I don’t like filtering all three dimension of my soul (heart, mind and soul) through the paradigm of any single dimension, spiritual, mental or material, patircularly not through the political perspective, simply because it is far too limiting, also because –
“A man’s spirit can be judged mainlyby how much “Truth” he can tolerate.” [Nietche]… I seek Truth
As the picture above, the results of a questionnaire I completed back in 2017, demonstrates, I am high in openness (left) but conscientious (right), philosophically I am an “individualist” and very anti-collectivism in all its forms, as Nietzche said,
“I distrust all systemizers and avoid them: the will to a system is a lack of integrity.”
I believe every individual, whoever they think they are, is being told by his spirit, his mnd and his world to – “PREPARE TO MEET YOUR GOD” – ENDURE or ENJOY”.
Using logic we are only concerned with the correctness of the completed process – proposition – premise – conclusion. So before we can introduce a unique religion such as Christianity or Paganism we must consider only the logic of the wager.
My Premises for Outcome’s 1 and 2 are the historical evidence provided by the results of choosing religious and non-religious cultures, and I think Pascal would have approved. So Pascal is asking “Why would you not choose Outcome 1?”
“I quote Jesus because I consider Him to still be the spiritual authority of the Western World, whether we choose to follow Him or not. He is always spot-on at the deeper levels and when we understand Him in His own explosive context. One does not even have to believe in His divinity to realize that Jesus is seeing at a much higher , deeper, wider and lower level than most of us. My quoting Jesus is the only way some listeners will trust me, for others it gives a reason to mistrust me, but I have to take both risks because if I used His words and ideas as my own words and ideas I would be dishonest. I am attempting to re-present Him and His words and ideas because, not surprisingly, many of the findings of modern psychology, anthropology and all the behavioural sciences give us a new window and vocabulary into Jesus’ transcendental message” [Richard Rohr]
“You don’t have to let go of your beliefs in order to examine the evidence for them, scepticism and belief are not contradictory.” [Dallas Willard]
The price an individual has to pay for participating in society, and what that society demands today, is the sacrifice of his being, his individuality, his personhood and this threatens his relationship with Who made him for his unique purpose. Group identity is not more important than merit. Only embracing your real true identity enables you to pursue excellence in the purpose you were created for. “People do not get to be something just by saying so.”[Philip Carl Salzman]
“Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us, Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.”[Neil Postman] – Huxley is proving to be a more accurate prophet.
“The fishing net is an effective hunting weapon. Simple, easily made, the net is initially not seen by the fish, and then when they eventually encounter the mesh, all escape routes are blocked. The net encircles them, traps them and ultimately allows the fish to be pulled from their living environment to be killed. There are of course many different styles of net – from trawls to purse-seine, a vast net that is drawn closed like the strings of a soft money purse. In something of a record, this net has previously encircled a single shoal of over 1,000 tonnes of herring in UK waters. Some of those herring saw the net, and even felt its physical power as it it drew the shoal ever closer, but most fish did not. They were simply herded together by the pressure and fear of the other fish. Only at the last moment, as the pumps sucked them out of their closed net prison, did they perhaps realise that they had been caught.
But the analogy of fish is more accurate because the British public are now being drawn into an ever tighter net which is feeding a political ideology that will ultimately enslave and kill them.
Just as with the fish, few of the public can see the mesh. Even where they do, they fail to realise the mesh is just a small part of a massive net. If the mesh touches them it doesn’t really hurt them, as they turn away from it and seek protection in the public shoal. Only the fish that sense the danger and try and escape get hurt. They realise they haven’t got the strength to penetrate the mesh, and if they try, its immense strength physically damages them or suffocates them. So what is the net, what is the mesh and how do we escape it?
Dealing with the escape aspect first, we must realise that the best chance of escape occurs early in the ‘fishing’ process, when the net is cast and is still open. At this stage, recognising the net for what it is, most of us will be able to simply evade it with speed, agility, intelligence or wisdom, common sense or a combination of all these things. As with the shoal of fish, the population is big and ponderous, but once the individuals move and act alone, they form a chaotic and very difficult target. So escape is all about recognition of the net.” [Brian Gerrish]
“REDEMPTION” – Redemption is the first positional truth of the believer ( Romans 3:24; 1Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:7 and Colossians 1:14)
The price of the redemption was the blood of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. There are three Greek words all meaning “to redeem”, each has a slightly different shade of meaning:-
“AGORAZO” – ‘to purchase’, to pay the price sin demanded so that one can be redeemed (2Peter 2:1; Reveleation 5:9)
“EXAGORAZO” – ‘to purchase out of the slave market of sin’ (Galations 3:13, 4:5)
“LUTROO” – ‘to release and set free’ (Matthew 20:28; 1Timothy 2:6; Titus 2:14)
By combining the three Greek words, we get the process of ‘sanctification’ – the redeemed person is purchased by the payment of a price, the blood of Jesus Christ, he is removed out of the slave market of sin; he is then set free to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Psalm 116 (see below) must, because it is a continuation of the Passover Hallel, in some measure be interpreted in connection with leaving Egypt (the World), it is a personal song. I have interpreted it personally using The New Geneva Study Bible, The Message and the King James versions of the Bible.
