Monthly Archives: July 2008

Carl Jung and the Cathedral

One summer day when Carl Jung was a 12 year old schoolboy in Basel, Switzerland, he fell to admiring the cathedral in the town square. In his autobiography called “Memories, Dreams, Reflections” he recalls his train of thought:

The sky was gloriously blue, the day one of radiant sunshine. The roof of the cathedral glittered, the sun sparkling from the new, brightly glazed tiles. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the sight, and thought: “the world is beautiful and the church is beautiful, and God made all this and sits above it far away in the blue sky on a golden throne and …” Here came a great hole in my thoughts, and a choking sensation. I felt numbed, and knew only: “Don’t go on thinking now! Something terrible is coming…”

He was completely panicked and dared not finish the thought. He agonized over it for days, having trouble sleeping and feeling tormented, trying so hard to not finish the thought. In the middle of the night of the third day, he finally decided that “It must be thought out before hand.” So he went through a long process of thinking why he should not think “that thought”. His rationalized reasoning went on for three pages! Now remember, this is a 12 year old boy. Carl finally decided it would be okay with God for him to finish, saying “Obviously, God also desires me to show courage. If that is so and I go through with it, then He will give me His grace and illumination.”

Jung continues, “I gathered all my courage as though I were about to leap forthwith into hell-fire, and let the thought come. I saw before me the cathedral, the blue sky, God sits on His golden throne, high above the world — and from under the throne an enormous turd falls upon the sparkling new roof, shatters it, and breaks the walls of the cathedral asunder.”

Even as a boy, Jung found the scatalogical image redemptive. “I felt an enormous, indescribable relief. Instead of the expected damnation, grace had come upon me… I wept for happiness and gratitude.”

From the start, Jung understood this newfound connection to the deity to be different in kind from anything he’d been offered by his own church. Jung’s father was a Protestant minister but one, we gather from Jung, for whom the church had become lifeless. As a child he thought his father was reliable but powerless, and after his epiphany, he says, “a great many things I had not understood became clear to me. That was what my father had not understood, I thought; he had failed to experience the will of God, had opposed it for the best reasons and out of the deepest faith. And that is why he had never experienced the miracle of grace.”

— Lewis Hyde, Trickster Makes This World with some adaptations from Starstuff’s Journal

Hyde also points out in this chapter that “dirt is always a by-product of order”. My take is that if our gods are too clean, too orderly, they cannot lend us any creative energy, and our lives become too sterile, too orderly. By placing the gods high above us, not allowing them access into our lives or us access into theirs, we limit our own creativity. You have to get a little dirty and messy to truly feel the divine. Make your rituals too sterile, too structured, and they bring no spirituality into your life. Make your home too sterile, too orderly, and it becomes a place where you can’t relax and enjoy life itself. If you’re afraid to get messy, it’s hard to really make interesting art. If you’re afraid of your life getting messy, it’s hard to care about other people and be willing to get involved in their problems.

Get those colonoscopies, people

Having had my own brief brush with colon cancer, this hits hard today. Fortunately mine was caught really, really early. But this is a reminder that I’m due for my checkup again soon.

Get those colonoscopies done, people. Colon cancer kills WAY more people than breast cancer even it it isn’t as sexy to wear your brown ribbon or walk those colon cancer three-days.

Former Bush press secretary Tony Snow dies

Tony Snow, a conservative writer and commentator who cheerfully sparred with reporters in the White House briefing room during a stint as President Bushs press secretary, died Saturday of colon cancer. He was 53.

“America has lost a devoted public servant and a man of character,” President Bush said in a statement from Camp David, where he was spending the weekend. “It was a joy to watch Tony at the podium each day. He brought wit, grace, and a great love of country to his work.”

Depression

I’m sorry, but I”m so pissed off and depressed after yesterday’s FISA vote in the Senate that I’m spending the day on Manalo’s shoe blog and Go Fug Yourself to cheer myself up…

I liked my Fourth Amendment Rights, damnit. And I’m pissed as hell that only 28 Senators upheld their oath to support the Constitution. And Obama, you’re on my shit list this week. No love from me.

Some poor guy in Alabama is heartbroken

“Mah goat ran away with mah dawg…”

“She was the best durn goat Ah evah had…”

“An Ah’m gonna miss that dawg, too…”

Hubby and I were in tears of laughter…

Alabama Police Nab Mercedes-Climbing Goat: Top News Stories at Officer.com

The goat was arrested, the Mercedes-Benz was assaulted and the dog came along for the ride.

It happened Sunday when a woman driving the Mercedes saw a goat and dog playing on U.S. 72 in northern Alabama, Sheriff Mike Blakely said.

