rocks vs trees

by Andrea Elizabeth

These days I’m appreciating rocks more than trees. I think I got enough of trees in Maine and Canada. There there are endless walls of monotonous, repetitive trees that keep going and going, on and on and on and on forever without a break or reprieve for miles and miles and miles without stopping. Like a corridor with mirrors on the ends. Like a huge box of toothpicks spilled on a wood floor of a toothpick factory where all the boxes malfunctioned. Like if all the stars turned to trees and encircled you at close range and followed you around so that you were always in the middle of them.

Rocks are not so. Unless you’re talking about pebbles. But pebbles are by water and with larger and more varied rocks around them. Rocks are not opportunist like trees are. Tree seeds most likely came from somewhere else and moved there within the last 100 years or so. Ancient trees longer ago, but they have big trunks, but short arms and hardly any leaves. Rocks have been there since the earth was in the early stages of being formed. Before plants. Rocks are the only things that are truly local. They are what makes a place local. Their individual strata and composition define only that particular spot where only those particular weather and water things happened. Unless they were moved there by a great big flood or much manual labor. Then they are foreign visitors of great importance who should be treated with respect for their ancient wonderfulness.

should we go there?

by Andrea Elizabeth

I saw this quote on Facebook, and it’s got me thinking:

“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is my belief.” ― Franz Kafka

On one hand I say no, what about beauty? What about ‘whatever is good, of just repute, etc, think on these things?’

But is insulating ourselves completely from disturbing things not escapist? What about people who have been through horrendous things and need to tell their story? One reason I’m not completely against profanity – though I don’t use it – is that it does seem to sometimes cut through the fat and get deeper in the heart. That’s how Stephen King uses it, I think. What if beauty is coming through on the other side of difficult things, not unscathed, but more able to see shades of light after becoming more acquainted with shades of darkness? To proceed from naive to knowing and remain innocent. Somehow. I’m sure it’s hard to do.

Well if such a sequence is rare, then heads is due

by Andrea Elizabeth

From the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy

gambler’s fallacy, also called Monte Carlo fallacy, the fallacy of supposing, of a sequence of independent events, that the probabilities of later outcomes must increase or decrease to “compensate” for earlier outcomes. For example, since (by Bernoulli’s theorem) in a long run of tosses of a fair coin it is very probable that the coin will come up heads roughly half the time, one might think that a coin that has not come up heads recently must be “due” to come up heads – must have a probability greater than one-half of doing so. But this is a misunderstanding of the law of large numbers, which requires no such compensating tendencies of the coin. The probability of heads remains one-half for each toss despite the preponderance, so far; of tails. In the sufficiently long run what “compensates” for the presence of improbably long subsequences in which, say, tails strongly predominate, is simply that such subsequences occur rarely and therefore have only a slight effect on the statistical character of the whole. See Bernoulli’s theorem

Bernoulli’s theorem is too complicated. The entry before that on St. Bernard of Clairvaux is more interesting:

(1090 – 1153), French Cistercian monk, mystic, and religious leader. He is most noted for his doctrine of Christian humility and his depiction of the mytical experience, which exerted considerable influence on later Christian mystics. Educated in France, he entered the monastery at Citeaux in 1112, and three years later founded a daughter monastery at Clairvaux.

According to Bernard, honest self-knowledge should reveal the extnt to which we fail to be what we should be in the eyes of God. That self-knowledge should lead us to curb our pride and so become more humble. Humility is necessary for contemplation of God, the highest form of which is union with God. Consistent with orthodox Christian doctrine, Bernard maintains that mystical union does not entail identity. One does not become God; rather, one’s will and God’s will come into complete conformity. See mysticism.

Not sure it’s Orthodox according to St. Athanasius.

Something reminded me of this clip

by Andrea Elizabeth

I think Kip’s retort is my favorite line in the whole movie.

Kip and Napoleon watch Uncle Rico’s selfie football movie

Introvert versus Extrovert

by Andrea Elizabeth

While driving to Sts. Constantine and Helen Saturday afternoon for a Christian burial inservice and distracting myself from my already week-long intense anxiety about public speaking, I listened to the last half of NPR’s “A Way With Words“. The call that got me thinking since then regarded google’s choice definition of the word, introvert: “Introverts tend to be preoccupied with their own thoughts and feelings and minimize their contact with other people.” Or,

From Google:
“A shy, reticent person; a person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things.”

From Cambridge Dictionaries Online:
“Someone who is shy, quiet, and unable to make friends easily.”

The caller took umbrage with this negative and narcissistic definition and proposed an alternative that said that introverts are more sensitive to stimuli. Looks like the campaign probably is originating from Psychology Today. ” “An introvert is someone who has a preference for minimally stimulating environments, due to a difference in the way sensory input is processed in the introvert’s brain.”

I believe this alternative is much more correct. The introvert senses things, probably negative things, more deeply than an extrovert. An extrovert can shrug negative things off more easily than an introvert. He is instead receiving positive stimuli in more crowded situations. Introverts are probably more critical and extroverts are more opportunistic, imo. But that’s probably my critical nature coming out. The therapy for introverts is to talk themselves out of negatively interpreting things, but it is a battle. The few friends they have, by choice, not inability, understand and work with them through this interpretive process. Hopefully the opportunisitic ones are also open to examining their own motives and would explore whether they do enjoy and get jollies from taking advantage of social situations for power and control. Perhaps the introvert’s method of gaining power and control is to withdraw. But the withdrawal is probably due to the more negative response when they seem to lose. Their hold on feeling they have the upper hand is more tenuous. I don’t think they trust that they actually have it as much. And this doubt makes them more vulnerable to losing it.

