Friday, February 18, 2011

Violence and Fraud Against Man and God

Moving on to Canto XI, we can tell by the nauseating stench that we are now well into the lower and more interior circles, i.e., closer to Hell Central. Dante's scheme is at times a bit counter-intuitive and will require some reflection.

Virgil explains that circles seven and eight are for violence and fraud, respectively. This in itself is a bit surprising, but the worst violence is always rooted in the Lie, so it is appropriate that fraud -- the more "interior" of the two -- be the deeper offense.

Virgil also properly notes that violence itself is not the problem. Rather, it becomes evil when the end is wrong, a truth which liberals routinely betray, for it is simply a truism that the end often justifies the means. For example, our violence against Islamic terrorists is completely justified, whereas their violence against us is completely unjustified.

This is the source of much of the left's perennial moral confusion and corruption -- for example, comparing our liberation of Iraq to a tyrannical occupation, or Gitmo to a gulag, or capital punishment to murder, or Israeli defense to Islamic savagery. Ironically, this fraudulent characterization of moral violence only plunges the left more deeply into hell, for fraud displeases God the more.

I might add that the left's fraudulent attempt to blame conservatives for the violence in Tucson is, in Dante's scheme, even more morally repulsive than the violence itself. Note also how deeply rooted is this sin. The New York Times simply cannot stop its compulsive fraudulence. The Lie is no longer an exterior action but an interior trait.

If this still seems counter-intuitive, I am reminded of a Talmudic law to the effect that the person who falsely (and knowingly) accuses another of a crime should be subject to the same penalty as the accused would have been had he actually been guilty.

Thus, for example, a Johnnie Cochran would be eligible for the death penalty for falsely accusing Los Angeles police officers of a capital crime in framing O.J. Simpson for murder.

This makes sense, for if the entire judicial system were ever to be completely infested with people as morally corrupt as Johnnie Cochran, no earthly justice would be possible, so the rule of law would be replaced by the law of the jungle. In the end, there would be much more immoral violence.

Think of how rapidly the world would be cleaned up if the fraudulent were aware of the moral danger they place themselves in! We'd immediately see the rats scatter from the UN building like people from a sinking ship.

Upton notes that immoral violence involves a perversion of will, while fraud involves a perversion of intellect, so again, the latter is deeper and more interior.

A more subtle point is that violence is "a parody of Divine Absoluteness," fraud a parody of "the Divine Infinity." Upton doesn't elaborate, but I believe she means that immoral violence is a parody of absolute justice, while fraud is a parody of infinite or eternal truth.

Later she notes that fraud -- which is predicated on the Lie -- is "an attempt by man, created in God's image, to claim for himself divine creative power," as if "one had the power to create truth... 'out of nothing.'" Thus, it is a kind of satanic creativity, which must always be parasitic on the real thing (i.e., the lie requires Truth, but not vice versa).

Have you ever known a compulsive liar, or even just an annoying "topper"? Psychologically, these people usually harbor a pathological narcissism that causes them to believe they can omnipotently manipulate reality by inducing people to believe the lie. Certainly our Narcissist in Chief is overqualified for residence in circle eight.

Note that the less serious sins only "degrade the divinity in man, but do not deny it," whereas the really bad ones "directly deny the Divine/Human center, and this is the essence of injustice" (ibid.).

Analogously -- and this is another counter-intuitive point -- Dante feels that violence against oneself is actually worse than violence toward others, since it is more "inward" and "therefore closer to an attack upon God."

Here again, I find a psychoanalytic parallel that might help illustrate this. I've had occasion to think about this recently in reading two books about the last horrific year of World War II, Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, and Retribution: The Battle for Japan. The level and extent of savage barbarism inflicted by the German, Japanese, and Soviet armies is quite literally beyond one's ability to comprehend, much less assimilate. Just as today, vis-a-vis the Islamists, our worst conceivable aberrations aren't nearly as repulsive as their norms.

But how did they get this way? How do people become such monsters? Again, the only way is for violence to have become so interiorized that exteriorizing it becomes "natural."

Some psychoanalysts feel that the most primitive fear is that of annihilation. Therefore, the most primitive defense mechanisms would involve defenses against annihilation, often by violent lashing out.

In fact, if you want to unleash the most primitive violence in people, just tell them they are under threat of genocide. This has been the method of the Palestinians, but virtually all totalitarian states tell their subjects they are under siege by outside forces in order to justify their own tyranny.

