“Man is formed to apprehend Truth: he ardently desires it; he pursues it; but when he attempts to grasp it, he feels bewildered and confounded, so much so that he cannot tell whether he has it or not” [ Blaise Pascal]
“Ideas exist to serve and illuminate people, not the other way around.” [Socrates by Paul Johnson p191-192]
“The ultimate meaning of life necessarily exceeds and surpasses the finite intellectual capacities of man. Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked:-
- What is “reality”?
- Who is blessed, or “well-off”?
- Who is really a “good” person?
- How does one become a truly “good” person? [Dallas Willard]
In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.” [Victor E Frankl]
“Our problem is NOT – are my desires satisfied or not? Our problem IS – how do I know what to desire?” [Slavoj Zizek]
“FUNCTION” precedes “ESSENCE” [DANTE] – The Potter determines what purpose He is creating the vessel for before placing the clay on the potters wheel.
“The most importan occupation of a human being was to subdue his bodily instincts and train himself to the teachings of the soul.” [Paul Johnson p110]
“Our problem is not – are our desires satisfied or not? Our problem is – how do we know what to desire?” [Slavoj Zizek] – which sums up James 4:1-3 “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
“If you asked the people in hell if they are happy, almost all of them would say “yes”. Hell is a description for people who have become comfortable with nothingness, with non-life, even a dead existence, and being content with it. It is all they can ever know or ever expected. Hell is later only because it was allowed and chosen now. … The gate of hell is always a door swinging both ways. No one is in there unless they want to be, and anyone who wants to can always decide differently” [Richard Rohr]
“You see, one of the things you learn about the law is you can never keep the law by aiming to keep the law. You have to aim at something else if you’re going to keep the law. You have to aim at becoming the kind of person for whom the deeds of the law are the natural, obvious, sensible thing to do. And that’s what Jesus is talking about, He’s talking about the transformation of the heart.” [Dallas Willard]
“Biblical Christianity knows nothing of blind leaps. Blindness, in Biblical categories, marks the unbelieving mind.” [R C Sproul]
“The Christian is called, not to individualism but to membership in the mystical Body. A consideration of the differences between the secular collective and the mystical Body is therefore the first step to understanding how Christianity without being individualistic can yet counteract collectivism.”[C S Lewis]
“Seek grace and instruction
Seek desire not understanding
Seek the groaning of prayer over diligent reading
Seek the Spouse more than the Teacher
Seek God’s darkness rather than man’s clarity
Seek the Fire itself not the Light” [Bonaventure]
Form and Substance:
Substance is enduring, form is ephemeral. Failure to distinguish clearly between the two is ruinous. Success follows those adept at preserving the substance of the past by clothing it in the forms of the future. Preserve substance; modify form; know the difference. The closest thing to a law of nature in business is that form has an affinity for expense, while substance has an affinity for income.
Conclusion, Fact and Attitude:
Conclusions are, or should be based on facts, and the knowledge of facts, not attitudes.
Attitude is a mental or emotional view or perception of a fact or facts. Attitudes can be negative or positive.
Fact is the reality, physical and mental reality, of what exists. Facts support or deny negative or positive attitudes as well as conclusions.
Vision – Intention – Means
There is a vast difference between having to present a vision and having a vision to present.
Rational belief and rational unbelief is critical to life. Our worldview is constructed from our belief system.
All beliefs can not be true. An example is the man who is about to cross the busy road. He has three possible beliefs:-
- He may believe that the oncoming bus will not kill him when he chooses to step on to the road, (He believes the driver will see him and stop or that he can avoid the bus somehow)
- He may have doubts about whether the oncoming bus will stop or not and choose to stay where he is and not step off the sidewalk onto the road.
- He may choose to step onto the road to be knocked over by the bus on purpose.
When he acts, and actually steps onto the road or remains on the sidewalk is the ultimate test of the reality of his beliefs. The truth is that all three beliefs can not be accommodated simultaneously by reality. Making no choice is a choice, it is choice number two, to remain on the sidewalk. Choosing one or three, he will either be hit by the bus or he will not, his choice determines which. The number of people who believe, or disbelieve, any of the three possibilities with the man making the choice, will have no effect on the reality of what happens.