Saturday, May 31, 2008

In the works

This one is oil on masonite. Getting there.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sitting in the dark of the theater

I've come to sort of cherish the cynical things that youngish men say, alongside their friends, as a running commentary to the commercials and previews at the movie theater. During the previews before the late Indiana Jones movie, there was one for a Canadian film by Paul Gross, the title of which I cannot remember except to say it looked French, and could not be immediately pronounced, leading me to suspect the movie will flounder with regards to box office, and the usual voice-over for the preview said, "It was a time of love"...shots of two lovers on scenic cliff with flowers, richly saturated with colour, then the voice said, "It was a time of war"...shots of, well, war; and immediately one man a few seats to my left said loudly and rudely, "It was a time of shitty and boring movies!"

With respect to the subject matter of the film being previewed, which is apparently about Canadian soldiers who gave their lives during the war, and which I may take the time to see, the comment rung true. The same cynicism was exhibited towards the next preview for some Angelina Jole movie with all latest newest oldest special effects and sex: I believe the words were, "What a waste of time".

The same cynicism was also shown at the ending of the movie we were all there to see: Indiana Jones and Crystal Skull Something or Other. I don't know where all this talk comes from of late, how the Indiana Jones movie is not supposed to be "serious", or it's supposed to be a "popcorn flick", so like, don't be so critical dude. Because the thing is, the whole Indiana Jones franchise got started from the fact that Raiders of the Lost Ark was a great whopping deal more than a popcorn flick. No, it did not "take itself seriously", indeed, Spielberg intentionally set out to a make an entertaining B movie. But somewhere between having one heck of a meaty good story and the actual shoot, the movie turned out to not only transcend its genre, but to set the stage for all action flicks to follow. And it also happened to envelope its viewers, who were, at various points in the movie, forgetful to eat their popcorn.

People want real story. The latest Indiana Jones has no real story. Yeah, there are some sequences in which I did get lost, and gleefully so, but by the end...nope, nada: an emptiness which is the accompaniment of having the faculty for receiving story open, and not being fed. You won't be able to enjoy even a "popcorn flick" if the story hasn't been seen to.

Blah

An atheist is someone who earns his living. Unfortunately the living is in proportion to the earning. I am nothing if not a creature. Not an "entity", not an "organism", not an "intelligence", and not some Whitmanesque "all things". Creature, as created by God, and in this I shall rejoice; yes, even in my enfeeblement, my most frustrated moments, I pray I shall find the capacity to rejoice in this, my creature-hood. To deny God is to deny my creature-hood, and to deny that is to deny the whole of me; it is to deny the best of me.

From 'Letters to a Woman Painter'

“Only do not forget that the appearance of things in space is the gift of God, and if this is disregarded in composing new forms, then there is the danger of your work being damned by weakness or foolishness, or at best it will result in mere ostentation or virtuosity. One must have the deepest respect for what the eye sees and for its representation on the area of the picture in height, width and depth.” --Max Beckmann

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Converse

Call you cog, where are the rolling-pins:
one above, one beneath, and you go in.
You are pancake, laundry pressed; thirty days free
and then if you don’t want our insurance,
say for if you lose your eye or get brain damage,
you just phone us and then we’ll probably
ask you more questions. And bewilder you
with excessive diarrhoeal information
machine-gunned in your ear with a metal feminine ring,
which no human person could possibly
take in all at once, which is of course
why we tell you we will send you the package,
hoping to our gods and Masonic friends
that you will accordingly forget about the whole thing
while we pull ten dollars out of your account every month
which is a good way to invent overdraft fees in case of deficient balance.
And in case you think we’re inefficient,
we assure you, we will see to it that it becomes deficient.
But never you mind; call you cog. You have a Mastercard,
and on the back in the black mysterious stripe
are gravid thousands of cogs for you
to utilize, which in turn turn cogs
that exist you know not where, nor what for,
though we do; we most certainly do.
For we are financial successes you see;
we are beyond old biblical terms, like usury.

