What is the value of an actionless lament of evil? Is it not merely feeling righteous? What is it other than an emotional outpouring? What does it accomplish except allowing me to feel the problem has somehow gone away because I am so spiritual as to feel sorrow at evil? What is my faith without deeds?
When we love others, we want the best for them, which in large part just means that we want them to be the best they can be. We want to see their souls be kind, strong, and joyful. It is truly astonishing, however, how quickly and completely this good hope can turn from a love of who they were made to be into a hatred of who they are. Once we find out that they are not what we earnestly desire them to be, we become angry and frustrated with them, and cope by turning to control and manipulation. “After all,” we say to ourselves, “it is for their own good.”
What we read and hear shape what we believe and how we think. If we only read Marxist literature, would we not be Marxist? If we only read Protestant authors, would we not be Protestant? But what we believe shapes what we read. We read what we think we will like, and we like things that confirm what we already believe. Similarly, we tend to associate with people who will agree with us. It is a vicious cycle, always validating our conceptions of how the world does and ought to work. But occasionally, our beliefs are wrong. How can we then combat the propaganda we feed ourselves? How can we break the cycle?
All my life, I have heard humble men talk of being “known.” They say that all people want to be known, that everyone yearns for it. I scoffed in my arrogance. That is just old guys getting too wrapped up in themselves. I mean, isn’t it the hormoney teenager that cries to be understood? I don’t need that, I’m perfectly happy just doing God’s will and going on my merry way. I’m good, everything is fine. I don’t want to get emotional here and put a burden on you to care for me, so let’s not talk about spiritual things. Let’s not talk about this dull uneasiness I feel. All this insistence of the importance of community is just hype over a buzzword.
I listen to reason, the firm ground, the unquestionable
I listen to emotion, the safeguard against savagery, the heart’s voice
I listen to Locke, the painter of a nation of statesmen
I listen to Marx, the savior of the pigs’ exploited Continue reading “Anchor of the Maelstrom”
I believe that Blue Winds Dancing is truer than 95% of what the educated tell me is true. I, with Nietzsche, see a great battle throughout history between champions of the grand iconoclast and champions of the humble. Nietzsche tells me that humility is coping with weakness, that forgiveness is coping with inability to take revenge, that tradition is mere laziness and uncreativity. Throw off those chains and become the Übermensch! I listen, and understand what he says. Continue reading “What We Want”
I am the rich young man. I could list all the good deeds of mine, and the lack of so-called big sins. I could say, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” I could believe that I am actually working hard towards the goal. I could believe that I am giving it my all, that I am living the true Christian life. Continue reading “The Rich Young Man”