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" ;-)

No comments:

Post a Comment