Archive for the ‘Ayn Rand’ Category

Commencing a reading of Ayn Rand

December 15, 2010

I find it intriguing to read about Ayn Rand’s life and times and the people who surrounded her. I enjoyed the youtube clips of her movie “The Passion of Ayn Rand” and I think the actress closely resembles Ayn Rand. She led an amazing life and her influence to this very day is so great. In face each new generation of young people has millions who “rediscover” Ayn Rand. When I was age 19 in college, I remember my girl fiend mentioning now much she liked The Fountainhead and her eyes were glowing with admiration. I had not heard of it and when I showed no interest she dropped the subject. But now as I look back I realize that she was deeply affected by that novel and I was just too self-absorbed at the time to realize or inquire further.

As I begin to read Ayn Rand (and about Ayn Rand) I muse to myself that I am perhaps too old and send in my ways to become an Objectivist. And of course one of my motives for beginning this study is that an old frined (Fenton) and a new friend (Dhan) are admirers of Rand. Then I wondered how it can be that someone who is a committed Objectivist might come to like or befriend someone who may never be capable of being an Objectivist (i.e. me) but someone who can respect Rand’s work and her life and enjoy reading about the entire Objectivist history and debate. So I suppose that is a question for everyone who feels a confirmed objectivist, namely, can you like or befriend someone who respects and understands your philosophy even if they are not themselves capable of claiming it as their own. I have met many religious people of various religions (Christian and non-Christian) who deep in their hearts can only truly become close to those who deeply share their convictions. On a different note, when I think about the survival necessity of “selfishness” as it is described in many species in nature I see the wisdom of survival of the fittest. I see that in the business world one must be tough and committed and drive out the competition whenever possible if the business is to grow (I mean one cannot be self-sacrificing.) And of course during war on a battlefield one must either kill or be killed and there is no room for compassion or self-sacrifice unless one is suicidal.

I must make a terrible confession but I think a very necessary one. As I read the opening pages of Atlas Shrugged I realize that the character which best describes me is the “bum” who begs for a dime. My entire life has been an economic failure although I attempted various careers at various times and had some measure of success although not enough success to generate and retain wealth and the resulting security. I have realized this about myself for several years now. I did not need to read Ayn Rand to come to such a realization. But obviously there are those of us in society, perhaps the majority, who are the “bums” of objectivism and become parasitically dependent upon society or others generosity. So what might are we to say regarding this issue. 1.) Is it not true or likely that the John Galt’s will be in the minority and the “bums” will be in the majority. and… 2.) If we are unable to be John Galts and come to recognize our second class status, then in what sense can we participate in Objectivist philosophy except to the extent that we recognize our inferiority and admire the John Galts of the world, the entrepreneurs, the creators of wealth, and willingly serve them in whatever humble capacity and do not despise them or rebel against them or seek to overthrow them by some violent revolution.

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Ayn Rand Answers Glenn Beck

December 11, 2010

Facebook Group Reading Ayn Rand

November 26, 2010

Someone at the Facebook Discussion Group has contributed this excellet essay:

What Atlas Shrugged Offers You !

If you like a high-action novel with adult-size, believable heroes living in the same world you do and, at the same time, the kind of book that’ll make you re-think every idea you’ve ever heard or lived your life by, you’ll love Atlas Shrugged.

In it, you’ll meet Dagny Taggart, a woman who runs a continental railroad against the resistance of her incompetent and politically-connected brother. You’ll meet Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastian D’Anconia, the latest heir to a world-wide copper empire, which he blows up, appearing to become a worthless playboy for a reason you can’t guess for 2/3 of the novel. You’ll meet Hank Reardon, the archetypical example of the American self-made industrialist, who invents a new kind of metal, stronger and lighter than steel. When you first meet him, he is unable to understand why, not only his country, but his family does not value his creativity and productiveness. He learns why over the course of the novel. The world you live in is the world he lives in, a world in which there are two opposite moral systems in deep conflict. In Atlas Shrugged, you’ll meet Ragnar Danneskjold, a modern-day, high-seas pirate who hijacks American relief ships carrying cargo to the failed People’s Socialist Paradises around the world. He sells the cargo for gold, which he uses to reimburse people’s income tax to them.

