Friday, September 17, 2010

Theology and Autotheography

Mystics such as Abhishiktananda (SA) have always had an uneasy relationship to doctrine, especially in Western Christianity. In the West, it seems that doctrine is emphasized over experience, whereas in the East, the relationship is reversed (not to say that Orthodoxy minimizes the importance of dogma).

For example, a number of truly great theologians who are central to Orthodoxy have had almost no impact on Catholicism, at least until the latter half of the previous century, for example, Denys, Maximus the Confessor, Gregory Palamas, and Symeon the New Theologian.

In fact, speaking of theologians, East and West have a very different conceptions of who qualifies as one. In the East, they never really bothered to develop an intricate system of rational theology, and I believe I am correct in saying that Thomas Aquinas has had no influence at all.

Interestingly, they would probably say that he only became a full-fledged "theologian" when he put down his quill for the last time in late 1273. After all those years of contemplating God, he had finally "snapped," going on a permanent summa vacation and telling his faithful scribe Reginald that "I can write no more."

"Er, why's that, master? You've been working on this Summa thing for what, seven years? We're up to 3,000 pages, and you're gonna quit on me now? Are you telling me I developed this nasty carpal tunnel syndrome for nothing?!"

"Well... I suppose in a way... you see, all I have hitherto written seems to me nothing but straw."

"Nothing. But. Straw? Is that what you're telling me?! Because...."

"I mean compared to what I have seen and what has been revealed to me."

"Ohhh, that's just great. Pope's gonna love this. Helloooo, paging Dr. Chopra."

Fortunately for us, we don't have to choose. We have a left brain and a right brain, and both are equally "spiritual" after their own fashion. And they are even more spiritual when they work gland in gland to excrete the "transcendent third" of which we have spoken in the past.

So Thomas Aquinas is the most important theologian in the West, while in the East it would be -- I don't know, perhaps one of the folks referenced above. For example, Symeon (949-1022) affirmed "the primacy of the spiritual experience," specifically, "communion with the Incommunicable One and knowledge of the Unknowable One, made possible by the Incarnation of the Word who draws the creature out of sin and grants him a divine life."

In fact -- not unlike Abhishiktananda himself -- "The whole life of Symeon illustrates the conflict between Prophet and Priest, between Experience and the Institution, known by many other saints...." Nevertheless, he "had an undeniable grasp of theology and profound knowledge of the Bible," and Gregory Palamas would later come along and clarify his teachings "on a doctrinal level."

Just had a jarring interruption, getting Future Leader ready for picture day at school. Love the uniforms. I wish I could wear one to work. One less thing to think about. But now I've lost the thread. Back to SA, I suppose...

Oldmeadow (HO) quotes SA, who wrote in his book on prayer that no religious thinker "wants to develop and feed his mind simply for the mind's sake alone." Rather, "there is no knowledge that should not pass into love."

To put it another way, the mind must always be fixed on its proper object, whatever it is thinking. God is the context of all (true) thought, which properly bears on eternity. Clearly there is something higher than the mind, and that is the object of its preoccupation, its devotion, and yes, its love, for one must love truth before it will come around and begin sniffing at your door.

In any event, SA's own writings are a bit of a jumble, because he was not a theologian in the Western sense. Rather, he felt that his primary vocation as a monk was to be, only secondarily to know. I think he would agree that what we in the West think of as theology is more a means than an end, somewhat like the function of the guru, about which he wrote (and bear in mind again that his sadguru was always Christ),

"What does it matter what words the guru uses? Their whole power lies in the hearer's inner response.... When all is said and done, the true guru is he who, without the help of words, can enable the attentive soul to hear the 'Thou art that" (in HO), or the old I AM.

A Raccoon simply calls this well known phenomenon (≈), but in my experience one should not minimize the capacity of words to be potent carriers of (≈). This is "the divine Shakti which somewhat resembles the shekinah of Jewish tradition" (ibid), to say nothing of the divine energies of Symeon and Gregory Palamas.

Gotta run. I'll just end with another passage cited by HO. SA is writing about himself in the third person:

"The guru's words rang bells within him in a way no one else's had ever done. It was as if, deep in his own heart, profound secret mysteries were coming to light, which till then had been buried in unfathomable depths. What the guru said vibrated through his whole being and the harmonies thus evoked were incomparable."

Here again, the Raccoon just calls this "pickin' up God vibrations."

58 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

"pickin' up God vibrations."

