Psychology: On Love and Lyric Poetry From Plato’s Phaedrus

  The following is a blog on the section of Plato’s Phaedrus, addressed in an old Midsummer Night’s Dream paper, where Socrates seems to get at the cause of both love and lyric poetry.

    There is more in “one line” of the introductory dialogues of Plato than in a whole textbook of modern psychology. Following the path of Carl Jung, the shadow is addressed first, and then what he calls anima and animus. The best piece I have on the shadow is the teaching of Jesus on the log and the beam, in a blog above as well as in the psych category. The shadow at first corresponds to the level of the three part Platonic soul called appetite, but the shadow effects the soul and mind, and is the apprenticeship or beginning of the quest of self knowledge. What we do not see in ourselves appears in another, in our faction with our fellows. Our faction with the outer world is of course based upon our faction within. The same is apparent in the psychological truth that what we do to others is in truth done to us, that if we do not forgive, we are not forgiven, etc. That is how the things of the “personal” shadow work. In some sense, too the principle must hold especially for what Jung would have to call the “collective” shadow.

   Bruce Lee has demonstrated how the principle applies in the martial arts, when his “Cain” (In the television show “Kung Fu”) was trying to fight an imaginary demon in a cave. His old blind teacher appeared, and said, “Why have you left the Tao?” Cain returned from his flashback in memory, and the imaginary demon had disappeared. All things of the shadow and faction are like that. But the next level, after the recognition of he personal  shadow, is love, belonging to the second or middle of the three parts of the soul.

   Love attempts to clear the way for itself, by penance, a recovery of innocence, and so is only available to the soul to the extent to which one “integrates” the “shadow.” What this faculty does in the majority of souls, in whom the lover is sleeping, is rather messy. The effect is similar to the effect of the faculty called “self'” by Jung, meaning our true self, the “eye of the soul.” But because this faculty is unconscious, all mankind needs what Jung calls a “living myth,” and what we call religion and even ritual.

   In his palinode (Plato, Phaedrus, 243-257), Socrates explains the occurrence of love on the basis of the same faculty or capacity of man on which philosophy is based, the capacity for the recollection of the knowledge of truth seen prior to our present incarnation (Plato, Meno 81). According to the speech, the soul, once perfect and winged, travelling in the train of one of the twelve gods, ascended to the summit of heaven, and there saw a vision of true being, which dwells beyond the Olympian heavens (Hyper-Ouranian being, as an old U of D teacher called it). In this, we were all “initiated into that mystery which is rightly accounted blessed beyond all others” (Phaedrus, 250b). The soul then lost its wings and descended into incarnation, but only the souls that have beheld truth can enter into human form, as is evident in the capacity of man for language. Because of this mystery, “If a man makes the right use of recollection and approaches the perfect mysteries,” he and he alone becomes truly perfect. Only the soul of the philosopher recovers her wings, because she is “ever near in memory to those things to which a god’s nearness makes him truly a god” (249d-e). The lover and the philosopher, like the lover and the saint in the Palm dance of Romeo and Juliet, are distinct. The one is an image of the other, and at the same time both, philosophy and love, may literally be the activity of the same faculty. Hence, Jung calls anima the “gateway to the collective unconscious,” and love is a kind, and one of four kinds, of divine madness (244).

   Beauty alone, of all the objects of vision seen, is manifest at all to our senses, through sight, the keenest of the bodily senses (250d). From this, we derive the teaching that in love, the lover is having their first concrete encounter with the divine or intelligible. (This demonstrates, too, what a Joke is the first way that the “theory of the forms” appears. The “forms” do not appear at all to most humans, except through the beauty of the beloved.) But to continue, when one who saw much and is fresh from the mysteries beholds a godlike face or bodily form that images or reflects beauty itself, the stream of beauty entering through the eyes gives rise to a warmth which causes the roots of the wings of the soul, once hardened, to melt and begin to grow. As in Plato’s Symposium, where love (a spirit and not a god) is the beginning of an ascent on the ladder of love, so here, love is presented as the beginning of the recovery of the wings of the soul, completed only in the philosopher.

   Each lover loves in the manner of the god in whose company he once traveled, selecting a beloved according to his disposition. Then, as if the beloved were a god, the lover fashions for himself an image, and adorns it to be the object of his worship. When the followers of Zeus find a Zeus-like disposition, aimed toward the love of wisdom and the leading of men, they do all that is possible to foster this disposition. The lover sets out on a path of following up “the trace of the nature of their own god within themselves” (252e). Fixing the gaze of their eyes onto the beloved, they reach out after the god in memory and are possessed by him, taking their ways and manners from the god as much as is possible for humans (253). But the lover attributes this not to the god, but to the beloved. In this “unconscious” activity of character formation, in which the lover does not know himself, Socrates describes the possessed activity of the lover as the drawing of droughts from Zeus, which they pour like Bacchants, onto the soul of the beloved, thus making in him the closest possible likeness to the god they worship” (253a). This following up of the trace of the god within and the drawing and pouring of drink from Zeus may be the source and function of the lyric poetry to which the lovers are inspired by the sight of the beloved. The reaching back in memory of the lover imitates the right use of recollection by which the philosopher alone recovers the wings of the soul. Hence, we say that the noble (Ta Kalon) is based upon and is an image of intellectual virtue. The “song of dialectic itself” (Republic VII, 532d), unknown to the lover, may yet be the being on which lyric love poetry is based. The capacity of the soul for this sort of love is due not to the body and its principle, but to the mind, and is due to the higher capacity of man for knowledge. In Plato’s Republic, too, legislation and character formation are based either upon the image of God (500e-501b; 484c); or on the good itself (540 a-b). The soul is of course an image of God Most High, though a kind of madness that is not divine, and does not sacrifice, repent continually, and have anything it believes in that is higher than itself, may make the error of identifying the image with the source. The same has occurred in the culmination of “modern” so called “philosophy.”

