Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Easter poetry



  1. Kindness is another often unacknowledged super power.

  2. I read a comment on a blog we both follow. An American woman was told by her Episcopalian friend that it is OK to use the Holy Name in vain. Shocking !

    Fr. William Jenkins (What Catholics Believe: YouTube) never speaks of Jesus Christ without bowing his head. In our lost world blasphemy is a thing to joke about.

    *Too Late for Grace: When a Nation Rejects God.*
    John MacArthur. YouTube. 31 March 2021. Grace To You.

    John MacArthur also preaches on the Resurrection.
    The faith stands or falls on the Resurrection.
    Jesus defeated the King of Terrors on Calvary.
    The Resurrection, together with the Atonement, will come under increasing attack.
    Put on the Armour of God as the Apostle Paul preaches. Ephesians 6:10-18.
    J Haggerty

    1. Yes, I don't object strongly to most swear words etc but blasphemy is not something I accept and some forms of American Christianity are not overly Christian.

  3. The first two (79 and 80 ?) are definitey Easter poems. 81 probably not.

    1. Strictly speaking, yes. I wrote it at Easter though and it will remind me of the moment I did. There's a special feeling in the air around Easter

  4. *Stigmata of Jesus Christ and His Resurrection in Another Form.*
    Dr Taylor Marshall. YouTube. 7 April 2021.

    Dr Marshall is a former Episcopalian priest, now a Roman Catholic layman.
    His podcasts are always worth watching. He is married with children.
    J Haggerty

  5. Nice one Kylie. And I agree re love.

    On Easter Friday I found myself watching a program commentated by Hugh Bonneville about the last week of Jesus's life, death and resurrection. It was really interesting and backed up by historical theories, including a different view about Judas's intentions. I've always thought he got a bum rap.

    I get the Jesus story, absolutely. As well as accepting him as a real historical figure, my understanding from a Jungian perspective in no way diminishes who he was or what he stood for.

    1. I feel like I have seen that program but I don't remember anything about it. There are a few bible characters who I feel we judge altogether too strongly.

      The consistent talk of the woman at the well being some kid of "fallen woman" annoys me. Of course she had five marriages, a woman without a man in that society was completely on her own and I'm sure it would be easy to be widowed a lot of times, it was dangerous.

      I appreciate you being so respectful and thoughtful, I know religion isn't for eveyone.

    2. Yes blaming the woman is such a common theme in traditional Christian faith. But it has to be remembered that Christianity came out of Judaism so it is a theme in pre-Christian scripture, and the blame game just rolled on I guess.

      I get really annoyed at the whole 'blame Eve for the fall of mankind' thing. I may have mentioned before that I think Eve was a warrioress and a pioneer. She was the one who had the courage to step out of childlike innocence and igonorance into knowledge, thereby setting humankind on a spectacular evolutionary trajectory. If it was up to Adam we'd still be children in paradise but ignorant and not self-determining. I've met a few Christians who I'm sure would rather still be in the Garden of Eden with a Father looking after them. But that to me seems like such a juvenile way to approach life. I'm an advocate for the evolution of consciousness, whichever way it works for the individual. If I resonated on a soul level with Christianity I would be happy to follow that path, but unfortunately I don't. I say unfortunately because I envy my Christian friends and their trust in Jesus. I can kind of 'see' him, but I can't go the rest of the way. So I take the road less travelled.....

    3. Yes, attributing the blame to Eve is sexist and unbiblical, Dr Frantom.
      The first murder in Scripture (fratricide) is attributed to a man, Cain.

      There are many women in the Bible we can admire:
      Ruth, Rachel, Hannah, Eve, Deborah, Esther, the Virgin Mother, Mary Magdalene.
      Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) was made a doctor of the Catholic Church and there is Edith Stein (1891-1942) who died in Hitler's Auschwitz.

      I get a lot from Jung too though I opted for what GK Chesterton called the Adventure of Orthodoxy: the title of one of his books.
      Do you read Simone Weil or the contemporary theologian Rosemary Haughton (Wikipedia and YouTube) who wrote The Drama of Salvation?
      J Haggerty

    4. One of Carl Jung's greatest warnings to humanity is quoted in a YouTube video:
      *The Mass Psychosis and the Demons of Dostoevsky.*
      Academy of Ideas. 31 March 2021.

      There is a good talk by Jordan Peterson on why we should read Dostoevsky.
      For the life of me I can't see why people take against Dr Peterson.
      Jack Haggerty

    5. Jack Haggerty I haven't read Dr Peterson. I'll take a look at the video and Peterson.

      Re admirable women in the Bible: I don't have your knowledge of these people, but I feel that women are too often portrayed in submissive and passive roles, in support of men rather than in their own right. Not all women choose the role of mother or wife - I am one of them - so I find it very unsatisfying that I don't see myself in biblical stories. For people to engage they have to be able to relate, to see themselves there, and I don't see myself in the scriptures.

      On the other hand what little I have read of the Essenes and the role of women in that particular sect is encouraging. Jesus and Christianity are inextricably interconnected. But as someone once said: Jesus wasn't a Christian. I guess I am far more interested in Jesus and what he stood for than I am in the Christian religion as a whole. I have seen my Christian friends grappling with the disconnect between the Bible and Christianity, between Jesus and the church that evolved from his teachings. Having to 'swear allegiance' to the church often seems at odds with personal spirituality and morality.

    6. Jack I watched that video. Interesting. I'd suggest that for every power hungry despot there are millions of people prepared to go along with their delusion because they 1. don't want to take responsibility for themselves and 2. are happy to locate an 'other' on which to project their own demons.