Or the mystic Low Gong effect.

Re. the uniforms, they are awfully cute. Going by yesterday's photo, FL looks quite handsome in his :)

9/17/2010 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Speaking of Denys (the Areopagite) there is evidence that he influence the West, but he was read in a scholarly rather than experiental manner. In any case here is an fruitful three part discussion about the guy which perhaps shows the importance of his thinking and maybe how Barlaam's misinterpretation - because of his reading of him - has impacted the West since.

Plus, it's cool to read Fr. Romanides tearing into J. Meyendorff. (You have to click back through the link at the top of the article to get to the first one.)

9/17/2010 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

We have a left brain and a right brain, and both are equally "spiritual" after their own fashion. And they are even more spiritual when they work gland in gland to excrete the "transcendent third" of which we have spoken in the past.

O, indeed. No matter how well-reasoned and informed the speculation, if there's no experience from which to draw at some point it becomes about as useful as envisioning what it would be like to swim if one had never even had a bath. Conversely, having the experience of being dunked bodily into a body of water with no attendant concept of swimming is a good way to find oneself in over one's head and sinking fast.

9/17/2010 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Rather, "there is no knowledge that should not pass into love."

"If I have ... all knowledge ... but have not love, I am nothing."

Love without truth is impossible; truth without love is pointless, but in the end it may be impossible, too.

9/17/2010 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Incidentally, I understand the sunshine pop thing now. Some days, anything less lighthearted is downright abrasive.

9/17/2010 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Torre is retiring in favor of Mattingly. It will be interesting to see how it goes next season.

9/17/2010 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Mattingly's gotta get rid of the soul brush. It's just not baseballically (a word I once heard Ted Williams use) correct.

9/17/2010 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Back when I played, no facial hair was allowed, the hair in back couldn't touch your collar, and the hair in front couldn't fall further than a credit card. It was quite counter-cultural, since this was in the early '70s...

9/17/2010 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Jason T. said...

Hello once again everyone. I just wanted to offer a word of thanks for the prayers the other day. I have had a truly amazing amount of clarity in the past two days, and a great deal of integration as well. Simply being sort of vulnerable and expressing what I was going through to someOne was like releasing a pressure valve, and a great big "WHEWWW" spewed forth all kinds of crazy like a geyser of steam. In addition, feeling your prayers touching me up Above brought peace to my whole being, and I feel that I have moved to a new place of understanding about what I am going through, and how to conduct myself as the process unfolds.

Blessings to you and your families.

"A great war, destruction or violent all up-heaving revolution may present itself to us as evil, a virulent and catastrophic disorder; and it is so in certain aspects, results, ways of looking at it; but from others it may be a great good, since it rapidly clears the field for a new good or a more satisfying order. No man is simply good or simply bad; every man is a mixture of contraries; even we find these contraries often inextricably mixed up in a single feeling, a single action.....For behind all relativities there is an Absolute which gives them their being and justification"- Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine

9/17/2010 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

magical feelgood song

thank you pedal steel[s]
& phase-shifters

9/17/2010 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Sounds like you were playing REAL baseball, e.g., NL. I remember watching the '72 World Series between the A's and the Reds, with all the Oakland facial hair -- especially Rollie Fingers' handlebar -- contrasting with Bench and Rose and the mighty Joe Morgan. I nearly wept when Finley's hairy dayglo hippies won.

9/17/2010 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, they were the first team to allow facial hair. If I remember correctly, Charlie Finley actually paid his players a bonus to grow a moustache.

9/17/2010 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

...and I believe it was Finley who opened the whole Pandora's box of free agency, by letting Catfish Hunter out of his contract. That may have been one of the biggest moments, for good or ill, in the creation of "modern" baseball.

9/17/2010 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Fortunately for us, we don't have to choose. We have a left brain and a right brain, and both are equally "spiritual" after their own fashion. And they are even more spiritual when they work gland in gland to excrete the "transcendent third" of which we have spoken in the past."

A glandiose endeavor to be sure.

9/18/2010 01:44:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Julie said,

"No matter how well-reasoned and informed the speculation, if there's no experience from which to draw at some point it becomes about as useful as envisioning what it would be like to swim if one had never even had a bath."

Unless you're Skully.

...Oh wait, that's just an example huh?

9/18/2010 01:48:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Jason,

Prayers really can make a huge difference! Glad you're feeling better and more at peace. :^)

9/18/2010 01:51:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Julie said...