   It remains for us to convert the Platonic account of love into the terms of fertile love, and we will have the equivalent of the unified field theory sought in physics. One should already see the basis for the translation of the Biblical mysteries into the terms of philosophy, and then back again, from whence all of the knowledge of the Biblical mysteries, right up to the Bride, becomes visible. The soul is indeed the image of God- or did you think he was just kidding? Or perhaps willfully asserting the “dignity of the person?” Just as modern psychology cannot begin to approach Platonic psychology, so modern theology is a waste of time compared to philosophic theology, where reason and love do have “company.” But at least it reminds barbarians to treat the soul as a thing of dignity, perhaps even each soul endowed equally with inalienable rights, since the image of God in man is a higher thing than anything else in the creation.

   Marriage is the foundation of the family, the natural human society.* The soul by nature has the faculty of love, “romantic” love, because human societies are by nature formed this way. Man is by nature political by this root, which happens also to be our participation in the entrance of new souls into the creation. The lovers are alike in a way and complementary in a way, the masculine and feminine things, like vegetable and flower gardening, fitting together to make the whole. Their love is the crown of the rule of the household throughout life, and the happiness of the vast majority depends upon this home life, which is notoriously difficult. The way that they are alike is the basis of friendship, and so people seek a spouse that shares with them the first principles, etc. While there are several identifiable kinds, we think that homosexual love is usually the result of appetite trapped in the matter or the body, like Ariel in the pine tree, freed by Prospero. Hence those males seeking the male also seek the effeminate male, but cannot tell and become angry if one asks them why. This holds out the possibility of a higher sort of homosexual love-friendship, but also gets at why Plato and Socrates sought to purify Greek homosexual love of all ignoble and fruitless entanglement in the body, in what is hence called “Platonic” love.

   Until Shakespeare, there was no account of heterosexual or natural, fertile love to compare or compete with the Greek account, based on homosexual love in Greek custom, a thing we do not yet understand. Perhaps they had no liberally educated women. The account, though, is hidden in the Bible, where readers are surprised to find the reason for the inclusion of the Song of Solomon in holy scripture, and surprised to find that the two thousand year old prudish or puritanical understanding of all eros as sin is based on an error made by sinful souls, the Christian things treated like mere laws to lay upon the un-transformed appetites, never leading through true penance and sacrifice. But suffice it to say that the songs engendered in fertile love, as that of Orpheus for Persephone, may well excel the songs engendered by infertile love, (such as those of Sappho) which does seem to be an accidental or mistaken transposition of fertile love onto the same rather than the complementary opposite.

*Allan Bloom, in Love and Friendship, studies eros as the cause of human connectedness, and hence studies love as what connects otherwise isolated individuals to society. Modern man is of course uniquely isolated or “alienated,” and in modern political theory, man is not by nature, but by convention, social. This makes some sense of homosexual love- why it is similar regarding the family, for example containing jealousy and other things similar to the fertile love at the basis of the family. Love of this sort, called romantic as distinct from the other kinds of love, is then the root of our political nature in one sense- connecting families into villages. Exogamy distinguishes man from animals. The laws regarding these things are so ancient they are simply assumed, until they are not, and then we have no theoretical basis to restore them. We have only begun to recognize the fact of the disorder to the soul caused by the sexual abuses, and appeal to the health of the soul in fact. We- that is, our psychology- have not begun to address the reason that this exogamy and the political nature- seems so, even universally, for man. The reason is a deep mystery, but is related to our difference from the animal and our faculty to domesticate, governing the animal, as no other species does. We protect the prepubescent from the things of love which do not concern them yet, and so cannot be understood and “integrated.” The soul is as if containing an imago- the same as that first formed by the images of the parents that first tell us what a man and woman ought be- by which our political nature functions upon entering the polity at the founding of the family. The disturbance of this function in love is in one sense decisive for the individual.

   All modern political theory tries to deny that the family is natural. But there is not much evidence that man spent much time as a solitary beast. The family is older than man, beginning even with the nest. For man, the conjugal act founds the fundamental political connection of the individual to the polities, and this is why it is so mysterious, and never a mere animal act for us. As Paul writes, even one who joins with a prostitute becomes “one flesh” with the prostitute (1  Cor. 6:16). The animal appetite is for many, but the political appetite is for one, and hence follow all the truths of the heart.

Spy Novel Setting: The Seven Nation Army.

