Monday, July 16, 2018

God and Man at Yale

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:32 AM

From a search in this journal for Bloom Sublime

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday June 8, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 AM

Part I:

NY Lottery June 7, 2008: Mid-day 925, Evening 016

Part II:

I Ching Hexagram 16


Thus the ancient kings made music
In order to honor merit,
And offered it with splendor
To the Supreme Deity,
Inviting their ancestors to be present.

When, at the beginning of summer, thunder– electrical energy– comes rushing forth from the earth again, and the first thunderstorm refreshes nature, a prolonged state of tension is resolved. Joy and relief make themselves felt. So too, music has power to ease tension within the heart and to loosen the grip of obscure emotions. The enthusiasm of the heart expresses itself involuntarily in a burst of song, in dance and rhythmic movement of the body. From immemorial times the inspiring effect of the invisible sound that moves all hearts, and draws them together, has mystified mankind. Rulers have made use of this natural taste for music; they elevated and regulated it. Music was looked upon as something serious and holy, designed to purify the feelings of men. It fell to music to glorify the virtues of heroes and thus to construct a bridge to the world of the unseen. In the temple men drew near to God with music and pantomimes (out of this later the theater developed). Religious feeling for the Creator of the world was united with the most sacred of human feelings, that of reverence for the ancestors. The ancestors were invited to these divine services as guests of the Ruler of Heaven and as representatives of humanity in the higher regions. This uniting of the human past with the Divinity in solemn moments of religious inspiration established the bond between God and man. The ruler who revered the Divinity in revering his ancestors became thereby the Son of Heaven, in whom the heavenly and the earthly world met in mystical contact. These ideas are the final summation of Chinese culture. Confucius has said of the great sacrifice at which these rites were performed: "He who could wholly comprehend this sacrifice could rule the world as though it were spinning on his hand."

—  Richard Wilhelm, commentary
    on Hexagram 16 of the I Ching


Part III:

The Dance

Song 'The Dance' performed by Tony Arata, who wrote it

See also 9/25.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Friday November 25, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:28 PM

Buckley and Pinochet

Yesterday, William F. Buckley, Jr., author of God and Man at Yale, turned 80.

Here is an entry from yesterday, postponed until today so it would not intervene between yesterday’s related entries “Crossroads” and “For Constantine’s Angel.”

Recommended reading
for William F. Buckley, Jr.

  1. Joyce and Aquinas (Yale Studies in English)
  2. God and Man in Twentieth-Century Fiction
  3. Modern Literature and the Sense of Time
  4. Three Young Men in Rebellion
  5. James Joyce: Unfacts, Fiction, and Facts
  6. Yeats and the Human Body
  7. Poetry and Prayer

These titles are from an Amazon.com search.  All seem to be by the same “William T. Noon,” a Jesuit priest.  Except for Joyce and Aquinas and Poetry and Prayer,  little of Noon’s work is now remembered.

Thought to accompany the above reading list:

“And now I was beginning to surmise:
Here was the library of Paradise.”

Hermann Hesse, Magister Ludi

Before he attains to Paradise, Buckley’s reading list in Purgatory might include the complete weblog of Andrew Cusack, a young Christian Fascist at the University of St. Andrews.

A related item…

According to “Today in History,” by the Associated Press, for Nov. 25, 2005,

“Today’s Birthdays: Former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet is 90….”

If, in fact, Hell also has a library, let us pray that it contains, for Pinochet’s future edification, the collected works of Pablo Neruda.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thursday November 24, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:12 PM
Recommended reading
for William F. Buckley, Jr.,
who is 80 today

“And now I was beginning to surmise:
Here was the library of Paradise.”

Hermann Hesse, Magister Ludi

Joyce and Aquinas (Yale Studies in English)

by William T. Noon

God and Man in Twentieth-Century Fiction
by William T. Noon

Modern Literature and the Sense of Time
by William T. Noon

Three Young Men in Rebellion
by William T. Noon

James Joyce: Unfacts, Fiction, and Facts
by William T. Noon

Yeats and the Human Body
by William T. Noon

Poetry and Prayer
by William T. Noon

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Wednesday March 10, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:01 PM


The first idea was not our own. Adam
in Eden was the father of Descartes.

