Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Because I Said So vs. Because I Did So (or My Way is the High Way)

Does the existence of man denote a self-imposed limit on God's freedom? Much of the Theo-Drama touches on this touchy question without providing any tangible answer. Yes, there are easy answers to the question if one reverts to dogma. But that just recalls my father's all-purpose answer: "because I said so." Some of us can't be satisfied with that response, even if it conveys the truth. Instead, we want to know why you say so.

I haven't yet had to say that to my son, and I hope I never do. Not to say I can't be authoritarian. However, instead of "because I said so," I might say, for example, because that's the way it is. In other words, it is not "I" who says so, but reality which does. I would then explain why reality operates in this frustrating or painful manner, and how reality always "bites back" if you violate it.

Let's say Andrew Sullivan comes to me in tears, asking why he can't marry his boyfriend. I would calmly explain that a man cannot marry a man, that it is an impossibility. If he pressed the issue, I wouldn't end the conversation with "because I said so." Rather, I would explain that this is the way it is, and that even if the law imposes homosexual marriage on us, homosexuals still cannot live in a state of "marriage," any more than I can make my aunt a trolley car by judicial fiat, or a Fiat by judicial folly.

It seems to me that "because I said so" indicates a position of weakness. But if one is in a weak position, one should simply acknowledge it. Just say, "I don't really know," or "it sounded like a good idea at the time." Don't pretend you have all the answers.

So Balthasar asks the question -- a question we all need to ask our Father -- is God "powerless in the face of autonomous man's 'No'? And how is this divine powerlessness related to the Godforsakenness of his Son on the Cross?"

The answer inevitably shades off into theo-drama, which is the "long" answer to that question, precisely (for it takes ages to be fully revealed). In other words, the structure of the theo-drama would seem to imply something about the nature of God's power over his own creation -- that there are certain limits that even he will not violate. It's as if he needs to operate within his own self-imposed boundaries in order to try to overcome man's autonomous "No," otherwise the Victory is tainted.

Here again, it would be easy enough for God to just say because I said so. Isn't this the way things work in the Islamic world? Sharia is the imposition of "God's will" on everyone, like it or not. "But why must we force women to live in black bags, or murder our rebellious daughters, or beat men who shave their beards?" Shut up!, he explained.

Much of this follows from the conception of a monistic god, which then imposes a strict dualism of god-->man. But the Trinitarian God is fundamentally different, as its intrinsic activity involves the self-emptying of the Father with respect to the Son.

Again, the Father doesn't "hold back" anything, but "gives his all." Thus, his power is in his powerlessness, so to speak. But within the Trinity, this gift is accepted by the Son with eternal gratitude and humility, and then "returned" to the Father in an "enriched" form, if we may put it thus.

Apparently, we have no real access to the goings-on inside the Trinity. However, I think I can get some sense of the eternal delight in observing how this plays out with my own son. The amount of love and care that parents give to their infant cannot be measured. It's about as close to "infinite" as you can imagine, in part because their needs are infinite.

But now that he's four years old, we're starting to see the love we poured into him, not just returning to us, but spreading out into the world. What can I say? It's a marvelous thing to behold.

Yes, you could say that it's only your own love returning back to you, so what's the big deal? And yet, it is a big deal. Something happens to the love by virtue of letting it go and pouring it into your infant, before whom you are helpless. Let Mrs. G tell you stories about the profound helplessness a mother feels toward a colicky baby. Some mothers have been known to abuse or murder their babies rather than tolerate the pain of that helplessness.

My mind just went to the image of Christ's pain on the cross. But imagine the pain of the Father! Now my mind flashes to Saddam torturing children in the presence of their parents. If you have children, you know that this is "unimaginable" pain, probably even outside satan's limits. And yet, this literally unimaginable pain is at the very heart of the Christian mystery. What's going on?

So you can see right away that God's answer to the question of "why," goes way beyond "because I said so." The question now becomes more like, "why are you doing this to yourself? You're God. You don't have to endure this unimaginable pain. Just smite Man and be done with it. He's not worth it."

Hmmmmmm....

Hmmmmmm....

Hmmmmmm....

While we wait for an answer, consider this: "Infinite love is seen, in that God has identified himself with what is alien to him in order to kill it." In math, the multiplication of two negatives is a positive. Could it be that Death x Death = Life? Or Pain x Pain = Joy?

