21 febrero 2007

Intense, that Republic over there... Unfathomable, this Republic over here...

thought one:
thought two:

"I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, [applause]---that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will for ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race."
* * * *
Guess who...! man, i don't like history sometimes.

thought three:
funny, we can moan and groan and pester God SO MUCH (though never, as it were, "enough") for something or some preakthrough... "Papaaaaaaá!!! Puh-leeeeeeeease! Aiyiyiyiyi! MISERICORDIA...!" (etc.)...

but then He answers and "Thank You" seems so banal. Even "THANK YOU!!!" just doesn't cut it... actually, even "THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! PAPÁ!!!! THANK YOU!" is anemic.

how can our gratitude even begin to be proportionate? we're not capable of feelings so deep as to correspond to the Supreme Being, the Ultimate Reality, listening to our sniveling requests, however great in our eyes or selfless they may seem. Ay, and for Him to answer...?

so, bueno, thank You, Father. (what else can i say?!?) see my gratitude today...

thought four:
sweet San Sebastian... how much life becomes sublime when you give up (or even start thinking about the possibility that you are not entitled to) your rights...

~> I do not have the "right" to sleep. Just because I "need" it does not necesitate my right to it. Tell the single working mother in college that you have the "right" to 7 hours of sleep. Proclaim your "needs" to the missionary doctor working in a plague afflicted region... Explain how tired you get to the pastor with hundreds of afflicted, sin-ravaged sheep... surely a mother with sick kids and a newborn would understand... Tell God that you're TOO TIRED and thusly you are understandably entitled to a bit of bad humor due to sleep deprivation...

Sleep is a blinkin' gift from God. Wanna give some of it back to Him? (check THAT!) Try it and you'll see how your heart wells with gratitude for the sweetness of His provision.

~> I do not have the "right" to eat. Just because I "need" it does not necesitate my "right" to it. Tell the hungry in North Korea that you have a "right" to food. Explain your gastronomical "rights" to the malnutritioned kids whose parents couldn't care less.... to Terry Schiavo...

Tell God you're hungry and you want food RIGHT NOW or you're going to be in a bad mood until you get some...

Food, my Lord! thank You for this amazing abundance of deliciousness we are about to partake and those sweet and selfless hands that made it and the investment of the farmers to cultivate it and the competant infrastructure of the United States to get it to us, and the rain, Lord! the rain you sent to make it grow, and the sunshine (so beautiful!) that nurtured it, and Walmart for selling it so cheaply and my job for PAYING me so much (!) for that little i do and a stable economy that gives my money worth and the beloved ones with whom i eat and... this food! the nutrients contained therein- so packed full that being sick is a surprise, and i have to worry about getting fat, not getting anemia.....


bless God for His lessons on perspective. More of it, i say...

20 febrero 2007

"consider my humanity if i don't need love... question my sanity if i don't need Your love"

thought one:
what, ontologically, beyond "because God said so," makes lying wrong? if that reason could be compromised BY TELLING THE TRUTH, would that justify lying?

thought two:

Your hope in my heart is the rarest treasure
Your Name on my tongue is the sweetest word
My choicest hours Are the hours I spend with You --
O Allah, I can't live in this world
Without remembering You--
How can I endure the next world
Without seeing Your face?
I am a stranger in Your country
And lonely among Your worshippers:
This is the substance of my complaint.
-Rabia al Basri-
"Not much is known about Rabia al Basri, except that she lived in Basra in Iraq, in the second half of the 8th century AD. She was born into poverty [and later became a slave].
Her master worked her very hard, but at night after finishing her chores Rabia would turn to meditation and prayers and praising the Lord. Foregoing rest and sleep she spent her nights in prayers and she often fasted during the day.

One day the master of the house spied her at her devotions. There was a divine light enveloping her as she prayed. Shocked that he kept such a pious soul as a slave, he set her free. Rabia went into the desert to pray and became an ascetic. Unlike many sufi saints she did not learn from a teacher or master but turned to God himself.

Throughout her life, her Love of God. Poverty and self-denial were unwavering and her constant companions. She did not possess much other than a broken jug, a rush mat and a brick, which she used as a pillow. She spent all night in prayer and contemplation chiding herself if she slept for it took her away from her active Love of God.

More interesting than her absolute asceticism, however, is the actual concept of Divine Love that Rabia introduced. She was the first to introduce the idea that God should be loved for God's own sake, not out of fear--as earlier Sufis had done.

