Tag Archives: Isolation

A virus giving the world an opportunity to re-evaluate and change the way we live

For weeks now many people have found themselves bounded to just a few square metres of their living quarters.

In the lockdown many people found themselves obliged to find ways to keep themselves busy and not pulled down by isolation. In this world of exuberant consumerism and going out for relaxation and meeting people, we were bounded to the modern tools of the internet to have virtual contact with each other.

Everybody now got some weeks just for themselves, enabling each of us to reflect on their life, but also on the way our society goes on with her materialistic life.

It seems this virus is giving the world an opportunity to re-evaluate and change the way we live, work, produce, and distribute goods and services. Travel, work, food, and manufacturing may have to dramatically change.

By lockdown hearing nature to revive, hearing more the sound of singing birds and seeing more animals going around free in nature.

Let us think about new and better ways to continue our life in the future.

**

For thought

The key is how we respond to this new challenge. 


“All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting.
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way.
All over the world, people are waking up to a new reality.
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes, there is fear, but there does not have to be hate.
Yes, there is isolation, but there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes, there is panic buying, but there does not have to be meanness.
Yes, there is sickness, but there does not have to be disease of the soul.
Yes, there is even death, but there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic.
The birds are singing again.
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul and sing.”

-from Richard Hendrick (Brother Richard) in Ireland, March 13th, 2020

 

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April 2020

The 50 year old poet

Flowers are still growing,

birds are still singing

but a darkness has come

which will mean the end for some.

In just a short while

the world has lost its smile,

people forced into isolation

with the hope it may save their nation.

Politicians try to offer hope

to those finding it hard to cope,

mankind can be changed for good,

but only if the reality is understood.

yellow daffodil flower in tilt shift lens photography Photo by David Cole on Pexels.com

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Broken daily routines

How many of us take our daily routines for granted, not looking at everything we encounter and inspecting what we allow entering into our lives?

Today lots of people are facing a world they do not seem to cope with, them presenting more time for themselves, which for some might not be so easy to tackle. Being confronted with oneself is for many not the most pleasant thing. In the ‘previous world’ (some jokingly say BC = ‘Before Corona’), the world when there was no coronavirus, most people had their daily duties away from home, and now they seem stuck at home, many feeling prisoned in their own surroundings. Instead of just feeling free, having more time for themselves and their family.

Others who had already felt in isolation, because they belonged to people who had made their choice to be part of God’s World instead of being part of Man’s world, now seem to have become more isolated. Luckily this time in history they are not accused to be the cause of this disaster coming over man. In the past that has been different. In previous centuries it happened more than once that we, as the People of God, were targetted, as the ones bringing disasters on others. More than once it seemed the more we tried to do good, the more the enemy was and is coming against us.

This Passover we could not come together and as such many of us could have felt even more isolated than at other times. Though we can be pleased to hear most of our brethren and sisters took time again to thank the heavenly Father for His provision and continued their quest of looking for leaven in all their dwellings and in their minds.

We took at heart that the Father is telling the Bride to get rid of the leaven in our lives. If we are to be a bride without spot or wrinkle, then we should start learning how to identify the spots and wrinkles in our lives, for the purpose of getting rid of them.

In the days of our fathers in Egypt, through the plagues, the social system was so disrupted that they certainly experienced it. In this time of age many people do not see how disrupted our society is. Lots of people have become the slaves of this world and slaves of money and gadgets. They are blinded by the things of the world and have lost track of God.

We live widely in the four winds of the earth and the majority of people living in the industrialised world is not bounded by borders and every year take the time on several occasions to go abroad, some even very far away from home, to find pleasure and relaxation. Many even forgetting you can have that at home too. That is why we see so many in distress because they feel bound by lockdown, whilst now they should feel free from the worldly chains.

Until now, we could still choose to celebrate Pesach in the nations or in the land of Israel, but today we are tied to our local territory. The Elohim had asked to go into our inner chambers, and to close our doors after us; to hide for a little while until the wrath passes.  (Isaiah 26:20) This year as our forefathers did at several times in history, (the last time in Nazi-time) we could feel how it must have been, hiding, just being with a few, not able to feel that unity of a people chosen by God.