Past Wrestling

The fluctuations between winter and spring,
vying to chronic extent, switching to and fro,
enticing blossoms out, then busting sap-flow,
is what brings the flush of rodents and ants
in the older buildings, spanning old pipes,
where few come spilling, out from their abode:
a mild report of the torrents which would pour
into our lodgings and food, from fissures,
if the said fluctuations happened instead
all at once in seismic jousts, under earth.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Holy Trinity

Andrei Rublev

To behold the Holy Trinity in Heaven, to behold that to which we ascribe the title of highest dogma of the Catholic Church, will be both the breaking point and fulfillment of our longing; our annihilation and our eternal minting.

Because our longing is eternal, words like “fulfillment” can seem mundane; yet fulfillment is exactly what the Holy Trinity partakes of, through its mere existence out of God’s love. Each Person of the Trinity partakes of each other in what is the non-dependent fulfillment of its own existence. The idea of our fulfillment has already been subsumed, thankfully, into what we cannot comprehend, and will not fully comprehend even in Heaven; though there will be full participation.

Our peace is, and can only be, the result of beholding the communion between the three Persons of the Trinity. What a revelation! Does God simply bestow His wand and say, “Now be fulfilled”? No, He opens out the revelation of His Own mystery, and grants to our own hearts through the Third Person of the Trinity, the revelation of His Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, Who in turn knows the Father, the First Person of the Trinity, and where the Son is there too is the Father. The perfect communion between the three Persons of the Trinity, beheld by a soul, consequently results in that soul's peace.

Our unity too must be the result of such beholding. For it is the very nature of the Trinity that to behold it is to want to seek the same unity in our relations with others. To those who are not in the state of mortal sin, and are in the state of sanctifying grace, the Holy Trinity is present within their own soul; and the love we give to our self must be the “self-love” of the Trinity, which births the desire to see ourselves in others, and further, to retain the image of the other within ourselves without altering it to our own image.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Be a mother, or father; not a parent

These days, parents tend to kind of suck. And they tend to suck because their right to parent their own children is being taken away from them. And unfortunately perhaps many of them want it taken away. It is being taken away by many things, from majorly screwed up people in the school system (like practising homosexuals and equanimous social-worker drones), to the everyday presence of the television.

Parents fork over their rights as parents in the very name of good parenting. The cruelty is they lose their ability to parent in proportion to seeking how to "be a good parent"; ala, caving in to the notion that parenting is something learned from how-to books, or charming and humorous personalities with familial ancedotes stuffed up the ying-yang, that reduces the thing to a ridiculous psychological game, or listening to the ever present voice of the "experts". Yup, as long as everything is going 'smoothly', you're a good parent. And as long as you have Atticus Finch's savage children down the street to make your own operations look all dandy, well, nothing to worry about.

Top 100 List of Great Compliments You Can Give Your Child.

Recent research shows that either too much discipline or too little can be detrimental to your child's health.

Recent research shows that children under the age of five need their parents more than at a later age.

Recent research shows spending time with your children may be beneficial.

10 Great Things You Can Do To Be the World's Best Parent.

Recent research shows children healthier when both mother and father present.

Recent research shows Parenting, for Dummies has not had noticable effects in the betterment of children's and teens' behaviours.

I remember my time in public elementary school. While the stupid sex-ed vaccines were being injected then at the time, I still remember it as the final dusk (including my high-school years) before everything went cold and dark. I consider myself one of those last modern old worlders, when strapping hands for punishment had only just gone out of fashion. I remember the "old adventure playground". The kind of miniature ewok housing development that would send our socially aware composites into bureaucratic fits of 'cautionary measures'. And well, apparently it did do just that, because it's not there anymore. It has been replaced with some kind of vague, plastic, marshmellow kind of deal; just the kind of thing where the children (at least the sane ones) look at it and say, "What the hell are we supposed to do with that?" Or else they fall in line and, well, never find out what they are missing.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bottum's Agenbites

Joseph Bottum at First Things talks about agenbites (his coinage)

I've come up with a few.

How about parallel. You don't even need to pronounce it to know. Just look at it. There are two sets of mirrored letters, one set divided by a consonant, the other by a vowel. Could there be a more parallelistic word than parallel?

Perhaps that's an even better one: parallelistic.

I think the agenbite-worthiness of gargantuan is rather self-evident.

And then there is incapacitate. You notice how all or most words beginning with in seem to suggest a convolutedness? Invert, instigate, incest. That's no wonder, considering how one has to go through the trouble of touching the roof of the mouth with the tongue in order to pronounce it. Not a smooth way of starting a word.