“It is easy to think the State has a lot of different objects—military, political, economic, and what not. But in a way things are much simpler than that. The State exists simply to promote and to protect the ordinary happiness of human beings in this life. A husband chatting over a fire, a couple of friends having a game of darts in a pub, a man reading a book in his own room or digging in his own garden— that is what the State is there for. And unless they are helping to increase and prolong those moments, all the laws, parliaments, armies, courts, police, economics, etc. are simply a waste of time”. [C S Lewis]
“It is of the nature of humankind to wish to improve things and better our conditions, and all societies have possessed this wish to some extent…” [Paul Johnson] … UNTIL today.
“I do not think that all who choose wrong roads perish; but their rescue consists in being put back on the right road. A wrong sum can be put right: but only by going back till you find the error and working it afresh from that point, never by simply going on.” [C S Lews]
“The written word, and an oratory based upon it, has a context, a semantic, paraphrasable, propositional context. Wherever language is the principle medium of comunication – especially language controlled by the rigours of print – an idea, a fact, a claim is the inevitable result. The idea may be banal, the fact irrelevant, the claim false, but there is no escape from reasoning when language is the instrument guiding one’s thought. … This is serious because reasoning demands to be understood. A written sentence calls upon its author to say something, imports the reader to know the import of what is said. And when an author and reader are struggling with semantic meaning, they are engaged in the most serious challenge to the intellect. … Authors are not always trustworthy. They lie, they become confused, they over-generalize, they abuse logic, and sometimes common sense. … The reader must come armed in a serious state of intellectual readiness”. [Neil Postman]
“Not since the “Renaissance” (1400AD – 1560AD) have the visual arts enjoyed such an intense and prolonged period of splendour.
“If the term “Renaissance” has any real meaning at all, it signifies the re-discovery and utilization of ancient virtues, skills, knowledge and culture, which had been lost in the barbarous centuries following the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West. … Most generations of all human societies have a propensity to look back on golden ages and seek to restore them”. … Unlike the Renaissance, however this great cultural war has succeeded in reversing or abandoning “the critical spirit” or “the spirit of criticism” – that is, the tendency not simply to accept facts at their face value but to examine their provenance, credentials, authenticity and relationship to established “Truth”.[Paul Johnson]
“If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.” [C S Lewis]
“Today, you can be as dumb as a bag of hammers but if you are a skeptic or skeptical of any truth, you are still able to think you are intelligent.” [Dallas Willard]
“An unexamined life is not worth living” [Socrates]
“SKEPTICISM” is good for:-
1. undermining illegitimate claims to authority.
2. it initiates and stimulates inquiry
The role of “SKEPTICISM” is to break the grip of AUTHORITY and of POWER.
SKEPTICISM calls claims to KNOWLEDGE into doubt, it is not KNOWLEDGE, it is not DOUBT and it is not an aim in itself.
1. TARGETED SKEPTICISM depends on a range of KNOWLEDGE but also seeks KNOWLEDGE and evidence.
RELIGION and MORALTY are rejected as KNOWLEDGE in the world.
The responsible skeptic seeks to discover and to know through inquiry and this is an intellectual virtue.
2. EXTREME SKEPTICISM does not give you anything to live by and leads nowhere, it also shuts off serious inquiry into things that really matter.
Institutions could assist and help people come to the place where they are able to base their beliefs on KNOWLEDGE, but they are threatened by SKEPTICISM.
One of the hardest things to do is to be skeptical about the things in most need of skepticism.
“For me, reason is the natural organ of truth,” Lewis wrote, “but imagination is the organ of meaning. Imagination . . . is not the cause of truth, but its condition.” In other words, we don’t grasp the meaning of a word or concept until we have a clear image to connect it with.” [C S Lewis ]
“He who was living is now dead We who were living are now dying, unless He now lives”, so as Andy Dufresne put it so eloquently in “The Shawshank Redemption” – “Get busy living, or get busy dying”.