As in previous times this year we strongly could feel how The Adonai gives perfect peace to those whose faith is firm. Once more we could feel the importance to always trust the Elohim Hashem Jehovah because He is forever our mighty Rock (Isaiah 26:3-4) this year, more than in other years we could fully set our minds on our Divine Creator. Now more than in other times we can feel how it is Him Who keeps us completely whole, steady on our feet, because we keep at it and don’t quit. Enough reason to call others also to believe in The One we do believe and to say

Depend on God and keep at it because in the LORD GOD you have a sure thing. (Isaiah 26:4-5)

Let us in this time of disease not be afraid of that disease to go out in the world, to help those in need. Let us be there for the elderly and sick, and help them by their shopping and by providing for the needs they might have.

Jehovah knew that there would come a time when we must remain in our place and He has provided that we can worship Him in Spirit and in Truth through the Spirit of Holiness that was poured out at the time. Let us also show others why they best come to our Bore, and come to see how Jesus is the way to our God, Who is the God above all gods.

Let us others know that they can trust God and should come to believe in the one He has sent. Jeshua out of the tribe of Judah has given himself as a ransom for mankind and taken over the Scepter and is confirmed as the Firstfruits. We have to let others know that because of Jeshua’s death and resurrection, those who have received faith have, become children of Israel according to the promise. We should show others how the time has come to accept that through his awesome work of redemption, the old has passed and the new has come  (Luke 5).

Let us then letting down doctrines that do not bring us as spiritual firstborns to our goal by those who are not spiritual firstborns. They are of no use to us, because the firstborn learns straight from his / her father and not from the other children in the household. We are banns and should listen to ‘our Man’ instead of people who do not know our Man (Jeremiah 31:9) The firstborn who chose Jehovah over the natural firstborn. Draw the line of the birthright according to the written Word.

Let us make God His Name known but also the name of His son who is the one who carries the Scepter. He is the one who teaches the teaching of the written Word by the outpoured Spirit of Holiness to those named after his name (Jeshuaists).

Even in lockdown we can continue to preach, having enough possibilities by internet and modern technology.

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Additional reading

  1. First time since Nazi-time no public gathering
  2. Importance of Tikkun olam

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So many being afraid – reason enough to step in the boat with Christ

For weeks already in Italy, Spain, France and Belgium the inhabitants are feeling limited with their country in lockdown. All over the world people are confronted with an unseen enemy, and that frightens many of them.

Normally the lovers of God who are worshipping Him alone and not other gods, are accustomed to living in a certain way somewhat isolated. The majority of Christendom worshipping a Trinity does not like those Unitarians and avoid contact with them as if they are affected with a terrible disease. Worship services for those isolated Christians are often followed by the internet, because of the distance between many too far. Those able to share the Breaking of Bread in real life, under normal circumstances only find themselves with a few. The 14th of Nisan is for many the big exception for the year. That day is often the ‘high-mass’ bringing many lovers of God together to commemorate the liberation of mankind. That special commemoration day in several prayer halls or kingdom halls often brings more than a hundred people together, showing how even when they are not with many, they also are not with such a few that they should feel alone. This year it was a totally different experience for many, not having the Memorial Gathering in public. It was nice to have several groups providing for internet sharing, but it is not the same and can not be a surrogate or placebo for the real thing.

Remarkable to notice is how so many expressed their calmness and accepted totally those restrictions the governments gave them. Opposite to many unbelievers most members were convinced the time of quarantine should take as long as necessary to keep everybody safe, no matter of the economic impact. We also can notice the members of those Unitarian denominations respect the social distancing and trust God that everything shall turn out back to normal in a certain time.

On the other hand all over the world, we find certain Christian groups calling to gather for Easter and to ignore such social distancing. They forget they perhaps do not only bring their own life in danger, but worse bring other people, they could encounter also on other days, in great danger. We can only say they have a very selfish attitude.

Around us, we can find unbelievers and believers who express their fear. Normal when one does not know the unseen enemy thoroughly and does not know how it all shall evolve in the near future. People also love to have everything under control and when they feel they loose control they start panicking.

For those with fear, we would like to remind them of a little event which took place some two thousand years ago.

