Saturday, October 26, 2013

I like a look of Agony,
Because I know it's true —
Men do not sham Convulsion,
Nor simulate, a Throe —

The Eyes glaze once — and that is Death —
Impossible to feign
The Beads upon the Forehead
By homely Anguish strung. 
~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)


  1. If Emily were alive today, I wonder what she would write?

  2. Exactly what she wrote about in the mid-nineteenth-hundreds would be my guess, AOW.

    Except for the wonder and delight she found in Nature, Miss Dickinson did not much concern herself with the material aspects -- the mundane specifics -- of every day life. She looked inward in a constant search for immortal and eternal truths -- the PRINCIPLES on which life as a cognizant, sensitive, curious, earnest individual are based.

    She lived with an astonishing intuitive awareness of the vastness, and sheer magnificence of the Cosmos. Her whole life might be described as a search to find her right place in it it -- to see herself -- and all mankind -- from a Cosmic perspective.

    Those truths are no different today than they were in the nineteenth century or the first century or the many millennia that passed before the Birth of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    All truly great individuals are like this. They may live in this world, but they are not of it.

  3. A missionary is someone sent by Jesus Christ ... The great controlling factor is not the needs of people, but the command of Jesus.

    ... The tendency today is to put the inspiration out in front — to sweep everything together in front of us and make it conform to our definition of success. But in the New Testament the inspiration ... is the Lord Jesus Himself. The goal is to be true to Him — to carry out His plans.

    Personal attachment to the Lord Jesus and to His perspective is the one thing that must not be overlooked.

    In [attempting to do God's work] the great danger is that God’s call will be replaced by the needs of the people, to the point that human sympathy for those needs will absolutely overwhelm the meaning of being sent by Jesus.

    The needs are so enormous, and the conditions so difficult, that every power of the mind falters and fails [before them]. We tend to forget that the one great reason underneath all missionary work is not primarily the elevation of the people, their education, nor their needs, but is first and foremost [to] “Go ... and make disciples of all the nations ...” (Matthew 28:19).

    When looking back on the lives of men and women of God, the tendency is to say, “What wonderfully keen and intelligent wisdom they had, and how perfectly they understood all that God wanted!” But the keen and intelligent mind behind them was the mind of God, not human wisdom at all.

    We give credit to human wisdom when we should give credit to the divine guidance of God being exhibited through childlike people who were “foolish” enough to trust God’s wisdom and His supernatural equipment.

    ~ Oswald Chambers - My Utmost for His Highest

  4. On order to understand the meaning of Oswald chambers' words -- or those of Miss Dickinson -- or any others whose lives have served as sources of Light and windows on Truth -- we must first begin to understand who and what God really is.

    Those who smugly believe they know all about that, because they fancy themselves pious and dutiful, are probably those whose awareness is farthest from the Truth of Being.

    Those who would insist the "God is God, because it says so in the Bible", and are content to leave it at that are merely indulging in meaningless tautology -- the "vain repetitions" warned against in the Scriptures, themselves.

  5. You've been in an up mood lately.

    How about some Ogden Nash or X. J. Kennedy? Lighten it up a little.

  6. Poor, Ducky! You always seem to long for whatever you think happens not to be present at any given moment, instead of taking what you find, trying to find the good in it, and making the most of it.

    I see more and more in Walt Whitman's deceptively simple motto every day:


    Advice no one needs more than I, I freely admit.

    There's a great deal about this world I don't like any more than you do -- and probably for the same or similar reasons, believe it or not -- but after more than 12 fruitless years in the blogosphere I have come to the realization that dwelling on all that seems wrong and endlessly bitching, whining, lamenting, and vituperating about it is harmful to one's mental and physical health.

    We have been zealously exacerbating our difficulties, magnifying injustice, and augmenting our collective agony by carrying on the way we do -- ALL of us --liberal and conservative alike.

    It's ungodly and totally toxic.

    There are higher, finer, nobler, more important things that crave our attention -- things we seem to have lost sight of in this orgy of bathos and invective we indulge in every day.

    This is no time to "lighten up" at all, rather it is a time to probe more deeply for inspiration, and look upward and outward towards Infinity for a credible raison d'etre.

    We long ago reached the outer limits of what the Cant and Rhetoric of artfully contrived, man made philosophies can do fr us -- and to us.

    The twentieth century proved conclusively how pathetically inept and lethal we become when we attempt to sever our connection with almighty God.

    The struggle so to do causes unbearable agony, because we are effectively hacking away at the very root that gives us all knowledge, all achievement, all sustenance and joy.

    And no, I am not play acting. I've never been more serious in my life.

  7. Historically speaking...Political conservatism and faith in God have been counter-culture movements of sorts before.

    Perhaps they are counter-culture movements once again, and the result is "more noise" of the type that we so often see in the blogosphere.

    Just a random thought before I sign off for most of the rest of the day.

  8. Yes, AOW, I think you're correct. Everything seems to go in cycles. "Stability," long fr it thought we may, never has been and never will be a realistic option.

    The very nature of life is incessant change -- constant movement, waxing, waning, evolving, devolving, mutation and metamorphoses in billions of varied forms.

    HOWEVER, God, Himself, is IMMUTABLE and ETERNAL -- at once the Wellspring and the Bedrock of Existence. The ONLY thing on which we may safely depend.

    That becomes increasingly apparent to me the Civilization we've known, and always had mixed feelings about, seems to be spinning out of control and taking on an ever more threatening aspect.

    Perhaps our crying-but-rarely-acknowledged need for God is why control of our lives is being forcibly wrested from our grasp? This unwelcome turn of events is literally forcing those of us with heart and conscience either to choose God or succumb to the agony of despair. The latter, of course, is a victory for the devil.

    God is Life. God is Love, God is Truth. God is Intelligence. God is Principle. God is Conscience. God is Beauty. God is all these things, and all are One in Him.

    If we trust in the Sustaining Infinite, we have no legitimate reason to fear anything.

    There is something of value to be learned from everything -- even the most undesirable experiences imaginable.



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