She stopped, afraid they would get hit, Blakely said. But the goat jumped on the car and wouldn’t come down. Fearing scratches and dents in her import’s paint job, she called the Limestone County Sheriff’s Department. A deputy got the goat down and put it in his patrol car, but then the dog jumped into his back seat too.

The deputy took the dog to a veterinarian and the goat to the home of another deputy.

“If anybody is missing a goat and dog, they need to let us know,” Blakely said.

“Ah hope that deputy is takin’ good care uh her…”

Implosion of the blogosphere imminent

In the “Why I love the Intertubes” category today….

In Popular Culture – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In Popular Culture

In the XKCD comic 446, the title-text claims that in the future there would be an “in popular culture” article on Wikipedia which would make a reference to that comic in its “in popular culture” section. It claimed that the blogosphere would subsequently implode. The foretold implosion has yet to occur.

(mouse over the comic if you don’t get the joke)

UPDATE:

Of course today the assholes at Wikipedia have ruined the joke and redirected the “in popular culture” page. No fun at Wikipedia anymore. Boring toads.

Political Stuff and Darwin's Birthday

Well, my blog has been a bit lacking here on the political side — if you miss any of that kind of thing from me, you can go to my mybarackobama page to view it.

I’m wanting to put up pictures from Darwin’s birthday party here, but due to blog upgrades I can’t upload pictures at the moment, hopefully soon. We had seven! dogs here for the Fourth of July, which is also Darwin’s birthday. He had a great time but is still exhausted. The 20 or so people we had over to celebrate the Fourth kind of wore me out, too. We’re all still in recovery…

Older women who inspire the hell out of me

You go, Dara! Awesome….

I turn 50 this year — at 40, I was still coaching my kids in soccer, and my introduction to 40 was tearing the heck out of my hamstring playing in a parents versus kids game one weekend. So I’m really impressed when someone close to my age is still out there kicking ass.

Torres, 41, makes record 5th Olympic swim team

Natalie Coughlin is 25 years old, an elder stateswoman of swimming.
Dara Torres wears goggles that are older than Coughlin.
Torres is 41. In swimming, that’s not old, that’s Pleistocene.
Torres swam in her first Olympic Games in 1984. Last year, she came out of a seven-year retirement, practically stepping out of a museum display case, to take a shot at making her fifth U.S. Olympic team at this week’s U.S. trials.
“The idea,” said Michael Lohberg, Torres’ coach for the past year, “was to do something that hasn’t been done before – getting an old lady on the Olympic team.”
Mission accomplished. Friday night, the old lady made the team by beating Coughlin to win the 100-meter freestyle. She now stands alone in history, the only five-time Olympic swimmer.
“I’m ecstatic, I can’t believe it,” Torres said after the race.
A year ago, Torres and Lohberg felt that if the stars were aligned, if Torres’ body held up, she might have a shot at a top-six finish in the 100-meter freestyle here, earning a berth on the 400-meter freestyle relay team (the two extra swimmers swim in preliminary heats).
They were in this for the adventure. For the rest of us, it would be a nice story: Four-time Olympian, winner of nine medals (four gold), gives swimming a golden nostalgia moment.
Torres has blown that syrupy story out of the water. She has shocked herself and her coach. She is in Omaha kicking butt and taking names.

Ch-ch-ch-changes…

Changes — David Bowie

Still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets and
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t want to be a richer one
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-changes
Just gonna have to be a different one
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time

I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t tell them to grow up and out of it
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-changes
Wheres your shame
You’ve left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can’t trace time

Strange fascination, fascinating me
Ah changes are taking the pace I’m going through

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-changes
Oh, look out you rock n rollers
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-changes
Pretty soon now you’re gonna get a little older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time

Leader

Jiang. Leader;military general, to take, to hold.

The quality of the leader determines the quality of the organization.

A leader who lacks intelligence, virtue, and experience
Cannot hope for success.

In any conflict
The circumstances affect the outcome.
Good leaders can succeed in adverse conditions,
Bad leaders can lose in favorable conditions,
Therefore, good leaders constantly strive to perfect themselves,
Lest their shortcomings mar their endeavors.

When all other factors are equal,
It is the character of the leader that determines the outcome.

Deng Ming-Dao, Everyday Tao

___

A good thing to think about when deciding how you want to vote for our next president, and look at the results of the last seven years.

We face a coming time of upheaval and crisis. How we choose our leaders during this time is important, and will set the course of this country for the next century. What direction do we choose to move? Forward, with vision and strength, reaching out to the world to help through the coming difficult years, or inward, closing down, alienating our allies, hardening our enemies with weapons and strong words rather than weakening our enemies by being the shining city on the hill that reaches out to its neighbors, its friends and says, “Come, join us, live with us in peace and harmony. We will fight together with you to weaken the enemies that threaten us, but to all who come to us with peace, we are your friends and will support your efforts. Your religion is not our enemy, your nation is not our enemy, and we will not take your nation from you. We will let you make the choice to live in peace with us, and share our wealth with you. Tell those who fight us that we wish to make peace.”

