Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Tolstoy, Confessions


I'm going to run the "confession" together with the other works in this short book ... "What is Religion", "Religion and Morality", and "The Law of Love and Violence".

When Tolstoy was in his 50's, already well known and admired as an author around the world, he came to a point of crisis which he covers in chapter 4. He had realized (in chapter 3), that his former thought of the morality and purpose of "living in conformity with progress" was nonsense. Anything, no matter how horrible could be justified in the name of "progress". This writing was done prior to WWI, and even prior to the Russian Revolution ... he saw the likely outcome of the dream of "progressivism"-- 10's of millions dead from Nazism and Communism in the 20th century.

He becomes extremely suicidal, and what saves him is what he sees as a revelation that he has an eternal soul and that God has a purpose and meaning for all of this. Being a genius, he immediately skips over the idea of "wisdom" (fear of God), and the fact that he has none of it (wisdom) next to God, as well as forgetting that the human heart is "full of it", but the "it is shit". He then proceeds to cherry pick the Bible as he sees fit, much like Jefferson did in creating the "Jefferson Bible", a "bible" devoid of anything other than a deist god who totally keeps his hands off his creation.

Tolstoy hates "the church", virtually all sorts of government, and postulates a "divine nature" at the core of all humans that just needs to be nurtured (by ourselves) separate from all historical creeds and philosophy. At one level, he realizes that "religion" is a requirement for people living in community ... but is uncertain of what such a "religion" might be.

The book is mainly interesting because it was written by Tolstoy.

Guilty Until Proven Innocent


The linked article is an excellent SHORT summary by the almost always excellent (but not always short) Victor Davis Hanson. If you read this blog, you know that the entire Mueller probe is a travesty, but one of the underlying issues is the unraveling of a basic human value -- the presumption of innocence. 
Instead of presuming Trump innocent unless he finds evidence of Russian collusion, Mueller started with the assumption that the reckless raconteur Trump surely must be guilty of some lawbreaking. Thus, it is Mueller’s job to hunt for past crimes to prove it.
Getting Americans to buy fully into the idea that members of TP ("The Party"-D) are inherently innocent, or if not innocent, "absolved" (see Slick Willie, Hildebeast, BO, the Kennedys, etc). To be in "opposition" to TP is itself a crime in BOistan, so the task is reduced to "finding the specifics". They already know you are guilty of not being a member of TP, the unforgivable sin, the only question now is; "What ELSE are you guilty of?".

BOistan is charting new waters for the region once known as the USA, although extr -- it is proving it is a "crime" simply to win an election and not be TP (or a suitably TP-like RINO). 
No president has ever faced impeachment for supposed wrongdoing alleged to have taken place before he took office — not Andrew Johnson, not Richard Nixon, and not even Bill Clinton, who lied about his liaisons with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office. With the effort to go back years, if not decades, into Trump’s business and personal life, we are now in unchartered territory.
There are LOTS of new waters in BOistan ... if you want to run in California and have a 501C, all it takes is someone to ACCUSE you of "coordination", and the burden of proof is on YOU to "prove yourself innocent" rather than on the state to prove you guilty! Welcome to the gulag comrade!

Victor would like to see some of the FBI agents and even Hillary investigated for a few of the crimes already uncovered and KNOWN relative to coordination on the Steele Dossier, wiretapping and spying on the Trump campaign. That would be an excellent idea -- if we ever again live in a state not ruled by TP!

Monday, November 25, 2019

Cultivation of the Soul, The Enemy of Socialism.


A great little article on the lack of wisdom in our now so prevalent Western materialist thought.
Foolishly, this survivor of Communist slave labor camps revealed himself “to be an enemy of socialism.” Solzhenitsyn recalls a Canadian TV commentator who “lectured me that I presumed to judge the experience of the world from the viewpoint of my own limited Soviet and prison-camp experience. Indeed, how true! Life and death, imprisonment and hunger, the cultivation of the soul despite the captivity of the body: how very limited that is compared to the bright world of political parties, yesterday’s numbers on the stock exchange, amusements without end, and exotic foreign travel!”
It may be that the oppressive denial / distraction of the soul in the 20th century west will turn out to have even worse effect than the oppression of the USSR.