Can death be killed? If so, can we kill our own death? Inquiring minds want to know!

They say that one of the problems in having a child is that your heart is no longer in your own body. Rather, it's now set loose in the world, outside your body, running around free. It's completely helpless and vulnerable -- anything can happen, and you have no control over it. And yet, God sets loose his heart into the world. What madness is this!

Again, why would one set loose one's most cherished possession in this world, of all places?! I can't even imagine doing that with my child. Rather, I will do everything within my power to protect him from the world. Our culture has become the enemy. When "in" it, you are in hostile territory. Any spiritually sane person understands this.

But God's heart wanders around everywhere, high and low: with whores, drunks, lepers, tax collectors, leftists. For this heart, in order to overcome death, must embrace all. He must taste the whole existentialada.

Imagine flushing your child down the toilet, and you get the idea. There can be no limits to his descent, not even human limits. Rather, he must descend to the hidden dimensions of the cosmos, to the vast network of filthy arteries beneath our brightly lit cultures, every last dreadful one of them. He must break free of every "prison of finitude," only in order to find himself in a more vast prison system.

But why? Why must it be this way?

All of this must be so. And it must be hidden, and men have no inkling of what is occurring. They simply walk on past it as over the dark pipes and drains that form the gruesome catacombs under our big cities. Up above the sun is beaming; peacocks fan out their tails; young people frolic with glee, their light clothes puffed by the wind -- and no one knows the price. --Balthasar, Heart of the World

To be continued...

48 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

They say that one of the problems of having a child is that your heart is no longer in your own body. Rather, now it's set loose in the world, completely helpless and vulnerable. And yet, God set loose his heart into the world. What madness!

One of the things I think about sometimes is what Mary must have gone through, watching the drama come to its climax. In truth, it is incomprehensible.

6/02/2009 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Julie, indeed.
There is an incredibly heart-wrenching scene in The Passion of The Christ where, I believe it is both Marys who take towels and clean up Jesus’ blood after everyone has left. It just can’t be left there…

6/02/2009 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Wonderful post, Bob.
It is true about placing your heart in your child. I always say I hope I can live up to this decision which was not up to me.
It does return in unexpected ways times ten at least – too great to count. It comes back as tears of joy...when his love radiates out beyond you.

6/02/2009 09:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Off topic, but I just want to say that I would hope that a wise white man who has been discriminated against by the state will come to better decisions than a latina who has benefitted from discrimination her whole life.

6/02/2009 09:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Gazriel said...

Bob said, "In other words, the structure of the theo-drama would seem to imply something about the nature of God's power over his own creation -- that there are certain limits that even he will not violate. It's as if he needs to operate within his own self-imposed limits in order to try to overcome man's autonomous "No," otherwise the Victory is tainted.


The recognition and acceptance of the natural boundaries and limitations of reality is a means of expressing devotion and love for God, which is really devotion and Love for one's very own existence. It is the rules that define us, that form us, that shape us. Well, that combined with and absolutely dynamic and creative Principle that is capable of spontaneously introducing new-ness into the Totality. Funny how things that seem contradictory manage to align when one sees manifestation horizontally and vertically.

And later in the post, "Again, why would one set loose one's most cherished possession in this world, of all places?! I can't even imagine doing that with my child. Rather, I will do everything within my power to protect him from the world. Our culture has become the enemy. When "in" it, you are in hostile territory. Any spiritually sane person understands this."

This culture is most assuredly infested with darkness, is spiritually bankrupt, has lost its way. But not being a father myself I can't even imagine what it must be like deciding on what to let in the Radiance of a child's heart and mind.

At some point, obviously later on in development, do you explain the infected state of culture? Is it something that the child needs to see, the horror of the reality he/she was born into? As they grow into adulthood it wouldn't be safe for them to be naive about how people are; selfish, ignorant, hostile, sexually aggresive, lazy, and too proud to recognize the magnificance of their Creator.

I mean, understanding the interdependent nature of things, isn't even the sweet and innocent child at one with that despicableness? How can they learn about themseves if they are ignorant or fearful of the hideousness of their brothers and sisters? We don't just want them to lok out at the world and see 'the Devil,' right? Compassion, understanding, forgiveness, these are the qualities to promote and nurture, but how can we do this without exposure and understanding?

Man, don't know if I am ready to have me some babies...!

