Sunday, July 31, 2005

Love and Passion

I've been reading an essay by Bacon on Love. It covers many aspects but I'll just share some on passion and wanton love.

"...As if man, made for the contemplation of heaven, and all nobel objects, should do nothing but kneel before a little idol, and make himself subject, though not of the mouth (as beasts are), yet of the eye, which was given him for higher purposes."

when I read that, the part that stuck out to me is "makes himself subject.... of the eye"
In the previous essay on Envy, he made a statement, that to me, dovetails with this one.

"A man that is busy and inquisitive is commonly envious; for to know much of other men's matters cannot be because all that ado may concern his own estate; therefore it must needs be that he taketh a kind of play-pleasure in looking upon the fortunes of others; neither can he that mindeth but his own business find much matter for envy; for envy is a gadding passion, and walketh the streets, and doth not keep home...."

In the context of "wanton love" the connection I saw was in--" being subject to the eye, and taking a play-pleasure in looking on others, with a gadding passion which walketh the streets and doth not keep home."

There was another line I liked and lived regarding passion;-- "This passion hath its floods in the very times of weakness, which are great prosperity and great adversity."

That made me think of times when people are going through marital problems, or teens that are dealing with serious issues etc., find what they think to be love, or passion, that comes in like a flood during these times of weakness. It seems the antidote but often ends as the poison.
Can you relate?

And lastly, "Nuptial love maketh mankind; friendly love perfecteth it; but wanton love corrupteth and embaseth it."


" We may imitate the Diety in all His moral attributes, but mercy is the only one in which we can pretend to equal him. -- We cannot, indeed, give like God, but surely we may forgive like him."

Gay colors

" If a woman wears gay colors, rouge and a startling hat, a man hestitates to take her out. If she wears a little turban and a tailored suit he takes her out and stares all evening at a woman in gay colors, rouge and a startling hat!" -- Baltimore Beacon.

100 years ago what was considered bold has changed, but the heart of man is the same.
Is there any hope for us?

"Witching Time"

“It is now the very witching time of night; when churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out contagion to this world. Now could I drink hot blood and do such business as the bitter day would quake to look on!” – Shakespeare.

Now that you have read this graphic quote, and I'm curious to know what it brings to your mind; it reminded me first of the warning I gave to someone that kept late hours and slept long into the day. I cautioned them that after about 11:00 at night it is rare that much good is done. And on looking at my life, if I were able to erase all the transgressions committed after eleven, my condition would be much improved. Then I began to try and apply this as a metaphor for the souls condition. What do you think?

Now the opposite direction, I could not recall the name the Puritans give for Midnight revelations, but the following quote follows their thought.
“ This dead of midnight is the noon of thought, and wisdom mounts her zenith with the stars.” -- Anna L. Barbauld.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Christian Unity?

While visiting Eric, Christian asked why there are so many denominations. When I read this piece I thought it brought some light to his question.

Christian Unity
“It is very important to have a clear notion of the nature of the Christian unity spoken of in the Scriptures, and to understand in what this ‘true bond of unity’ consists, so often alluded to and earnestly dwelt on by our Sacred Writers.
The unity they speak of does not mean agreement in doctrine, nor yet concord and mutual good will; though these are strongly insisted on by the apostles. Nor, again, does it mean that all Christians belong, or ought to belong to some one society on earth. This is what the apostles never aimed at, and what never was actually the state of things, from the time of Jerusalem. The Church is undoubtedly one, and so is the human race one; but not as a society or community, for, as such, it is only one when considered as to its future existence. The teaching of Scripture clearly is, that believers on earth are part of a great society (church or congregation) of which the Head is in heaven, and of which many of the members only ‘live unto God’, or exist in his counsels,-- some having long since departed, and some being not yet born. The universal Church of Christ may therefore be said to be One in reference to HIM, its supreme Head in heaven; but it is not one community on earth. And even so the human race is one in respect of the One Creator and Governor; but this does not make it one family or one state. And though all men are bound to live in peace, and to be kindly disposed towards every fellow creature, and all bound to agree in thinking and doing whatever is right, yet they are not at all bound to live under one single government, extending over the whole world. Nor, again, are all nations bound to have the same form of government, regal or republican, etc. That is a matter left to their discretion. But all are bound to do their best to promote the great objects from which all government is instituted, -- good order, justice, and public prosperity.
And even so the Apostles founded Christian churches, all based on the same principles, all sharing common privileges,-- ‘One Lord, one faith, one baptism,’ – and all having the same object in view, but all quite independent of each other. And while, by the inspiration of Him who knew what was in Man, they delineated those Christian principles which Man could not have devised for himself, each Church has been left, by the same divine foresight, to make the application of those principles in its symbols, its forms of worship, and its ecclesiastical regulations; and, while steering its course by the chart and compass which his holy Word supplies, to regulate for itself the sails and rudder, according to the winds and currents it may meet with.
Now I have little doubt that the sort of variation resulting from this independence and freedom, so far from breaking the bond, is the best preservative of it. A number of neighboring families, living in perfect unity, will be thrown into discord as soon as you compel them to form one family, and to observe in things intrinsically indifferent, the same rules. One, for instance, likes early hours, and another late; one likes the windows open, and another shut; and thus, by being brought too close together, they are driven into ill-will, by one being perpetually forced to give way to another. Of this character were the disputations which arose about church music, the posture of the communicants, the colors of a ministers dress, the time of keeping Easter, etc.” Richard Whately, D.D.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

"What is truth? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer."