The main character? Him you don’t meet until 2/3 of the way into the novel. And when you do, you’ll have several emotional reactions, one of which is to laugh your head off, because you’ll realize that the author has laid clues about this character from the first sentence all the way through. He is the character who has let loose a plot in the world of the novel that makes it clear what the moral conflict is in the world and how it affects your life today, where you live.

This story will make you angry, make you cry, fill you with uplifting feelings, and cause you to say, “I’ve thought things like this before.” You’ll see the world around you differently. You’ll understand the people around you differently. You’ll see yourself differently.

The author is Ayn Rand, a woman whose life was adventurous as the novels she wrote. If you like Atlas, you’ll like all the rest of her books.
Now, the recommendation of Atlas Shrugged does come with a warning. Though English was not Ayn Rand’s first language, it is written in the purest, most crystal-clear English you have ever read. It will draw you along page after page and it is 1,000 pages. So, you are well-advised to eat, drink and sleep between sections of chapters.

There are two kinds of people who have read Atlas Shrugged. There are those who hate it and would love to gnash teeth on its author. Then, there are those, like me, who will say, “It changed my life.”

Several years ago, the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club did a survey among the nation’s readers, asking, “What book has most influenced your life?” The number one book was the Bible. Number two was Atlas Shrugged. In 2008 and 2009, during the rise of the Obama socialist agenda, Atlas Shrugged sold 720,000 copies, 53 years after it was first published. There are reasons why this is the most read book of the American freedom movement.

Ayn Rand is the thinker who champions you every time you spend time alone with your own mind, doing your own thinking about what you are experiencing in life. And, if you are a businessperson, hers is the only voice on planet Earth that gives a moral defense of your activity in society as a businessperson.

If you love your life on Earth, you’ll find Atlas Shrugged is the most inspiring novel ever written.

To visit the Atlas Shrugged website, browse on over to http://atlasshrugged.com/

To see a video of a young woman telling how Atlas Shrugged has inspired readers for over 50 years, click on http://arc-tv.com/why-atlas-shrugged-changes-lives/

Cult-Studs: Good, Bad, Indifferent

November 25, 2010

SORRY for my major confusion: I was confused about “stud” thinking that it simply might mean intellectual hegemony. In my mind, Jacob Kline and Mortimer Adler and Leo Strauss were “studs” not in the mountain climbing sense but in the sense that they lead a group of followers (same thing with Ayn Rand or Marshall McLuhan or any number of other people) and those followers become obsessed and close-minded (even if the leader is someone who is open-minded) and they grasp hold of one paradigm of understanding and apply it to everything. Now I know that a stud is someone with physical prowess and cult-stud means cultural studies and not the leader of a cult.
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Cult Stud thread: I am getting a lot out of Zizek thread which has a sub theme of “cult stud” (a new term to me but, I feel, a valid useful term.) I got curious today to seach and see how the term is used. I was surprised to find a site which speaks of Wikipedia as a cult with studs. I happen to value Wikipedia myself but I know there are people who hate it. Anyway, I am learning something new each day here and see valuable people with valuable views so I thought I would start a thread just for my own benefit on “cult stud” and tack on some links. I think cultism is a genuine phenomenon worth exploration.

I started this a a new thread but decided that DOC might be a better approach since it is editable. I am even wondering if ther is a “Cult-Stud for dummies site which would give some useful exploration.

Subtheme:
When does a cult-stud group become a hate group because obviously they do, and there is a down side to that I mean it is good to critique Plato, Aristotle, Rand, Marshall McLuen, Derrida, but when does one cross the line, and what is bad about crossing the line?

