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06 May 2016

Commonplace Sampler: April

"A child cannot have a lasting sense of duty until he is brought into contact with a supreme Authority, Who is the source of law, and the pleasing of Whom converts duty into joy."
-Charlotte Mason, Teaching in the Branches, Parents' Review vol. 8, no. 9

There are a number of ideas that have helped me a bit. First is the proper way of thinking about objectivity. It isn’t a reference to that cold disinterestedness that is so highly valued in scientists, newspaper reporters, and others who are expected to act as if they had no soul. It is, instead, the sense of there being a created order that preexists me  — even preexists the world. My personal feelings or responses to Truth, Goodness, or Beauty have no bearing on their reality.
Another is the idea that Truth, Goodness, and Beauty are a trinity — they go together. As a Christian, it is fairly easy for me to say that Truth is objective. {Please note that this doesn’t mean that I think I can even come close to understanding it perfectly — I’m only saying here that it exists objectively.} Likewise, it is pretty easy for me to accept that Goodness is objective — that it is the character of God, who is Good, that defines what Goodness is.
But somehow, even though I know that God is Beautiful, it has been very hard for me to grasp exactly why that makes Beauty objective. Maybe I consumed a few too many of those teen magazines that made statements about beauty being in the eye of the beholder? Is the ubiquity of that statement not evidence enough that as a culture we have swallowed whole a subjective, personal standard for beauty?
Tying Beauty back up into its trinity, rather than isolating it, has helped quite a bit.
-Brandy Vincel, Afterthoughts Blog, That's Your Opinion: The Loss of Objectivity

A NOISELESS, patient spider,
I mark’d, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;
Mark’d how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself;
Ever unreeling them—ever tirelessly speeding them.
And you, O my Soul, where you stand,
Surrounded, surrounded, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,—seeking the spheres, to connect them;
Till the bridge you will need, be form’d—till the ductile anchor hold;
Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul.
-Walt Whitman, "A Noiseless Patient Spider"

Diagnosis in its most basic definition is the process of determining the nature of a condition by analyzing the circumstances and symptoms that are presented. Through examination, analysis of symptoms or symptomatology, and the history defined by the patient, amongst other tools, practitioners attempt to decipher what is the condition at hand in order to prescribe a treatment. The recognition of unhealthy tissue, fatigue, pain, skin coloration, amongst many other symptoms, are indications that give a practitioner a reference leading to the particular classification or identity of the illness they are attempting to diagnose.
The medicinal concepts and philosophies held by each practitioner, M.D., or healer are directly related to both the diagnostic tools used and the treatment given, particularly because the classifications of disease as well as the treatments associated with it are particular to each medicinal school and practice.
-Traditional Medicines of the World: Diagnostic Tools Part 1, The Herbarium

We are tempted to look upon Christianity as a scheme of salvation designed and carried out for our benefit, whereas the very essence of Christianity is passionate devotion to an altogether adorable Person.
-Charlotte Mason, Teaching in the Branches, Parents' Review vol. 8, no. 9

1 comment:

Keeley said...

God is beautiful (and now I have “Beautiful Saviour” going through my head) because of how he makes me feel. That goodness and peace and love and light is beautiful.

Calling God an “adorable person” is absolutely delightful. We adore him - the meaning of “adore” here being “worship”. But we also adore him because he’s adorable. That’s nifty. =)


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