In America, the left perpetuates a similar lie in telling blacks that conservatives are racist, which in turn justifies left-wing violence. More generally, since the best way to know what a liberal is up to is to pay attention to what they accuse conservatives of, they will have much to answer for in the Court of Cosmic Justice.

To review, the three levels of violence, in order of seriousness, are against man, against oneself, and against God. For to deny God is to deny the very ground and basis of all that is good, or true, or beautiful, or moral, or just.

If this is difficult to comprehend, just look at the psychotic levels of sadism attained by the most systematically godless regimes, e.g., Nazi Germany, the USSR, Mao, Pol Pot, Kim Jung Il, et al.

Falsifying the past is how the left has sought to elaborate the future. --Aphorisms of Don Colacho

Left wing journalism is the first rough draft of rewritten history. --Laphorisms of Don Pietro

Dante and Virgil discover Paul Krugman hiding under his big desk in the eighth circle of hell.

49 Comments:

Anonymous dl said...

Caroline Glick has a good related essay on the lie the media response to Lara Logan of CBS.

Now why do I try to comment... I haven't gotten past your gatekeepers in quite a long while.

2/18/2011 08:39:00 AM  
Anonymous dloye said...

Sheesh... the article I referred to is Caroline Glick.

Hitting enter while holding a lazy finger on the control key will post a comment before you're done editing.

2/18/2011 08:43:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

On whatever unimaginable plane of being it occurred, there was a "war in heaven", ie., violence was perpetrated in order to restore cosmic order. (and I suspect, there might be again)

Yup, even in the upper realms. We in the lower realms do not get a free pass when it comes to combating evil through force of arms.

This is what I wanted to shout to the poor white-haired biddy who carried a sign reading "war is not the answer", this while I was out driving in town. Instead I just shouted "Like hell it isn't!"

What can a poor boy do?

2/18/2011 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Will:

That's the impression I get from reading these books on WWII. How could these totally different cultures -- Japan and Germany, not to mention Russia -- behave so identically? It was as if they had submitted to some higher -- or lower -- force that was governing their actions.

2/18/2011 09:21:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

Yes, even the art and insignia of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia were similiar - the blonde beast ideal Nazi and the blonde "heroic worker of the Soviets.

Well, there does exist an inverted hierarchy that does mirror the divine hierachy.

2/18/2011 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Wasn't communism an export from Western culture into Russia?

It was the same general evil program run amok. Just one kind of evil fighting another.

And Japan had been copying the West for years at that point.

2/18/2011 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Bob says:

"Virgil also properly notes that violence itself is not the problem. Rather, it becomes evil when the end is wrong, a truth which liberals routinely betray, for it is simply a truism that the end often justifies the means."

I always figured that the ends generally never justfied the means.

That is to say that the means are ends, in a sense.

Of course, that has more to do with what I perceved to be a general Christain rule. That is to say, if somebody is trying to kill you, you don't have an absolute moral obligation to not use physial violence in your self-defense.

2/18/2011 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger debass said...

This is where socialism always goes. That is what I fear will happen here in the US.
Freedom to apathy to socialism to totalitarianism. I forget the guy's name who came up with that.

2/18/2011 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Have you ever known a compulsive liar, or even just an annoying "topper"?

Heh.

"Don Pietro"... I like that. Couldn't figure out who it was yesterday :)

We'd immediately see the rats scatter from the UN building like people from a sinking ship.

Or like Wisconsin Democrats to an Illinois Tilted Kilt...

2/18/2011 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I had an instinctive reaction like that when I heard that Johnny Cochran had died. What he did was so evil he almost made OJ's bloodletting look "honest" by comparison.

Pop culture question: Wasn't there a Kardashian that was associated with OJ? Are these glutey women on television somehow related?

2/18/2011 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

"Have you ever known a compulsive liar ...these people usually harbor a pathological narcissism that causes them to believe they can omnipotently manipulate reality by inducing people to believe the lie."

Yes. And an additional unfortunate side effect is that, if you're good at it (successful at inducing others) I think it eventually becomes your reality.

2/18/2011 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

Wasn't Bob Kardashian the pal who disposed of OJ's knife?...and he's the dad of that pack.