On the other side of the fence, there is the issue of free speech and minority rights… and even someone like Rand MUST have had something going for her since there are admiring people, ESPECIALLY in developing places(e.g. India) where they see Rand philosophy as a tool for development. Did you know there is an organization in India who offers an annual prize for the best Ayn Rand essay? India is in a different predicament than America. There are shining modern metropolis urban centers like Mumbai and then a few hundred miles away there are villages living almost in the Stone Age (and I am not knocking the Stone Age or tribal and aboriginal life since it has its good points.)

I know what I am about to say is heresy at SJC, but I watched Leo Strauss and Mortimer Adler and Eva Brann lectures. I admired what they had to offer, but on some level they had their own cults arise and perhaps they were not pleased about that phenomenon. IS there a down side to that and it the phenomenon is worthy note or exploration?

Perhaps it may be said that when groups of people SURRENDER their minds and hearts to a cult phenomenon then it may be said that they do so out of weakness because the FORMULA of the cult doctrine seems to them to solve a lot of problems and FREES them from the personal responsibility of wrestling with such problems. I think the Tea-Party folks have legitimate complaints and challenges in the face of real problems in the world, but they also face the temptation to surrender to their own arising cults and stud leaders.

I am involved in an Ayn Rand discussion group formation right now NOT because I know very much about Ayn Rand but because one of my best friends from SJC has made Rand’s work the focus of his life. I created group for him and one other Rand fan from India who is not SJC but is important to my life.

People like Rand and Derrida and Marshall McLuen and Zizek arise and gain followings. I think the best think to come out of the valuable Zizek thread is that when someone like Socrates comes on the scene it is in part because there is some void or weakness in the society at the time and the rise of a Socrates or a Marx or a Hitler or a Stalin or a Jesus or a Buddha or even a Mohammed is a symptom of that void or need.

Now I know some people are going to scream and say HEY WAIT HERESY. You are mentioning the sacred with the profane. Socrates and Jesus and Buddha are obviously good guys for many and beyond reproach, while Hitler and Stalin and Derrida (the POMOS – Postmodernists – rhyming with Homo) are the bad guys in the eyes of many. There is the good, the bad, the indifferent. There is wheat, and chaff, and a winnowing fan if you will (or Plato-Klein warp and woof).

In Moses day, things (laws, tablets) were written in STONE. He got made over the golden calf, smashed the stone, and went back to get a re-write. We assume the second revision was an exact copy of the first. Point is, nowadays, nothing is written in stone. Even a constitution has amendments which are subject to repeal (Prohibition.) We learn from our mistakes and sometimes we forget some history and are doomed to repeat it as kind of a karmic punishment (e.g. derivatives: we learned some lessons from the Great Depression, put some checks and balances in place, and then apparently forgot something along the way are opened pandoras box to financial irresponsibility.) So the world of finance and politics and the world of ideas is a pendulum which swings. Sometimes swinging is good. The old song “Engaland (sic) swings like a pendulum do; bobbies on bicycles two by two.” Sometimes the pendulum means freedom and pursuit of happiness. Sometimes the freedom of the swinging pendulum spells trouble in the sense of instability, revolution, wars, rumors of war.

The ideals of the St. John’s College Great Books Program have more to do with the idea that self-governance, thinking for oneself, truly knowing oneself, and so on are the practices that grant us a sense of balance and freedom from slavishness (and note that cultism with its stud leader CAN be a form of slavishness). There are developments in philosophy that tend to fixate on the self as a kind of prisoner or an entity in natural opposition to the rest of the universe.

We humans, as a species, ALWAYS hover on the brink of conflict chaos and war… here and in the world. Look at all our experience on the Internet. We are ALWAYS one harsh word away from violence, ad hominem, hatred, insult, and I know that I am just as liable to this weakness as anyone else. But we all share in this frailty because it is a part of our humanity.

