I’m told the finnish epithet for prescriptivists is “pilkunnussija” ie “comma-fucker” which is 100x better than the lazy “grammar nazi” that gets thrown around in english imho and i propose translating and adopting this term immediately
The real enemy of our age is apathy, nothingness, and abstraction. It is not ignorance. There is an over-abundance of knowledge in our world and that is perhaps what stunts us from achieving a true knowing. The bible itself has bled a false knowing because we are now unprepared for it. There has been only a downgrade in the quality of life since the day of revelation. Never before have we had dimmer eyes or duller hearts… or more complicated minds. This is a trend of history that the Christian is able to reverse on the strength of faith. But this requires the right understanding.
There can be no talk of a theology that does not address these three evils— apathy, nothingness, and abstraction. Christianity, as it has been preached traditionally, makes the conditions of life appear smaller and more generic than they are. God must be thought of in new categories and concepts, ones that match the ways in which we are thinking about ourselves.
We must think of God in personal terms; that is, in a literary fashion. In every age death and redemption have a different earthly expression, even if the ontological experience is the same. This means that there are also different vices and virtues. The vices are the three evils, and the virtues of our age are literariness and passion.
The three evils come from a humanity that is tending toward degradation because of a lack of moral standard. The masses feel complacency toward that degradation, for it operates under the guise of freedom which they desire. The Christian, who has no view of the heights that man can rise to, is led to view God in a degraded manner since self and God are intimately related. The only understanding of God we can pursue with confidence is one that seeks the root of the modern vice and make present and visible the revolutionary virtue.
The new theology must bring about not only an awareness of said despair in its many forms but allow all homeless passions to resurface and hold social significance. The release of subjective eccentricities, for example, and visions of true self and heaven should be the goal of the church. The church should be the house of the highest form of moral intelligence. It should condemn both abstract thought and thoughtlessness—- a delicate balance it has to be willing to fight for. The best thoughts are the original, the subjective, the confessional, the fire-side ones.
We are working against a unfeeling monster of the modern brain-machine. If we don’t face that titanic monster for who he is, our victories are merely the result of our imagination. Our religious experience is a form of escapism. Our hope draws us away from realities. In order for our feelings to be real and become real, we must understand what darkness can come over the human being, and the subtleties of that darkness. We must understand what it means to live ahistorically with an attunement to becoming. We must remember that man is a fallen God. He is the lowest of the gods. He is bound to a miracle and a mystery, the meaning of which we he is created to explore.
All Christian thought must start with the freely expressed desire of the individual to find wisdom, to organize inner chaos. Truth is not original, but our methods must be if they are to protect the depths of subjectivity where truth is truly planted. The only way to re-inject God into the culture and politics is to dive as deeply as possible into it the subjects of which both are comprised.
The reign of the Kingdom of God on earth is romantic, not ascetic. Intellectualism and erudition are the most sly form of asceticism. The Kingdom is not dialogical but cathartic; it happens by God’s grace, when a real soul breaks from the principalities and powers of this world, and the promethean task of comprehending it, into the real spiritual world where they are simple. This spiritual world is not located in the mind nor in the heavens. It is in the open air. Perhaps its closeness is why losing it is so painful.
A theology that adequately saves us brings us back to greatness— to the literary, the mythical, the metaphorical. A religious revival is just as much a political, social, and existential decision as it is metaphysical. Metaphysics cannot exist without its correlative— the visible world.
“The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss - an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. - is sure to be noticed.”—Kierkegaard (via sisyphean-revolt)
“She found it difficult to discuss physics, much less debate it, with her predominantly male classmates. At first they paid a kind of selective inattention to her remarks. There would be a slight pause, and then they would go on as if she had not spoken. Occasionally they would
acknowledge her remark, even praise it, and then again continue undeflected. She was reasonably sure her remarks were not entirely foolish, and did not wish to be ignored, much less ignored and patronized alternately. Part of it—but only a part—she knew was due to the softness of her voice. So she developed a physics voice, a professional voice: clear, competent, and many decibels above conversational. With such a voice it was important to be right. She had to pick her moments. It was hard to continue long in such a voice, because she was sometimes in danger of bursting out laughing. So she found herself leaning towards quick, sometimes cutting, interventions, usually enough to capture their attention; then she could go on for a while in a more usual tone of voice. Every time she found herself in a new group she would have to fight her way through again, just to dip her oar into the discussion. The boys were uniformly unaware even that there was a problem.
Sometimes she would be engaged in a laboratory exercise or a seminar when the instructor would say, “Gentlemen, let’s proceed,” and sensing Ellie’s frown would add, “Sorry, Miss Arroway, but I think of you as one of the boys.” The highest compliment they were capable of paying was that in their minds she was not overtly female.
She had to fight against developing too combative a personality or becoming altogether a misanthrope. She suddenly caught herself. “Misanthrope” is someone who dislikes everybody, not just men. And they certainly had a word for someone who hates women: “misogynist.” But the male lexicographers had somehow neglected to coin a word for the dislike of men. They were almost entirely men themselves, she thought, and had been unable to imagine a market for such a word.”—Carl Sagan, Contact (22)
“A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that’s just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it’s a joke.”—Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or, Part I (via adichotomyof)
“When I get up in the morning, I go right back to bed again. I feel best in the evening the moment I put out the light and pull the feather-bed over my head. I sit up once more, look around the room with indescribable satisfaction, and then good night, down under the feather-bed.”—Soren Kierkegaard, Journals (via unqoutable)
“I was happier then. Or was that I? Or am I now I? Can’t bring back time. Like holding water in your hand. Would you go back to then? Just beginning then. Would you?”— James Joyce, Ulysses (via stratford-upon-anon)