— Wallace Stevens,
Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction

A very interesting web site at
Middle Tennessee State University
relates the Stevens quote
to two others:

“The sundering we sense, between nature and culture, lies not like a canyon outside us but splits our being at its most intimate depths the way mind breaks off from body. It is still another version of that bitter bifurcation long ago decreed: our expulsion from Eden. It differs from the apparently similar Cartesian crease across things in the fact that the two halves of us once were one; that we did not always stand askance like molasses and madness–logically at odds–but grew apart over the years like those husbands and wives who draw themselves into different corners of contemplation.”

— William Gass,
“The Polemical Philosopher”

“The experiment [to make rationality primary] reached the reductio ad absurdum following the attempt by Descartes to solve problems of human knowledge by giving ontological status to the dichotomy of thinking substance and extended substance, that is subject and object. Not only were God and man, sacred and secular, being and becoming, play and seriousness severed, but now also the subject which wished to unite these fragmented dichotomies was itself severed from that which it would attempt to reconcile.”

— David Miller, God and Games

“Which is it then? For Gass, the Cartesian schism is a post- lapsarian divorce-in progress, only apparently similar to the expulsion from paradise. For Stevens the fault is primordial and Descartes only its latter-day avatar. For Miller, Descartes is the historical culprit, the patriarch of the split.”

The Evil Genius Notebook,
David Lavery

Saturday, September 14, 2002

Saturday September 14, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:03 AM

God Is Her Co-Pilot

On the soundtrack album of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,"  Clint Eastwood advised us to "eliminate the negative."  As a sequel to the extremely negative note below, written at midnight on the night of September 13-14, 2002, the following is my best attempt, on this very dark night of the soul, to eliminate the negative.  

Some of us are old enough to recall that the beloved Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, died on September 14, 1982 — exactly 20 years ago —  from injuries she suffered in a car accident the day before.  The following photo recalls happier days of driving the Riviera, in the 1955 film "To Catch a Thief."

This note's title, combined with the photo, suggests that I have a mystical vision of Cary Grant as God.  I can think of worse people to play God.  The best I can do tonight to eliminate the negative is transcribe  the remarks I made in a (paper) journal entry in 1997.  (By the way, I realize that ordinary people are just as important as movie stars, but the latter are more suitable for public discussion.)

In memoriam: Robert Mitchum and James Stewart 

Eternal Triangles (July 3, 1997)

Every civilization tells its own story about the relations between heaven and earth.  Some of the best stories — those of Lao Tsu, the Greek poets, and Buddha — are now almost 26 centuries old.  Some even older stories — those told by the Jews — have enabled our current civilization, led by Charlton Heston as God, to outlast Hitler, Stalin, and Mao.  However, recent claims of Absolute Truth for these stories (The Bible Code) are disturbing.  Perhaps it is time — at least for Robert Mitchum and James Stewart — to meet a kinder, gentler God.

I propose Cary Grant — specifically, as seen in "The Grass is Greener" (1960) with Mitchum and Deborah Kerr, and in "The Philadelphia Story" (1940) with Stewart and Katharine Hepburn.  If we imagine Grant as God, then these films reveal a very old, always entertaining, and sometimes enlightening version of the Trinity:  God and Man as rivals for the Holy Spirit — as played by Deborah, by Kate, and (in heaven) by Grace.  Such a spirit, at work in the real world, may have influenced two of this century's better Bibles:

  1. The Oxford Book of English Prose (1925, reprinted through 1958), and

  2. "LIFE — The 60th Anniversary Issue" (October 1996)

From (1), for Mitchum's memorial, Deborah might pick "The Basket of Roses" (pp. 1057-1060).  From (2), for Stewart's memorial, Kate might select the page of LIFE's covers for 1941 — and all that page implies.

Finally, Grace, in the Highest society (beyond Bibles) might recall the following telegraphic catechism:

Q. — How old Cary Grant?
A. — Old Cary Grant fine.  How you?

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