Like on many great lakes and seas the wind can come up forcibly and bring dangerously high waves.

The disciples and Jesus were on passage on a boat and when the master teacher went to sleep, and a violent storm came.  The wind was howling, the boat was taking on water, these men felt that their lives were in danger from forces they could not control.  Take note, these were not inexperienced Saturday afternoon boaters.  Most of these men were professional fishermen.  These men were of strong hand and backs, they had been in a storm or two in their years of fishing.

If you have ever met a sailor, they often pride themselves on the storms they have endured on the seas.  However; this was not the same kind of storm that these men had endured before.  This storm frightened them to the point of fearing death.  It was pretty easy for them to see that the boat would likely be crushed in the waves, the wind and water was overtaking the boat.  They had no control over their circumstances.  All of their lives were passing before their eyes.  Wives lips that would never be kissed again, children that would never be played with again.  The sunrises they would miss.  Songs that they would never sing again.  As they looked over their possessions, their homes, their clothes, money, land, and more they began to realize how little value those things actually had.  They could see that they had focused their whole lives on things that really didn’t matter.  Their children, their spouses, their families, and their God are the things that mattered. As devout Jews they knew they could trust their God, the God of Abraham. Though it looked like as if they feared That God would not be with them.

On land they would know who to turn to when they had doubts of certain matters or fear for certain things. But far from any temple, no synagogue at hand, to whom had they to turn? Where could they find a rabbi or rebbe who could help them?

In want of having a Rabbi there now they turned their eyes toward their friend Jeshua (Jesus) who was lying quietly sleeping.  In all of this storming wind, spraying of water, beating of the waves, screaming of the men, he seemed steadfast asleep.  It looked like he was in a place of safety and comfort.  Peacefully like a baby he was there sleeping, probably laying in a puddle of water, soaked from head to toe, but asleep none the less.

A few decades ago Lenny LeBlanc released a song with the name “Asleep in the Boat”.  It talks about a promise God made, and that He is always there, just as Jesus was here with his disciples.  Just like when we are in the storm, He is here for us.

In these times of trouble we better look at how Jesus cope with difficulties and uncertainties. We do know many Christians take him as their god. God does know everything, but Jesus, not being God, did not know everything and like us just had to trust his heavenly Father.
Jesus has encountered several very difficult moments, and we should know that also he, even doubted God and asked Him why He had abandoned him. From the stake, Jesus cried out loud to His heavenly Father, the Only One True God.

46 And about the ninth hour Yahushua cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My Elohim, my Elohim, why hast thou forsaken me? (Matt 27:46, NRKJV)

But God never had abandoned or had forsaken His only beloved son. Nobody can do anything to God and God is the only Being that can not die. But Jesus could be hurt by men and he knew very well that those people could kill him. His death was a certainty, but what would happen after his death was not so sure. For that he had to trust his heavenly Father to Whom he cried that he would not be forsaken. Only by having enough faith in his heavenly Father Jesus could face those difficult moments. The Nazarene Jew had enough faith in his heavenly Father, the God of Israel, Who had already for centuries guided His People.

Jesus so much trusted his God, that he was willing to put his own will aside to do the Will of his heavenly Father, Whom Jesus considered to be the Only One True God, the God above all gods and above all kings. Like his ancestor King David, Jesus trusted his God.

We too, should have the same trust in God like the son of God had in his heavenly Father, Who is also our heavenly Father. In the Elohim Hashem Jehovah, we should find security and peace at heart, not having to have fear for what might come.

When we are children of God let us behave like it, and show others what a good Father we have. Let us take this period of more free time, to let Jehovah’s Name resound in many more places. That we who believe in Him show others how the Elohim has given the world the opportunity to be free of all worldly matters and that this time on this earth is only a temporary period. Let us take the opportunity to witness over the beauties of the Highest and how He has given the world a solution to be free of all worries.

We should step in the boat of Christ and be aware that even when he would be asleep, we still shall be safe, because he is with us and his God is with us.
When we feel abandoned by the world, them not liking we do not adhere to their god or gods, do not worry. One is better to worship the True God of the Bible instead of the many gods human beings love to worship. The God of Jesus, Hosea, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Solomon, David, Nehemiah, Abraham, Moses and Adam is the Best God we can have and Who can make sure we shall be able to receive the best life, “is it not today than tomorrow” ….

