Saturday, March 17, 2012

Of Purpose & Error

  Enjoyed Pascal's Provincial Letters more than I thought I would; the abstract reasonings of theology are far more satisfying when embedded in their human context...

  But anyway, on to Pensées: there's some real gems scattered amongst the fragments. These hastily jotted thoughts were intended to form the never completed Apology for the Christian Religion, and with that purpose in mind, consider the following;
  "When we do not know the truth of a thing, it is of advantage that there should exist a common error which determines the mind of a man, as, for example, the moon, to which is attributed the change of seasons, the progress of diseases, etc...

  ... For the chief malady of man is restless curiosity about things which he cannot understand; and it is not so bad for him to be in error as to be curious to no purpose".
- Pascal, Pensées, I.18 

Friday, November 25, 2011

On elections

It's election day today and there's no one that even deserves a protest vote. I thought I'd limit myself to just one piece of commentary. Nobody listens to us.

Friday, November 18, 2011

She cannot countenance patu things

patu as
 patu; 1: a Maori club; 2: to strike, or kill; 3: by extension, anything broken, maimed or otherwise f***ed!
  As in, "I'd rather have nothing than look at that patu thing" she said as I first rolled - then unrolled and obediently folded - the old sheet serving in our bedroom for a curtain (because she'd thrown the old curtains out).

  And I laughed. And then laughed again as it struck me that right there was the root of so many arguments in our house: I'd rather have anything than nothing. But not her.  If it's not a beautiful thing then it's not to be tolerated - she cannot countenance patu things.

  We agree a lot on our love of lovely things, but here we part ways, and, here I'm forced to admit that I love a lot of unlovely things too, and especially those that serve me well.  In fact, the better they serve me the more I love them. And, the more they give to serve (old hammers, old trucks, old dogs, old ropes, old whiskey, old jeans, old jokes), the more I love 'em for it too.

  What's going on here? Am I just making usefulness (givingness?) a category of beautiful and then equating the resulting *regard/appreciation* with *love*.  Or does love actually just mean what it means; a setting of the heart upon resulting in actions consistent with affection.  Doesn't the Bible speak to us kinda plainly concerning love?  Assuming that the love of God is somehow still analogous enough to our experience that we can share a conversation with Him about it?

  Then I love that old sheet; I hang it up and my bedroom becomes a sanctum, closed to prying eyes and early sunbeams.  And when we finally get some new curtains she'll want to chuck the old sheet away and she'll give it to me for rags....

 ... And when she's not looking... I'll fold it up lovingly and put it safely at the back of the linen cupboard.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Our Life in Boxes

The good ship Orchardopia is about to slip her moorings again.

Which'll make for our twelfth time in eight years of marriage (we take the biblical injunction to conduct ourselves as pilgrims and sojourners seriously).

So please excuse the slim weblog offerings as well as my tardiness in responding to your worthy comments; we have our life in boxes.

Our Life in Boxes

Monday, August 1, 2011

Like Rubber & Cheese

A little snippet from the home-schoolers journal today. I doubt that Joseph is familiar with the phrase "chalk and cheese", but I couldn't resist reading that into his story anyway.

It reads;

  Mr Rubber and Mr Cheese are best friends. They like to drink ice-water and talk about God.

* * * * *


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

On Instrumentality (in the Economy of Love)

  OK, I just came upon a criterion; now it may not be at all new to you lot out there, but I feel that it is both a fresh and somewhat helpful (to me) articulation of that which I have come to hold dear in the ethical sphere; henceforth, no man (me) shall use that which he does not love.  Or in other words, love is that which qualifies man to make use of any object.   Or rather, nothing is to be instrumentalised or objectified without first meeting the criterion of being loved.

  Now, I did at first wonder if this criterion didn't fall over in regard to filthy lucre (the love of filthy lucre being the root of many kinds of evil) until I realised that money is but a means to an end, rather than an end in itself by definition, hence, my criterion still stands.

Camellia sp.

  This particular expression of the command to love occurred to me as I was sitting in a tree (camellia japonica) and considering which of it's limbs to hack from it's living body.  Obviously, anyone engaging in any such endeavour without being informed by the divine prerogative is going to do more harm than good, but I would suggest that the same holds true for every human endeavour.  Thoughts?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

On the Making of a Theologian

The Death Mask and Gloves of Dr. Martin Luther
"I did not learn my theology all at once, but I had to search deeper for it, where my temptations took me. Not understanding, reading, or speculating, but living, - nay, dying and being damned - make a theologian"

- Martin Luther