Perhaps geometrical terms provide some interesting agenbites: conical, trapazoid, cylindrical, angle, obtuse...

Then there is God. Is there a more self-contained word? It begins and ends with a consonant; no trailing-off, airy vowels to end the word. No effeminate beginning vowels. And both bookend the most self-contained vowel, the circle of the 'o'.

When you think about it, it is actually quite spooky.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Intermediary

Pushed you from me in Moab
with my left, while with my right I drew you.
After the deaths, this widow did not expect
the flinging sync of your attachment.
These dried hands both drive you hence,

not now in rejection, but in light of added realms,
for seeing kindled the will of Hashem,
you are that binah daughter, rare.
Thus the Sh’chinah reveals her tikkun olam:
She, gleaning barley in Beit-Lechem!


Here is how to vow now evening lowers:
Get you bathed, perfumed; head to the threshing-floor.
There remove his sandals – ask his cloak
over you in his barn of harvest.

Sleep there through night to dawn.
He is a near kinsman, his God my God
your God; for you are proof of more
than one exception in the law:

having yourself, effaced, held fast to me
even at my rebuff when I had
in my wake only wind and sand – and you,
had haven to turn to, but abandoned…

Though Hashem has dealt me vinegar,
I can point you to a sweet lasting wine.
A crux of paths form from these directives.
some ways ahead her as she leaves:
what is it portends she gives to me,
straightway, her own very child from her womb?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

For no euthanasia (murder)

This case needs prayers. I find it really hard to understand how someone, a mother as in this case, or a husband, as in the case of Terry Schiavo, could be so blindly determined, in spite of all signs of life and hope for future life (she gave birth to a baby in her "vegetatative" state!), to have their daughter or wife rather go through the excruciating pain of being starved and dehydrated to death. It's insanity. Please say some prayers for this family, for the mother.

Link

Oi. The zeitgeist is a real spirit. I've encountered, and encounter, this many times. They are also noteworthy for what seems to be an almost demonic sort of cold contempt, which strangely is synonymous with a complete absence of normal anger. They refuse to go through the range of human emotions. Or they cannot.

From my sister

the diva:

Hi! Sorry for the group email, but I just wanted to invite you all to come see Iolanthe. I am playing a fabulous part in this Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. Don’t be intimidated by the word operetta, it’s very funny and light and the music is beautiful.

The story revolves around a group of fairies, a son of a fairy who is half-mortal, half fairy, and a group of lords from the British government (house of peers). There is a nice little love story between a young maiden and this half-fairy, and of course complications ensue. And as always with Gilbert and Sullivan there is very funny satire, this time mostly at the expense of appointed government.

I am playing the Fairy Queen. And it is going on my list as one of my favourite parts of all time. She’s both silly and formidable, duty-bound and prone to fall in love at the merest whiff of manliness. And I get to show off my low notes, and wear Vulcan ears and a tiara and false eyelashes that look like feathers. ‘Nuff said I think.

It plays at the Surrey Arts Centre starting tonight and going until May 25th. You can call 604.501.5566 for tickets. You can also go to http://www.fvgss.org/ for more info about the show.

I hope some of you can make it out. If so, please let me know when you’re coming so I can pop out and see you after the show.

Hope this finds everyone well.

Cheers,

Christina

Reflection

The spring drizzle has been veiling everything now for some days, listlessly like it is being kind as it can to the blossoms that it picks out like studded gems. Through the window above my bed in the morning, on the juniper hedge where there are no blossoms, the rain formed its own in silver grey beads.

To work in vehicle with coffee. Automated prayers. The mind at work is a torpid heap. And there's thousands upon thousands killed in a quake on the other side of the world and counting, and more killed and counting in a cyclone; the destructive rate of the cyclone on a larger scale it seems to be, than the Asian tsunami in 2004. We receive it through ink on paper, on the news-stand; photos of fully dressed corpses, floating in flooded fields.

The drizzle is listless and regular. People zip in and out of lanes in the grey drizzle trying to get ahead of other cars that are already going over the speed limit, and so arrive at the red light further ahead before they do. Or so all their manouvering through traffic turns out to be: you have to wait at another red light. So why all the fast driving?