   Here is one for Ms. Atwood, in return for her beneficence, the setting for a thrilling spy novel. The working together of the FBI and the Communist tyrannies of China and Russia against Al Quaeda or ISIS is as entirely possible as it is a deep villainy and a horrible error. But this may be the stunning conclusion of the unraveling of the fact that my former fiance was a person sent from the start to spy one me, that I believe my life was threatened by the FBI through a Chinese website for pressing the issue, that our elections were thrown by a combination of KKK and Russian computer manipulation using the spy-market system and targeted interference, that the oxy-heroin epidemic was engineered to both make a lot of money and prepare our people to become just one fifth more zombie- like and susceptible, and perhaps that I seem to be dying from a strange worm. The Russians specialize in assassination methods that are undetectable, as they do and like targeted interference methods that they can promise stupid American tyrants are undetectable. The plot then involves the Russians, corrupt Machiavellian elements in the FBI, the American Mafia, perhaps even the Colombian drug gangs who sent me my new phone and the Philippines, through which my phone is surveyed, and even ISIS itself, when the Russians use Isis wickedness to strike at targets in the U. S. There we have all seven of the evil nations in the seven nation army working, each doing their part at which they particularly excel. This is of course only a novel’s plot, and no one cares anyway if it were true, we die and American liberty is lost forever.

   But the coordinated action that came to be with the combination of the FBI and the Russian Kaspersky, as well as the coordinated effort behind the oxy-heroin epidemic indicates otherwise. At the least, such a novel will train us in the kind of plots we must watch out for in the new age. We, though, have common sense and the word, the meaning of words, which the Orwellian new world of the internet has not yet managed to control. We have trust, like I trust Mike Rogers is not a double agent, though Machiavellians I do not trust. The regular guy still has arms in this world, and places such as inside the meaning of a text, where computers do not have access. We have things that only non-villains can understand, like love, though the lovers can be used, like the American patriots, in service of the villains when they are tricked.

   The Seven nations are something like Communism, fascism, Drug gangs, Mafia, Russian mob, U. S. Machiavellians and of course the hidden Satanists, who do not do a lot of hands on killing, but for some unknown reason like to get humans to kill one another and to use the human evil as instruments in their strange, unfathomable design. I have missed very few of the axis of evil organizations. But this is the operation of apocalyptic evil, while everyone can only read literally, looking for only for incarnate persons and ignoring the spiritual warfare in the “spirit world” introduced perhaps by Machiavelli, but certainly present in modernity with the dark advent of Nietzsche. The result is that the historical novel is expanded too, into a new genre of the philosophical novel, the imagination of man too expanded, and every one of the great books topics can be introduced, addressing and involving the highest human faculties and knowledge in the most comprehensive novel ever conceived, though it yet lacks science fiction.

   Marx and Nietzsche are involved in the roots of communism and Nazism, as fascism is not especially anti-Biblical God until the Nietzscheans get involved. Unless, of course, the fasces, the rods and axes that are the symbol of the worldly Roman poweris reintroduced from ancient Rome without the Roman gods for an anti-Biblical purpose, in the conspiracy of Machiavelli.

Punish Putin By Indicting Trump: Take Away the Fruits

   As it becomes more evident what has occurred regarding the 2016 elections, our President has taken some measures to demonstrate our displeasure. Yet, to all appearances, we are prepared to allow Putin’s man to just keep walking into the most powerful position in the world, with control of the U. S. nuclear arsenal. Perhaps the Justice Department is considering an indictment, but perhaps they are, as the Republicans have been, rather slavishly looking to their self interest- a fact on which Putin has staked his little project. Fear and self-interest has so far prevented a recount in certain crucial states and prevented the Republican electors from even considering depriving Vlad Putin of the fruits of what General Hayden has called “The greatest covert operation in history.” I keep expecting to hear that Donald Trump has been arrested, but the news just is not coming yet. Perhaps they are gathering evidence or trying to prove that he knew or encouraged Putin in some way that can help the charges stick in court. Did he not seem over-confident in not advertising in the swing states, as though someone had promised him the election, and promised to do it in a way their techies told them could not be detected? Has he not rewarded Bright Bart and then Tillerson, who owned the building where they hosted the Miss Universe pageant in 2013, in Russia?

   Now Vlad has said he will return-retaliate after his boy is in office. Hence, we will all be safe, all our money and our jobs, and the heck with our constitution. Safe, that is, until our sons go for Putin to fight the 1.9 billion Muslims in the world, while he waltzes across the Ukraine to the Atlantic. The BBC will get the news when they see him out their office window. Safe, that is, until Vlad and Donney get in a squabble about who is going to be butch dyke (to show how politically incorrect a Trump opponent can be, and to get your attention while adding a bit of humor to a very tense situation). Now Donney has answered that he always knew Vlad was “very smart.” Vlad, of course, has him on calculative abilities as well as experience being a tyrant. John McCain is right, these men are thugs, and Vlad is a butcher, as was his namesake the “Impaler.” We are just going to sit here and let Trump take office? Perhaps the yuppies that do not know this are too young to hold office in American government.

   We are also afraid of the electoral confusion that would result, but as John Paul II quoted you- know-who, “Be not afraid: I go before you always.” The circumstances are unprecedented, and so must be the response. But we have a Supreme Court and Constitutional procedures, at least for another twenty days.

Many “Muslims” Are “Hebrews!”

