Ivan Wolfe’s father has passed away. When I read about the man, I get a sense of how it is that God can say people are his glory.
The human person has a very nearly infinite capacity for self-delusion. That’s why I consider myself religious… but not spiritual. Whatever in religious practice may seem dull, mundane, and ordinary is more to be trusted than those parts of it which seem highly emotional or consciousness-raising.
-thus Nick B. Steves, offered for consideration and not by way of endorsement.
Mormonism is a highly unusual mix of emotionalism and workmanlike pragmatism. The only other place I’ve seen that is the family: gooey sentiment, checkbooks, and diapers.
Men need achievement. They need to earn respect. But when men get together to start striving and doing, they often get absurd. Everyone who’s spent time there knows the workplace is just a bit ridiculous. Even workplaces with bona-fide valuable missions: when I was in the military I estimated it was about 3/4ths farce, except not played for laughs.
I wonder if men need women to bring them back to earth sometimes. When you’re a kid, you play dress up at home. When you’re grown, you come home so you can stop playing dress up.
On the sweetness of Mormon life.
Easter Morning. You take family pictures under the Bradford Pear. Then you take more pictures after you remember to remove the hanging mosquito trap.
You go to church. You take the sacrament. A girl receives the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Here’s a practical analysis of Jesus’ charisma.
More and more, I see social acts and conversations as a series of little rituals. Jesus didn’t participate in the rituals. He remade them. They called him the Logos–the Word–and the Creator.
As the linked analysis points out, a lot of his power simply came from his refusal to participate. When they brought him the woman caught in adultery and asked if she should be stoned, Jesus . . . ignored them. After a while he spoke just one line. Then he ignored them again. We speculate that Mohammed may have been an actual prophet of God in his time and place. I am beginning to speculate that Lao-Tzu was too.
I learned from our dear prophet what a storm-tossed people need—love, prayers, and appreciation for helping hands.
The logical and imaginative grammars of belief, which still informed the thinking of earlier generations of atheists and skeptics, are no longer there. In their place, there is now—where questions of the divine, the supernatural, or the religious are concerned—only a kind of habitual intellectual listlessness.
Unbelief dwindles. Only it turns out the verb is transitive, not intransitive as we had supposed.
Very few people that leave the good old folkways can keep from getting all mixed up in the mind. We can make raids and excursions into the wild, but it has to be from well kept strongholds.
-thus Robert Frost