All that which I take for granted; heat, running water, running hot water, stove, fridge, bed, roof, clothes, food, could be depleted, deleted, in the span of the time of a single earthquake. In pretty much every hospital you pass by, unnamed babies are dismembered, screaming without any audible voice as they are pulled apart alive, butchered more wantonly than steers, in their mothers' wombs. And why such a disaster as we read about on the other side of the world shouldn't happen here all of a sudden, has an answer which our buffeted minds do not contemplate - or if they do, it's not for very long.

The drizzle falls. We are more naked than we know.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

For

For love, for love that whorled the galaxies
also attends to the minute at hand; and
light does the riptide of His opened Heart
draw you into hiding; has your faculties
disposed of in His yoke and burden;
wants your limbs, for others, plain, fruit-bearing.

Some lines

The Pharisees the Pharisees,
they always washed their hands.
They sought respectabilities
from people in the lands.

The Pharisees the Pharisees,
with crook that oversees
a flock, they used instead to ring the knell
on souls they damned to hell.

Then Jesus Christ our Lord
went up the temple steps.
He wound Himself a cord,
purged the temple to its depths.

When with this zeal-filled token
He had cleaned the temple out,
He gave His Body to be broken,
so that His Blood ran out.

Guns don't kill; people do

These days are long gone, but the truth of it, that people shooting other people has much to do with the spiritual reality of our hearts being corrupted by materialism and nothing to do with the material reality of guns, remains.

This poem got me reflecting

This poem I like.

A priest goes down a certain path that the laity does not; particularly a diocesan priest in charge of a flock. They have a different path from the cloistered religious, be they monk or nun. Now, we all need consolation. Priests not excluded. Some priests seek a consolation away from their high calling; they think they have to climb back down to get it. They think their identity as priest gets in the way. I remember one priest who told me once that he was first a human being before a priest; or that he loved his humanity before he loved his priesthood. Now, I can understand what he was saying, but there is an implied shirking of the high calling of the priesthood in this. The ideas people take as their own speak volumes about their fears and about what decisions they have already subconsciously made. This priest later dropped out.

The higher we go, the greater the consolations. It goes basically like this: if the priest is a living saint, his flock will be very good. If the priest is very good, his flock will be good. If the priest is so-so, his flock will be less-than-lukewarm bench warmers. If the priest is bad, the flock will be confused, conflicted, or rebels like their rebel priest. This is speaking very broadly, but the truth of it remains: the priest, by the very ordination of his very position, has a higher stature, a higher "connection" to the divine if you will, than his laity. This does not mean his soul is automatically holier than any of his flock, but that, in short, what is "expected" of him is of a certain higher order; "expected" as in he is expected to be a priest, and to do what a priest does; like hearing confessions, making the most holy sacrifice of the mass, becoming in persona, Jesus Christ, and changing the bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus. The self-evident implication of such operations as these is that the priest is going down a certain path so as to enrich the flock that is put into his care. Aside from the divine consolations a priest must receive, I bet one of the greatest consolations comes from his flock, when they are enriched.

Monday, May 12, 2008

If you have time on your hands

You can try carving peach pits. The above ones I did with an "exacto" knife. Just a razor blade. Used some floor varnish that was kicking around. Some sanding went into them too.

The peach pits should be well cleaned. Usually you have to use some scrubbing to get off the peach fibres that cling. Dry it off. It's ready to go. Two other things: you will at some point need to take out the actual seed within the pit. For instance, with the bearded face above, on the flipside of it I took out with a small fine toothed saw just a wide enough section so I could get inside it with any small instrument and remove, either in small or large pieces, the seed inside. You should wash your hands after you do this, as the seed contains arsenic, or cyanide, or something very poisonous. The other thing: when you are carving, be careful. Because you're having to hold onto that small thing with your other hand...well, you can imagine the sudden slices you will give yourself with that razor knife, if it slips.

