A lot of us have “been diagnosed” with specific personality or mental conditions. I don’t formally have such a diagnosis (I’ve not yet seen anyone qualified to do it for me); but I’m sure there are several people around who’d be glad to offer suggestions! The thing I worry about is the effects I have seen such diagnoses have on people – the self-defining, self-shaping label it provides. It does affect one’s self-perception, expectations of what they can probably do, or not do, and how they are likely to behave. It really does, in my experience. So it narrows a person’s view of themselves and their world – and thus clearly restricts their potential.
In pretty much his last words to the American people, Abraham Lincoln began the wrap-up of his Second Inaugural Address with these famous, beautiful ideals: With malice toward none, with charity for all . . . And I think he really meant it. In a nation that was an ocean of anger and blaming and malice, he asked us to move forward without malice. “Malice: Intention to harm or deprive in an illegal or immoral way. Desire to take pleasure in another’s misfortune.” [Wiktionary]
Here’s my ex-temp ramble in response to the line “momentum succumbs to entropy” seen elsewhere . . . + and you can say entropy succumbs to momentum. – but you have to have an energy source for momentum. + well, the plants and animals find energy to bloom and bear seeds and run and climb; so can we – but they all die + and more come – but the energy-supply machine (the sun) is running down
Here are two very important words of advice we are not allowed to follow: 1. Pick your parents very carefully. 2. Pick the century and year of your birth carefully. Jeremiah, often called “the Weeping Prophet,” perhaps did ok in picking his parents, but he picked a horrible time-frame in which to work! Below is a list I found of short descriptions of this prophet.* 1. He was at once gentle and tenacious, affectionate and inflexible.
I. Pessimistic Here’s a sad quote from a good Catholic philosopher, going from his own knowledge of history: In nearly every historical case we can think of, the bias of a group lasts the lifetime of the group… Truly moral communities hardly ever result from the reformation of a previously selfish community. They nearly always spring from prophetic leaders who gather members from among the disenfranchised in other communities. That is, the institutions of the religious right are unlikely to reform themselves, and are likely to continue losing people to more carefully Biblical fellowships.
Bad News Warren Buffett, the widely respected Omaha multi-billionaire, used the phrase “Pearl Harbor” to describe the significance of our nation’s current economic crisis, a phrase he has never before used about the economy. Many other very reputable people feel the same way. “Pearl Harbor” was a very damaging air attack on our forces in Hawaii and it got us involved in World War II. It was a surprise, deadly, and very frightening It took a demanding and costly effort, but we did pull out of it. The sense of things now seems to be that again we are in for some rough years,
God, good beyond all that is good, fair beyond all that is fair, in you is calmness peace and concord. Heal the dissensions that divide us from one another and bring us back to a unity of love bearing some likeness to your divine nature. Amen – Dionysius of Alexandria, A.D. 264 This is from another
The prior post (“Twillight of the Gods – Greed and Money“) mentioned increasing economic distress throughout our nation. This is for real. I expect it will continue, though the extent to which it spreads and strengthens, and it’s impact on our international positions, are very much debatable questions. We could be facing major tragedies in our economic life. That means major tragedies for millions of individual Americans and their families. But we could also be moving into a time of repentance.
A man saw the whole world as a grinning skull and crossbones. The rose flesh of life shriveled from all faces. Nothing counts. Everything is a fake. Dust to dust and ashes to ashes and then an old darkness and a useless silence. So he saw it all. Been there? Done that?
Here’s another excerpt from Stephen Vincent Benet – a man who saw, who felt, who cared much about America, and who could write it down. This is from Selected Works: Vol I: Poetry, p464 – “Nightmare at Noon.” (USA, NYC, 1940) Oh yes, I know the faults … The lyncher’s rope, the bought justice, the wasted land, The scale on the leaf, the borers in the corn, The finks with their clubs, the grey sky of relief, All the long shame of our hearts and the long disunion. I am merely remarking – as a country, we try. As a country, I think we try. They tried in Spain but the tanks and the planes won out. They fought very well and long. They fought to be free but it seems that was not enough. They did not have the equipment …