Apothegms and Observations XXVIII

  1. Joy is a virtue.
  2. Addiction is built into the core of the modern market.
  3. A parent who does not understand their own persuadability will not understand their child’s inevitable addiction.
  4. In a time of universal doubt – being orthodox is a revolutionary act.
  5. The ancient philosophers and all religions take it for granted that the Truth is unified with the Beautiful. The modern horror is to deny this, and to say that Truth only reveals senselessness.
  6. I believe in God for three reasons. 1. Jesus rose bodily from the dead. 2. The Christian Scripture has my full trust. 3. The only alternative I can see is utter valuelessness, and there exist real Values both ethical and aesthetic, therefore there is no alternative.
  7. It could be said that Fascism is the masculine instinct gone too far, and Communism is the feminine instinct gone too far.
  8. The wise Kevin Twit said, “Fundamentalism sets you up for a crisis of faith.”
  9. Doubt prevents worship.
  10. There is no uncertainty that science cannot produce values.
  11. People do change. Progress is possible.
  12. It is not that women need cherishing more than men and men need admiration more than women. It is that women’s insecurity tends to be that they are not loved, and men’s insecurity tends to be that they are not respected. It is not an imbalance of needs, but an imbalance of insecurity. This calls for an imbalance of affirmation.
  13. It is good to pray the dangerous prayer: “Father, make me into who you want me to be.”
  14. The value of the argument from beauty is that it cannot be purely cerebral. It begins with an experience of beauty, therefore it leads directly into worship. It is not a strong argument for the unpersuaded materialist, but for the already persuaded, it is immensely valuable. As Dostoyevsky said, “Beauty will save the world.”
  15. The one who laughs at heavy things may be foolish. But the one who is gravely serious towards light things may be in pain.
  16. The humble person will not have insecurities.
  17. I am not humble when I think to myself, “I am finally learning what it means to be humble.” I am not humble when I think to myself, “I am desperately prideful.” I am humble when I forget to ask whether or not I am humble.
  18. I am not humble when I think to myself, “I can finally accept that I have some talents.” I am not humble when I think to myself, “I’m really not very good at what I do.” I am humble when I am simply enjoying what I am doing, and I forget to ask if I am talented at what I am doing.
  19. Much of joy involves letting go.
  20. A culture of sincere complaining is a misery, but a culture of sincere compliments is a joy.
  21. The materialist mindset cannot understand worship.
  22. Virtue has little to do with worship, and worship has little to do with virtue.
  23. A life without worship is not a human life.
  24. Worship necessarily includes surrender of some kind.
  25. Science does not lead to worship, though it can certainly aid it.
  26. Worship is spiritual — it is not purely cerebral, and it is not uncerebral.
  27. Virtue involves stepping into life’s times. Worship involves stepping out of your life, into true Life.
  28. It is not easy to change your mind.
  29. The beginning of understanding is understanding that you don’t understand.
  30. I do not trust a philosopher who cannot lose himself in the joy of a poem.
  31. There are many, many fronts in the War. Pick one and fight; contribute.

2 thoughts on “Apothegms and Observations XXVIII

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed all of them, but here are a few quick thoughts:
    4 – I dig this. Well done.
    11 – Difficult to remember, even more difficult to believe
    14 – I really, really, really need to read “The Idiot.” But first, “Crime and Punishment.”
    16 – I don’t necessarily agree with this – is this an idealized vision of perfect humility (Jesus), or real-life, flawed human humility? Also, it depends on your definition of “insecurities.”
    18 – Seems impossible
    19 – Joy is freedom.
    27 – Worship is freedom.
    30 – I feel the same way about humans in general, honestly

    This is one of my favorites sets, I think. Perhaps purely subjective, and definitely a bit biased. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Finally responding to this haha. I read the whole post again today. I was not sure of it when I first posted it, but I think you are right. It is a good one. “I am my own worst critic.” Anyway.

      4 – I have to admit that I vaguely remember reading something that said essentially the same as this, so it is not an original. I could never find it, so I couldn’t quote it, but the idea is very clever, so I used it.

      14 – Interestingly, Nietzsche referred to The Idiot in The Antichrist §29. In §29, he tries to analyze the psychology of Jesus, and basically says he was not a great teacher, but just an unintelligent person that didn’t know anything about the reality all around him. He purposefully uses the word “idiot.” In other words, he is saying to Dostoyevsky, “Yeah, I agree that everyone these days would think that a saint of your tradition is just an idiot – because he would just be an idiot.” He went insane shortly after he wrote the Antichrist, so his sister was in charge of the publication of the text. She decided to suppress this word, and no one knew about it until like forty years later.

      16 – “The humble person will not have insecurities.” Hmm. I didn’t give this one as much thought as the others. I probably could word it better, and I think I overstated myself. Definitely, it is an observation rather than an apothegm. The way that it works is entirely a guess. But here is the guess.

      Insecurity seems to me to be something like a fear or apprehension of shame. What I am insecure about is the thing which I feel shame for when it is brought to light. But chapter 20 of WCF: The Christian really truly has freedom of conscience. “The liberty which Christ has purchased for believers under the Gospel consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, and condemning wrath of God, the curse of the moral law.” As I see it, humility is basically having a truthful view of yourself in relation to the world, and in relation to God. The humble person will have known shame for sure, because he will have seen his own shortcomings. But the Christian will also have accepted his shortcomings via the Good News of the Work of Christ, and learned the reason that we have boldness to approach the throne of grace. He will have dealt with his personal sources of shame, and experienced the truth that God transforms those things into beautiful demonstrations of his love. With no source of shame, there will be no insecurity.

      Another theory that is similar is in Bare, that post of mine. Basically, the idea is that pride is the source of shame. Maybe Lewis’ conception of humility works here: it is about thinking of yourself less. If pride is the source of shame and shame is the source of insecurity and humility and pride are opposites, then humility works against insecurity.

      So, to answer your question, this is definitely an idealized picture of humility. I’ve met some that seem to be further along than others in this, but of course, no one is totally there. But it is a Real Ideal, I think.

      18 – Nah, with grace, over time, it is possible. It is obviously the way towards joy, and yet it is obviously very hard. We’ve just got to learn it. Dat sanctification tho.

      30 – Ha, tru

      Liked by 1 person

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