I lost an old friend a good guitarist among other things named Craig in LA at that time who was killed [defending his wife] by a paroled black guy named Junebug in a botched parking garage robbery, and those scummy OJ lawyers brought the case up as the possible murderer of Nicole & Ron

2/18/2011 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

"Is that true?" I asked my mom.
"Oh, they can't lie on television," she answered.


This little fragment of a conversation, from sometime in the very early 1960's, has stuck in my head these many years. My thirty something year old mother could not possibly have been well informed, or savvy enough to know different. And as any child would, I considered the matter settled. It was axiomatic to me. If you heard it on TV, you could believe it.
Now we know that the truth is quite the opposite. Every time I walk by the television set, especially if there is a newscast on I hear stuff that is patently false- agenda driven propaganda that serves the interest of those who ostensibly are so concerned with our best interests that lies in service to their greater truth are virtuous. After all. Second hand smoke poses such a grave danger to the public health that no restriction forced on smokers can be draconian enough. No lie about the tobacco companies can be too egregious that it isn't a virtue in service to the greater good of us all.
Witness the massive, and monstrous deception foisted on the voters about George Bush. Witness the cynical disregard for Obama's true agenda in the last presidential election. The most transparent administration in history is the most deceitful, arrogant, and cynical bunch of liars to have ever sat in the halls of congress. Second hand smoke. Global warming. Alar in apples. Asbestos. Heterosexual AIDS, Breast implants, The current unemployment figures. The truth about islam, and especially the muslim brotherhood. The lies about Evangelicals' desire for a theocracy. The Tea Party is racist...
You can all add something to the list without even trying hard.

And the media, committed to the furtherance to the "progressive agenda" has made the Ministry of Truth in Orwell's 1984 look like amateurish lightweights.
The current battles in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana, will get very ugly very fast, starting tomorrow.
The times they are a changin'. It's not going to be pretty before this is over.

JWM

2/18/2011 03:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Deep Thrill said...

Well, you've managed to press Dante into your anti-left crusade.

In fact, you manage to press anything and everything into your left bashing hobby.

You hate them for they doubt. You hate them because you can't forgive yourself for doubting, for continuing to doubt.

Isn't that it, Bob?

In doing so, you inculcate a siege mentality into your readers as they imagine themselves surrounded and outnumbered by an implacable and anti-human enemy, the leftist.

You are unfit to write in the service of God; unless you repent and take orders solely from Him.

2/18/2011 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

The thrill is gone.

2/18/2011 06:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Linda said...

THRILL. Deep Thrill. Had me wondering for a minute.

2/18/2011 06:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Deep Thrill said...

DT has high regard for RG, actually. It is in the errant sons the highest brilliance usually resides.

Spare the rod and spoil the child. I shan't be delinquint, and neither shall he if it can be helped.

2/18/2011 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"There is a reason why Only the unexpected fully satisfies (Don Colacho). The unexpected delights because it escapes our attempts at control, which only end up strangling the present."

Wouldn't the Mystery be the Divine version of unexpected? Or the other side of the same coin?

I mean, I know that the opposite of unexpected ain't mystery...or is it?
We do expect mysteries, how much more The Mystery?

Whereas expecting the unexpected is somewhat paradoxical, at least in a specific way, however one can generally expect that the unexpected will happen.

I'm thinking perhaps it's the difference between "known unknowns" and "unknown unknowns."
Also a dark version of the unexpected.

The leftists think they already know everything but they constantly ignore known knowns and venerate their unintended consequences "what can possibly go wrong" approach.

Known unknowns and unknown unknowns don't register in the leftist mindset which is how we get Obama's foreign policy that outdarkens even Jimmy (I hate Jews) Carter's.
And his domestic policy is worse than that.

What is so remarkable is how those on the left never know (let alone gno) anything that is helpful (or how their "help" actually results in destruction...scorched earth destruction.

Hell, they refuse to learn from their well documented "mistakes" so it's no mystery what they will continue to do which is to deny Divine Providence and exalt themselves to replace it.

Which helps to explain why they ain't remorseful at the massive murder spree their cult leads to.
Afterall, how can a "god" be wrong?
Their plans were perfect, therefore it must've been conservatives, whites, Christians, white men, the (unapproved) "rich" that messed eveything up.

In their twisted ideals all their "good intentioned" schemes can be fixed with bigger government bureaucracies and more money. Oh, and no time limit.

2/19/2011 01:30:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Deep Thrill:

Chris Matthew's leg is looking for you.

2/19/2011 01:32:00 AM  
Blogger robinstarfish said...