Stalin once remarked; "One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic". How very true -- the 100 million+ murdered by communism and socialism -- 6 million Jews by "National Socialism" alone are incomprehensible to our material brains. Only recovery of our souls can begin to comprehend the horror of this and the 60 million+ now murdered in their mothers wombs.
We are never closer to evil than when we think that the line between good and evil passes between groups and not through each human heart.
We all live by some standard -- we worship that standard, so the most important act in human life is to accept the standard  (Truth) that God has provided (Christ -- The Way, the Truth, the Life), lest we rely on our "intelligence" to "choose" another object of worship. ( man, the state, ideology, ourself, etc ... all in fact being Satan)

The myth of human "choice" is the most damaging of all -- we were created to joyfully serve  God, but in Adam we rejected our purpose through Satan, so we became divided -- with the knowledge of good and evil running through our souls. In Heaven we will return to only knowing good.

The base foundation is denial of God and a purposeful creation.
Bolshevik ethics explicitly began and ended with atheism. Only someone who rejected all religious or quasi-religious morals could be a Bolshevik because, as Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, and other Bolshevik leaders insisted, the only standard of right and wrong was success for the Party.
In my writings I will often refer to "The Party" (TP) which is the combination of the Deep State, Administrative State, the vast majority of our public schools and institutions and most of our media intellectual establishment. It is best represented by the Democratic Party currently, although as Trump has exposed, it also includes much of the once opposition Republican Party.

While we have the curse of the knowledge of good and evil, the Devil much prefers that we distract ourselves from that knowledge and assume that we are "basically good". Human nature is always to ask the wrong questions.
We sought an explanation for those prisoner cattle cars, but it should now be clear that it is not cruelty that requires explanation but the reverse. To ask the reason for cruelty is to ask the wrong question. People sometimes ask the reason for slavery, but since slavery was practiced everywhere for most of human history, the right question is the opposite one: why was slavery eventually abolished in many places? In the Bolshevik context, it is mercy and compassion that require explanation.
Darwin explained to us that the only "morality" is "whatever works" ... survival of the materialy "fittest". It and we are all just "stuff" -- if violence is more effective/fit, than it is to be preferred in a materialist world.
Kopelev, Solzhenitsyn, and others describe the key event of their life as the discovery that just as the universe contains causal laws it also contains moral laws. Bolshevik horror derived from the opposite view: that there is nothing inexplicable in materialist terms and that the only moral standard is political success.
There light at the end of the hard to read article -- "Everybody has been indoctrinated with the slogan that, in a material world where nothing beyond the laws of nature exists, “The result is all that counts.” But camp experience taught that that was a lie. “It is not the result that counts . . . but the spirit!” Once you realize this, “then imprisonment begins to transform your character in an astonishing way.” You begin to appreciate friendship differently. Recognizing your own weakness, you understand the weakness of others. When another prisoner relates how he became a Christian, Solzhenitsyn recognizes that when he had been most certain he was doing good he was actually doing evil. He understands “the truths of all the religions of the world: They struggle with the evil inside a human being (every human being).”

The whole article is WELL worth your time -- in fact, it could be eternally significant!

I'm messing around with a new site ... if you want to see a more general overview of current moose life, give it a try! (and let me know ANY thoughts you have on the mechanism, content, etc.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The New Being Belief Behavior

2019 finds me a resident of Iowa living on Five Islands Lake outside of Emmetsburg and launching a new blog using Wordpress ... which didn't last very long because I didn't find it convenient to use.

I ended Moosetracks in April 2018, because the general world, as well as my personal world, had become too contentious for honest straight talk about faith, the state of the US, and Western civilization.

So why restart?

  1. I see us drifting to more extreme socialism than even I thought possible in 2018 (see Democrat candidates)
  2. Remaining silent doesn't work ... haters are going to hate, even if you roll over and play dead. They typically would prefer you to be actually dead. 
  3.  I was too optimistic that when it became clear that Trump was effective (eg rising economy, less war rather than the more war the opposition predicted, really solid SCOTUS appointments, etc) that the folks stuck in Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) and that early attempt to overturn the election was garbage, that reason would prevail and all but the most extreme would "Move On" ... boy, was I wrong! 
  4. I'm going to write anyway, I love discussion, and I firmly believe that unless we return to actually respecting and even celebrating difference of opinion, we are more over than we are already! 