Incidentally, I understand the sunshine pop thing now. Some days, anything less lighthearted is downright abrasive."

It's that God vibration thing again. Hardy har har-mony. :^)

9/18/2010 01:55:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Okay, I was jest kidding. Skully does take baths (I heard).
It's one of the few places he can play "battleship" in peace. Always as a "washbuckler" of course.

I wouldn't recommend tryin' this at home, folks.
First of all, it ain't easy playing Skully's version of battleship, peacefully, and secondly: the damage to your bath tub and bathroom could be enormous.
Trust me, you won't feel peaceful after seeing that bill.

9/18/2010 02:03:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

You know, it jest struck me, but the har-mony of the Three Stooges is akin to the harmony of the Beach Boys.

Both strike God vibrations.

The Three Stooges could also mix music with their comedy for hilarious results (some might not know that Larry was quite a talented violinist).

9/18/2010 02:15:00 AM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Gagdad and Jack: regarding excessive facial hair

Guys, come on, mustaches, chops, van dykes, and soul patches are appropriate for baseball players and SOCOM special operators. Its one of the benefits of not having to sell insurance for a living. WWJD? I believe he was known to wear some serious GI Joe beard. He had that spiritual kung-fu grip thing going too. Lighten up Francis. Baseball before the 1920's was populated with many handlebars and chops. Now if they started wearing berets, I would agree things had gone too far. Oh yeah, SOCOM and the US Army are wearing berets. What's with that????

The Johnny Unitas - Ted Williams look is so brylcreem.

Bryl-creem, a little dab'll do ya,
Use more, only if you dare,
But watch out,
The gals will all pursue ya,--
They'll love to put their fingers through your hair.
Bryl-creem, a little dab'll do ya,
Bryl-creem, you'll look so debonair.
Bryl-creem, the gals will all pursue ya,
They'll love to RUN their fingers through your hair.

9/18/2010 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I wasn't making a general comment about facial hair. Rather, I was really saying that there was a time that sports was actually a pro-social activity that helped to shape the character of young men, whereas now it's more about narcissism, individualism, and self-glorification. When I played, the absence of facial hair was really another part of the "uniform" that set us apart and signified subordination to the group -- as in the military. It even connoted a kind of shared "sacrifice" to a higher purpose, especially in a day when everyone had hair down to the shoulders!

9/18/2010 06:32:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Bob says:

"Rather, I was really saying that there was a time that sports was actually a pro-social activity that helped to shape the character of young men, whereas now it's more about narcissism, individualism, and self-glorification. When I played, the absence of facial hair was really another part of the "uniform" that set us apart and signified subordination to the group -- as in the military."

Part of this is generational, Bob. You grew up when the collective impuse of the GI generation still overshadowed the culture.

With the Boomers and Xers, you have a significant indivudal impuse overshadowing everything. With Xer sports, you have the focus on Me Me Me.

The pendulum should swing back with the Millenial Generation and the Homeland Generation (for lack of a better name for the generation after the Millenials).

I never really liked subordinating myself to any group at all.

However, I suspect that this has less to do with me being a member of Generation X than it does to my interesting upbrining, which has managed to imprint upon me simultaneously both a sense of superiority (due to my significant intelligence) and a sense of alienation (due to my disinterest in subordinating myself to any group and a distrust of groups).

That's a fun combination to have going through life. I'm still dealing with the fallout from that.

Kind of the Han Solo approach: "I take orders from just one person: me"

9/18/2010 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I myself am a boomer, so I don't think it's generational. My five year-old just started Catholic school, where they wear uniforms, and it clearly has a positive psychological and spiritual effect.

9/18/2010 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Bob says:

"I myself am a boomer, so I don't think it's generational. My five year-old just started Catholic school, where they wear uniforms, and it clearly has a positive psychological and spiritual effect."

Actually, you are an illustration of generational archetypes, for lack of a better word.

From the generational theory, boomers (e.g the "Prophet" generation) are both individualistic and spiritual. This blog is an example of a boomer setting forth his own (idosyncratic) spiritual worlview. From the generational point of view (along with my own idosyncratic take on it), this would be because the 1960s represented an awakening era, with more "spiritual events". You are who you are because you are a boomer.

Your son is an example of the Homelander generation (e.g. the "Artist" generation) where the generation is theoretically supposed to be both collective (focus on group over individual) and spiritual.