      In my understanding of Jung there is a common tendency in humans to externalise the 'evil' in our own psyches. On one level none of us are 'responsible' because there is an archetypal collective of evil which we are all able to access, but on another level once we have seen these 'demons' (as Christianity calls them), we have 2 choices. One is to 'eat' of our own dark side, and the other is to get rid of it as quickly as we can by offloading it onto an 'other' - and that can be human or non-human, like the environment or other species.

      I've seen 'demons' and I've been to 'hell'. The only way to neutralise the darkness is to 'love' it, to be content to sit in the darkness until the light returns because the REAL illusion, is that these are opposites. From personal experience that illusion - the preference for one or the other - is what makes us insane.

      Jesus had his own dark night of the soul where he fought his demons. Rather than Jesus having done that for us, I see that we all need to take the same journey. This is why I am not a Christian, because I can't see how Jesus could die for me. He has shown the way and that was his gift to humanity, but it's up to each of us to take the journey.

  6. Dr Frantom:
    I often think of artists who did not choose motherhood or marriage ...
    the Bronte sisters, Christina Rossetti, Willa Cather, Christa Wolf, Sybille Bedford, Elizabeth Bishop, Patricia Highsmith, the painter Gluck etc. etc.
    Christina Stead wrote the best novel about a dysfunctional marriage, The Man Who Loved Children, with the unforgettable Henny Pollit.

    Women were not marginalised by the Essenes though the Israeli scholar Rachel Elior questions that the Essenes existed as a cohesive group.
    As for seeing oneself in Biblical narratives, No: We can't read modernity into them.
    In his crisis over the deficiencies of liberal theology at the end of the First World War, Karl Barth said of the Bible, *I did not really know this strange book.*

    In an attempt to understand the book I found that the best churches were those that were very Reformed, and not those that were liberal. Free Church of Scotland ministers are well trained in exegesis, knowledgeable about that *strange* world of the Bible, even if I question their policy of not ordaining women to the ministry.

    Jesus did not need to be a Christian because he was not a sinner, the very backbone of the Gospel of St John and Paul's Letter to the Romans.
    Feminist theology as I said before to Kylie, interests me. In some cases, like Phyllis Tickle, it veers towards Gnosis, fascinating to study but outright heresy.
    Karl Barth compared Gnosticism to the snake in the snakes and ladders board that children play. Gnosticism winds down the centuries and reappears in New Age Christianity (witchcraft) that's everywhere in America.
    See YouTube, Dr Peter Jones: *Paganism in Today's Culture* and *Unscrambling the New World View* and *A Gnostic Gospel*.

    1. I have just seen your second comment, Dr Frantom.
      My conversion was not until my 57th year, and like you I could not see how Christ could die for my sins or anyone else's.
      Faith for me began with the discovery of Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who had been in his grave 25 years before I heard of him.
      A great help were the books of NT Wright (Tom Wright) and John Murray's *Redemption Accomplished and Applied*.
      Murray was a classical scholar and lost his right eye and two brothers in the First World War.
      If you want some dazzling writing please read *Paul of Tarsus* by TR Glover published in 1925 and reprinted by Hendrickson.
      If I had read Glover in my twenties I might well have come into faith earlier and not wasted so much precious time.

    2. John,
      God's timing is perfect and if you had read Glover in your 20s it might have been something you just wouldn't consider.

    3. Thanks for your scholarly comments on these subects John. I will keep a copy and follow up on those leads when I get a chance.

      Jung wrote some very insightful stuff on 'God' and Christianity, in the latter part of his life I think. I sense he had made a shift somewhere in his thinking, probably informed by the numinous spiritual experiences he had.

    4. I could have sworn it was John! Sorry. Haggerty from now on 😊

  7. Kylie: I never thought about God's timing. Although happy in my personal life, I struggled hard with atheism. Unlike some of my Christian friends I understand unbelief only too well.
    *No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them*: John 6:44.

    Martyn Lloyd-Jones said we can only believe because Jesus Christ in Heaven makes it possible. Without the indwelling Holy Spirit the world would destroy faith in a day.

    C.S. Lewis said he entered the trenches as an atheist and came out as an atheist, the experience only confirmed his view that life rested on chance.
    Lewis lost his mother as a child. He saw his sergeant-major killed by a shell, which then entered Lewis through his back.

    John Murray saw his two brothers killed in WW1 and lost the use of his right eye in battle.
    Murray taught theology in Philadelphia with J Gresham Machen, who died of pneumonia one bitter winter.
    Machen sent a last telegram to Murray: *I am so glad for the perfect obedience of Jesus. No hope without it.*
    A biography of Gresham Machen by Ned B Stonehouse has been published by the Banner of Truth. It is first rate.

  8. Dr Frantom:
    Any shift in Jung's thought is of immense interest. I would not wish to speculate until I have consulted the two or three biographies of Jung on my bookshelves.
    I read *Memories, Dreams, Reflections* at 17 encouraged by my French teacher who taught my younger sister Spanish. He admired Saint Augustine and at 17 I did not !

    Today I came across a novel on my shelves by Michelle Roberts, *The Secret Gospel of Mary Magdalene* published in 1984 and reprinted 2007 with a new introduction by the author. A work of compression running to just 180 pages.
    Flaubert took longer in *The Temptation of Saint Anthony* as did Marguerite Yourcenar with her *Memoirs of Hadrian*.

    Michelle Roberts is a gifted writer judging by the three or four novels I have read.
    I can tell by the first few pages of Magdalene that she immersed herself in late antiquity.
    Her new book *Negative Capability: A Diary of Surviving* is about her failure to get her last novel in print, a sign of the times when corporate publishing thinks only of short term sales.
    I am so glad to see a number of small distinguished publishers. In my city of Glasgow a retired academic runs a one-man publishing company, Vagabond Voices.
    I hope these small houses survive the lockdown.


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