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To Ayn Rand Group –
Welcome, Paul and Brian (if I may be so familiar.) Thanks Dhanlakshmi for the adds. As you can see from todays blog, I have been busy integrating my thoughts on Ayn Rand (which is a new experience for me) with discussions about Zizek in my closed St. Johns College Alumni group. The Internet frowns upon what they call cross-posting, so a WordPress blog with a link (or tinyurl) is a way to share ideas in different places or different groups. I just vowed the other day to use Twitter more (I have it on my Blackberry.) On Twitter I am readgreatbooks (not to be pretentious) but I am a product of St. John’s College Great Books Program and most of my life the things I blog about are partially from such a perspective. So, for example, here is the short link which WordPress provides for my blot so I shall TWEET that shortly http://wp.me/pBlI9-Xz . IF any of you like you may start an AnyRand Twitter and feed short links into it. We could have a contest on the best Twitter name like GrandAynRandFellowship something catchy which stresses that we prefer FANS, invite civil sincere discussion which questions, but we discourage hatred and ad hominem because life is short and so why hate. Better to ignore what you hate and concentrate upon what you admire.

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I am amused with the thought that none of US could be cult-studs because all of us are always so open to considering opinions which differ from our own. I will watch the youtube link. I appreciate your help because I am clueless. Hmmm…. I am wondering how one might see Jesus as open to suggestions (You generation of vipers… I am the truth, the way…. light has no part with darkness… those who are not with us are against us) but that is an explosive topic that would not be suitable here. I think it is good for us to expose ourselves to new ideas in social networking… Cult Studs is my new word for the semester.

http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/transgress_v2/transgress_v2_singlefile.html

Source of my confusion: Is “cult-stud” an abbreviation for “cultural studies” or is the “stud” a macho leader founder of a “cult?”

Answer: ‎’Cult Stud’ is an abbreviation for ‘a person of a cultural studies persuasion’

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_studies

2 Corinthians 6:14 – Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

Start with Bakhtin, and forget the rest.

http://www.shef.ac.uk/bakhtin/overview

Michael Moore – Capitalism movie

September 8, 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeROnVUADj0

Friend: When YOU watch this clip, what does it make you think and feel. Someone asked me the same question today.

Me: Good question….
Obviously if you were Michael Moore, or in the media business, you would feel good about it, optimistic…
and if you were a CEO you would feel not so good.

Michael Moore seems to make a convincing argument in whatever he undertakes. But, hey, people vote with their wallets and their feet. Lots of people want the New York Post with its corny headlines, and 10 Judge Judy type shows, and 15 Reality type shows that is why PBS channels are so small by comparison in their viewership.

If everyone lusted to know what Wm. F. Buckley and Charlie Rose are thinking, and found big boobs boring…. then… you would see more of Charlie Rose’s pie-hole

(By the way, I worship at the feet of Charlie Rose and am unworthy to touch the hem of his garment)

Actually, I have a great thought provoking answer for your excellent question.

Friend: I just mean, what type of reaction does this evoke in you?

Me: Well, I suppose, like Sicko, and Fahrenheit 9/11 it invokes anger, mistrust… just like sex movie are designed to invoke wood… it does what it was meant to do. I mean, Mom and I watched Sicko, and it looks like Cuba and France are smarter than the USA.

I watched Fahrenheit 9/11 and it makes Bush look like a Saudi butt kisser but, my suggestion is to read a bunch of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire…. and see how you feel about Christianity… because Gibbon hated the Church, and felt it contributed to the fall of Rome. Gibbon’s book evokes what he designed it to evoke but, Augustine, in City of God, is arguing the opposite,… saying that it is not the anger of Zeus or Jove (cause by the neglect of the old religion) that is causing the barbarian invasions. So, Gibbon puts his spin on things and achieves his effect, and Augustine puts HIS spin and achieves his effect.

SO, if you lived your life in a monastery, or part of it, you will look at Gibbon and say, Hey, wait you are distorting some things and if you are INSIDE of the investment industry, you will say, well, HEY WAIT, you are distorting some things Michael Moore..

Now, PBS did a series on The History of Money
and it shows the evolution of currency, banking credit
so, those are INSTRUMENTS, financial instruments , that developed, evolved over CENTURIES

Friend1: Yeah, it was great!