When we feel the pains of this world, and lost dear friends or family members, let us always remember that once they died their pain would be gone, and all worries would be over for them. Let us also put everything in the right perspective, comparing our luxury life with the millions of people in worse circumstances. And let us not forget how there was once a man who had not done any fault in his life, but was tortured and nailed at a wooden stake, giving his life for so many people he did not even know, so that they could live unto righteousness.

30 The Elohim of our fathers raised up Yahushua, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. (Acts 5:30, NRKJV)

24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1Pet 2:24, NRKJV)

Let us remember that event when the apostles were afraid and think about the storm in which we landed today.

23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. 24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, My master, save us: we perish. 26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. 27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! (Matt 8:23-27, NRKJV)

It would be wrong to think Jesus had no fear. He, like his brothers and sisters, also had many fears. Though Jesus feared more God than people and therefore was not afraid to speak out. Jesus very well knew his humble position and that he could do nothing without his heavenly Father, His God. Only by listening to his God, and doing what God wanted from him, Jesus could do exceptional things.

19 Then answered Yahushua and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. (John 5:19, NRKJV)

From those around him, Jesus asked them to come to him and to his God, so that what God had given to His son also could come unto us. Jesus knew that his God was the Only One to trust and knew that those who have complete trust in God will be kept in perfect peace by keeping their minds focused on Gods promises.

3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isa 26:3, NRKJV)

Like so many before Christ let us also the same as Jesus did, trust the Divine Creator and give ourselves in His Hands. Even if we fear others or such disease as CoViD-19, we should have more fear for the God of Christ, the God of Abraham and should pray to Him and trust HIm, in the same way as Jesus and Isaiah trusted their heavenly Father.

9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. 10 Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of יהוה. 11 יהוה, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them. 12 יהוה, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us. 13 O יהוה our Elohim, masters instead of thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name. (Isa 26:9-13, NRKJV)

While we may not know what tomorrow holds for us, we have chosen to follow Jesus and to have the same trust in his heavenly Father and as such should not have to worry about the future. In Christ Jesus lies our hope for the future, because he gave his life for us and God accepted his sacrificial offering as a ransom for once and for all.
When we believe who Jesus is and what he really has done and how God has now taken him out of the dead as an example for what might happen to us, we should not be afraid because in such resurrection is our hope and future.
It is in our belief in the promises of God and in the certainty of salvation that we have a present peace.

We just have to be patient and trust the Most High God. By following This God His only begotten beloved son, we have the assurance that one day there shall come a Kingdom which surpasses all other kingdoms and where there shall be peace for all without any pain or sorrow. Let us look forward to such days in the coming Kingdom of God.

 

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Let us thank God for everything that we got for good things in our life
and let us trust Him as our Guide and Helper in difficult days
as well for Him being a Stormstiller

From Sticky Note to God ~03.31.20~

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Preceding

Why are you afraid?

Fear in your own heart or outside of it

Our life depending on faith

The Struggle Ends When Gratitude Begins

Many opportunities given by God

If you keep your faith and trust in God

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Additional reading

  1. Matthew 8:23-27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus Calms a Stormy Sea
  2. Matthew 9:32-34 – How others look at the blind, speechless and demoniac being healed
  3. The unseen enemy
  4. Fear of failure, and fear of the unknown
  5. 8 fears caused by the fear of Man
  6. Fearmongering succeeded and got the bugaboo a victory
  7. A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
  8. Thanksgiving wisdom: Why gratitude is good for your health
  9. Problems on a dark road and A look at our ego-centric world
  10. Not fear or dread or blind compulsion
  11. The chosen ones to fear or not to fear
  12. What is life?
  13. Greatest single cause of atheism
  14. Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies) by Chris Tomlin
  15. Control and change
  16. We find by losing. We hold fast by letting go.
  17. A treasure which can give me everything I need
  18. I Am Not Alone – By: Kari Jobe
  19. Necessity of a revelation of creation 3 Getting understanding by Word of God 1
  20. Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be
  21. Today’s thought “Faith in Troubled Times” (January 14)
  22. Today’s thought “Crying to God” (August 04)
  23. The Wrath of God
  24. Today’s thought “Plea for Vindication or for Protection against Oppressors” (January 07)
  25. Today’s thought “My times are in your hand” (January 14)
  26. Today’s Thought “You will keep … in perfect peace” (May 03)
  27. Kingdom of God what will it be like