Analogously -- and this is another counter-intuitive point -- Dante feels that violence against oneself is actually worse than violence toward others, since it is more "inward" and "therefore closer to an attack upon God."

Chesterton explored that point in Orthodoxy in reference to suicide:

Not only is suicide a sin, it is the sin. It is the ultimate and absolute evil, the refusal to take an interest in existence; the refusal to take the oath of loyalty to life. The man who kills a man, kills a man. The man who kills himself, kills all men; as far as he is concerned he wipes out the world. His act is worse (symbolically considered) than any rape or dynamite outrage. For it destroys all buildings: it insults all women. The thief is satisfied with diamonds; but the suicide is not: that is his crime. He cannot be bribed, even by the blazing stones of the Celestial City. The thief compliments the things he steals, if not the owner of them. But the suicide insults everything on earth by not stealing it. He defiles every flower by refusing to live for its sake. There is not a tiny creature in the cosmos at whom his death is not a sneer. When a man hangs himself on a tree, the leaves might fall off in anger and the birds fly away in fury: for each has received a personal affront. Of course there may be pathetic emotional excuses for the act. There often are for rape, and there almost always are for dynamite. But if it comes to clear ideas and the intelligent meaning of things, then there is much more rational and philosophic truth in the burial at the cross-roads and the stake driven through the body, than in Mr. Archer's suicidal automatic machines. There is a meaning in burying the suicide apart. The man's crime is different from other crimes -- for it makes even crimes impossible.

2/19/2011 08:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Laphorisms of Don Pietro said...

The purpose of liberal tolerance is to anesthetize us to the metastatic spread of the intolerable.

2/19/2011 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

And on that note, I'm pretty sure this is a true sign of the apocalypse. Not even sure if I'm joking about that one.

Thank God I'm not coming of age today.

2/19/2011 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger wild said...

"You hate them [the Left] for they doubt. You hate them because you can't forgive yourself for doubting, for continuing to doubt."

Since when has the Left been about doubting?

I think you are confusing the "Enlightenment" attack upon religion with doubt. Montaigne and Hume were doubters, and conservatives.

The Left does not descend from doubters but from zealots - such as Rousseau and De Sade. The Left is not (and never has been) about doubt, it is about narcissism and hatred.

You assume that because the Left is immoral that it is uncertain. You are evidently unfamiliar with the history of the Left.

I am not aware for example that Lenin ever had doubts, as opposed to hot certainties, if he did, he would not have been an icon for progressives.

2/19/2011 11:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Deep Thrill said...

Wild:

The left doubts the existence of God.

That is the gravest of all possible offences.

Yet even the staunch God lover has her moments of doubt.

DT makes the assertion that Bob is guilty/ashamed of his moments of doubt, even though he need not be. He is forgiven even that.

But, denying and projecting his own doubt onto the "leftist" he launches his vitriolic campaign to rub them all out.

His rhetoric is that of genocide. The leftist has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Read the comment by High Noon, who has it about right.

Shouldn't we call a spade a spade? The emperor has no clothes. This spasm of anger, this celebration of wrath that occurs here daily, makes a fascinating spectacle but some decent person should intervene.

Let's put an end to this madness.

2/19/2011 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Phil,
I'm not sure where your comments disappeared to, but the illustrations are the Dore illustrations most commonly associated with the Divine Comedy.

2/19/2011 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger wild said...

A general rule of thumb in these pages I notice is that Leftists tend to project themselves onto their opponents. "Deep Thrill" certainly appears to confirm that rule.

I must have missed the bit where Bob advocates "genocide". I do notice however that "Deep Thrill" is keen to "put an end" to Bob's views about spirituality.

I get the impression that although "Deep Thrill" likes to see himself as an advocate of doubt, he fails to comprehend the concept.

He asserts that we should "call a spade a spade"

OK.

Moses Maimonides in his "Guide for the Perplexed" suggested that

"Character consists in keeping out of the way of fools".

I shall endeavour to follow his advice.

2/19/2011 05:20:00 PM  
Anonymous izmir çetesi said...

thanks

2/19/2011 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger Jason Turner said...