   Previously, I have noted that Mohammed called the Christian apostles “Muslims,” meaning faithful, as like the Muslims, they worship the God of Abraham, who precedes the quarrel between Isaac and Ishmael. Mohammed does not refer to the Christians and Jews as “Infidels,” and so the quotes that do are mistaken, regardless or whether these things are said by ISIS or others to demonstrate that Islam is fundamentally terrorist. But this one is at least as good: The Jews are called Hebrews from Eber, the fourth generation from Shem, by whom they are called Semites. The Arabs descended from Ishmael are both Semites and Hebrews, just as much as the Jews. The name Jew comes from the tribe of Judah, while the name Israel applies to the twelve tribes from Joseph, who is Israel, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham. Ishmael was their uncle. “Antisemitism” is then a mistaken term when applied to Arab hatred of Jews.

   One of the Nazis angered by Trump spoke of “Satanic Jews,” and they cite a line of the Revelation about Jews who then were anti-Christian. I once gathered every mention of the Jews in the new testament to refute a guy in a coffee shop spouting such nonsense. Jesus, Mary, Joseph and about every guy in the manger scene, plus John, were likely all of the tribe of Judah, since Judah and Benjamin, with a sprinkling of Levites, are mostly who returned from Babylon to make up Israel from the five-hundreds B.C though 70 A.D. The ten tribes were scattered by the Assyrians by about 607, though there may have been remnants.

Note: The text here is Genesis 10: 21-31:

   To Shem also, the father of all the Children of Eber, the elder brother of Japheth, children wee born…Arpachshad…became the father of Shelah, and Shelah became the father of Eber. To Eber were born two sons, the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided, and his brothers name was Joktan [Joktan had 13 sons] The territory in which they lived extended from Mesha in the direction of Sephar to the hill country of the east.

   It is very interesting to set the Biblical account- the oldest recorded history- against the account of Archaeology. Noah’s Ark is of course right where it is supposed to be on Mt. Ararat, and so the known peoples spread out from there. The mysterious Melchizedek meets Abram around Salem. From the archaeological account, it appears that the author of Genesis thought the known world to be the whole world. Noah occurs about 3,500 B.C., while Archaeology tells of all races now living outside of Africa having come out at about 70,000 B.C., the eruption of Santorini having killed all those who repeatedly entered Europe prior to 70,000, such as the Neanderthal. The native Americans came from a people of North east Asia, who were there about 40,000, and these are likely to have mixed as in eastern North America, with Europeans and in South America with Pacific Islanders. But one can see by looking at the races that they spread out from the San tribe in northern Africa, first along the coast all the way to Java and Australia, then up through the Middle east, and finally into Europe and China, then last to North and South America. The account in Plato’s Timaeus from the Egyptian priests is also revealing.

   There is a difficulty regarding the Hammites, as the text appears to justify their enslavement by the Japhethites and Shemmites. As can be expected, this text is used by the modern fascists to justify slavery. But we think that the people referred to may be a much smaller group, and related to the crime of Ham, an uncivilized practice which is related to idolatry, human sacrifice and Sodom. Africa, as an uncivilized area, rejects homosexuality in general, as do the Jews, and this emerges again when civilization declines in sophistication. To be clear, we reject the sins of Ham and Sodom, and teach a purified homosexuality, leaving love a matter we cannot know about, but teaching against the grosser bodily forms and practices of extreme lust, more harmful too to public health than cigarette smoking.

Indict Donald Trump for Election Fraud and Overturn the Russian Influence

   Sanctions we announced today affecting 35 ambassadors, two Russian houses and perhaps four companies. To this date, I am the only one mentioning Kaspersky and the control 0f four million accounts from Moscow staffed by former KGB. After a few calls to NPR a few months ago, it was mentioned once that this was indeed true, that they were Moscow, and it was assured that U. S. government computers do not use Kaspersky. But the citizens do, and spy marketing and targeted interference with the internet turned the election, in addition to hacking into the DNC. Our current hypothesis is that the FBI does not want to give up these powers to fight terrorism, and so is concealing these “sources and methods.” Incidentally, my internet, which has Kaspersky and Microsoft, still does not work well enough for me to work profitably, say as an internet instructor or book publisher- to get off the dole, and these policies are destroying the middle class. I have written a book on the Revelation which took seven years, and am economically ruined by the blocking of its publication by the blocking of search term traffic into my website, by WordPress and perhaps the FBI. If it were FBI, no one would inquire and nothing would be done, so you do not know that what I say is false.

   The most important way to “retaliate” for Russian interference is to reject and overturn the result. We are afraid to do this because it has never been done, but this has never occurred before. Hey, bone up! We have a Supreme Court, and for twenty more days, we have constitutional procedures.

   Trump has said, characteristically, that we should just Get on with it” “Get Over it,” ya, “ferget aboutit,” which is what they say when they want to retain the advantages of their crimes. He seems to have finally begun to learn his advantage in saying nothing of substance until he is seated, so as not to inflame those who might prevent the emerging tyranny and the end of constitutional government in America. Oh, now he says he agrees there should be an inquiry, perhaps after the Trump supporters in the FBI finish their inquiry by January 20th and are rewarded by keeping their jobs in his fascist administration. Americans may simply have become too slavish to retain our liberty.