Carving these is actually quite smooth once you get the feel of it. It's basically wood, but without any grain. So yeah, quite pliable.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Come Holy Spirit, renew and guide

If wounds are where infections come,
and coursing blood that brings them in
throughout the body that succumbs,
then how lost we are, how lost,
when with cuts we do not know are there
we steer by their starved gapes, and lay us bare
to treacherous junctions and thus are tossed
from cast to cast, without peace, enamoured through
our misapprehending apprehension
of the positive good, what shows within us
in the negative, in the forms of wounds,
and what the wounds are drawn to, to what first rent,
and the way of our acquiring is all hell-bent.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Rembrandt


This is a copy I did of one of Rembrandt's self-portraits. Didn't get around to finishing it. Painted over top of another painting. I remember how many times I had to go over certain things, correcting again and again. Rembrandt is crazy coded like that. His paintings are so self-contained...very formidable. Enjoyable too. Of course it is, when you are just copying the work someone else had to go through.

Triptych


Pen/ink triptych of united church in Cloverdale. Did this quite a while ago.

Lack of Sleep


My very nearly completely sleepless night has got me wondering about initiatives we as a society might take in bridging the fissures of communication and bring about a great peaceful brotherhood of man and ascend to the next plane of consciousness in, uhm, the brotherhood of man; in binding us in a community of honesty where understanding and compassion prevail, where people don't have to worry about fudging around in order to be accepted; and tolerance is tolerated with compassionate tolerance.

I've thought about it while at work today. Maybe we could start with a principle, which we shall for the moment call the principle of frank, whereby the conversation between two people is prevented from becoming a distraction and harbinger of dishonesty that further alienates both persons from themselves and from the truth of each other. For example:

First person walks by second person, and says to him: "Hey, how's it going? My, you look tired today."

Second person says: "Yes, I didn't get any sleep last night."

"Awwwwww, poor thing. Why? Were you having worries? Maybe debt has you up? Is everything alright?"

"Oh yes, everything is fine. I was just randy as hell, that's all. Couldn't get to sleep."

"Oh. Uhm. All night?"

"Yep. Randy as a dog. Sheer torture."

"Alright, well, see ya later. Have a good day."

"Yeah, thanks. Same to you. Bye."

Of course, if the person in question is somewhat embarrassed to use the frank principle, he can use a sort of coded variation:

"My you look tired today."

"Yeah, didn't get any sleep last night."

"Awwwww....poor thing. Why? Were you troubled by something?"

"Yea. Sharp loin pangs came hither,
troubled wake-watch in the night,
whereby man's body force feeds thither
all manner of phantasms to darken mind's light,
until birds are heard, and horror at naught one wink
of sleep, dawn rises on my randyness."

"Oh wow. Is that Shakespeare? Wow. Insomnia must be so cool. Well, see ya later, have a good day."

"Yeah, same to you. Bye."

Untitled


This one is in process. It is oil on canvas paper and was drawn on location directly on the canvas paper, in Redwood Park, and was painted from memory, as well as with a photo that had elements of the same location in it, but which wasn't the same picture as the sketch. The trees are not redwoods by the by. But of course anyone would know that they were Thujas.

A lot of refining has gone into it; and a fair bit more work there is yet. You can see the direction that the floor of the forest is headed in: it is the start of what hopefully will be the enticingly speckled, or dappled lights you come across in the woods.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Manure


It is the wind combined with the heat. The southward fields, called 'the flats', receive the liquified cow excrement, which is strewn, via some component towed by tractors or via titan water throwers. The matter superficially looks muddy brown; but where it catches the light at certain angles, you can see that it is a dirty, deep jade green.

This town where I grew up has a way of catching the odour from the fields on certain days; it is well known for it actually. It's a valley that acts like a catcher's mit, or a like a point in a river that becomes a whirpool. On certain late spring or early summer days, the heat together with the wind from the not-too-distant ocean conspire, and I mean conspire, to create an all-permeating, hot-sickly-sweet, rancorously mind-blowing, punch-you-in-the-face stench.

It is thankfully, only a few odd days in a year though. Just the other day, I caught a portent of it, while at work. It could have been worse. All things rank and raw and untempered. And hence, offensive: are we so willing, or ready, to see how Eternity views what we call, or what the world calls our greatest achievements?

I remember father one time in his homily brought up an incident in St. John Bosco's life, one of many kinds of supernatural things that happened with him: a man who was in mortal sin entered into the confessional. Before he could get very far with his confession, Don Bosco directly told the man to leave and find another priest. The reason: the physically palpable stench was so overpowering for the saint that he couldn't bear it, even for the relatively short duration of a single confession.