6/02/2009 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In a way, my son knows more about the world than the typical liberal, as he knows that it's full of bad guys that need to be killed. It's just a matter of retaining that understanding. He also instinctively understood how important it was for the Lakers to defeat that tattooed gang of repellant thugs from Denver.

6/02/2009 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Dupree, were you reading this?

6/02/2009 10:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Liberal treachery has no bottom.

6/02/2009 10:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Why? said...

"But why? Why must it be this way?

All of this must be so. And it must be hidden, and men have no inkling of what is occurring. They simply walk on past it as over the dark pipes and drains that form the gruesome catacombs under our big cities. Up above the sun is beaming; peacocks fan out their tails; young people frolic with glee, their light clothes puffed by the wind -- and no one knows the price. --Balthasar, "

So there's no hope of answering this why?

Why have we been given this gift at so great a price?

6/02/2009 10:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Be patient. We're only in the first act.

6/02/2009 10:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Why? said...

Patience is difficult when the curtain may close any day...

6/02/2009 10:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Cassandra said...

When I had my first child, I was amazed that, for the first time in my life, I really loved someone more than myself. If there had been that proverbial lifeboat where one of us had to be sacrificed, I KNEW wouldn't have hesitated to jump out. In all honesty, I couldn't be so SURE I'd do that for my husband, however much I loved him. (It's a moot point, since he would jump long before I had a chance to think about it...It's a male thing.)

When I was pregnant with my second child and getting closer and closer to delivery, I began to panic. How could I bring this child into the world, seeing that I could never love anyone as much as little 'Susie?' This poor kid would always be a (gasp!) second-class citizen. But, instead of calling Dr. Tiller, I gave birth, and discovered.....again to my amazement.....that I loved this one just as much.

In fact, if anything,I loved both little 'Susie' and little 'Johnny' more than just 'Susie' alone....or at least I appreciated the uniqueness of each more.

And so it went with the next two kids,...which gave me a glimpse of how God could love an infinite number of children.

6/02/2009 10:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Cassandra said...

The scene in 'The Passion' that broke my heart is the flashback Mary has of Jesus falling down when he was a litle boy.

6/02/2009 10:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post as usual, especially the Ring Lardner quote.

6/02/2009 10:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Cassandra said...

"The recognition and acceptance of the natural boundaries and limitations of reality is a means of expressing devotion and love for God, which is really devotion and Love for one's very own existence. " --- Gazriel

That really ties in with yesterday's post and comments, too!

6/02/2009 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger robinstarfish said...

Baby you're the keeper of the flame
And you burn so bright
Why, why, why, why, why, why don't we reconnect
And move on further into the light
-VM

6/02/2009 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Patience is difficult when the curtain may close any day...

True, and yet that's just all the more reason to be patient, and trust.

(Again, not that I've managed it yet.)

6/02/2009 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger robinstarfish said...

They simply walk on past it as over the dark pipes and drains that form the gruesome catacombs under our big cities.

Cleanup on aisle seven.

6/02/2009 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Lifting the weight off a guilty conscience.

6/02/2009 12:28:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Comparatively late in life, however, I have discovered what ought to have been obvious to me before —books of photographs can form the template or occasion of prolonged meditation and reflection. Of no book of photographs is this more true than of Kombinat.

Teddy Dalrymple has an extraordinary new essay in which he muses on topics we've recently been discussing here in the OC den.

6/02/2009 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

The answer inevitably shades off into theo-drama, which is the "long" answer to that question, precisely (for it takes ages to be fully revealed)

Yes, the answer is unknowable to man until the end of history. I think it falls into the category that Jesus was talking about in Acts 1 -- only the Father knows, and He ain't talkin'. Or, He could tell you, but then He'd have to kill you.

6/02/2009 03:06:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>>All of this must be so<<

Yes, in a way we can't comprehend now or perhaps will never comprehend fully, and still, I think something becomes clear after a time of spiritual searching: That only through suffering, divine and human, was/is Creation possible. There was/is no other way.

6/02/2009 03:47:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

If the unfolding of Creation and our creative role in it do correspond with drama, then there is a consolation - at the conclusion of a drama we see all that had been foreshadowed, hinted at, made mysterious, etc., cohere and made sensible. What had been a seeming chaos or random-ness becomes a symmetry, a mosaic.