While visiting Eric, we went to a book store and I beat him, by a hairs-breadth, to a book on Bacon’s Essays annotated by Richard Whately, D.D. Archbishop of Dublin, who I have never heard of but really like his thoughts. The previous post came from that book. This piece I thought I’d share, is on truth.

“There is not necessarily any moral virtue in receiving truth; for it may happen that our interest, or our wishes, are in the same direction; or it may be forced upon us by evidence as irresistible as that of a mathematical demonstration. The virtue consists in being a sincere votary of Truth;-- what our Lord calls being ‘of the Truth,’ – rejecting ‘the hidden things of dishonesty,’ and carefully guarding against every undue bias. Every one wishes to have Truth on his side; but it is not every one that sincerely wishes to be on the side of Truth.”

I find this somewhat troubling because I see in myself a love for Truth and knowledge, a hunger for the mysteries of God, but the living up to those is sadly lacking.
Acts 17:21
All the Athenians and the foreigners who live there, spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.

There may be Athenian blood in me. I would be happy to apply one tenth of what I read, truth is I would do well to apply one tenth of what I learned in my first year as a christian.
I hope it's like nutritious food, it keeps you from disease but only by continual consumption.
That being said, when a season comes where I have no appetite, then I know I'm in peril.


Most persons know that every butterfly (the Greek name for which, it is remarkable, is the same that signifies also the Soul,- Psyche ) comes from a caterpillar or larvae. The last name which signifies literally a mask, was introduced by Linnaeus, because the caterpillar is a kind of outward covering, or disguise of the future butterfly within. For it has been ascertained by curious microscopic examination, that a distinct butterfly, only undeveloped and not full-grown, is contained within the body of the caterpillar; that this latter has its own organs of digestion, respiration, etc. suitable to its larva-life, quite distinct from and independent of the future butterfly which it encloses. When the proper period arrives, and the life of the insect, in this its first stage, is to close, it becomes what is called a pupa, enclosed in a chrysalis or cocoon and lies torpid for a time within this natural coffin, from which it issues, at the proper period, as a perfect butterfly.
But sometimes this process is marred. There is a numerous tribe of insects well known to naturalists, called Ichmeumonflies; which in their larva-state are parasitical; that is, inhabit, and feed on, other larvae. The fly being provided with a long sharp sting, which is in fact an ovipositor (egg layer) pierces with this the body of a caterpillar in several places, and deposits her eggs, which are there hatched, and feed, as larvae on the inward parts of their victim. A most wonderful circumstance connected with this process is that a caterpillar which has been thus attached goes on feeding, and apparently thriving quite as well, during the whole of its larva-life, as those that have escaped. For, by a wonderful provision of instinct, the ichneumon-larvae within do not injure any of the organs of the larva, but feed only on the future butterfly enclosed within it. And consequently, it is hardly possible to distinguish a caterpillar which has these enemies within it from those that are untouched.--- But when the period arrives for the close of the larva-life, the difference appears…..Of the unfortunate caterpillar that has been preyed upon, nothing remains but an empty skin. The hidden butterfly has been secretly consumed.
Now is there not something analogous to this wonderful phenomenon, in the condition of some of our race? May not, a man have a kind of secret enemy within his own bosom, destroying his soul—Psyche,--- though without interfering with his well-being during the present stage of his existence; and whose presence may never be detected till the time arrives when the last great change should take place?
“It is only in a long life, that time is afforded us to complete anything, to learn anything thoroughly, or to reform oneself.” Author unknown

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Let me live out my years

I like this --

We speak of the comforts and ease of old age, but our noblest selves do not really desire them. We want to do more than exist, we want to be alive to the very last.

Let me live out my years in heat of blood!
Let me die drunken with the dreamer's wine!
Let me not see this soul-house built of mud
Go toppling to the dust-- a vacant shrine!

Let me go quickly like a candle light
Snuffed out just at the heyday of its glow!
Give me high noon-- and let it then be night!
Thus would I go.

And grant that when I face the grisly Thing,
My song may triumph down the gray Perhaps!
Let me be as a tuneswept fiddlestring
That feels the Master Melody-- and snaps.
John G. Neihardt

Will work for food

My cousin Jim sent me a touching story about a corner panhandler.
Made me think of this poem.

There are songs enough for the hero
who dwells on the heights of fame;
I sing for the disappointed-
for those who have missed their aim.

I sing with a tearful cadence
for the one who stands in the dark,
and knows that his last, best arrow
has bounded back from the mark.

I sing for the breathless runner,
the eager, anxious soul,
who falls with his strength exhausted,
almost in sight of the goal;

For the hearts that break in silence,
with a sorrow all unknown,
for those who need companions,
yet walk their ways alone.

There are songs enough for the lovers
who share love's tender pain,
I sing for the one whose passion
is given all in vain.

For those whose spirit comrades
have missed them on their way,
I sing, with a heart o'flowing,
this minor strain today.

And I know the Solar system
must somewhere keep in space
a prize for that spent runner
who barely lost the race.

For the plan would be imperfect
unless it held some sphere
that paid for the toil and talent
and love that are wasted here.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox