Selected Pensées on the Deus Absconditus

God wishes to move the will rather than the mind.  Perfect clarity would help the mind and harm the will.
Humble their pride. (#234)


 

It is then true that everything teaches man his condition, but he must understand this well. For it is not true that all reveals God, and it is not true that all conceals God. But it is at the same time true that He hides Himself from those who tempt Him, and that He reveals Himself to those who seek Him, because men are both unworthy and capable of God; unworthy by their corruption capable by their original nature. (#444)


 

If there were no obscurity, man would not be sensible of his corruption; if there were no light, man would not hope for a remedy. Thus, it is not only fair, but advantageous to us, that God be partly hidden and partly revealed; since it is equally dangerous to man to know God without knowing his own wretchedness, and to know his own wretchedness without knowing God. (#446)


 

I admire the boldness with which these persons undertake to speak of God. In addressing their argument to infidels, their first chapter is to prove Divinity from the works of nature.  I should not be astonished at their enterprise, if they were addressing their argument to the faithful; for it is certain that those who have the living faith in their heart see at once that all existence is none other than the work of the God whom they adore. But for those in whom this light is extinguished, and in whom we purpose to rekindle it, persons destitute of faith and grace, who, seeking with all their light whatever they see in nature that can bring them to this knowledge, find only obscurity and darkness; to tell them that they have only to look at the smallest things which surround them, and they will see God openly, to give them, as a complete proof of this great and important matter, the course of the moon and planets, and to claim to have concluded the proof with such an argument, is to give them ground for believing that the proofs of our religion are very weak. And I see by reason and experience that nothing is more calculated to arouse their contempt.

It is not after this manner that Scripture speaks, which has a better knowledge of the things that are of God. It says, on the contrary, that God is a hidden God, and that, since the corruption of nature, He has left men in a darkness from which they can escape only through Jesus Christ, without whom all communion with God is cut off.  Neither knoweth any man the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. (Matt xi. 27)

This is what Scripture points out to us, when it says in so many places that those who seek God find Him. It is not of that light, “like the noonday sun,” that this is said. We do not say that those who seek the noonday sun, or water in the sea, shall find them; and hence the evidence of God must not be of this nature. So it tells us elsewhere: Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself. (Is xlv. 15) (#781)

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Lewis Carroll Explains the Caucus Race

If you’re unsure what, exactly, a caucus race is. Lewis Carroll gives as good an answer as any in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:

First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle, (‘the exact shape doesn’t matter,’ it said,) and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there. There was no ‘One, two, three, and away,’ but they began running when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However, when they had been running half an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out ‘The race is over!’ and they all crowded round it, panting, and asking, ‘But who has won?’

This question the Dodo could not answer without a great deal of thought, and it sat for a long time with one finger pressed upon its forehead (the position in which you usually see Shakespeare, in the pictures of him), while the rest waited in silence. At last the Dodo said, ‘everybody has won, and all must have prizes.’

There you have it. A bunch of people running about with no direction, a tremendous amount of energy is expended, nothing is accomplished, and everyone feels good about themselves.

Steve Elliot has an excellent post on the question “Is it practical?” I hate that question so much…

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I have become almost deaf to the question of practicality given in the title.  The asking of it is usually a confusion.  The confusion is often over one of two things.  Either the interlocutor has falsely bifurcated the philosophical and the practical, which is normally an issue of not liking philosophy, or not “getting it” so therefore I will make it a the “bad guy” and practicality the “good guy.”  Or the one asking the question of practicality is confusing the term with utility.  In this case what they mean is “can I turn it into cash.”  Many of my followers who choose to comment on my blogs have started up a “practicality” campaign on my recent posts regarding Berry’s metaphors of the Road and the Wheel as pictures of life.

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All thinking eventually becomes doing, or my Bible is woefully wrong when it asserts that all the issues of…

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