While I have been enjoying the recent posts about Dante and Hell and all the sinners that populate that wretched place (Easzy-E, Frank Sinatra, the guy who created M.A.S.H.) I found todays' post...lame. Not poorly written--heavens no; just wrong. Intuitively, that is. No way can I see violence against oneself being more heinous than violence against others. Sorry, not true. Attack on another IS an attack on oneself. Not to get to Buddhist here or anything, but the Truth is that all goodness creates offspring with evil, both of which are participating in a Goodness which transcends both of them.

In the Foreverness of the Absolute, even the Sin and the Lie have use, which is what makes Her a Mystery.

To do violence against oneself in face of the threat of perpatrating that viloence against another is heroic.

2/19/2011 11:37:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I tend to agree, which is why I said that Dante's point was counter-intuitive and required reflection. When a genius says something one doesn't immediately understand, it's generally not a good idea to dismiss it out of hand.

2/20/2011 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Think, for example, of the Japanese in WWII, or contemporary Islamists. One of the things that makes them such a savage and barbaric enemy is their lack of concern for their own lives. There is no limit to the depravity of the person who places no value on his own life in pursuit of evil ends.

2/20/2011 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger Jason T. said...

Let me see if I can work this out.

In thinking of those two examples, the Japanese and the Islamists, the associations that come to mind are suicide bombers and kamikaze pilots, both of which, it seems to me, have devalued or traded in their personal egos for a collective one of a deeply pathological nature. I can see how suicide bombing and stuff like that can be a more grave sin than just acting violently against others, because it is sacrificing the ultimate gift--ones' own life--for an aim that that is not only harmful to self and others, but also BELIEVES itself to be in the service of Truth (capitalized to accentuate the spiritual nature).

This kind of false martyrdom solidifies and spreads the evil idea in the collective mentality, thereby making it more likely for others to partake in the act.

I can see how that kind of self violence is worse than the type that is spawned out of reactionary or emotional impulses.

I was thinking of the likes of the alienated little jerk-weed down in Arizona. If, in a moment of clarity, he had realized the hideousness of what he was about to do and instead had taken his own life, that would have been, if not a heroic act, at the least one worthy of redemption.

I see now: it is not merely killing oneself, but killing oneself for a false idea, and so granting it more power in the mind of the culture that spawned it.

Maybe?

2/20/2011 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

The thing about suicide is that, per Robin's Chesterton quote above, it is far more than lashing out in anger against one's fellow man. It is lashing out against living as such.

2/20/2011 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

On an individual level, it goes in hand with the childish notion that the world began with one's awareness, and so it can be destroyed by one's annihilation. It is literally anti-Christic: Christ gave himself to give Life, Truth and Light to the world. To take one's own life is to both repudiate that gift, and also in a sense to parody it, for if no greater love hath any man than to lay down his life for his friends, can there be any greater hatred than to take one's life in order to hurt those one loves or, really, in order to eliminate the world?

2/20/2011 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger Jason T. said...

Julie, but murder is also lashing out at living as such. It is the exact same impulse externalized. Below both of them, murder and suicide, is a feeling of absolute terror and uncertainty, a quaking child of Ignorance within that has no intellectual sense of self of its own and feels that it might be destroyed at any second. Someone who commits suicide (not a suicide bombing, but just suicide) was one step closer to reaching the truth of the scenario; that the problem is within THEM, not the OTHER.

Suicide is, while an atrocity, not the least bit offensive compared to the slaying of another, especially suicide that is done out of despair or anguish born of a search for meaning in the them-self or the world.

I know someone who committed suicide, attended his funeral. There is no way that you can tell me that it would have been less grave had he gone home with the shotgun and taken out his friends or family, and just said, "Well, I'll spend the rest of my life in jail--just to spite THOSE PEOLE, who are the source of all my problems."

This is not to say that killing one-self is not an act of violence. Of course it is. Just not as bad as harming another.

2/20/2011 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Jason, I do understand your point. I think the trouble here is that when a man murders another, he kills only that other. When a man murders himself, from his own perspective he is killing the entire world. Yes, both are attacks on life as such, which is why they occupy the same ring of hell.

From the outside, taking another life instead of one's own seems worse. Some innocent (or maybe not so innocent) had their life, their future, maliciously stolen from them. Heck, that murderer could have killed you, or someone you love. Internally, it is the opposite. That suicide did kill you, and everyone you love, and everyone and everything that ever existed. Even though externally that's not what happened, internally, from the suicide's perspective, that is exactly what happens; for the suicide, the world ceases to exist.