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Related

  1. Housebound
  2. Right Attitude in Trouble… Joshua of Ghana
  3. Isaiah 26: Content in God alone.
  4. The Sea of Galilee
  5. Sonnets For My Savior 24
  6. “In The Midst Of The Storm”
  7. Jesus Feared God, Not Circumstances
  8. Pandemic: Be Calm During the Storm
  9. Praying the Bible with Gratitude
  10. The Wind and Sea Obey Him
  11. Today’s Theme Song: Above All
  12. Hide Yourself
  13. Isaiah Chapter 26
  14. 100 Blessings for Pandemic
  15. Podcast #299: “Thank You, Lord” by Dennis Jernigan
  16. The rock on which we stand

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Isolation Blues

drycrikjournal

To ease the pain of living.
Everything else, drunken dumbshow.

- Allen Ginsberg (“Memory Gardens”)

Chill in the dark,
the day before forever—
before eternity slips
into twinkling space.

Alone with ourselves,
we have no secrets left
to bury, only seeds to sow
for summer fruit.

Two owls are talking
across the yard:
emphatic hoots,
promises of spring.

Dogs bark at the scent
of coyotes near—
neither know, neither care
about tomorrow.

It is our moment
to find diversions
in search of awe,
the small and the majestic—

to do the work
to ease the pain of living.
All the rest
drunken dumbshow.

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Recrafting our World

According to psychologist Peter Kramer, resilience is the ability to cope with life’s frustrations without falling apart. And reslilience, not happiness, is the opposite of depression.

  • essence of a good life =  how well we pay attention, compassionately accept our situation, take action toward meaningful goals, learn from our choices, and move on, with as much trust + love as we can.
  • time at home = opportunity to reflect on life >  how to live closer to your credo => opportunity to re-evaluate + change way we live, work, produce, + distribute goods + services.
  • shift away from mindless consumerism => begin living for higher purposes, mindful of our impact on other people & planet.
  • Clarifying + aligning with our priorities.

key = how we respond to new challenge. 

  • slowing down & reflecting
  • waking up to a new reality.
  • isolation =/= loneliness.

Essence of a good life: how well we pay attention, compassionately accept our situation, take action toward meaningful goals, learn from our choices, and move on, with as much trust as we can. And remembering that what matters most is love. {Happy or Resilient?}

writing to freedom

Recrafting our World

dreams, rebirth

It’s impossible to avoid the news and impact of coronavirus.

I’ve progressed from denial to concern, to acceptance and opening to new ideas. I’ve been sick for the last few days wondering if I have the virus, flu, a cold, allergies, or am simply run down. I’m considering whether to go to a doctor and be tested for the coronavirus. The virus is forcing us to slow down and live differently, at least for a while, Maybe asking us to consider how we can become healthier, more resilient, and more helpful in a connected world. Here’s a related post I wrote about resiliency a few years ago called Happy or Resilient?  From that post; the essence of a good life is how well we pay attention, compassionately accept our situation, take action toward meaningful goals, learn from our choices, and move on, with as much…

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let go… or be dragged

heart prints

image

I used to feel uncomfortable when people asked me why I am estranged from my family. It is difficult to explain a life-long struggle in a few sentences. How do you describe the rejection and the hurt? How do you share openly without being judged? People with strong relational families find it hard to understand.

It was a decision that left me with a limp.

How do I explain the fact that I used to live in constant fear; that I continuously questioned people’s intentions instead of embracing and enjoying the joy of companionship? Can one measure the amount of time it took to rebuild my capacity to trust others; to build a new support structure?