She taught that repentance was a gift from God because no one could repent unless God had already accepted him and given him this gift of repentance. She taught that sinners must fear the punishment they deserved for their sins, but she also offered such sinners far more hope of Paradise than most other ascetics did. For herself, she held to a higher ideal, worshipping God neither from fear of Hell nor from hope of Paradise, for she saw such self-interest as unworthy of God's servants; emotions like fear and hope were like veils -- i.e. hindrances to the vision of God Himself.
Rabia was in her early to mid eighties when she died, having followed the mystic Way to the end. By then, she was continually united with her Beloved. As she told her Sufi friends, "My Beloved is always with me"

* * * *

if someone loves the Ultimate Reality enough to submit their entire self to Him and lives a life of devotion as pure as humanity is capable of, IS IT IN VAIN?

conversely, if one loves the Ultimate Reality not much at all but REALLY REALLY means it when they pray the Sinner's Prayer and is willing to be participate in life as a Christian for all their days, IS IT EFFICACIOUS?

ay, Jesus... why can't those who would love You be given the opportunity, and those who should love You use the opportunity we have... misericordia.

thought three:
"O Allah! If I worship You for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell, and if I worship You in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise. But if I worship You for Your Own sake, grudge me not Your everlasting Beauty.”

should we be willing to serve God regardless of eternity? and on another issue, is eternity so unreal to me that it makes the above expression a moot point?

thought four:

from dust you are to dust you will return... so you know what God has done FOR your soul... ahora, what are you doing with yo' soul, my friend?

14 febrero 2007

it's that time again...

i'm not in the position to say JACK about eros. Read Elizabeth Elliot and C.S. Lewis if you need help in that area. me, i know agape... i live by it. without this ironic attachment, i'd be non-existant for some 20 years now...

and heaven help me, i love valentine's day. a blinkin' whole day to be a sap. and red is a flattering color for most people. and chocolate to chemically fool you into thinking you just went running.... oooh what if you had chocolate, talked about love all day, went running and THEN wore red? you'd be high in the middle of February! andale! sorry. i actually wouldn't mind moving the holiday to april. i think it'd be easier to appreciate then. but i'm quite rambling now...

(don't mind me... i miss springtime.)

thought one:
some say that the image of God in man is LOVE rather than pure reason... (da, we can cheat and say it's both, resolve THAT little logical fallacy right there, but the implications are interesting)

thought two:
if you couldn't care less, if you are too busy to pay attention, if you ignore personhood because of your schedule...

[if i... if i... if i... my...]

what have you [i] to do with Jesus?

thought three:
Jesus... having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them until the end...
If anyone loves Me, he will keep my word, and My Father will love him and manifest Myself to him...
Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves has fulfilled the law...
Love hopes all things...
Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith.
For we have great consolation and joy in your love...
For our God is a consuming fire. Let brotherly love continue.

now, my task is to learn that love is not mere "niceties" (is that really how it's spelled? looks weird...) hmmmm... i just have so many other priorities than people right now that niceties are about all i can manage... i don't dig it at all, either. dont' feel quite human. which is hard anytime, but especially in winter.

thought four:
"The truly wide taste in humanity will (...) find something to appreciate in the cross-section of humanity whom one has to meet everyday. In my experience, it is Affection that creates this taste, teaching us first to notice, then to endure, then to smile at, then to enjoy, and finally, to appreciate the people who happen to be there.

Made for us? Thank God, no.

They are themselves, odder than you could have believed and worth far more than you guessed."

~C.S. Lewis (who else?!) The Four Loves: Affection

So, don't worry about THE ONE. Go love whomever.

01 febrero 2007

wisdom lovin' on a rainy Thursday... the first in February

thought one:
okay, so Descartes walks into this cafe, right, and the barista asks him if he'd like a double shot espresso on ice. But see, it's freezing outside and Descartes gets overly nervous if he has so much caffeine, so he's like, "Naw, I don't think..." and POOF! Poor Descartes disappears.

It's like this, my friend... if you don't think, you AREN'T. so don't be like our theoretical Descartes in the above anecdote. Think today. at least once. i'll try it too and we'll see what happens.

thought two:
defensiveness (defensivity?) is such an impairment in logic, analysis, dialogue, relationships...

what am i defensive about?

thought three:
my pet, best used logical fallacies:

"one statement does not logically follow" (there is SO a connection in my head... i just keep on forgetting to include a couple of steps verbally...)

~Red Herring-
"a side-tracked issue introduced to lead attention away from the issue being discussed" (red herrings are what keep conversations interesting. who wants to stay on topic all night?)

~Faulty Analogy-
" comparing two things that are not alike" (but they ARE alike... just start thinking outside of the box a little. you'll find so many similarities...)

~Hasty Generalization-
"conclusions drawn from too few examples." (i'm totally blaming my youth. i'll outgrow this one, i'm sure...)

~Eith/ Or Fallacy-
"and argument that ignores alternatives" (note to self: develop or procure a spirit of ingenuity post haste.)