There was an incident with the sisters in Akita, where as they were standing, I believe together for prayers, each one of them suddenly saw a white, sickly little worm squirming before the sister beside. A worm for each one of them. What was only apparent to them later was that not one of the sisters noticed the worm that was squirming in front of her own feet at first; each one of them saw the worm in front of her neighbour instead. This took place either before or after an episode of an inexplicable stench, at its strongest around the confessionals.

Rank and raw and untempered. We are at times, or often, these things, just where we wouldn't know it. An offense. In the span of our life, what great achievements will turn out to be the fodder for that which is, in actual fact, really pleasing to God? This isn't to snub or huck mud at any good achievment of ours; but it is to get across the idea of what is truly pleasing to God. To say, that we will need to apologize for the things we did that were considered great, and which may have well been great. Purification, that pleases God. And it is fair to say, when God is pleased, He is really truly delighted; His delight is more pure than the child's; and when He is offended, the offence is without equal; the true eternal sight of the offence will be enough to make one want to crawl under a rock and die.

We are tempered by His mercy. His mercy is not merely the absence of Justice, or the witholding of it. His mercy is all-powerful, ever-increasing, and obliterates sin and its offensiveness; and transforms what is rank, raw, untempered, proud, vain, complacent, prestigious (in the worldly sense) and offensive into what is the ultimate in perfection: the likeness of the Son of God.

In the summer after many rains and many suns the strewn shit of the fields has quite vanished into a different conspiracy, which is commonly referred to as "farm smell", which, with the dawn or evening flora, is one of the best smells on earth.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Conscience

What is conscience? The conscience is more than the prevalent negative view, more than Jiminy Cricket. The interior voice, or proclamation of one's wrong and foolish and evil deeds, either of the present or of the long past, and the ensuing guilt; the conscience is far more than this.

Some would regard one who "obeys" his conscience as following orders as it were, say, if this person in question is in a situation where he is asked to do something wrong. Reference is made to the "dictates of conscience". And then there is the rather utilitarian, "Follow your conscience and you can't go wrong". Uh, yeah, right. So said the person just before he went ahead and committed ______________ (fill in blank with any sin commonly not viewed by the world as wrong).

Yes, of course the conscience is to be obeyed. But more than this, the person in question who acts rightly, holds his conscience dear; he acts accordingly because he perceives how easily his conscience can be tainted, and thereby ruin him. This is in fact, listening to one's conscience: looking after it at the expense of one's own comfort, gain and personality; for it is really nothing less than one's own soul. It is as pliant as the reed; as irrevocable as death. Everything is recorded into it, without the biased tint with which you preceived those things. The conscience must be tended to like a pearl of great price if it is to be "followed" in those situations we get landed in, or land ourselves in.

The universal and the particular are nowhere on this earth knit so close together so as to be one, as is found in the human conscience. Well, aside from the Eucharist.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

ARTICLE 6
MORAL CONSCIENCE

1776 "Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment. . . . For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God. . . . His conscience is man's most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths."47

I. THE JUDGMENT OF CONSCIENCE

1777 Moral conscience,48 present at the heart of the person, enjoins him at the appropriate moment to do good and to avoid evil. It also judges particular choices, approving those that are good and denouncing those that are evil.49 It bears witness to the authority of truth in reference to the supreme Good to which the human person is drawn, and it welcomes the commandments. When he listens to his conscience, the prudent man can hear God speaking.

1778 Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process of performing, or has already completed. In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right. It is by the judgment of his conscience that man perceives and recognizes the prescriptions of the divine law:

Conscience is a law of the mind; yet [Christians] would not grant that it is nothing more; I mean that it was not a dictate, nor conveyed the notion of responsibility, of duty, of a threat and a promise. . . . [Conscience] is a messenger of him, who, both in nature and in grace, speaks to us behind a veil, and teaches and rules us by his representatives. Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ.50

1779 It is important for every person to be sufficiently present to himself in order to hear and follow the voice of his conscience. This requirement of interiority is all the more necessary as life often distracts us from any reflection, self-examination or introspection:

Return to your conscience, question it. . . . Turn inward, brethren, and in everything you do, see God as your witness.51

1780 The dignity of the human person implies and requires uprightness of moral conscience. Conscience includes the perception of the principles of morality (synderesis); their application in the given circumstances by practical discernment of reasons and goods; and finally judgment about concrete acts yet to be performed or already performed. The truth about the moral good, stated in the law of reason, is recognized practically and concretely by the prudent judgment of conscience. We call that man prudent who chooses in conformity with this judgment.

