The rule of my heart is mine! And no other’s!

steward of gondor

In the Patheos Hindu channel, Ambaa gives her perspective on Jedis and gnosticism, inspired by the same essay by Brother Humbert that prompted me to write "Emotional Weapons for a More Indifferent Age." Ambaa explains that there's a middle road between abandoning emotions and abandoning yourself to them. Quoth she: I don’t think Hinduism calls for anyone, even ascetics, to not have emotions. But a practiced monk can see the emotions playing out over his psyche and know that they are shifting a … [Read more...]

“You’re Gonna Have to Serve Somebody”

RocknRoll3

In yesterday's post, I talked about the unenviable invulnerability of indifference, and, it so happened that the play I saw this weekend (Tom Stoppard's Rock and Roll at the Actors Ensemble of Berkeley) touched on similar themes.  The play is structured around (among other things) resistance to Soviet-dominated Communism in Czechoslovakia.  At one point in the play, Jan gets into an argument with his friend Ferdinand (recently released from prison) about who represents a larger threat to the go … [Read more...]

What should we be hurt by?

hand-with-candlelight

Poking around the internet, I ran across two interesting articles that seemed to be linked only by offhand comments about the legitimacy or 'realness' of certain kinds of suffering.  First, from a Mother Jones piece on PTSD: Whatever is happening to Caleb, it's as old as war itself. The ancient historian Herodotus told of Greeks being honorably dismissed for being "out of heart" and "unwilling to encounter danger." Civil War doctors, who couldn't think of any other thing that might be un … [Read more...]

Mormon Enthusiasm for the Self-Made Man

god who weeps

I received a free review copy of The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life as part of the Patheos Book Club.I'm glad to have read The God Who Weeps, since, even in the midst of all the Romney controversy, there's been very little discussion of Mormon theology.  Reporters prefer to cover the Temple rituals because they're secret, and therefore must be interesting.  The Book of Mormon musical prompted some error-checking, but not very many details about what would have been the co … [Read more...]

Javert and Valjean at Prayer

javert and valjean

The two things I found most frustrating about the Les Mis movie were the camerawork and Russell Crowe's performance as Javert.  And they both came together to annoy me during "Stars."  Crowe is sad-eyed instead of steely from his first appearance and, for this number, director Tom Hooper places him on a ledge.  This seems to be done simply so that Hooper can set up some parallelism in his cimematography; the shots of Javert walking right along the edge of the roof in "Stars" are echoed when he pa … [Read more...]

Can you Cyrano de Bergerac your moral philosophy?

school of athens

Yesterday, I linked to Luke Muelhauser's commentary on the inability of philosophers to come to consensus.  He's continued on the topic, proposing a curriculum for building better philosophers in "Train Philosophers with Pearl and Kahneman, not Plato and Kant."His list of recommended topics include Bayesian statistics, machine learning, mathematical logic, game theory, cognitive neuroscience, etc.  (Go to the link to see his syllabus).  When you look over all the prerequisites, you can see wh … [Read more...]

For I am a Woman Under Authority

clock

This weekend, I attended a silent retreat.  The timing of the retreat on Saturday made it a good time to reflect on preparations for Advent (and plenty of other things -- the retreat ran from 9am-6pm, and my friends offline will know it was only by the grace of God that I kept my motormouth from running all that time).  The Advent season is similar to Lent, a time of reflection, purification, and anticipation before a great feast.  So, many Catholics take on Advent fasts the same way they do at L … [Read more...]


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