This assumes, of course, that the playwright was not Harold Pinter, who, in any event, was not really a playwright, but a prince of destruction, a culture destroyer.

6/02/2009 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I'm going to be an optimist and assume that the reason our favorite stories have conflicts and resolutions, mystery and clarity, and a satisfying ending is another aspect of as above, so below.

But you were definitely right about the necessity of suffering.

6/02/2009 04:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob, and to a lesser extent Gazriel;

Why so down on our culture? There's tons of love out there. The bad stuff is there but not as prominent as the good. Millions of loving families say "we like it here, we like it now."

This is a good time to be in culture. Our culture is fabulously rich and varied. It offers a field of unlimited possibilities.

No need to overly fear sending out the child into culture; without it there's nothing/nobody else to play with but the parents/siblings. No offense, but that's not going to cut the mustard.

A child needs a field of challenges. Give your child some credit; you survived culture, and so will he.

More serious dangers lurk inside, when your child encounters and grapples with his own sexual drive, aggressive urges, selfishness, laziness, etc. That's when the teardrops start.

Recount your own life and you'll have to admit this is so.

6/02/2009 04:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

You are either not wise enough or not old enough to remember when culture opposed our basest impulses.

6/02/2009 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"I might say, for example, because that's the way it is. In other words, it is not "I" who says so, but reality which does. I would then explain why reality operates in this frustrating or painful manner, and how reality always "bites back" if you violate it."

Ho! It's a real balancing act to explain reality to children.
I didn't want our daughters to be too paranoid about the land sharks out there, but I also didn't want them to think they would always be protected or safe, and that precautions are necessary.

Sometimes I got blank looks as I could be somewhat longwinded when explaining reality. I eventually realized that there's some things our kids would never fully realize until they actually experienced it.
Often we would hear "Mom, or Dad, you were right." Or deeper questions such as "Why are some people like that?" In response to cruel classmates.

But we never said "because I said so," or "you wouldn't understand,"
or any lazy responses that basically say "you can never know why."

We encouraged the seeking of answers and also asking the right questions.
Both our kids often understood reality more than I expected at times. Other times we worked to undo the damage that some public teachers had done, while praising the teachers that did their jobs well, not only teaching the subject matter but inspiring kids to seek out the truth for themselves.

However, explaining reality to our daughters would've been a lot easier if One Cosmos had been around at the time. :^)

6/02/2009 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Cassandra-

"In fact, if anything,I loved both little 'Susie' and little 'Johnny' more than just 'Susie' alone....or at least I appreciated the uniqueness of each more.

And so it went with the next two kids,...which gave me a glimpse of how God could love an infinite number of children."

Thanks for sharing that beautiful experience you had with your children! And God bless you! :^)

6/02/2009 04:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

But God's heart wanders around everywhere, high and low: with whores, drunks, lepers, tax collectors, leftists.

And privateers.

6/02/2009 04:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And, to add another layer of acrid smoke to the troll cloud, I would say it's not a good idea to place your entire heart with your child; that's just asking for it. I know you can't help it, as you are a good man and that's how good men are.

However, a child has its own agenda in the world; she is by no means beholden to her parents and cannot and should not follow any set plan, and should defininelty not be overly sheltered.

You will be obliged to see your child suffer. A lack of suffering would be worse, however, as it would stunt or delay the necessary soul growth the child came here to do.

You invited the child here and are playing host, but stay out of the way and let things rip.

6/02/2009 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Petey,

“In my room that evening I lay there listening to the din from the street. I felt estranged for the first time, as if my encounter with the churches of old Cairo had reinforced my sense of alienation. This was the modern age, I told myself. We prefer to bury ourselves in the detritus of waste, of evil gases and collective stress, simply to say we’re alive. Yet when I thought of the bones of those martyrs lying in their velvet-covered cylinders, so silent and enfolded, I knew that something was amiss. The image of the celestial city no longer exists in our imagination because it reminds us of a time when restraint was considered to be a genuine spiritual value, not as it is regarded today – as some sort of pathological condition.”
~ Cowan “Desert Father”

…last month we were not reading the same book, now not even the same author, and yet the same drama.

6/02/2009 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Man, there's definitely a plethera of drama in the Theo Drama!
My review thus far:
"Rivetting! Theo Drama draws you in and doesn't let you go! Theo Drama is must see reading, meditating and coontemplation! Don't miss Gagdad Bob's meisterpiece as he takes us on an incredibly fantastical journey through Balthazars Theo Drama!!!1!1!1!!