Me: … and without that, we would still be trading apples for oranges.

Friend1: I saw 3 of the 4 parts
I’m hoping they show it again!

Me: SO, if one looks at that bigger picture, one says, ok, WHERE is the devil, what is the demon? A knife in the hands of a murderer is bad, and in a surgeon’s hands it is good well but a knife is simply a tool. So, a financial instrument is simply a tool .

20 or 30 years back, we forgot some lessons that we learned, or should have learned and we were greedy, not just Americans, but THE WHOLE FREAKING WORLD because if it was just America, then the problem would not be global.

Me: So, when I watch the sexy flick with short term agenda,…. I become aroused, but when I step back like the final scene of Matrix, where I see reality as pixels, digitized, not analog … then, I see a mammalian panorama, so, I don’t become aroused, but rather I get awe inspired, and I see bondage, degradation, exploitation, etc.

So, whatever issue I choose to look at, first I use a microscope and see all the electrons and the quarks.

Next I use the telescope and see all the distant galaxies and black holes and then, I subjectively synthesize the polar opposites into something, … something that is middle of the road, open minded and fair…objective.

But, after I finally get all done, for anyone to share that… to understand what the hell I am saying, what do they need???

They need a huge foundation in Gibbon, Augustine, Quantum, Calculus, Archeology, linguistics, comparative religions, behavioral psychology… etc. and whatever it took to get me where I am on the slopes of Everest.

If you can climb to the top of Everest, you can send down a snap shot, but a snap shot is just a suggestion of what it is like to risk your live, and stand there.

Friend1: Ok, so I have to admit… like 99% of the time I can follow you but I couldn’t follow that tangent lol

Me: that is why a college student in India smugly told me “oh, World War II could have been settled peacefully, war was not necessary

OK…. when the only tool we have is a hammer, then every problem tends to become a nail.

What is Michael Moore’s tool and what is Soros’ tool
and by tool I don’t mean slang for pecker.. ha ha

Google on “eighth grade existentialism” (and it is a post here)

and you will come to my blog about that day you were reading Camus its kind of the same thing here one of my college buddies from 1968 just got back in touch, he is a hard hitting practical minded lawyer.

He assumes that I was the one who taught him about Ayn Rands philosophy. He is mistaken. He confuses me with someone else…

But, he is a person who came from wealth, and then I imagine, amassed more wealth and power, and retained it. So Ayn Randism is a good tool for him.

… different tact… Rabbi Abraham Heschel said “We must learn to understand what we see, and not simply SEE only that which we understand.”

Me: how do YOU FEEL about the film clip? What does it make YOU feel?

Mom was coughing for 1 year, getting worse and worse, and going to an allergist… who could only see ALLERGIES!

So, he gave her more and more inhalers and stuff, and she got sicker and sicker…

I marched in his office with her and I said, something is wrong here, and someone had better do something about it

But that allergist, a nice guy, but what he sees are allergies

It turned out that her problem had nothing to do with allergies. It had to do with a rare auto-immune disease that was attacking her sinus and her kidneys. The allergist did not know when to stop being an allergist and pick up a different tool.

When a pickpocket meets a saint, all he sees are pockets.

A saint can see saintliness in the worst of sinners, and a sinner can see sinfulness even in the holiest of saints look at that journalist who attacks mother Theresa.

What Jacob Kline is saying in this segment has something to do with what I am getting at.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7kiGyCIgKI

I forgot to cite Abraham Maslow! Thanks for calling this to my attention:

http://www.abraham-maslow.com/m_motivation/Maslows_Hammer.asp

A Zen master once said “Show me the man who has forgotten speech. It is with him that I desire to converse.”…

I already have a step-son, and now you, who cannot understand. I want to talk to one person who DOES understand. I am hoping for a Nyc Labrets or a Calvin John to come along. Time will tell! I must be patient…or I am insane.. hmmm….Skinner, Greenwald and others describe Bush’s Manicheanism. It is obvious to everyone except George what Bush’s hammer and nail are.

http://hnn.us/articles/7202.html

BUT… if you are able to understand Augustine’s and Pelagius’ positions simultaneously, then … you have Hegel’s aufgehoben

http://itself.wordpress.com/2007/12/02/a-question-on-the-translation-of-the-hegelian-aufhebung/

Try explaining to Charles Stanley that Rome is correct, or to Ratzinger that Rome is in error. What happens?