Xers are supposed to be indivudalistic and materialistic (focused on the horizonal over the vertical).

Millenials are supposed to be collective and materialistic (again focused on the horizonal over the vertical).

Call and response.

And it's just a theory. But it does seem to be related to economic cycles.

I had the unique experience where my father was the school superintendent, so in a sense, I was the state (school), so to speak. In a certain sense, I had power over the teachers and the princiapal (which I ultimately used), which sets you up for a very odd and unusual psychological dynamic.

Even if I had been in a uniform, I would have still have had access to the "Easy button" whenever I wanted to use it.

9/18/2010 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. uniforms, I had to wear one for a while as a kid. When we eventually moved to schools with regular clothes, it was a major pain.

9/18/2010 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

And let's face it there is a "uniform" enforced in school in one from or another. The question is who gets to decide what that dress code actually is i.e. Adults or the Lord of the Flies.

9/18/2010 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

So true. It takes the issue of the coercive Terror of Conformity out of the child's soul.

9/18/2010 08:25:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Unless you are fashion clueless like I was in school.

Then people just make fun of the way you dress while you have no idea how exactly you solve this problem because you can't quite figure out the underlying rules.

I would have loved having a uniform. Just like the attorney uniform I use now.

9/18/2010 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

JP said: "However, I suspect that this has less to do with me being a member of Generation X than it does to my interesting upbrining, which has managed to imprint upon me simultaneously both a sense of superiority (due to my significant intelligence) and a sense of alienation (due to my disinterest in subordinating myself to any group and a distrust of groups)."

Dude, that is EXACTLY gen x--made *even* more so by the denial that it is gen x. I am gen x and am the same *exact* way. It is an heinous combination.

9/18/2010 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Bob says:

"So true. It takes the issue of the coercive Terror of Conformity out of the child's soul."

Unless you were like me and had a "fire shield".

I didn't have defenses and could be attacked, but the attacker would automatically take double damage in response.

9/18/2010 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

+1 Bastard Sword, 18-00 Strength?

;)

9/18/2010 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

My orientation at this point is slightly more spiritual/mystic than materialistic. If I was more materialistic, I would fit in better with Gen X.

I would have made a much better boomer.

I agree that I've got the "not a member of Gen X" aspect of Gen X down pat, so I do fit in with Gen X quite well that way. It's quite the paradox, isn't it? ;)

9/18/2010 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

I probably would have kicked and screamed at uniforms as a kid but now regret that my idea of high fashion is t-shirt and jeans (all black of course!).

The ability to truly feel natural in a suit is a lost art. Most of my fellow gen-xer friends look slightly ridiculous in a suit, myself included. Yet some of us look back at the way jazz musicians used to dress with a palpable sense of envy.

Methinks that FL will have MORE expressive options by the fact that he will more likely feel natural in a suit and tie by wearing a uniform.

9/18/2010 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

The only time I ever played D&D was in law school. Planescape.

Now that I think about it, I suppose Planescape is a good illustration of a take on the higher and lower vertical.

You can go all the way from the plane of Lawful Good (Mt. Celestia and the seven heavens) to the plane of Chaotic Evil (the abyss).

A description of the abyss:

"The Abyss consists of many different kinds of universes, all of the most disgusting evil, full of meaninglessness, greed, bickering, despair, tedium, and idiotic hate. The most furious, raging evil is found here. The locals have as their goal destruction of all that is good or even natural. Many of the things that they enjoy most are probably better left undescribed. All are ready to betray anybody whenever it is in their self-interest. Faith communities dedicated to chaotic evil are easier to find in the abyss than on the prime plane, where they tend to remain hidden. But there as here, the faithful unite around one charismatic individual with some grandiose, unspeakably wicked vision. The leaders and their cults hate one another."

9/18/2010 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

We never got into Planescape, but some of the older stuff before the Satanic Panic actually delved into a lot of the world's mythological traditions, as you said spanning both the higher and lower vertical.

9/18/2010 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

JP said: "The pendulum should swing back with the Millenial Generation and the Homeland Generation (for lack of a better name for the generation after the Millenials)."

I sure hope so. From my very limited perspective (and in a very lefty town) it doesn't always look that way. The default position, it seems, is that parents lavish their children with praise even (or especially) before they've actually done much of anything at all to achieve something.

It's done with the best of intentions of course...but I just wonder how the pendulum is going to swing *away* from narcissism.