The upper hand is not all bad. One feels more confident and thus is more attractive. The person will reach out more in anticipation of a positive experience. The problem is enjoying winning more than one’s fair share. As in everything, there must be balance.

Back to the google definition. I think introverts are probably more preoccupied with the thoughts and feelings of others than extroverts are. Extroverts assume a lot. Actually so do introverts. Like I said, extroverts assume more positively. I’m trying to be more agnostic. Unless someone is really good at convincing me.

Good article on the King family

by Andrea Elizabeth


Heath Stocks videos

by Andrea Elizabeth

I’ve seen the first five. It’s a hard call if he should have a reduced sentence for killing his family because of the control of his long time pedophile scoutmaster, Jack Walls. While I think he was driven to do it, I believe the answer is no. Jack Walls took the lives of four people that day, not just Heath’s father, mother, and sister, but Heath too. And at least one other boy, Wade Knox, who later committed suicide. Rest in peace in jail, Heath. And may God have mercy on your soul. 

the devil made them do it

by Andrea Elizabeth

critique of Dateline last night with Matt Lauer about the woman who helped the two murderers escape from a NY prison last spring.

Yes the woman was minimizing her involvement. She thinks she was a victim of manipulation. And her transparent lapses about how she is especially nice and thus vulnerable to manipulation, and a redhead who gets her own way with her husband revealed she isn’t as sorry as she could be. She isn’t willing to face herself yet. She is still holding on to feeling special that such notorious murderers took an interest in her and involved her in their plans.

But Matt Lauer isn’t her authority figure. It isn’t up to him to make her admit to being a sneaky liar who deserves to be in jail. The truth is that going along with a power figure isn’t quite the same as leading criminal activity. I feel for people who get caught up in someone’s charismatic personality and don’t show proper judgment for their actions. Often they are vulnerable people who have had hard lives and felt on their own, so that a strong person who takes an interest in them is almost? impossible to resist. I’m not saying she doesn’t deserve to be in jail, but I think she should be treated more as mentally ill than a criminal.

Same with Eagle Scout Heath Stocks(I can’t find the 1hr documentary I watched on line) who at 20 was put in jail for life for killing his parents and sister, most likely at the instigation of his pedophile Scout Leader, Jack Walls. Stocks was Walls’ favorite scout for 10 years, capitalizing on Stocks’ problems with his angry father.

I guess the problem isn’t so much being in a bad place in life, but feeling entitled to be compensated for it, not that the weak and vulnerable can help it. I don’t know if everyone has a feeling of emptiness that some chosen compensation can presumably cure, but it seems that some especially have “addictive personalities” whose battle is especially painful. Lord have mercy.

Rich Mullins’ “Divine Obsession”

by Andrea Elizabeth

speaking of Kierkegaard’s First Love in Either/Or, here’s an article comparing the ethical God to the aesthetic God. http://kidbrothers.net/release/sepoct95.html

that which endures to the end

by Andrea Elizabeth

Not that an engagement breaker can’t know about love. Some quotes.

Although [romantic] love is based essentially on the sensuous, it nevertheless is noble by virtue of the consciousness of the eternal that it assimilates, for it is this that distinguishes all love from lust: that it bears the stamp of eternity. The lovers are deeply convinced that in itself their relationship is a complete whole that will never be changed. But since this conviction is substantiated only by a natural determinant, the eternal is based on the temporal and thereby cancels itself. Since this conviction has undergone no ordeal, has found no higher justification, it proves to be an illusion and therefore it is so easy to make it ludicrous. (p. 21)

Therefore, the true eternity in love, which is the true morality, actually rescues it first out of the sensuous But to bring forth this true eternity requires a determination of will – but more on that later. (p. 22)

Like all depression, it is defiant and is conscious of it; it thinks: Perhaps just this, that I bind myself to one person with an indissoluble bond, will make this being, whom I otherwise would love with my whole soul, become intolerable to me, perhaps, perhaps, etc. (p. 25)

Therefore, a marriage based on calculation [convenience] is to be regarded as a capitulation of sorts that the exigencies of life make necessary. But how sad it is that this seems to be almost the only consolation the poetry of our time has left, the only consolation that of despairing; indeed, it obviously is despair that makes such a connection acceptable. Therefore, it is usually entered into by persons who have long since reached their years of discretion and who also have learned that real love is an illusion and its fulfillment at most a pious wish…. Consequently the eternal, which, as already indicated above, belongs to every marriage, is not really present here, for a commonsensical calculation is always temporal.  (p. 27)

This is why in a recent play a commonsensical little seamstress also makes the shrewd comment about fine gentlemen’s love: They love us but do not marry us; they do not love the fine ladies, but they marry them. (p. 28)

yet it would be beautiful if the Christian dared to call his God the God of love in such a way he thereby also thought of that inexpressibly blissful feeling, that never-ending force in the world: earthly love. p. 30)

those for whom romantic love has an appeal do not care much for marriage, and on the other side, so much the worse, many marriages are entered into without the deeper eroticism that surely is the most beautiful aspect of purely human existence. Christianity is unswervingly committed to marrkage. Consequently, if marital love has no place within itself for the eroticism of first love, then Christianity is not the highest development of the human race; and surely it is a secret anxiety about such a discrepancy that is laregely responsible for the despair that echoes in both modern poetry and prose. (p. 30-31)

Seems he doesn’t think romantic love is an illusion after-all. Sustaining it may be another matter.



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