Sometimes I even go so far as to read some of the links I cite:

The Manicheans were a syncretic religious sect led by Mani, a Buddhist-influenced ascetic born in Baghdad in the 3rd century AD. Like Bush, the Manicheans carved the spiritual world up into two categories… Read More—Good and Evil—but, as orthodox dualists, they believed that the forces of Good and Evil were not engaged in some continuous and messianic struggle, but rather that their contrasting presence was the very basis of the spiritual order.

So, IF you can understand, in Ramanand Sagar’s movie version of Tulsidas Ramayan HOW it can be that when the Avatar Ram slays the wicked king Ravanna, the jiva of Ravanna is reabsorbed into the brahmajyoti, then, you are on the road to mediation, which, if you are at an extreme, will seem like “beating around the bush” and it is that fear which drives us to the extremes of right or left.

If you watch the episode in the above link, you will see the reabsorption of jiva at about 17 minutes into the 34 minute clip.

I have had seminars that are like this episode. The many heads which sprout are like the many arguments of your opponent.

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Later discussions:

Friend2:
William, it’s an interesting read but I really don’t get what you are saying about Capitalism to be honest.

Me:
Different people put different spins, with different agendas, so, Michael Moore’s film is designed to achieve a certain effect in the average viewer. he asks me MY reaction and I start thinking of Hegel’s aufgehoben, and Jain anekantavada. but, I am conditioned by past experiences to think that way. my point to him that our financial instruments evolved over thousands of years. So, it is short sighted to just point at one company, or one period in history. if you take the 5000 year picture, you come away with a different notion that the 5 year picture. One can be extreme and say that capitalism is evil, or communism is evil, or one can look at the modified capitalism of China and the socialized capitalism of American and Europe.

My friend works in investments he is looking at it from his perspective.

I LIKE Michael Moore overall… I think he means well. He addresses genuine problems. But, he uses the media to every advantage just like the opposition does. Spin and rhetoric depend upon a form of distortion, illusion, maya, to make the rope look like a snake and the snake look like rope.

So when he asks me how the clip makes me FEEL,… I deconstruct it after the fashion that I have been conditioned. So, I see it totally differently than millions of others might but the movie is designed for the average viewer… not someone who is specialized in some obscure way.

Friend2:

Terms like good and evil apply in any meaningful way to economic systems. Economic systems may lead to more or less prosperity for the many or more or less prosperity for the few, but good and evil? No!

I guess it could be sinful if a system willfully deceives people like Madoff. if you know you that the economic instruments you are selling people is likely to lead to their financial collapse,,,that may not be EVIL, but it is wrong. and how could people not know that interest only loans with balloon payments would eventually lead to people’s ruin?

The problem was massive deregulation beginning in the 90s and then ramping up under Bush.

The past eight years were a massive wrong turn in the evolution. about three years ago they changed the bankruptcy laws

If the people in power on Wall Street and Banking and Congress KNEW what was coming… They made it harder for people to go bankrupt and avoid their debt.

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Next day:

Me: The link to the Ramayan episode is the scene where the avatar god-man Ram slays the wicked demon Ravan, who stole his wife Sita. It is an exploration of how seeming opposites, Republican/ Democrat, communist/capitalist, Jesus and Ayn Rand, are actually interconnected and mutually dependent.

When Ram (God) tries to kill Satan (Ravan), a wise man explains that Sita (virtue) is captive in the heart of Satan, and God, is in the heart of Sita, so, if God destroys Satan, God destroys purity/virtue/Himself/ and countless worlds. This episode in the Ramayan is a metaphorical way to try and be balanced, and stay in the middle, rather than to be swept to the extreme right or extreme left. It’s like, judo, or koan practice in Zen, or playing “devils advocate” when elevating a saint.