9/18/2010 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

I'm the moralistic/cultural experimentation kind of Xer who thinks it would be a neat idea to impose the culture of the 1950s on everybody and see what happens.

Fortunately for everybody, I don't have that kind of social influence that would permit me to embark on such an enterprise.

Although I do periodically make myself unpopular with my unique position on social mores.

9/18/2010 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Jack says:

"It's done with the best of intentions of course...but I just wonder how the pendulum is going to swing *away* from narcissism."

However it happens, it's probably going to be a very unpleasant experience for everybody involved.

My guess it will involve massive default on soverign debt at some point.

9/18/2010 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

JP-

I have pretty much always felt at odds with my gen-x brethren on social mores. Sure I loved the whole slacker aspect...incidentally the most enlightened part of our generational profile.

In that we are probably a very small subset of gen-x. Sex, in particular, seems to be of no more import than say, going jogging together, for most of our co-generationalists.

And many have taken the most absurd parts of the new left and imbibed it in college pretty much wholesale. I have always been an opponent of the de facto gen-x postmodernism, even back when I skewed to the left myself.

It's an exercise in futility to try to point out the very fundamental contradictions of their default pomo view (I've been at it for 20+ years). I've pretty much given up, they aren't going to get it.

9/18/2010 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

Shoosh, not one mention of berets? What's with that?

9/18/2010 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

OT, there's a Bob-inspired post over at Sippi's. Also, if you haven't seen his other blog, it's always entertaining. And guaranteed to cause heart palpitations in mothers the world over.

9/18/2010 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Back on topic, a good meditation on The Cross and the Cosmos at Fr. Stephen's.

Christ has promised that we would have life “more abundant.” By this is not meant that we will be rich or have more material things (for these are not the true life). But the Kingdom is an endless abundance that enters our heart and world, shattering the narrowness of opaque minds and opening to us the fullness of life in Christ.

9/18/2010 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

OT: the 'Old Testament' of conservaTalk radio:

http://www.wabcradio.com/

Bob Grant, whom Rush & Sean and everyone who=anyone salutes as their mentor is back on weekly sun 12-2 est, and has tribute Monday 10-12 est. i believe it streams live no signup

9/18/2010 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger Leslie said...

GE,
No kidding! Bob Grant!?! My parents used to go to sleep listening to him. I remember him shouting at callers to get off the phone, followed by "you idiot" or "moron" or something like that. LOL

There was really just him and Larry King back then on late night radio.

And I listened during the day to WABC's Cousin Brucie. One of the funniest things I've ever heard in my life was Howard Stern imitating Cousin Brucie. I laughed so hard I cried.

Re. uniforms, generational differences and FL...I'm hoping to raise him with the basic values of the "greatest generation: just do the right thing without making a big deal about how brave and noble you are, while being brave and noble" but able to articulate his values and pass them along to the next generation. (Prager often mentions how the Greatest Generation didn't teach the Dumbest Generation (that would be mine) their values.)

One other thing about the uniforms at his school...they are part of a larger lesson. The school uses the occasion of formal uniforms to teach how they should feel and behave when they are dressed up. (Since the school and my church are in Malibu, the kids are actually much better dressed than most of the other members of the congregation who show up to Mass in flip flops, shorts, short skirts, low cut tops etc.)

9/18/2010 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

L: Yes History expert steeltrap-minded Bob was a NY fixture on discriminating cabbies' radios and the educated underground of Kloset Konservatives of de Apple. The 'moron' word sounds more like Stern, Bob's more famous quip was his "Get off my PHONE!!!" line.
I first got hooked on Bob on his latenite show during the Bernie 'Bang-bang' Goetz vigilante weeks....Bob would end his show with the snarl "Kill Col. Qadafi, Kill him NOW!!!"

9/19/2010 03:31:00 AM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

Re: Bob Grant archetype

I recall in the mid to late sixties the original prototype of the Bob Grant/Rush type in Joe Pine. Former Marine with a wooden leg. He didn't last long on TV (I think he died) but he created the genre that so many have followed. Nothing like hearing a veteran Marine amputee talk smack against the then new fads and fancies of the elite. At that time in our history, he was the only public alternative to the full court press attempting to enshrine the "Camelot" thingy on modern memory and interpret it into MODERN perfection through big government. Pretty much the entire media was committed to recasting JFK as a saint and altering his real history to fit the needs of the socialists. The only other spokesman of note was Barry Goldwater. Everybody saw how he got handled by our "enlightened" media. So the elite's gave us LBJ and then didn't like what they got. Sound familiar?