1781 Conscience enables one to assume responsibility for the acts performed. If man commits evil, the just judgment of conscience can remain within him as the witness to the universal truth of the good, at the same time as the evil of his particular choice. The verdict of the judgment of conscience remains a pledge of hope and mercy. In attesting to the fault committed, it calls to mind the forgiveness that must be asked, the good that must still be practiced, and the virtue that must be constantly cultivated with the grace of God:

We shall . . . reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.52

1782 Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. "He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters."53

II. THE FORMATION OF CONSCIENCE

1783 Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings.

1784 The education of the conscience is a lifelong task. From the earliest years, it awakens the child to the knowledge and practice of the interior law recognized by conscience. Prudent education teaches virtue; it prevents or cures fear, selfishness and pride, resentment arising from guilt, and feelings of complacency, born of human weakness and faults. The education of the conscience guarantees freedom and engenders peace of heart.

1785 In the formation of conscience the Word of God is the light for our path,54 we must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice. We must also examine our conscience before the Lord's Cross. We are assisted by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, aided by the witness or advice of others and guided by the authoritative teaching of the Church.55

III. TO CHOOSE IN ACCORD WITH CONSCIENCE

1786 Faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either a right judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law or, on the contrary, an erroneous judgment that departs from them.

1787 Man is sometimes confronted by situations that make moral judgments less assured and decision difficult. But he must always seriously seek what is right and good and discern the will of God expressed in divine law.

1788 To this purpose, man strives to interpret the data of experience and the signs of the times assisted by the virtue of prudence, by the advice of competent people, and by the help of the Holy Spirit and his gifts.

1789 Some rules apply in every case:

- One may never do evil so that good may result from it;

- the Golden Rule: "Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them."56

- charity always proceeds by way of respect for one's neighbor and his conscience: "Thus sinning against your brethren and wounding their conscience . . . you sin against Christ."57 Therefore "it is right not to . . . do anything that makes your brother stumble."58

IV. ERRONEOUS JUDGMENT

1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself. Yet it can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about acts to be performed or already committed.

1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man "takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin."59 In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits.

1792 Ignorance of Christ and his Gospel, bad example given by others, enslavement to one's passions, assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience, rejection of the Church's authority and her teaching, lack of conversion and of charity: these can be at the source of errors of judgment in moral conduct.

1793 If - on the contrary - the ignorance is invincible, or the moral subject is not responsible for his erroneous judgment, the evil committed by the person cannot be imputed to him. It remains no less an evil, a privation, a disorder. One must therefore work to correct the errors of moral conscience.

1794 A good and pure conscience is enlightened by true faith, for charity proceeds at the same time "from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith."60

The more a correct conscience prevails, the more do persons and groups turn aside from blind choice and try to be guided by objective standards of moral conduct.61

IN BRIEF

1795 "Conscience is man's most secret core, and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths" (GS 16).

1796 Conscience is a judgment of reason by which the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act.

1797 For the man who has committed evil, the verdict of his conscience remains a pledge of conversion and of hope.

1798 A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. Everyone must avail himself of the means to form his conscience.

1799 Faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either a right judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law or, on the contrary, an erroneous judgment that departs from them.

1800 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience.

1801 Conscience can remain in ignorance or make erroneous judgments. Such ignorance and errors are not always free of guilt.