2/20/2011 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

Schopenhauer on
suicide

2/20/2011 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

It was a difficult post to read for someone who has had this occur in the immediate family. Nonetheless I know this to be true, and I feel it is why I and so many people like me find it almost impossible to forgive the family member, even more than 25 years later.

2/20/2011 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

Sometimes a suicide is a physical expression of an attempted - by someone else - murder you can't even see -- when someone is toxic toward another and that person can feel there is no way out. Even to walk away means the person can still have the misunderstandings (such as due to being borderline) and threaten to libel you by telling people "what you did" (when you didn't do anything... they are projecting their toxins). It's not to eliminate the world, but to protect yourself.

The way out though is to not care what the person thinks (or anyone else), and instead choose God and to trust Him and have faith in Him.

Also, there are other kinds of suicide. Not just physical. All to be avoided. There is always a way out. It's a spiritual battle. And the dark side wins when that (suicide) happens. He will deliver. Wait on Him.

Even if suicide itself is not an option for one because it is a sin and not desirable anyway, a person can recognize when someone is trying to destroy them and see that it's suicide they are trying to get you to do. So you can be aware of the dynamics, even if never considered it and have been repelled by it. It's a big topic... Unseen attempts at murders, unseen suicides... Suicide is a form of giving up connected to despair.

Ultimately, the deception is that the truth is actually that you can trust God and He will deliver you. He will help you.

That's why the scene in Wings of Desire is so powerful. ...The angel is right there and comprehends the battle.

All things will be revealed. And thankfully God's accounting is absolutely perfect.

[Perfect, unlike this comment which is being written amidst distractions in the room. It seems like everywhere has had unusual amounts of distractions the past two days otherwise, I'd wait to post this at a better time. Tomorrow though, I will have peace and quiet. Oh well, still will post this today.]

wv: upers

[I might delete this post.]

2/20/2011 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

>>the deception is trying to hide that the truth is actually that you can trust God...

(Just saw that it makes more sense that way.)

2/20/2011 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

I'm thinking of an old girlfriend who killed herself. We made love the Halloween night we met, she with fishnet stockings under tight jeans, a curious but sexy touch...me dressed as lo-budget Superman... the party was at Talking Heads' loft.
The girl had been gang-raped by the football team...One of her exes, a minor Euro movie star, said to me loudly at a bar, "Maybe YOU can make her happy..."
She borrowed money from a friend once or twice for abortions. Her sister found her in an awful bathtub in NY

2/20/2011 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Bob said... "When a genius says something one doesn't immediately understand, it's generally not a good idea to dismiss it out of hand."

Concur.

I lean toward Dante knew what he was talking about. Curiosity (and trust based on his immense collateral) is the response I have, even if I'm not sure immediately of the specifics. Oddly, I intuitively agree with him while logically have questions. i.e. re Dante's point, 'I know what you're talking about (and even agree) but I'm not sure why.' ...or something like that.

2/21/2011 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

Definitely in over my head here, but maybe it is worse because the first duty is oneself to God, one's first, primary, and last responsibility, (and gift). Square one. A first checkpoint. From which He can reach others. Guard the heart and give the heart, for it is the wellspring of life. God is near the self He made... so to take that is pretty grim. Early morning groggy speculation in less than adequate words. But it starts to be more than clear and make sense when seen along these lines. Also, living (real Living) is a kind of enlisting in His army so defecting or abandoning one's post is like dishonorable discharge/going MIA maybe. You don't do that. He gives you everything you need, so there is kind of no excuse. But God's grace is never far, so it's His judgment on it. Discernment and understanding of what's what is always nice though!

2/21/2011 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

On that note, Isaiah 51, a comfort as well as a stern, life producing rebuke:

“I, even I, am he who comforts you.
Who are you that you fear mortal men,
the sons of men, who are but grass,
that you forget the LORD your Maker,
who stretched out the heavens
and laid the foundations of the earth,
that you live in constant terror every day
because of the wrath of the oppressor,
who is bent on destruction?
For where is the wrath of the oppressor?
The cowering prisoners will soon be set free;
they will not die in their dungeon,
nor will they lack bread. ..."


And don't forget: It is finished.

2/21/2011 07:45:00 AM  
Anonymous sehoy said...

Anna that last post was wonderful and true.

