Posted tagged ‘Destiny’

WATCH YER FEELINGS

February 12, 2019

(“Cooper’s Cardinal”  next post.)

A more serious post tonight:   “You can stifle your feelings,  but feelings can stifle your ideas.”

'It always hurts more when...'

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 A WORLD OF FEELINGS*

We don’t even question it.  We ask each other,  “How do you feel about . . .?”    We watch ads on television that are devoid of any meaningful information but are meant to give us feelings towards the product, one way or the other, blatantly and annoyingly!

Since mass media developed in the early 20th century,  appeals are made to all people, men and women, on the basis of how they can be made to feel.

Political speeches were always like that – but not always political debate.

(“How do you  feel about  the Wall?   Doesn’t it make you mad/hopeful?”)

Today, if a person doesn’t accept the many socially correct ideas like man-made climate change,  or evolution from one species into the next,   gender fluidity,  central state control of all of society . . .  you can name other ideas we’re supposed to accept . . .  but if  a person doesn’t agree or accept,   there is a kind of emotional-social horror towards him.   It’s not “oh,  so what do you know about that subject?”  It’s  “you don’t!?”

There’s a big difference.   One invites human discussion; one doesn’t.   One seeks to advance understanding, for the benefit of all;  the other seeks to shut down the “dissident” voice,  to the benefit of no one.

They say ordinary conversation between people has become self-restricted;  we dare not say exactly what we think because we may get called on it.  Or we may get told it “offends”  someone’s feelings.   So we talk a  lot but dare not say a lot.

I wonder how common this is?

 

FEELINGS COLLAPSE EDUCATION

Parents used to see their children off to school with the words, “Be good!”   because good children can think clearly and learn.   Now it’s common to say, “Have fun!”

We make our children “feel good”  about going to school.   We make sure their self-esteem is bolstered.    We make sure our college students are not offended in anything,  so we carefully guard them from points of view that differ from  the ones they’ve been taught.

Unfortunately,  since socialism has increasingly taken control of our education  (early 20th century)  our children have been taught that Western Civilization is the root of all evil, in general.  This precludes teaching students anything that contradicts this ideology, so that they won’t be upset.

There is no transmission of  all those characteristics and values that built up civilization since the collapse of the Roman Empire.

I wonder if we can anticipate all the consequences of an ignorant generation coming into positions of leadership normally reserved for the mature mind.

I wonder how we’ll “feel”  as society around us falls apart – and just doesn’t seem to work anymore  – and no one knows how to put it back together again?

 

SERIOUS DISCUSSION HAS BECOME AN APPEAL TO FEELINGS

No matter what field of inquiry,  appeal is made to our personal inclinations but not to observable and objective facts and analysis of those facts for the purpose of advancement of understanding and possible improvement.

Especially sad is the lack of serious discussion for the development of understanding in the field of religion.   No matter how often we’re told that religion isn’t important,  religion is outdated, religion is the cause of war, etc.,  the fact remains that humans are religious.  They all believe in something.  The Creator of humans have given all humans the capacity to seek and to find Him . . .

Humans do frequently choose to not seek out their own Creator, much to the delight of the powerful Enemy of human beings,  but when a human  stops believing in God, he doesn’t believe, now, in nothing,  he will believe in anything — but he will continue to believe.

We’re just made that way.

So we seek after answers.

Unfortunately, if you’ve read any religious book, any “Christian”  book that was published in the past fifty or so years, you are likely to be “encouraged,”  made to feel “confident” in God,  “soothed,”   and directed to not be afraid.   Reading some of the most popular Christian books is like reading a vapid woman’s magazine, where we are shown how to be happy people,  happy Christians,  happy members of our society.   All is well.    things will work out.

Boring.   Boring because such books don’t satisfy the deepest questions we are asking ourselves.

In a recent brilliant essay entitled:    Why How You Feel Is Not All That Valuable,   Father Stephen Freeman,  an American Russian Orthodox priest,  explores how we are defined by our feelings –  in our current culture. **    He says:

Sentiment is a function of the passions, and rather shallow passions, at that. It is a disposition towards pleasure. A sentiment that says, “I think human suffering is terrible,” is generally a sentiment that will avoid confronting the nature of suffering and its true depths. If you’re decently middle-class, you can afford to avoid encounters with many forms of suffering. You can filter your friends-list in a manner to see and hear what you find pleasant and agreeable.

But as he implies, our character should not be equated to our feelings.  “I feel, therefore I am.”    No matter how a person feels about something, if we watch what he does,  that reveals his true character.

Or, as the old adage has it:  “character is what you do when you think no one is watching you.”

And character  is  destiny.

I wonder if a society that runs on its feelings could ever know what its “destiny”  is — until it smacks it in the face.

 

It’s the rug you’ve been sweeping things under that gets pulled out from under you.”

 

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.*   For those of you who are used to marxist rhetoric,  of course none of my statements are intended to indicate all, all, all, all cases in some kind of 100% mathematical completeness.     I’m observing general trends.    There are always pockets of good thinkers here and there.    I hope you find them.

 

.**  If you’d like to read the whole serious article by Father Stephen,  it can be found here:

(remove spaces)

https  ://  blogs.ancientfaith.com/glory2godforallthings/2019/01/28/why-how-you-feel-is-not-all-that-valuable/

 

It is satisfyingly intelligent.

 

 

 

 

 

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EUGEN ONEGIN AND BETHLEHEM’S BABE

January 17, 2014

I  make reference to “my classes”  once in a while.     It’s my job on Fridays to help my people gain a deeper understanding of the Readings they will hear on Sunday morning.     bethlehem

This week’s Readings all point to not only the prophecies of the Messiah, the Christ,   but the dawning realization that this man, Jesus, is the Messiah,  the Christ of God-Most-High.   The certainty of this knowledge is a stroke of sanctifying grace that comes to a willing heart.

Suddenly life becomes different.    Previously,   we knew that  no matter how hard we work, no matter how successful we are, the only reward from this planet is …   a 3 foot by 6 foot hole in the ground.

grave

“No U-hauls attached to the back of a hearse,”  my Grandma used to say.   We take no earthly rewards with us into the next life.

But for the one who has growing faith in the Christ who came to us centuries ago,   the reward  is a full and abundantly joyful  life that never ends.   Come what may to us here on earth,  each event,   each experience,  each challenge is but a stepping stone that creates our pathway to Heaven.   Our crosses, big and small, our happinesses, our enjoyment of the wonderful things in this physical world — all these are stepping stones given to us.  They are given in hopes that we will use them to follow Christ into Heaven.

Beatific

After class one lady kindly reminded me that our local PBS station is presenting Eugen Onegin tonight on its television station.    This is one  of my favorite operas;  so beautiful, so Russian!    I noticed a line in it tonight.   One of the kitchen maids said (sang):  “God gives us habits, not happiness in this world.”

So very Russian.   So very true.  It is our habits that will save us, not our occasional happiness.

Habits of our hearts:  to be cynical or hopeful;   to be open or to be rejecting;  to be trusting or to arrogantly close our minds to truly Good News.

It begins in our God-given intellect:

Sow a thought,  reap an action

Sow and action, reap a habit.

Sow a habit, reap a character.

Sow a character, reap a destiny.

The opera,  Eugen Onegin,  speaks of the Baby at Bethlehem and reminds us to consider what is the happiness we are looking for.