Sometimes the strongest thing you will ever do will be to let go of someone. It will be painful, you will suffer guilt, and you will second-guess yourself, but for your own sanity…

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Tax to pay to atone for a certain complexity of mind


Loneliness truly is the tax we have to pay to atone for a certain complexity of mind.”
There are few more shameful confessions to make than that we are lonely.
The basic assumption is that no respectable person could ever feel isolated
– unless they had just moved country or been widowed.
Once we accept loneliness, we can get creative:
we can start to send out messages in a bottle:
we can sing, write poetry, produce books and blogs, activities stemming from the realisation that people around us won’t ever fully get us but that others – separated across time and space – might just.

via The School of Life – There are few more shameful confessions to make…

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Laboring in the Vineyard or Sitting on the Hillside with Jonah?

The defender of both the rich and the poor, the weak and the strong, the young and the old is calling onto all and want to see that all the world may hear about His Name and His wonderworks.

In the previous centuries we have seen many monasteries being build all over the western hemisphere. Many convent groups were created and had so called religious people who segregate themselves from the country folks. Not all of those who detached themselves from ordinary day-life got to do some work for God that brought some positiveness and something extra to the Christian community.

To seclude oneself from the world does not resolve anything. It will not let the Christian community grow. They may pray a lot for expansion of that community but that is not what God requires from His children to repeat continuously the same words or prayers.

The son of God also did not demand to enisle oneself. To dissociate of the community not making efforts to reach them with the Word of God, will not bring more people to God.

We always have to remember what Jesus asked his disciples, to go out into the world to preach the gospel-message.

There may be those people who think isolation will bring them closer to God, but sharing the Word of God with as many as we can shall bring us even closer to God.

To get harvest there has to be the labour. Without labour no harvest.

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SonShine's Journal -

prov 18 laboring vineyard2Just as there are two sides to a coin there are two sides to every story. Note vs 1 of Proverbs 18: “One who has isolatedhimself seekshis own desires;he rejectsallsound judgment.” (NET). Note this is self-imposed not God imposed as in the case of Moses (Ex 3:1), the plain for Ezekiel (Ezek 3:22), the wilderness for John (Luke 1:80), Arabia for Paul (Gal 1:17) and the wilderness for His Blessed Son (Mark 1). And that is where we find the two sides to every story.

There are those who seek isolation due to a need or desire to grow closer to God but vs 1 clearly indicates that this is not the case. These are people who have a “Jonah complex.” They fail to see the ramifications of their isolation and God’s plan and purpose for…

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Looking at a conservative review of Shop Class As Soul Craft

Some might think we are

“constantly striving to develop lives of meaning without any outside recourse. The soul is increasingly insulated from the world outside our heads.” {Against Kant and Consumerism}

but today lots of people strive to enrich themselves with material wealth and consider their live worthwhile when they can be more wealthier and better showing off than others. Lots of people think they miss enough money or enough gadgets to enjoy fully life. For many everything seems to turn around the gathering of as much money as possible.

Lots of people do not look for the depth of meaning of life and are not so much interested in the others around them and the influence or necessity of them for them.

thisissueappearsThe American Conservative in the May/June 2015 article speaks about Matthew Crawford his books “Shop Class As Soul Craft” plus “The World Beyond Your Head” and looks at ‘the subtitle to his latest book which promises a look at our “age of distraction“.

The article says:

The premise of Crawford’s book is that our distractedness is merely symptomatic of a deeper cultural defect, a misrepresentation of the self that has permeated our society. He traces this back to Enlightenment philosophy, especially the thought of Immanuel Kant. Enlightenment thinkers of the late 17th and 18th centuries presented a view of the person that contrasted drastically with medieval and ancient thought: they put unprecedented emphasis on the rational individual as separate from society or community. They posited new theories about freedom founded upon reason and self-determination, with epistemological roots in ideas such as Descartes’s famous claim that “I think therefore I am.” Kant believed that knowledge and ethics must necessarily be situated within the mind—that existence must be interpreted through the autonomy of the individual.

The writer thinks

The soul is increasingly insulated from the world outside our heads.

Whereas in the real world, Crawford writes,

“we are subject to the heteronomy of things; the hazards of material reality,”

and continues

what Kant has given us is our modern identification of freedom with choice, in which choice is a “pure flashing forth” of the individual will.

that identification of freedom with choice has been there already from the period of the beginning in the Garden of Eden. Man had the choice either to follow his Creator His Will or to go his own way. Man choose the latter.