   We should stand up just here, and call for the indictment of Trump for election fraud because he encouraged fake news and rewarded Russian interference. with such pro-Russian measures as the choice of Secretary of State and the removal of support for the Ukrainians from the Republican platform. Again, the slightest wink or nod in this matter is treason, as well as election fraud. Acquiescence will bring the end of the U. S. Constitution we have sworn to uphold. I keep waiting to hear that he has been arrested, like “Ding-Dong, the Witch is dead.”

The Faith of Barack Obama

   Working through the book The Audacity of Hope, amid many other unfunded studies, we find the gullibility- a nice word for stupidity- of the Christian right to be astounding. I usually have trouble reading the books of politicians, though I was able to work through the books of Ben Carson when looking for a Republican candidate that is actually capable of being president.

   Barack and I share a peculiar combination of political philosophy studies and Biblical studies. This is peculiar because the political philosophers with whom I have studied tend to view faith as false but useful, necessary to political concord, if not quite what Marx said-if I remember correctly, and have not confused the few and the many, he said that Opium was the “opiate of the masses.”

   Having studied political philosophy at Harvard, where he was editor of the Harvard newspaper, Barack no doubt knows Harvey Mansfield, who guest taught a class on Machiavelli in my graduate pogram, so that we may even have a teacher in common.

   Barack knows about John Leland, the Baptist who is responsible for persuading Jefferson and Madison that it is possible to have a government that not only allows liberty to religious expression, but does not itself establish a religion (Audacity, p.217). Since the right, with their moral majority, attempted to use religion in part to restore ethics, but also in part to take political power, an ignorance has been cultivated regarding the sense in which we are a “Christian” nation. This ignorance is well remedied by the book of Steven Waldman on the Faith of the Founders, a beautiful and true book. But the republicans to whom it is addressed do not read and when they do, do not consider, since their faith is based upon the suppression of the doubt engendered by the view of the whole that we have been given by modern science. That, by the way, is our “reactionary” conservatism. I am not sure that Barack knows about Roger Williams, the forerunner of Leland and founder of Rhode Island, and Providence, “Where the new world shadows hang / Heavy in the air,” according to Glenn Fry.

   In a word, as Madison states, religion is a duty that we owe to God alone. Hence, being above political obligation, it is in regard to our government a right. We have a right to obey God, especially when no one else’s rights are being violated. Again, according to that magical sentence of Montesquieu that is superior even to the formulation of Jefferson, political liberty consists…

…in the power of doing what we ought to will, and in not being constrained to do what we ought not to will.

                                                           The Spirit of the Laws, Book XI.3

   When we are not forbidden to do the good, nor compelled to do what is wrong, we are free. But Barack and I share this Jeffersonian principle that the purpose of government is to secure rights. Hence, when no one else’s rights which the government is obliged to protect are being violated, the government has no business. “Our legislators,” Jefferson writes, are mistaken about their function, which is to secure our natural rights and to take none of them from us. He takes a couple paragraphs to explain there in his letter to Francis Gilmore. Jefferson himself defines liberty in just these terms, as the power of doing whatever one likes within the limits of the rights of others, but this is a very democratic definition. This principle governs our thought on religion, abortion and homosexuality.

   As Americans, we do not have the right, nor does the government have any power, to require of others that they be Christian, nor to establish the Biblical beliefs, for example regarding homosexuality, abortion or pornography, to govern their actions. Still, as Christians, we secure the right to teach that these things are wrong, and even as psychologists, to hold that they are harmful to the soul. But where no other rights that the government has a power to secure are being violated, (as the right of property is violated by thievery), government has no power. What if, for example, lawn chemicals or overpopulation affected the hormone balance in adolescents, leading to a genuine confusion of attraction? While indiscriminate lust might be proscribed by public policy, especially in the age of AIDS, homosexuality per se cannot be legislated against, nor can we require of the citizens a Christian view of marriage, any more that they can require us to cease teaching it. Homosexuality holds some great perplexities about the human soul, and we cannot assume we know the nature and the cause. No one even asks, let alone knows, for example, why one attracted to the male is attracted to the effeminate male. But if there is genuine love and monogamous relations, the question is surely beyond the authority of our government, given that citizens are not required to be Biblical.

   But my theme today is the Christian Democrats. Barack studied political philosophy, and then entered community organizing in Chicago as a way to “make justice real.” There is a line of thought shared by my old professor from Grand Valley, Steven Rowe, similar to the pragmatism of William James, impatient with the theoretical life, while so much injustice occurs in the world around us. From a theological point of view, Rowe, in his very vocation, would advocate “Community, action and commitment.” Indeed these are three things often good that we need.

   And while in practice, this may be a very good teaching, in theory it is, watery, or indeed a disaster, like the campaign slogan of Barack, “Change.” And now we have heard the same word from the right. Similar to our thousand jokes flickering around the embers of that saying, now some eight years under the bridge, we simply note, as we did back then at Grand Valley, that Nazi Germany was not lacking in “Community, action and commitment.” By contrast the political philosophy studied by the students of Leo Strauss is solid, as if built on a solid foundation.

