...
Modesty, which is not busiest declaring oneself.

Peace has ordered, successfully and wisely, the life you have thus far.

Morale involves losing well because losing tells the wise needed realities about themselves.

A Light heart is the emotional sum of meeting Futility with Modesty, Peace and Morale. How could you not be rejoicing? You have pleased God not merely by having a good quality or an educated mind but by arranging it all with Life. “God has made everything beautiful in its time.” Solomon says in Ecclesiastes, shortly after he had said there was “a time for every matter under heaven.”. Do not be anxious for tomorrow. Today has enough trouble but God's grace is for today. These are the lyrics of the Kingdom. These are virtues of the Kingdom. Make them metrical.