Thousand of years later, many think the world around them limits them and nature is to  block  their leg.

dumb nature is understood to be threatening to our freedom as rational beings, it becomes attractive to construct a virtual reality that will be less so, a benignly nice [reality] where there is no conflict between self and world

How many people do not want to be on their own and have the world turning around themselves. For many it is most important that everything turns around their own “I” so that they can say with proud: “I am“.

The associate editor of  The American Conservative Gracy Olmstead writes:

Consumer culture tries to destroy the discomforts and imperfections that are necessarily part of life.

Is not there one of the greatest problems of our present society, which has put most of its hopes on the material things it can require to make its own. It is not that they want to hoard things, but they love to gather all the newest things so that they can show off against others who have to do with older things.

Though the writer of the article finds that modern cars are designed in an insulating and distracting way, we more see them as copies of each other not having any more the specific personality or difference as the cars had in the 1950ies, when each car looked so specific and really could get its fans for one or another model and each model with its own flashy personal colours. to us it looks like that car owners lost the interest to have a car or any other object (clothes, houses) that look very personal and have their won story to tell. People do want all the same and are willing to cue for the latest gadget. Everybody else has to be able to see that they have this or that brand and can afford this or that mobile or i-pad, which has to be of the latest and newest ‘invention’.

Concerning the cars we could agree with the idea the  critic has

Everything within a car is constructed to give a sense of isolation and ease.

When the author would mean that the person who is driving the car would like to have the feeling to being his own world, having his own little world where nobody else around is being part of it. When the music can play loud it does not matter that others can hear it in their bathroom or are whipped out of bed. It is there music and everybody else should have to hear that is the best music to listen to.

Naturally the cultivation of “me-worlds” extends beyond auto-mobile design, but form men this might still be the thing to make their ‘me’, though the i-pad has taken a lot of that place.

Olmstead finds that Crawford spends a good deal of the book arguing that an Enlightenment approach to epistemology leads to narcissism: an understanding of the world that revolves entirely around the self and writes

The narcissist “treats objects as props” and struggles to comprehend them as objects with a reality of their own. The fantasy of autonomy, when full-grown, results in a “project of open-ended, ultimately groundless self-making.” {Against Kant and Consumerism}

Interestingly, Crawford identifies our treatment of others as the root of online narcissism in the age of Facebook:

“We increasingly deal with others through representations of them that we have,” he writes. “This results in interactions that are more contained, less open-ended, than a face-to-face encounter or a telephone call, giving us more control.”

Automobiles, the reviewer says

“can foster circumspection—literally, looking around for others and regarding oneself as an object for others in turn—or a collection of atomized me-worlds.” Our experience becomes ever more “mediated by representations, which remove us from whatever situation we inhabit directly, as embodied beings who do things.”

Throughout the ages the world has received its many distractions. The tools may have changed but the aim and way has stayed the same. Today “virtual reality” allows many to find back lost friends or schoolmates and gives the opportunity to interact with more, and more diverse, people, not fewer and not more homogeneous.

For American society to emerge from the distractions of consumer culture and virtual existence

Ms Olmstead finds

we must look beyond the symptoms and consider the disease: the shroud of individualism that prevents us from fully embracing the real world.

The individuals looking for themselves to acquire as much material wealth as possible have to come to see that they would be better to work at their social contacts spending more time to be with each other in real life than in chat sessions, never going deep in a conversation. For sure we we must

cultivate an awareness of—and love for—the world beyond ourselves.

The Edge Foundation / Flickr

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Preceding articles:

Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

Why “Selfishness” Doesn’t Properly Mean Being Shortsighted and Harmful to Others

The I Am to explore

little i

Path/Walk/Sink

Comic: The Last Time I Felt Accepted For Who I Am

Be realistic, do not pretend

The world starts with yourself

Believe in yourself!

Believe in your greatness

Find Inspiration and Follow Your Dreams

Wishy-Washy…

There can only be hope when there is a will to be and say “I am”

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Additional reading:

  1. Souls and Religions with Nirvana and light
  2. For those who make other choices
  3. Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience
  4. Detroit, A city not to be understood

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