   But to return again, the Democrats, as the party of the many, are good at the virtue of compassion, while the republicans, as the party of the few, are aristocratic when they are good, upholding the traditions that support the upright, noble and just character, like the heroes in the FBI T.V. shows. These are two different approaches to the good of the nation, and the Christian obviously does seek both the ends of compassion and the upright ethical character, so that these two together are parts of the common good that guides political action. These two stretch though every political issue including all points of religion, each concerned with a different part, even while accusing the other of irreligion on the basis of their failure to be concerned with the other part.

[p. 207] Barack was attracted to the “word made manifest” in the Black Churches, “To feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and challenge the powers and principalities.” He leaned that religious commitment did not require his to retreat from the world in quite so literal a sense, nor to suspend critical thinking- that faith is not in contradiction with reason, nor, to say the least, with Socratic ignorance. As in music, the black churches are the source and repository of much of America’s “soul.”

   There is a way for the Christian minister to be in the world that Barack may well have leaned from the apostle, saint Martin Luther King Jr. Non-violence surely woks for protest movements, if it is not always sufficient to stop large men about to beat up small women and Children, or even armed police to kill innocent citizens. The way is to recede, but lay our bodies down, even in the street to prevent the entrance of Steve Bannon into Washington D.C.

   Learning these things, or removing these impediments about critical thinking and action in the world, and seeing the beautiful deeds of the happy people of faith, Barack (p. 208) states:

   I was finally able to walk down the aisle of Trinity United Church of Christ one day and be baptized. It came about as a choice and not an epiphany; the questions I had did not disappear. But kneeling beneath that cross on the South side of Chicago, I felt God’s Spirit beckoning me. I submitted myself to his will, and dedicated myself to discovering his truth

   Of the Christian Democrats, Barack (p. 214) states:

When we shy away from religious venues and religious broadcasts because we assume that we will be unwelcome- others will fill the vacuum. And those who do are likely to be those with the most insular views of faith, or who cynically use religion to justify partisan ends.

   Hence, Barack has been able to fulfill one of those seven roles of the president discussed in 101 textbooks. Our president is also chief of state, combining the roles of the Queen and the Prime Minister in Great Britain. As such, this includes something like the care for the religious direction of the nation as a whole, the role that Lincoln indeed fulfilled so well, presiding over national prayer. The president is the only office elected by the nation as a whole, in this sense the only federal representative.

   Barack is a centrist and a pragmatist in practice, aiming to prevent unwanted pregnancies, lower abortion rates and help ensure that “every child is loved and cherished.” His pragmatic position on abortion has surely prevented more abortions than the right has been able to prevent at the expense of the constitution. He adds (p. 215) that “faith can…

…fortify a young woman’s sense of self, a young man’s sense of responsibility and the sense of reverence all young people should have for the act of sexual intimacy.

   The abortion issue is deeply complicated, beginning from the confusing fact that even in the extraordinarily harsh law set through Moses for Israel, there is no law against abortion. Like the principle of abstinence from alcohol, the Christians have conserved a tradition that is derived from another source, from common sense and also from a partial error in reasoning, as has been addressed on another occasion. For American law, the question involves an attempt in each particular circumstance to balance the rights of the woman, who is a citizen, with the developing rights of the fetus, both of which the government is trying to protect. Barack knows that a fetus is “more than” even “a body part.” It is more than an animal, which our laws protect from cruelty and even accidental neglect. It is a developing person with partial rights. Justice Black attempted to address this anomaly by dividing the trimesters: we do not have funerals for miscarriages, but killing an unborn child in the ninth month, if not at at viability is probably murder. The pro-choice arguments cannot distinguish abortion from infanticide, that is, all their arguments equally justify the killing of one-year-olds. We are amazed that in the judgement, we do not place on one pan of the scale of justice the pain and difficulty of adoption to be balanced against the partial right to life of the fetus. The rights in law might be established through the rights of the father, who is a full citizen, though the fetus is not. A judge might then decide, when adoption is an option, whether it is more important to respect the right of a fetus to life and potentially, an eighty year future, over the right of the woman not to endure the pain of adoption, when maternal care awakens and the love of the mother for the child causes the great and unforeseen trauma, given that, discounting the tricks of nature, the pregnancy was voluntary.

   The law against abortion comes from the Hippocratic oath and Greek medicine, which was always observed in the Western world for well over two thousand years, although abortion just became possible en masse in the past century. It is an anomaly that the Christian right has been taught that it is murder, and also an anomaly that the left does not recognize the rights of the yet to be born. It is an even greater anomaly that the issue was just used to elect a tyrant that does not know why nor believe in the reason that murder itself is wrong, a theoretical deficiency that allows him to admire a tyrant with a great deal of blood upon his hands, and one which is soon to have the gravest practical consequences.

   Now I want some theologian of the “Christian Evangelical” to write a parallel study on “The Faith of Donald Trump.”

Centrist Position on Israel: The 1 1/2 State Solution

   As usual, the CLC has some unique points to make regarding the question of the two-state or the one state solution recently in the News. In brief, we recommend settling Palestinians wherever it works in a sub-state, square by square and family by family available only to those who will recognize Israel, reversing the Arab error that undermined the U.N. solution of 1947, when both were given a sovereign state with Jerusalem an international city. A sub-state is a compromise between the one and two state solution. They must grow into full sovereignty with a generation of peace. But then as Palestine prospers, perhaps under the U.N. and Israel together, the war generation will stop teaching their children to kill Jews, and see a better life in the squares linked together by those who recognize Israel. Perhaps they would stop assassinating their own moderates, and take up the principles of peaceful protest, imitating our Saint Martin Luther King Jr. Requiring recognition is a major demand of BB Netanyahu- a very great statesman.

