I use the term “Christian Mysticism” to put a label on my commitment. It’s not what I am; only God really knows what I am, and He’s not telling. You can know only what part I play in your world, and I can only know what really drives me. What I do may not make sense to anyone, not even me. So it’s not being, nor doing, but commitment.
You can’t build a career on that, in the mainstream sense of things.
I’m not impressed by what Western Civilization has delivered. It’s no better than the ones in the past, but most people inside it believe it is inherently superior only because they measure their culture by its own standards. Yeah, that’s really logical (sarcasm alert). The first human self-conscious effort to build a culture was the Tower of Babel. God was not amused, because it excluded Him. But it’s not petty sand-castle stomping; it really was in the best interests of humans. What’s good for the Creator is good for His Creation — by definition. Having humans build a frame of reference excluding Him was not in their best interest.
We have no idea how long it lasted, because people tended to live a really long time back then. Only one king is mentioned — Nimrod — but we know from ANE literature analysis he was merely a symbol of the royal dynasty at that time. When we next see something rise up to call itself “Babylon,” much of what that nation inherited can be traced back to the self-conscious culture building of the first Babylonians. They were deeply aware of their ancient legacy and literature, and sought to preserve it across several imperial conquests. They never got over that original dream of building something — the Tower was just a symbol — which did not depend on God.
We pass through several other cultures, not least the Egyptian, until we get to the Hellenist culture and see the same thing, after a fashion. There was a self-conscious pursuit of pure thought, of defining the real and ideal, and seeking to make the former follow the latter. Early Greek scholars were fully aware of the ANE culture, and rejected it. The pinnacle was Aristotle, and we’ve talked enough about him. The point here is he self-consciously worked to build a better culture, and it was a rejection of the only one God Himself built.
Western Civilization is an amalgam. It is largely the result of the Roman Church to tame the very powerful German culture. By that time, the Church had taken a wrong turn, having self-consciously embraced Aristotle in the guise of Thomas Aquinas (we call it “Thomism”). They had already departed from what God had built, so it was no surprise they felt they could inject what they understood as Christian imperatives into that German culture and make it acceptable to God. The result — so far — is modern Western Civilization. Despite all the talk of “Post-Modernism” it’s really not all that different, since it assumes the same epistemology too often. That is, Po-Mo is simply rewriting the Enlightenment Period, not rebuilding from scratch.
I’m calling for a radical rejection of Western Civilization. The idea behind the term “radical” is the Latin word for “root” — getting back to the root of things. It means realizing what we have is so messed up, we can’t fix it. Let’s scrap it and start over. While I certainly root for that idea, I don’t seriously expect very many people to embrace it. In fact, my whole mission here on this blog — the reason I bother at all — is presenting a truth I know few will swallow. I don’t take myself that seriously, so why should I expect others to do so? I would love for people to find the joys of what I have found, but I know it’s not for everyone.
Indeed, what little traffic this blog gets is mostly on the Linux-related posts, followed closely by any computer help stuff of any kind. Those are a hobby, but most of the folks coming here for that stuff are quite serious about their computer hobby, and a few may have a career in it. For me, it’s just part of my general wish I could help others. Even if you reject my advice, or reject my contention, I have raised the issue and made you think. That in itself is a good thing. You don’t build a career on good things but on making money. I’m not making money. I do get paid a pension, but that just means I don’t have to struggle to face doing what it takes to convince people to give me money.
It’s not as if I have never lived in bad times, and had to do without money. Trust me on that. Instead, when it happens again — it surely will — I am confident it is already covered by a higher power. Not in the sense God is my banker, but in the sense if I starve to death doing what I feel certain makes Him happy, I accept those terms. And anything in between. When the US government goes broke and can’t pay my Veterans’ pension any more, it won’t matter. It will simply mean an adjustment in the means of the calling.
I don’t have a career, I have a calling.
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