Thanks Bob!

6/02/2009 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Skully!

Riddle: Why did Jesus visit the lepers?

Answer: That’s where they lived.

6/02/2009 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Ben!

Our watches are finally synchronized :-)

6/02/2009 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"In other words, it is not "I" who says so, but reality which does. I would then explain why reality operates in this frustrating or painful manner, and how reality always "bites back" if you violate it."

And amazingly, that would be controversial... hence our culture being'hostile territory'. Why? Goes back to what we were discussing yesterday. What is real is seen as the frustration of, and opponent of, the leftist mode of thinking. I'm going to let loose the long winds on this on my site soon, so I'll keep this easily click-by-able, but one clue can be found here, at the root of the matter, and it has to do with being sure you are right... no reasons needed for that, just being sure is enough.

For instance, from one of Descartes' Replies to questions about his Meditations,"First of all, as soon as we think we correctly perceive something, we’re spontaneously convinced that it is true. Now if this conviction is so firm that it is impossible for us ever to have any reason for doubting what we are convinced of, then there are no further questions for us to ask: we have everything that we could reasonably want. What is it to us that someone may make out that the perception whose truth we are so firmly convinced of may appear false to God or an angel, i.e. that it is, absolutely speaking, false? What do we care about this ‘absolute falsity’, since we don’t believe in it or have even the smallest suspicion of it? For the sort of case that is in question here is one involving a conviction so firm that it is quite incapable of being destroyed; and such a conviction is clearly the same as the most perfect certainty..."

If you are convinced enough about what you really want to be right, what does it matter what is real or even what God thinks (his feeble proofs of God play into this quite a bit), such 'absolute falsity' is of no concern (for those of us in rio Linda, that means '♪♫ Doesn't matter if it's wrong, I want it to be Right!♫♪'), being clearly convinced is all you need, and you can bite it back.

What's a hundred million or two people... lets give it another whirl....

6/02/2009 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Rick!

How's it goin'? I'm sneakin' in a few comments while dog-sittin', 'cause Patti went shoppin' for vittles. The pup thinks she is a tazmanian devil.

"Quit bitin' Skully's ear!"

6/02/2009 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Ricky, so you're saying I should get me a copy? :D

6/02/2009 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous `Skully said...

Good point, Master Rick.
Jesus recognized hearts that were willin' to repent.

Why was Jesus at odds with the Scribes and Parasees and money lenders?
Because they had hearts of stone.
They were the leftists of that time, livin' by the letter (many there own) and ignorin' the Spirit of the law.

Aye. Even ol' Skully reads the Good Book, while drinkin' a good grog.

6/02/2009 05:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Homer said...

So, like us, let your children run wild and free, because as the old
saying goes, let your children run wild and free.

6/02/2009 06:06:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Ah Ben, so you’re home with the “two yoots”!
:-D

6/02/2009 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Julie, well, there are a few real gems in there. I just left another at Mushroom’s.
You know, there was a review on some religious blog that said “Cowan didn’t ‘get’ Lazarus”. I don’t know…he seems to be doing ok I think with the larger picture, if not better than Vicar Owen-Jones from that Extreme Pilgrim doc. I’m only halfway through the book, and I’m definitely not sorry I’m reading it. I look forward to it. It gives a good timeline from Christ through Anthony and it seems will eventually carry up to Fr. Lazarus. Still not enough Lazarus in it though – like the documentary. But there is still half a book, or 100 pages, to go.

6/02/2009 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

I should have added that Cowan in his book is on an extended adventure similar to Vicar Owen-Jones in that documentary. It reads much like a diary.

6/02/2009 06:20:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Has anyone read A Time to Keep Silence first published 1957 & would you recommend it? Looks interesting.

"Leigh Fermor writes about a more inward journey, describing his several sojourns in some of Europe’s oldest and most venerable monasteries. He stays at the Abbey of St. Wandrille, a great repository of art and learning; at Solesmes, famous for its revival of Gregorian chant; and at the deeply ascetic Trappist monastery of La Grande Trappe, where monks take a vow of silence. Finally, he visits the rock monasteries of Cappadocia, hewn from the stony spires of a moonlike landscape, where he seeks some trace of the life of the earliest Christian anchorites.