Moosetracks could be thought of as a "voice crying in the wilderness" about what I suspected was happening. My hope was that BBB can be one of the many needed elements in the path to recovery of basic personal and family relationships in the age of radical individualism, tribalism, and loss of meaning in most lives, now that more accept the reality of current divisions and the loss of meaning and connections that many are experiencing.

The following is a quote from "Them" by Ben Sasse:
But normal people in the not-so-distant past were able to gather together, discuss politics, and part ways as friends and neighbors. We’ve let our loneliness, our fears, and our anxieties swallow up the better angels of our nature. A republic can’t survive if it’s filled with fanatics. We need to be able to identify and then to resist the habits that are driving us toward fanaticism.
The sad fact is that for Facebook, Twitter, Google, and a host of other internet businesses, "We the people" are "We the product" -- as a number of wags, Tim Cook of Apple for one, have said; "If the service is free, YOU are the product". In a post-civilization world, be certain of the main course when you are invited to dinner!

Sadly, Facebook is CLEARLY an example of a platform living off the creation of "anti-tribes" -- who often do not know in much detail what they are FOR, but are daily on red alert hair trigger for what they are are AGAINST! While I will cross post some of this blog to FB, my FB  time there will remain radically limited, and I will avoid discussions in that forum. (but will be happy to discuss in person, by phone, email, or "whatever")

As no less than Saint Augustine put it; "Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping that the other person will die".

Much of what we see on social media is the false idea of "resentment as a virtue".

The motivation of much of what passes as "discussion", "argument", or even "news" these days are people and businesses wittingly or unwittingly selling you the poison of resentment! There is big money in hatred from every angle. In this period, it is critical to understand that the antidote has been available for over two thousand years!

"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" (Matt 5:44)

We CAN "all get along" with proper training and help -- and it can be secular as well as faith based. Certainly we will need to give up some virtue signalling and a lot of illusions of our innate superiority to "them" ... you know, THOSE people! Perhaps the most important thing is to keep in mind what Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn discovered in the Gulag.

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” 

"The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being"! In our many attempts to make "them" out to be evil, we can fail to recognize that the line is in each of us -- part and parcel of what we are, and not even a straight line! When you discover that the speck in your brother's eye is "the problem", humble self examination will nearly always show a severe "log" in your own eye.

One usually Eastern symbol, the Tao, expresses the path to goodness and understanding as the wavy line between the two halves with the dots expressing that nothing in this world is "all" one condition or the other, indeed, each contains the seed of the "other".

Another symbol, from the West is expressed here in the form of Laminin, the molecule that we now know holds what we believe to be "biological life" together.

That symbol is of course also  the Cross -- and at the center of that Cross is the point of maximum suffering. The point at which Christians believe that our Savior willingly allowed himself to suffer and die to save us and to give us the strength to willingly suffer our own crosses so that in Him and with Him, we can transcend suffering and even death.

In dealing with phobias and anxiety, we use that same wisdom. Rather than avoiding and fighting anxiety and unwanted feelings, we seek to accept the suffering and allow ourselves to abide with it, rather than increase the anxiety by fighting it. We don't necessarily decrease fear, anxiety and bad feelings as much as we increase courage and a willingness to "be with" what IS. (eventually, this will being more emotional peace -- and it may take a good deal of time, and the willingness to accept with patience the FAITH that acceptance WILL work!

So welcome! The objective will be to combine ancient truths, modern science (especially psychology), philosophy, theology, history and general book reading to hopefully stimulate thought as to how we can all get along with "them", and maybe find that they are really US!

AND, I will do my best to avoid my natural instinct to "go for the win" in discussion, all too often on display in Moosetracks. No doubt I will be much less than perfect.

If you followed some of the links above, you will also understand that I believe that humor is healthy.

There will also be "experiments" ... as Wordpress turned out to be. I'm also doing a website to "tie it all together" ;-)