Plus, if you ever DO have 30 minutes to watch that Ramayan episode where ram kills Ravan, Hindi with English subtitles,.. you will be amaze at two things,… the monkey army who helps ram (but remember the Neanderthal who lived beside humans for 50,000yrs) and then the very concept they have of missile warfare and also, that differences are settled by force… but then, reason offers a more permanent solution

But, in a weird way, what you had actually asked me was HOW IT MAKES ME FEEL/THINK, and I accurately gave the answer, but how I think is very different, illustrated by that old St. Johns video clip of professor Kline, as a young man with a confused student. I had Kline for a teacher when he was an old man
but that 10 minute clip is the essence of a St. John’s education.
Yeah, what the professor said at the end was right on. and an important question about ethics and economics the old Socratic/Plato question “gain is good” “might makes right” and then, the counter arguments.

BUT, whenever you have a chance, tell me how YOU feel about Moore’s movie clip. I would definitely watch anything that Moore ever makes, just like I would watch any episode of family guy i mean, he is a style and tradition like Lucy ball, and Jackie Gleason, abbot and Costello, Laurel and Hardy.

Friend1: lol I’ll try, but I don’t have 30 min for anything, even eating lol. Well, I enjoy Moore’s style from an entertainment standpoint

Me: yes, I know the pressure you are under.
There is a big BUT (not butt) lurking behind your statement

So lets hear the BUT.

You are to be much admired, and envied… I wish I had your gifts of social charisma, plus aptitude for numbers and business… but I am stuck with my gifts

Friend1: Yeah…BUT what irritates me is a lot of people take what he creates as canon.

Me: Well, that is EXACTLY what I was arguing… it is spin, rhetoric and some people just give up and become extreme right or extreme left instead of hovering dialectically in the middle way, with thesis, antithesis, and synthesis, the dialectical process, which is Socrates which is all Plato’s dialogues and liberal arts on Paltalk, a very devout Catholic lawyer/judge was whining about how everyone else has it all wrong in the church, but then how they are wrong to PUT HIM IN A BOX, since they don’t know his heart so i pointed out how HE HIMSELF puts everyone in a box/pigeon hole… but when he does it it is virtue
well, he got pissed, took even higher moral ground… argued some more, judged Pharisaical some more so I quoted that verse of Jesus “UNLESS you become as that little child, you shall IN NO WISE OR MANNER enter into heaven” and then I asked him IF he is making progress in approaching closer to that goal of becoming like that child.

Well, a child doesn’t judge and profile and I pointed out that IF one truly feels confidence in their faith and beliefs, and truly believes that with God all things are possible, then they will obey Paul and “not enter into vain and idle disputation” so, in the end the guy was crying almost and saying “Oh, I must apologize for having offended you and I MUST have offended you for you to say such mean things to me.”

And then I said, “you don’t GET it..” this is what I DO, it is called Socratic method… WHATEVER you argue, I prick your balloon and rain on your parade,… to keep you centered, and me centered

But, he will never get it… nor others like him, because they have a psychological need to constantly confront others and construe victory or unilateral agreement as the touchstone of their own correctness

Friend1: Well yeah…it’s a very natural reaction to defend one’s correctness…even if they truly know they don’t possess any in a particular situation

Me: But, you see, in Proverbs “he who digs a pit for others shall fall into it himself”. Whenever we profile and stereotype, we are digging a pit for others to fall into or we shove them into it. But as we sow, so shall we reap. An old Zen master said ‘the difference between heaven and hell is the breadth of one hair.”

This kind of WordPress blog, is so versatile, I can password protect,.. and one may re-read and add the reactions of many, over a period of days or weeks, and our understanding morphs, evolves, as we invest long periods of attention, discussion, re-reading, rather than just always “shooting from the hip” and its over in 5 minutes.