Saturday, June 27, 2020
Friday, June 26, 2020
Thursday, June 25, 2020
Where do you live?
Are you a liar? Or are you a truth-teller? And what do you hear? Are you listening?
The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth. (-H.L Mencken)
I live somewhere that is a good shelter. I am not homeless in the current understanding of homelessness. There are many who suffer that difficulty.
The attempt to tell and dwell in truth is a curious effort. So, one prays. To whom one prays, or for what, is also a curiosity.
To pray is to build your own house. To pray is to discover that Someone else is within your house. To pray is to recognize that it is not your house at all. To keep praying is to have no house to protect because there is only One House. And that One House is everybody’s home. In other words, those who pray from the heart actually live in a very different and ultimately dangerous world, It is a world that makes the merely physical world seem anemic, illusory, and relative. The word "real" takes on a new meaning, and we find ourselves judging with utterly new scales, weights, and standards. Be careful of such house-builders, for their loyalties will lie in very different directions. They will be very different kinds of citizens, and the state will not so easily depend on their salute. That is the politics of prayer. And that is probably why truly spiritual people are always a threat to politicians of any sort. They want our allegiance, and we can no longer give it, our house is too big.
(p.4, What the Mystics Know, by Richard Rohr, c. 2015)
Has the passing of the old God paved the way for a new kind of religious project, a more responsible way to seek, sound, and love the things we call divine? Has the suspension of dogmatic certainties and presumptions opened a space in which we can encounter religious wonder anew? Situated at the split between theism and atheism, we now have the opportunity to respond in deeper, freer ways to things we cannot fathom or prove.
Distinguished philosopher Richard Kearney calls this condition ana-theos, or God after God-a moment of creative "not knowing" that signifies a break with former sureties and invites us to forge new meanings from the most ancient of wisdoms. Anatheism refers to an inaugural event that lies at the heart of every great religion, a wager between hospitality and hostility to the stranger, the otherthe sense of something "more." By analyzing the roots of our own anatheistic moment, Kearney shows not only how a return to God is possible for those who seek it but also how a more liberating faith can be born.
Kearney begins by locating a turn toward sacred secularity in contemporary philosophy, focusing on Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Paul Ricoeur. He then marks "epiphanies" in the modernist masterpieces of James Joyce, Marcel Proust, and Virginia Woolf. Kearney concludes with a discussion of the role of theism and atheism in conflict and peace, confronting the distinction between sacramental and sacrificial belief or the God who gives life and the God who takes it away. Accepting that we can never be sure about God, he argues, is the only way to rediscover a hidden holiness in life and to reclaim an everyday divinity.
(--Columbia University Press, re. Anatheism, Returning to God After God, by Richard Kearney, c.2009)
According to the moral standards most of us accept and live by, morality generally permits us to refrain from promoting the good of others and instead engage in non-harmful projects of our own choice.1 This aspect of so called "ordinary morality" has turned out to be very difficult to justify. Recently, though, various authors, including Bernard Williams and Samuel Scheffler, have proposed moral theories that would vindicate this aspect of ordinary morality, at least in part.2 Those theories are Integrity Theories. They are generated by treating as a default some moral theory, like consequentialism, that demands. that we do a great deal of good. The theory is then modified so as to make room for individuals to pursue the projects they value most deeply, and perhaps their trivial inter ests as well-i.e., so as to respect individual integrity. The result is (allegedly) a theory that contains agent-centered prerogatives to pursue one's projects and interests rather than the agent-neutral good.
Thus described, Integrity Theories don't fully vindicate every aspect ordinary morality; in fact, they don't even vindicate every ordinary aspect of agent-centered prerogatives. Those prerogatives, as ordinary conceived, are not only prerogatives to pursue our projects and interests, but other non-harmful courses of action as well-e.g., lazing on the couch and doing nothing. Still, Integrity Theories can take us a certain distance toward a vindication of ordinary morality by explaining why we can pursue our own projects and interests rather than the greater good.
(-- Rajczi, Alex. “Integrity and Ordinary Morality.” American Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 44, no. 1, 2007, pp. 15–26. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/20464351. Accessed 25 June 2020.)
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Lord God and Maker of all things,
Creation is upheld by you.
While all must change and know decay,
You are unchanging, always new.
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal, (—from hymn, sext, Monday, 22june2020)
Monday, June 22, 2020
When my father died
The feared intruder entered the house
I was never sure about this entrance
Now I think it was the illusory belief
Someone had died — the frightening presence
No separation, merely open space that all is.
Belief has lingered a long time and is a long
Intrusion vacated. Alone unfearing peace