   “We are especially worried that Donney Trumpet will try to use the Jews to beat up “Muslims.” For the future, a Jewish fascism in line with the emerging fascism is not out of the question, just because the Jews suffered the holocaust. As human, the Jews are not immune, and this “race purity” rubbish is in a way an inversion of the Jewish attempt to hold together as a distinct people, pressuring the kids to marry Jewish, etc. All the old nations do this, like the poles, etc.) but for the Jews it held a religious significance, as the Chosen people, so that the Nazi attack on the Jews is an attack on God, and anti-Biblical. We have been considering the possibility that Daniel prophesied to the Jews about Hitler, while John prophesies an anti-Christian persecution that would enlist the Jews.

   What we do to one another is and will be done to us. Love one another! Race, class and religion are things of the body compared to Justice, a thing of the soul.

   Note: It is an anomaly of history that when the Jews bombed the King David Hotel because the Brits stopped immigration to Israel, the Jews themselves introduced terrorist bombing into the modern world.

   Note Two: Melchizedek did the sacrament of bread and wine on Mount Moriah prior to Isaac and Ishmael, whose descendants both worship God most High, the God of Abraham. The Christians might be the ones to solve this fleshment of the ancient quarrel. Abraham ended human sacrifice, then rampant, on Mount Moriah. Jesus ended animal sacrifice at Mount Moriah, and the sacrament of bread and wine replaces these. Jesus is of course a priest after the order of Melchizedek.

First Amendment Internet Now!

   First, we must insist that the Internet begin to work according to the First Amendment right now, that is, today or tomorrow. What, we see how the internet leads to tyranny but will do nothing about it as it drifts in? Second is a truth and reconciliation committee.

   Our government continues to lie and Barack to believe the FBI assessment that we cannot, for example, allow this website here to be accessed by search terms. I am screaming bloody murder in some little arranged bubble, while the republicans pretend that the only reason anyone would complain is not that fascism is rising due to Russian influence over the internet, but because we are liberals who like four-year-olds just wanted to win the election. The truth about how the Russians did it is being suppressed. They did it through spy-marketing, and the FBI is wrong: Their violation of the Bill of Rights did not make us safe, but in fact is bringing in an unprecedented age of tyranny and violence. They used the crowd funding principle, ran it up the flag pole, and the crowd flocked over to salute. We will never admit how slavish or cowardly we have been. They used or partisan deficiencies against against us, and no one will consider this, because of our partisan deficiencies.


How Could Nazi Germany Ever Happen?

   Our Governor- the same who handled the Flint Water Crisis by hiring a new PR firm- just came on the radio saying that he was committed to honoring the electoral process, so much so that he is all ready to welcome the Trump administration. I told him on the phone- he never listens, never sends a call back- that I supposed that means that he will not be helping us to see to it that the Eastpoint officer- the one who beat the black man while four other officers held him down- does not retain his badge. I have not been following the story, but have heard that he was confined to desk duty. The Governor is responsible for every police officer in the state, since every city and township is a creature of the State Government, and not at all like the federalism that limits the authority of the federal government over the states.

   I began to call for the removal of this governor when I saw first hand, I believe, that the State Police were being run like the Flint water crisis. We have open terrorist targets being ignored, and when citizens make suggestions, they too are ignored. The President knows that this is not only a state but a federal issue. He sent the EPA about the target, and Ms. Lynch to visit Eastpoint-something about elections and the council. I called the governor and suggested he go help her. When the state and federal work together- there is sovereignty. And they can too, in a friendly or cooperative spirit to preserve what is right. That is different from the unitary government we are about to get. If the republicans want to ignore the CIA assessment of Russian involvement in the election, and go about respecting the results of this election, we will soon see blood on the pavement. If we do not indict Donald Trump, but rather work for a smooth transition, as if that will cure everything, well, do not ever wonder again how Nazi Germany occurred. People in positions of the public trust worked instead from fear and self-interest. Acquiesce is the word. A people is responsible for tyranny when it is seated over them, just as the Palestinians are responsible for electing Hamas. And what is wrong with Hamas, if it is profitable for the Palestinians?

Remove that officer and indict Donald Trump, or the result is an absolutely unnecessary civil war and an almost unnecessary foreign war. You will send your sons and grandsons out in brownshirts and receive them home in boxes for your oxy-protected partisan stupor while you were sworn into office to serve the people and uphold the Constitution.

The Christmas Story: Re-blog

Here are the long and short versions for reading the Christmas story on Christmas Eve:

Short Version

The Annunciation                                   Luke 1:26-1:50

From the Birth of Jesus to Nazareth     Matthew 1:18-2:23

The Birth of Jesus                                    Luke 2:1-20

Long Version

Luke 1:5-1:80      Elizabeth and Zechariah; The Annunciation; John the Baptist

Matt. 1:18-1:25    The Angel to Joseph

Luke 2:1-2:21        Joseph to Bethlehem; The Shepherds See the Angel

Matt.2:1-2:23        Herod and the Wise Men; Jesus to Egypt, Then Nazareth

Luke 2:22-35; 41-52   Simeon to Nazareth; Age 12, Preaching in the Temple

Read these in order for the scripture reading of the Christmas story.

