"...a job is a way of fulfilling a vocation, and particular jobs - if we are reflectively learning through them, may generate an evolution in our vocation. A key to making this important point real is being aware of God working in you through a particular job."
Whether it is Bible reading or living in a home, we metaphorically translate what is foreign into familiarity and move what is to what ought to be. That is, overcoming otherness is bringing our uniqueness to a situation not originally intended to accept it, and then translating and transforming the situation so the uniqueness can feel at home.
We may need again to become local and to direct our gaze to humans and particular scales and scopes.
The year in climate is thus filled with lots of room for optimism, provided we can take home these three points: 1) that we are stewards of creation and not dominators of it; 2) that we are constituted for thriving by a sacred relationship to an environment that sustains our wellbeing; and 3) that we reduce our desire.
. But one of the most significant areas of rethink was in our newly interwoven understanding of health. We understood that mental and emotional health was inseparable from physical health.
Thirty-six years ago, Robert Bellah and others, in their seminal book “Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life” identified a problem and prophesied its social consequences - that of political and social polarization. We live in those prophesied consequences today. The problem, as Bellah and his co-authors identified it, was the tendency … Continue reading Inarticulate Authenticity
I will do my share even if, for a time, you aren’t doing your share.
It may have been the first human, the first common thing she heard in a long while.
The substance of the addiction is thus a way to imitate a certain semblance of well-being and thriving. The problem is, of course, that sustainable sources of thriving are absent, and they must therefore be imitated by artificial substitution. Sustainable sources of thriving are still absent.
I am thankful for the presence of Christ, who is all and in all.
What we need to emphasize then is that our universal claims to spiritual reality are better housed within our aspirations and moral ideals than as housed by any so-called objective descriptions which we have come to doubt as neither objective nor descriptive.
If you are going to argue with someone, you have to see them as rational; otherwise, arguing can’t reach them. You have to try to understand them on their own terms if you are going to give reasons that they see as reasons.
Arguments matter because we live an embedded life in which reality determines moral life, and moral life determines reality. In other words, is it not only true but also legitimate?
Let’s say you and a random social media user, disagree over abortion.... The answer to this question matters greatly. It’s not like a dispute over our particular tastes in food which can remain unresolved without jeopardizing our relationship – it must be settled.
If common sense and superstition are two extremes on a knowledge spectrum, then a hard distinction contained in the folkish idea of speakers and doers is cozying up to superstition.
For Arendt, politics was the back-and-forth interplay between regular people in a democracy. Politics is the realm of freedom (The Human Condition) and will not only combat hyper-partisanship and raw power plays, but may even help us thrive even in the face of great collective challenges.
"It turns out that the concept of common goods is constitutive of pursuing one’s interests."
Now I sometimes say that I’m religiously bisexual because when I found Buddhist meditation, I felt more Christian than ever.
Little did she know that reading would be her competitor, my new mistress.
"... Development itself constantly changes the self’s possibilities such that what would count as one’s ‘best’ transforms in ways that are at once real and out of view."
In fact, one should understand that Sweden’s guiding ideology is not so much collectivism as it is statist individualism; the goal is to make citizens as independent from each other as much as possible.
Rather than leading us to a deeper, more meaningful life, this so-called happiness may be one more thing we don’t really need.
ESG and EDI initiatives remind me of the various English tests we used as a representation of one's English skills: I could get any student to pass the test, but it was really hard to give them the skills to get out of the airport.
Announcement of changes to idealsandidentities.com
The isolated individual is entirely unsatisfactory. Precisely because of a person’s social character, stable identities can only emerge in relationships with stable social contexts. Therefore, there is deep uncertainty about contemporary identity; it’s an identity crisis if you will.
"...to be educated is not to be in control or to master chance, it is to become more authentically who you are."
A marriage, on the other hand, is made by a daily effort to live out the vows until death. In the words of my father, the vows I make to my spouse are not so much like laws that I keep or break; they are commitments that keep or break me. The vows may be taken seriously or not, broken or not, but there is no way of withholding them from homosexuals. You cannot copyright the vows which a homosexual couple is perfectly free to make. The government cannot forbid them to do so, nor can any church.
One may suggest that life either begins at birth or at conception, but neither option treats life very seriously. A more accurate yet more mysterious option might be “life continues through conception”.