That’s the America I want to live in. Not one that rewards its wealthiest, but supports its weakest. Not one that hoards the wealth of the world to those privileged few who use our armies to enrich themselves, but the America that shares its greatness and wealth and knowledge with the world.

We built this Internet. We use it to speak with everyone in the world we can reach. We shared it with everyone, without limits, without control.

We are the music-makers
And we are the dreamers of dreams
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world forever, it seems.
..
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

Arthur O’Shaughnessy

Is our American dream dying, moving into fascism and repression, or are we going to reignite that wonderful, real American spirit, not the fake one that the rich and powerful use to try and manipulate and oppress us?

We are the ones who get to decide. Especially you, who are younger than me. My generation is polarized, divided between those who already have but want still more, and those of us who know we have far, far, more than we could ever possibly need, and want only to share our wealth, our knowledge, our experience and our riches with the entire world.

We built you this Internet, children. It is our last, best possible gift to you. Please, use it wisely, tell your friends that they can make this the next, greatest generation of Americans the world has ever seen. We want you to be loved, admired, looked up to and blessed for the rest of the your lives by the entire world. We do not want you to be scorned, sneered at, ruled by a smirking leader who says like “Who cares what you think?”. We want you to pick strong, courageous leaders who can make this country great in the eyes of the world again.

I am only one voice, I am only one small person here sharing my hopes and dreams for the two wonderful people I have helped to bring into this world and raise. I do not want them killed in a senseless war to lead to wealth for a group of rich people who think they own this earth. I want them to live in a free, happy, open, giving and renewed country. I want a society where everyone knows their basic health is assured and their needs met, where those who have are willing to share, and the “have mores” are not the “base” for a president that promises them even more riches, but are the endowers of great foundations again and the saviors of the world from its medical and societal problems.

I want my kids to be able to walk anywhere in this world and be surrounded by friends and strangers who smile and thank them for being Americans, for being the best hope and strength of this entire planet.

That is my small little dream.

What’s yours?

Wingers hate WALL-E

Too bad they don’t have the kind of imagination that is able to fascinate and entertain children with their values, I suppose….

via Think Progress

Right-Wing Apoplectic Over Pixar’s WALL-E: ‘Malthusian Fear Mongering,’ ‘Fascistic Elements’
This weekend, Pixar’s latest film “WALL-E” debuted at No. 1, earning $65 million at the box office. The film has been hailed by critics, scoring a whopping 97 percent “Fresh” rating on RottenTomatoes.

The film portrays a lonely robot’s quest for love, as he is left to clean up a trashed earth. Meanwhile, the over-indulged humans wait it out aboard gigantic spaceships run by a monolithic corporation-turned-government that “resemble spas for the fat and lazy.”

Somehow, this touching love story has outraged the radical right:

Shannen Coffin: From the first moment of the film, my kids were bombarded with leftist propaganda about the evils of mankind. It’s a shame, too, because the robot had promise. The story was just awful, however.

Greg Pollowitz: It was like a 90-minute lecture on the dangers of over consumption, big corporations, and the destruction of the environment. … Much to Disney’s chagrin, I will do my part to avoid future environmental armageddon by boycotting any and all WALL-E merchandise and I hope others join my crusade.

Glenn Beck: I can’t wait to teach my kids how we’ve destroyed the Earth. … Pixar is teaching. I can’t wait. You know if your kid has ever come home and said, “Dad, how come we use so much styrofoam,” oh, this is the movie for you.

Dirty Harry: Have we lost Pixar? Have we lost the wonderful studio who brought us The Incredibles and Ratatouille to Bush Derangement Syndrome? Here you have a winning streak going back ten-years, enormous amounts of public goodwill, equal amounts of credibility as serious storytellers, and they stop things cold, yanking you out of the story with the liberal nonsense. Quite a disappointment.

Jonah Goldberg: I agree with the charges of hypocrisy. I agree that the Malthusian fear mongering was annoying

Goldberg posted a lengthy letter from a reader decrying the film’s “fascistic elements,” which apparently include the movie’s discussion of the environment, a character “getting in touch with her emotional, passionate inner self,” and the use of the color red.

Now we can add a critically-acclaimed and universally-beloved cartoon character to Goldberg’s enormous list of evidence of “liberal facism,” which already includes vegetarianism, love of animals, and Captain Planet.