More than a history or travel journal, however, this beautiful short book is a meditation on the meaning of silence and solitude for modern life. Leigh Fermor writes, “In the seclusion of a cell—an existence whose quietness is only varied by the silent meals, the solemnity of ritual, and long solitary walks in the woods—the troubled waters of the mind grow still and clear, and much that is hidden away and all that clouds it floats to the surface and can be skimmed away; and after a time one reaches a state of peace that is unthought of in the ordinary world.”

6/02/2009 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Why? said "So there's no hope of answering this why?
Why have we been given this gift at so great a price?"

Because that is the way it is. And because we are what and who we are, and capable of discovering the world and ourselves, we can discover the way it is, and choose how to behave towards it... but you can't receive and possess a gift, without accepting it... accept it already.

We could not experience joy or sorrow, or discover truth, or be able to value any of it, if we weren't also capable of experiencing their opposite or lesser states, and none of that would be possible, if we weren't first free to choose to... and having free will can't be a partial gift. Having lives filled with only pleasant experiences, would necessitate not being able to know it! We'd have to be robots incapable of making errors or choices.

It's robots or Men, and anything in between would be unable to experience the richness of life which only humanity is capable of experiencing... not to mention the fact that the lesser bargain gifts come with unsightly body hair, colorful & shiny butts and an over fondness for bananas and snacking on your neighbors body lice... and even that would fall far short of such utopian happy happy joy joy worlds.

I was listening to a scientists talk earlier today, about the fact that 'if the speed of light were just a little bit faster or slower, if gravity were just a little bit stronger or weaker, if hydrogen were just a little lighter or heavier... there'd be no earth and no life at all'... this particular one took that as a sign that it almost seems as if maybe the universe was designed for Man... but I've also heard the same particulars mentioned as how obviously it is just a random bit of accidental chance that we are here at all, and aren't we lucky we didn't wind up with one with completely unpredictable laws.

Neither one, I think, gets that it never was possible, at all, that neither light, nor gravity nor the atomic weight of any element could have been other than what they are... it isn't chance or whim at all... they are all necessary consequences of what the entire Cosmos, as One whole, IS. Those seemingly arbitrary particulars are necessary and integrated aspects of the One whole, just as the end is contained in the beginning and vice versa. There are no arbitrary or contingent particulars or laws in the Cosmos. It is what it IS! Might as well go on about how 'if just one side of a square was just a little bit shorter, it'd no longer be a square! Isn't that amazing!' (oh, and for the leftist, redesigning a square to make it nicer and gentler, without corners, destroys the square... and in trying to pretend actual squares don't have corners, you're gonna get hurt).

It IS what it IS. One Cosmos. And you are a part of it, and as far as we know, you are the only part of it that CAN know that it is what it is, and that can also know who you are and can discover where you came from, and the only part of the cosmos that is set free from the elaborate pinball effect of the material world, is life, and the only living being we know of that can purposefully steer its course around those amazing flipper fingers, and know itself and the game, is us - if we choose to use our defining gift of Free Will.

So quit looking the gift horse in the mouth and complaining about the price tag.

Unwrap it already!

Sheesh.

6/02/2009 09:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You are either not wise enough or not old enough to remember when culture opposed our basest impulses."

I do-- 1400 C.E.

6/02/2009 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "...A child needs a field of challenges...A lack of suffering would be worse, however, as it would stunt or delay the necessary soul growth the child came here to do..."

Oh. Wow. Bob, Cassandra, Ben, you hear that? Apparently we're not supposed to lock our children away in the happy closet? You mean letting them face challenges isn't bad for them? How did we ever miss the memo?! Oh thank heaven for such wise aninnymouses to put us straight!

(Petey, I think you need to put the 'Measureable EEG activity required for commenting' sign back up.)

6/02/2009 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger Dougman said...

"The question now becomes more like, "why are you doing this to yourself?"

This reminds me of when I was a teenager. A friend walked into the room while I was sitting alone, hitting my forehead with a crowbar, (not very hard but enough that it felt and looked painful).

I said, "Because it feels so good when I stop."

I was feeling dead inside my own body.

6/03/2009 12:02:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

When we in our foolishness thought we were wise/He played the fool and he opened our eyes... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvejyvnEidY

6/03/2009 07:30:00 AM  

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