My shadow took fright at the moon and huddled between my feet.
Politics has its virtues, all too many of them—it would not rank with baseball as a topic of conversation if it did not satisfy a great many things—but one can suspect that its secret appeal is close to nicotine. Smoking cigarettes insulates one from one’s life, one does not feel as much, often happily so, and politics quarantines one from history; most of the people who nourish themselves in the political life are in the game not to make history but to be diverted from the history which is being made.
As workplaces demand that their employees hustle harder in a more precarious world, mindfulness has emerged as a means to manage stress and increase productivity. Since its import to America, it has been oddly well-suited at making the individual citizen responsible for mitigating the suffering and loss that our necrotic social structures have induced. So how peaceful can it really be?The Rise of the Mindful Museum, Michael Friedrich
The elements of Christie’s fiction are all already in place: a country house, a finite list of suspects, the outsider detective intruding into a place of order and hierarchy that has been disrupted by a crime. The world of Christie’s books is something like the ‘imaginary’ as described by Cornelius Castoriadis, a mental representation in which this orderly household stands for a whole society as a shared universe of meaning, with values and social roles encoded everywhere we look – and then, into this world comes a murder, and a detective trying to solve the murder. Something doesn’t mean what we thought it meant; someone isn’t who they appear to be; something didn’t happen the way it was said to have happened.The Case of Agatha Christie, LRB
It may surprise some Catholics to learn just how literally the modern Church interprets Satan and his army of demons. While many people today understand the devil as a metaphor for sin, temptation, and unresolvable evil in the world, the pope consistently repudiates such allegorical readings.
In sermons, interviews, and occasionally in tweets, Pope Francis has declared that Satan—whom he has referred to as Beelzebub, the Seducer, and the Great Dragon—is a literal being devoted to deceiving and debasing humans. In an apostolic exhortation released in April, he wrote, “We should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea,” but rather as a “personal being who assails us.”
It surprises me that there would be Catholics that don’t know this. I thought it was common knowledge that Catholics take transubstantiation, etc. literally. (Ew, by the way.)
Maybe what the Atlantic means is that there may be some liberal readers who love Pope Francis because he thinks that condoms might sort of be an acceptable way to stop the spread of STDs will be surprised by the fact that Our Hero the Pope believes in the Great Dragon.
Ezra forced himself to go to the temple, but he could not go through with the ritual. Despairing, he rent his garments and his coat, threw himself onto the ground, and cried out in agony. Finally, he uttered a prayer that was also an accusation against the people of the land, as he had come to call them, those who had stayed behind and whose habits were so horrifying to the returning exiles.The Written World: The Power of Stories to Shape People, History, Civilization
Apparently, when Ezra brought the Judeans back to Jerusalem after they’d been exiled in Babylon for a few generations, he was super upset that the Jews that were left behind in Jerusalem married and had children w/ non-Jews, and forgot to practice important religious traditions. Can you believe it?
I think that tearing your clothes (which were probably a lot harder to come by in 450 BCE) and crying out in agony is a dramatic way to react to people behaving exactly as you would expect them to. I bet he really got people’s attention though.
We have been misled by the people of the time themselves who, in looking back across the gulf of the War, see that earlier half of their lives misted over by a lovely sunset haze of peace and security. It did not seem so golden when they were in the midst of it. Their memories and their nostalgia have conditioned our view of the pre-war era but I can offer the reader a rule based on adequate research: all statements of how lovely it was in that era made by persons contemporary with it will be found to have been made after 1914.Barbara Tuchman
The ankle wallet answered a need. It spoke directly to a personal concern. It made me feel there were people out there in the world of product development and merchandising and gift cataloguing who understood the nature of my little nagging needs.Don Delillo
In the absence of a general mythology, each of us has his private, unrecognized, rudimentary, yet secretly potent pantheon of dream.Joseph Campbell, p. 4
The sorry plight of the wife of the lover whose sentiments instead of maturing remain locked in the romance of the nursery may be judged from the apparent nonsense of another modern dream; and here we begin to feel that indeed we are entering the realm of ancient myth, but with a curious turn.
“I dreamed,” wrote a troubled woman, “that a big white horse kept following me wherever I went. I was afraid of him, and pushed him away. I looked back to see if he was still following me, and he appeared to have become a man. I told him to go inside a barbershop and shave off his mane, which he did. When he came out he looked just like a man, except that he had horse’s hoofs and face, and followed me wherever I went. He came closer to me, and I woke up.
“I am a married woman of thirty-five with two children. I have been married for fourteen years now, and I am not sure my husband is faithful to me.”Joseph Campbell, pp. 7-8
Is this the origin of Bojack Horseman? If it’s a coincidence, it’s still not a coincidence.
Full circle, from the tomb of the womb to the womb of the tomb, we come…”Joseph Campbell, p. 12
Sigmund Freud dealt with the tomb of the womb, and Jung with the womb of the tomb.
The extraordinary thing was the way in which everyone took it for granted that this oozing, bulging wealth of the English upper and upper-middle classes would last for ever, and was part of the order of things. After 1918 it was never quite the same again. Snobbishness and expensive habits came back, certainly, but they were self-conscious and on the defensive. Before the war the worship of money was entirely unreflecting and untroubled by any pang of conscience. The goodness of money was as unmistakable as the goodness of health or beauty, and a glittering car, a title or a horde of servants was mixed up in people’s minds with the idea of actual moral virtue.George Orwell