When I was reading Dante in college, I also worked in the rare docs section to pay for college and I stumbled onto a collection of memoirs written by concentration camp survivors in the stacks. I started skipping class and lived in the stacks, reading all those memoirs. When I was done, I didn't hate God, or believe there was no God, but I did begin to fear Him (and not in the good way.) This was how He allowed His Chosen People to be treated? I had just been baptized recently. Did that mean I was going to suffer that way too?

I tried to figure out how to hide from God. I considered suicide but discarded it almost immediately because it wouldn't hide me from God.

I decided instead to become the invisible girl and never speak of Him again. I was going to attract as little attention as possible from Him.

A few years into the hiding, He gave me a taste of what it would be like to live in a world with no God at all. It was a truly Hellish vision, and I decided at that point, I did not ever want to live in place where there was no God.
I didn’t even realize until two weeks ago what a blessing that vision of Hell had been.

2/21/2011 08:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Waonderer said...

@ge

That is a very tragic story, I know she will be judged in light of her circumstances and I pray she receives extra mercy.

On suicide - that is suicide brought about by despair - I would propose that it is often not to murder life and existence itself, but rather an attempt to murder the horrific interior that has become externalized to the point where it entirely obscures or taints the real. One in this state has become a dark god of sorts and wish to end themselves and the world they have created.

It is a grave crime against mercy and hope, but culpability can vary greatly from case to case.

2/21/2011 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

In counseling a friend, many years ago, she brought up suicide as an option. Her hell on earth had been singular, but her rebellion was of her own making and so it seemed good to reply, when asked if it was the unpardonable sin, to tell her that if not, it was close. I think I told her that suicide was the final rebellion, the final thrusted fist into the face of God saying, "No, you can't."

When my niece committed suicide last summer, I came immediately face-to-face with the horrible evil of it. I knew I did not want to go to the places her death would take an already broken family. I felt it down to my innermost spirit, how evil sprang out from the act that very moment, the meanness and pain behind the act, the absolute weakness of her heart and mind and the way she left herself open to the temptation. . . and those who drove her to do it as a positive thing. So many pains compounded.

My brother is a Catholic priest. At her funeral he spoke of the familiar picture of Christ at the Door, the handle being on the inside and our duty to let Him in; a familiar evangelical simplicity. But then he presented a Christ that, after His resurrection, walked boldly into locked rooms where fearful men were hiding, where men had denied him for fear, where unbelievers demanded more tangible proof.

I don't think such an image changes the evil of what my niece did, we are still quite angry with her, but I ponder if Love transcends the evil that we do, to find the fearful creature we became.

It is hard and fearful to contemplate.

Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.

2/21/2011 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger PSGInfinity said...

My Mom committed suicide when I was four. One of the keys to my healing was to realize that when she killed herself, she killed me too. Or, rather, the me-that-should-have-been. What's left is a fat drifter, continually sinning against his talents and birthright, A waistrel, of sorts.
In my darkest days in jr/sr high school, I had to convince my self to stay alive through the night. Suicide will always haunt me like some dark mistress, beckoning from the fog where I feel most at home...

Thirty seven years later, about Three years ago, I sat in a rental car outside that organically tidy brick duplex where she laid down my life ... and forgave her. It was hard, it was scary, and I could feel the lancing of the boil that ruined half my life.

When I arrived in that rental, I called out to her in the same voice I used so many years ago, when I pleaded in terror and futility for her to open the locked bathroom door. Just then, the speedo and tach needles bounced, in unison, three or four times. The ignition was off, no radio or other electrics running, no reason for this behavior. And I knew it was her, waiting for me after all these years. It would be a conversation, one that ended with taking that chance ... and then having the Cleveland Heights police hassle me because a buppie complained of my presence. Say what you will, I could feel the fear, contempt and disdain radiate from her like a dark penumbra.

I would like to tell you that all is well, but alas, my health is suffering the effects of all these pounds. Work's been hard, recovery slow. But just a few days ago, I finally wrote out a list of things I'd like to do in my remaining time. For the first time in my life, I've actually turned to, maybe, doing some long-range planning.

I 'd like to close by noting that when I see someone wearing a "Why be normal?" shirt, I shake my head sadly. If they only knew...

Thanks, Bob, you've been an immense help to me, however intentionally...
:)

WV: compe, the perks life gives for enduring its loaded dice...

2/22/2011 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

PGSInfinity:

Thanks for sharing that.
I pray you continue to heal.

2/27/2011 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Joan:

God bless you and your family.

2/27/2011 04:11:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home