  1. The story is well known, and these numbers allow it to be strung in order for reading on Christmas Eve.

       The prophesies of the Messiah are obvious to the Jews who are questioned by Herod and know from scripture, somehow, that the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Like the line of Isaiah (7:14), the a “virgin will conceive,” it is not clear how they know that this is a prophecy of the Messiah. But Isaiah prophesies Galilee, and also the things he will be called, which include “Mighty God (Oxford, or “lord”) and “Everlasting Father.” (This is also where Cheech and Chong’s sources got “Prince of Peace,” when Jesus is stopped at the southern border!) But it is also prophesied that he will be “called a Nazarene.” and called “out of Egypt.” There are relatives of the Jews in Ethiopia, from the marriage of Solomon to the Queen of Sheba, as there may have been in Egypt, and we suspect the Christ was hidden among Ethiopian Jews. These claim that the ark is there, while 2 Maccabees 2:4-8 says it is within eyesight of the tomb of Moses, hidden by Jeremiah in the Mountains of Jordan at the edge of the Holy Land. The ground movements around Galilee and Nazareth can also be deciphered, as Elizabeth is an aunt of Mary, perhaps a sister of St. Ann the mother of Mary, who was married to Joachim. Though they did not travel much, Jesus knew John the Baptist as a grand-cousin, the son of the aunt of his mother. If the mother of John the Apostle, Salome, was a sister of Mary, John the Apostle may have been a cousin of Jesus, perhaps fishing near Peter on the sea of Galilee there to the east. And were these, Elizabeth, Mary, Zecharia and Joachim, also of the lineage of David? Otherwise, the way we understand the annunciation and the immaculate conception, Jesus would be the descendant of David by law but not by nature. Most in that region are from other of the twelve tribes. But Elizabeth and Joachim lived just South of Nazareth but in a different province (Samaria). It is not unusual, and would not be especially mentioned, that a “young woman” conceive, though this is how the line might read, and how it is read following Maimonides.

       It is under Augustus that Herod commits the slaughter of the innocents, Rachel weeping for the children of Ramah. The interaction between human choice and divine Providence is most amusing here, as Herod is able to make the birth of the Messiah the cause of the slaughter, yet the angel is able to prevent the infant Jesus from being caught up in this. If anyone wondered whether the character of Augustus is honestly portrait in the Rex Augusti, the autobiography, well there it is. And how did a fellow like Herod come to be called King of the Jews? Josephus lets it slip that Herod paid off Caesar and Antony, and also that Cleopatra added Herod to her trophy case. Despite writing under Roman emperors, Josephus, like Tacitus, gives the historian a second line, so that the Roman history can be seen by triangulation.

       It is further amazing that the Astrologers of Babylon could figure the birth of the Messiah in place and time. Both Jews and Christians reject astrology (though there is that one line in Maimonides’ Letter on Astrology…). Maimonides and others reject the Christ as this guy because he was killed, while prophecy says that the Messiah will reign, and reign “forever,” as Lincoln tries to say of our government “of'” “by” and “for” the people, that it shall not perish from this earth.” Some think his star was a conjunction of Venus or Saturn and Jupiter about 4-7 B. C., but the star seen by the shepherds hovers, and brings them without astrology right to the very manger-cave in Bethlehem, which is why we have shepherds wandering around in our manger scenes. Herod dies about 4 B.C., but is alive at the slaughter of the innocents. When the three wise men find him (After accidentally going to the address of Monty Python’s Brian- who keeps getting mistaken for the Messiah), they give him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, said to indicate that the one born is a king, a priest and a prophet, myrrh being an herb of sorrow.

       What was spoke by the prophetess Anna at the temple is not recorded. But a sign that is spoken against, and the piercing of the soul of Mary are said to be “that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.” Our poet Simon says “my words trickle down from a wound that I have no intention to heal.”

       On consent, the master slave talk of Nietzsche and others is wrong, due to an error from not understanding liberty. Jesus tells the Apostles, there in John about 15:13-15, “Greater love has no man…no longer do I call you servants,” as “the slave does not know what the master is doing,” but I call you “friends.”

       Marriages in the Bible are based on consent, as is the marriage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or at least two of the three. [So it is wrong to assume that in the Bible women are treated only as property- in fact the Bible introduces the idea of consent, just as Jefferson introduces the idea of equality, then is rejected for being in a world where equality has not yet been introduced. The abolition of slavery was first though of in the modern world by the Quakers just one generation prior to Jefferson, and the equality of women first mentioned by the same, and perhaps by Mary Shelley, in the generation just previous. Slavery was also abolished in medieval Europe, by the papacy after the Fall of the Roman Empire in 476, but I do not know the history here.] As are the marriages that occur from meetings by the well, like Sarah and Rachael (?) is the incarnation based on consent, although Mary is not told what Simon later tells her, that “a sword will pierce through your own soul also” (Luke 34-35). The pain of a mother at the death of her offspring is the greatest normal human sorrow, followed quickly by the death of a new husband or wife, as the sorrow of Juliet. At the foot of the cross are only Mary, Mary Magdalene, and John.