1802 The Word of God is a light for our path. We must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice. This is how moral conscience is formed.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Another excerpt from the same thing I'm writing (healing of blind man)

If taken as it is, with or without speculation, these things are apparent as definite archetypes in the story, to be taken as such, since, following the formerly blind man, that is simply what and the way the story tells it: first, God is the initiator of the whole thing; second, the works of God are the proofs of God and will not be bound to doubters but the works will confound them; third, it is not the “restored sight” that is one’s belief in the Son of God, but the belief is an added thing, on top of the original work – that is, the work of faith. This latter tells us that we could go on and on like this, manifestation after manifestation of wonders, but they will not at any point, intrude upon the positive reality of the movement of your free will to believe. Thus there can be no ground where the refusal of belief, or the existence of non-belief, can ever be taken in itself as proof against the existence of God – as though the mere fact that there may be difficulty or struggle or apparent absurdity involved with coming even to some understanding of the possible existence of a hypothetical God proves that there is no God, or no proofs. Not without the denial of free will.

So, the intent here is not for the proof of the existence of God, but to show the particular forms that the proofs of God will take, if proofs there are. Or more to the point: to show the very fact that the proofs of God will have positive, self-substantive form. Even form in opposition to explication. They will have a life of their own as it were. As St. Thomas Aquinas relates, that naturally to us, every virtue of God is of manifest difference (i.e., Temperance, chastity, hope), but while in God, they are God Himself. Meaning a proof of God will have an “endless” quality about it, as in an extension of His infinity, into our finiteness, into our finite world.

Suppose what we meant by proof, to God meant, “proof not good enough”. We expect God to be so distant and at the same time act as though having proof of God would, or should, be no different than having proof of any other thing.

They (the proofs) will have in themselves a micro-creation of a kind that, as it builds, would sooner confound, by way of further creation, the non-believer rather than stop and explain. There are the scriptural words about God’s word being a two-edged sword: if there is a God, then how could God, or why would God more exactly, being God, positively work proofs that turn in upon themselves as explication? Not only would it be practically and aesthetically anti-climactic; not only would it be logically inconsistent; it would not be proof.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Excerpt from something I'm writing

If we glean any immediate message from the Gospels, that is, any rather obvious thing which we are inclined to miss for its very obviousness, one for sure is that God, made Man, has chosen as part of His coming to us via story. And we see how these wonders as recorded in the stories are yet regimented in the ordinary walks of ordinary people doing ordinary things. When these recorded things came about to happen, people had been making myths for millennia; just as much as they had been getting pregnant and visiting relatives and having people over for supper and climbing trees. If the Son of God utilizes ordinary means of working and manifesting miracles to people, as the gospels tell it, then is it not consistent that God would choose to integrate, as a large part of His manifestation, story itself onto, and through, the predilection inherent in us to make stories?

Song of a New Ager



My next bestseller, which you may already have read
before I even wrote it, since we are all one Godhead,
is due out soon, for to relieve your ego-constipation.
And it is entitled, The Power of Masturbation.

You may wonder how I know it will be a bestseller;
well, the secret of that, my dearest other,
is in the book. In it you will find how to be a be-er, not a doer.
In it you will also find that I Am, and that I Am Who Am, and that I am a Jesus-tooer.

You may wonder what a Jesus-tooer is. Well let me tell you.
A Jesus-tooer is one who can sense what words of scripture
are true and which are false, and he innerly senses it through
the pure masturbation moment, which is the perfect picture

of non-identification. Masturbation is the manifold mother
of unfolding consciousness where there is no longer any other.
Masturbation is the pure awareness without identification;
no, not even with your phallus; just pure masturbation.

Masturbation is the power beyond the mind…wait,
I was speaking about being a Jesus-tooer. Contemplate
this: Abraham Lincoln, Oprah Winfrey, John Lennon,
Elvis Presley, Some Guy Who was Homo, The Polar Bear, Peewee Herman,

and Jesus too. You see? You are also on the list,
and so am I. And I am Jesus too. There are no holes in my wrist,
but that was added in there, see. By people, who,
not being in the masturbation moment purely, tooled

around with scripture, in order to make converts.
They didn’t know how to write bestsellers.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

After Byron's "Roll on thou deep and dark blue ocean..."

Drone on, thou neuter-voice news anchor – drone!
Ten thousand truths slap hard your face in vain;
Man views the earth with dim eyes – his moan
Stops with the news; -- upon TV’s glowing bane
The wrecks are all thy deed, not does remain
A shadow of man’s fain flaws, save reclining drunk and prone,
When for a moment, like a seizured brain,
He fades into thy screen with no truth grown,
Without a grave, unknell’d, uncoffin’d, unknown.