In our investment in Mass Society, liberal-democratic societies have skilled us at politicizing the nonpolitical.
The father we can believe in is one who stretches his arms out in waiting, but not in force. The father never lets his arms drop down in despair, but awaits his children’s return so that he can speak words of love to them. His desire is only to bless.
A humble individual may be wrong but he must also feel bad about it. Even if one doesn’t feel bad about being wrong there is often real or imagined pressure to virtue signal; I may not feel bad that I was wrong, but I have to apologize as if I did.
An individual with IM occupies a reality in which one is comfortable with having more questions than answers - celebrates duly the answers she comes up with - but lives with a kind of confidence and faith that having questions is one essential part of being authentically human.
Without that inner circle of significant others, we're left with shallowness and a void: we're “known of,” but never truly known, even to ourselves.
A person who thinks of herself secretly as a completely autonomous self, with unlimited possibilities (for this concept is what society teaches), finds herself in an impossible situation.
If ... the function of organized religion turns out to be nothing more than to house justification, and canonize, the routines of mass society; if organized religion abdicates its mission to disturb individuals in the depths of their consciences, and seeks instead simply to “make converts” that will smilingly adjust to the status quo, then it deserves the most serious and uncompromising criticism.
Instead of obeying the Word and Spirit of God, the body of those who love one another precisely insofar as they have been freed from facticity and routine, the orderliness of objective mass society, one surrenders at the same time one’s human and one’s religious integrity.
As we saw from Part 1 in this series of posts (which I encourage you to read before going on), our current systems of knowledge and power are not so much concerned with the authentic identity of concrete persons (you and I). Those systems are primarily concerned with objects of study including such commonplace perspectives … Continue reading Authenticity Under Threat, Part 2: Alienation or Being Lost in Mass Society
Existentialism offers neither attractions nor peril to people who are perfectly convinced that they are headed in the right direction, that they possess the means to attain a reasonably perfect happiness, and that they have a divine mandate to remove anyone who seems inclined to interfere with this aim. Existentialism calls into question the validity, indeed the very possibility, of such an aim.
If you have been paying attention, you will notice that there have been two particular examples of fragmentation that have coincided with each other, a fragmentation of the conservative movement, and a fragmenting of evangelical Christianity. In the heart of conservatism, there is a disagreement between the centrists who have complex sensitivities and more radical … Continue reading Evangelicalism and Conservatism: From Doctrine Back to Disposition
"...it is physically impossible to pick oneself up by one’s own bootstraps..."
We are now living in the necessary push back and what we need most is grace. Grace is not manufactured or created by us. It is a new person, a new idea, a new consensus - which feels like it falls from heaven.
I am a fan of good writing. Good writing communicates ideas to the minds of your readers. When people read your writing, they don’t just interpret its meaning through the words you chose. They also interpret it through your writing’s tone. This tone, just like your tone of voice when you’re speaking, is largely shaped … Continue reading Writing in the Active and Passive Voice
The disappearance of the unique individual corresponds to the loss of freedom - and the avatar is its technique.
The most valid intuition of the “religionless religion” is their awareness that the vast majority of people today, i.e., those who “cannot believe”, are encountering Christ, even though they cannot adjust to the idea that life acquires meaning only when one “joins the Church”.
"...our “politically correct concerned” society fails to provide new avenues for intellectual dialogue outside traditional intellectual engagement; so where can we find such opportunities? "
A regular experience of moments of success is necessary to understand that we are in a framework for thriving.
Arendt invokes the realm of privacy, which is the realm of persons who are significant others to the individual. These significant others are the context for the emergence of an individual. In other words, the realm of privacy includes our social sphere where each of those significant others has a reciprocal relationship with each other. Not only do these significant others constitute our identity as individuals, but each individual also has some responsibility to act as a significant other to the other members. I would call this “community”.
"...with the surprising eradication of relatively unconscious structures that housed and empowered a certain inspiring model of human flourishing, we may want to reconsider how we have housed and empowered human flourishing."
The mass-market hegemony resists the moral examination of the world that could stand up to the use of arbitrary power that we have seen with our eyes and have heard with our ears.
The good news is that all three of these motivations—an aversion to uncertainty, an attachment to the appearance of perfection, and a lack of courage—are qualities most of us would rather be rid of. Facing the fear of failure is more than just dealing with a problem; it is an authentic refinement of who you are.