9/19/2010 06:47:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

yep Tig, Bob even had a direct conneckt to Joe-- i think subbing for him early-on [Chicago], or at least admitting an influence. Bob has an endearing trusted-uncle quality once you get to know him, in some strange [both Piscean?] way reminds me of UF!
here's how a typical show'd end:

Bob: Why don't you come down to the studio in 15 minutes and I'll punch your stupid nose down your dumb throat! Get off my [snarled] PHONE!
Meanwhile that about slams the lid on things for this day, until tomorrow this is Bob Grant reminding you that your influence counts! Eee-use it! GET QADAFI!

9/19/2010 07:15:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

If the Boomers are the current example of a spiritual generation, then Heaven help us all.

(Actually, that would probably be a good idea anyway...)

9/19/2010 08:25:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Whoa - these guys take verticality to a whole new and terrifying level.

I can think of more than a few jobs that are just as dangerous, but somehow they don't pack the same fear factor.

9/19/2010 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

pardon for a last excited mention re:
Bob Grant speaks to fellow Ital-American C Palladino [is he a fresh breeze or what?] around 1 est...his present guest predicts that dark horse taking NY governor race!!
+
at last Bob Grant has a website
http://www.bobgrantonline.com/posts.cfm

9/19/2010 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Julie re: Vertical

That gave me the agita just watching. I have to inspect 30m and 50m towers but nothing like that. I think I would prefer to parachute rather than climb down.

9/19/2010 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Me, too, Tigtog. If I could wear a parachute up, I could make that climb (er, assuming I was in shape for it). Otherwise, no way.

9/19/2010 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Outstanding book that I probably won't be blogging about: The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal. Don't let the goofy cover and lame title dissuade you, as the book is full of insights and has particular relevance to the present crisis, in which the Obama (and Bush before him) is repeating the identical mistakes that caused the Great Depression to last so long.

9/19/2010 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I meant to say "Obama administration," but you get the picture.

9/19/2010 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

Mangus says:

"If the Boomers are the current example of a spiritual generation, then Heaven help us all."

They got to set the tone for the culture this go-round. "Prophet" generations always get to set the culture for the next generations. Until the next "generation gap".

Hey, at least they won the culture wars against the GI generation when they helped to shut down Vietnam and get Nixon to resign. That means we won't be facing a civil war.

I didn't say the boomers actually knew what they were doing.

This crisis era is going to be unpleasant as we realize that the debt can't be paid and the promises won't be kept.

Hopefully we come up with ideas in the next 10-15 years that actually have some connection to the current reality.

9/19/2010 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

Leslie says:

"(Prager often mentions how the Greatest Generation didn't teach the Dumbest Generation (that would be mine) their values.)"

And that would be what helped to cause the Generation Gap. Without a solid framwork to better funnel the indivualistic spiritual impulses, we ended up with the hippies and Disco. :)

There is no Generation Gap between the Boomers, Xers, and Millenials.

With the retirement of the Silent Generation, Boomers and Xers are in charge. You can see what wonders that team has created by looking at the recent 10 years of economic insanity.

And it probably get worse until it breaks, economically speaking.

We are in the first year of truly massive deficits. If that continues, the chance for a major economic dislocation goes significantly up.

9/19/2010 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

In my younger days I used to like to take shots at boomers...but gen-x is just as delusional (on average). As I mentioned earlier most gen-xers swallowed boomer relativism/postmodernism/psuedo-buddhism hook, line AND sinker.

I am not sure even a serious jolt of reality could change that as this worldview seems so ingrained as to become so "obvious". No amount of logical argument can dissuade most...though sometimes they might hint that their position is illogical--that's when the faux-zen starts flowing!!

Good. clean fun!!

9/19/2010 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

I am thankful that I was inoculated to postmodernism early in life--or at least to the most virulent forms of postmodernism. This is due to the fact that my Father took some EST courses when I was about 12 years old or so.

Since that is when one's father is often viewed as the most full of it...I just had to rebel. He would almost always resort to the same ploy...when challenged and he was unable to refute an argument he would say, "well that's *your* interpretation". I don't think he ever got the self-refuting, circular nature of that "defense"--try as I might.

But nonetheless I went into college with a healthy mistrust of postmodernism, despite the fact that nearly ALL of my friends were now under it's sway.

9/19/2010 06:15:00 PM  

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