Miracles do not, in fact, break the laws of nature.

May 17, 2010

Once upon a time…

I’m free, 100% clean, I made it to the other side.

I behaved mostly okay, was given the gift of poverty without leaving home, and tried acted as if my life depended on it.

In business meetings, the old is always attended to before the new can be introduced (Tupperware, Country Style, Mr. Sub, Water Depot, WIP). The door’s open but the ride it ain’t free.

Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.

It matters enormously if I alienate anyone from the truth.

All that we call human history–money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery–[is] the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.

Χάρων, C.S. Lewis 1898-1963, Fisher King 1, 2 1991


Wisdom: Who are you going to Trust?

February 5, 2009

loserQ: Why would anyone trust a middle-aged, former bankrupt, twice-sued, paunchy Canadian loser former franchisee without any visible means of economic support?

A: Hey I always put on weight over the winter. I install irrigation and lighting systems for a type of living.

[I forgot balding...]

Yeah well…I’m out and you’re not. That’s why.

But don’t believe me. And certainly don’t follow me anywhere. I had my ambition lobotomy done years ago.

When pain shows up, it is perfectly human to focus exclusively on the wound. The unintended consequence is that a person’s imagination and critical thinking abilities are diminished.

But we’re all in luck: Other people have written about life and we might gain some comfort in standing on their shoulders instead of cowering (which is exactly the behaviour we are expected to exhibit).

Aphorisms

Hell is not punishment. It’s training. Shunryu Suzuki

Hated by fools, and fools to hate, Be that my motto and my fate. Jonathan Swift

Still and all, why bother? Here’s my answer. Many people need desperately to receive this message: I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

When the pupil is ready to learn, a teacher will appear. Zen Proverb

To the fool, he who speaks wisdom will sound foolish. Euripedes

He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine

The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure. Joseph Campbell

Humor is essential to a successful tactician, for the most potent weapons know to mankind are satire and ridicule. Saul Alinsky

Food for the mind is like food for the body: the inputs are never the same as the outputs. Marshall McLuhan

A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself. John Stuart Mill

Shame always comes upon me like an internal hemorrhage for which I am completely unprepared. Jean Paul Sartre

A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it. G.K. Chesterton

God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world. C.S. Lewis

If you are going through hell, keep going. Winston Churchill

No one can think clearly in the moment of shame. Charles Darwin

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain. Kahlil Gibran

When you’ve robbed a man of everything he’s no longer in your power – he’s free again. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

It is only work that is done as a free-will offering to humanity and to nature that does not bring with it any binding attachment. Swami Vivekananda

“You see,” said Aslan. “They will not let us help them. They have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their own minds, yet they are in that prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out. But come, children. I have other work to do.”

C.S. Lewis


The Inklings: A Brotherhood of encouragement

October 20, 2008

The Inklings was an informal literary discussion group associated with the University of Oxford, England, for nearly two decades between the early 1930s and late 1949.

Two of its most famous members were C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Readings and discussions of the members’ unfinished works were the principal purposes of meetings. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Lewis’s Out of the Silent Planet, and Williams’s All Hallows’ Eve were among the novels first read to the Inklings. [Wikipedia]

As Oxford teachers, scholars, men of faith and fiction writers, they were not shy about expressing his views about knowledge, truth and education.

Lewis:

Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.

And then she understood the devilish cunning of the enemies’ plan. By mixing a little truth with it they had made their lie far stronger.

God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.

If we cut up beasts simply because they cannot prevent us and because we are backing our own side in the struggle for existence, it is only logical to cut up imbeciles, criminals, enemies, or capitalists for the same reason.

When a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards.

It matters enormously if I alienate anyone from the truth.

Tolkien:

So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their ending.

The burned hand teaches best.

It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.



C.S. Lewis, 1898-1963

April 2, 2008

cslewis5.jpgIf you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.

And then she understood the devilish cunning of the enemies’ plan. By mixing a little truth with it they had made their lie far stronger.

Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.

….of that intimate laughter between fellow professionals, which of all earthly powers is strongest to make men do very bad things before they are yet, individually, very bad men.


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