Saturday, June 28, 2014

Reforming the Mind, Breaking the Heart

  It's not too far a stretch to state plainly that much of the cultus of the west was, and to a large degree remains; a type of "reform". One guy that I am a little bit aware of, has made this kind of thing his calling card. His big question, as I understand it is; "Must the sun set on the west?". My unreserved, and "gut" answer is; "Absolutely!". There is, it seems a spectrum, and we are in it.
  On one end of things, socially and culturally you have the sheer weight of bureaucracy, the dunder-headed inefficiency of it all. We might complain of it, and plead for "commonsense solutions". The tales told of waste, overspending, redundancy and the wild levels of stupidity found in officially endorsed "programs", which due to unintended consequence yield perversely opposite results to those intended. You get a "War on Poverty", which turns out to be, over time; a war on the poor! Or consider the many overlapping "programs" officially intended to "help", which become an absolute weight and yet another hindrance to overcome. Reagan was saying these kinds of things in the 70s and 80s, such that; "Government is not the solution to our problems, it is the problem!". People ate that stuff up, as I recall. So, we then proceed to reinvent solutions, qua solving per se, and you only get worse results.
  There is a deep perversity here, a built-in kind of futility principle, which in our ever recurring "optimism for solving" we consistently and always "forget" to include in our planning. Maybe it cannot be otherwise? I don't know. But, in any case; the other end of the spectrum is a moving on from sheer blockheadery, into plainly evil institutional wickedness. I mean here, we must inquire as to the upside of Hitler!
  Perhaps no modern character in the "average mind" (supposing that critter exists?) is more evil than that bunghole with poor taste in facial hair. He "stands for" the mental constructs of malice, corruption, hate, and all that 21st century westerners cite as "ungodly". This guy is worse in the modern imagination than "Uncle Joe", Mao, and Pol Pot all rolled together. It makes a guy wonder; "What was the 'upside' to the goon anyhow?". He was swept into office in the 30s, and just how dumb are Germans anyhow? What did they ever see in the little freak in the first place? On the spectrum we discuss here, he holds (singlehandedly?) the title "chief of sinners". His tyranny resulted in the murder and mayhem of the camps, the destruction of much of Europe, and for bonus points, the very "image of malice". I can sort of close my eyes, and picture a "typical" German voter. Hey, mister elector of rulers, Mister voter dude, would you rather have as lord-governor Dolf, or...the devil of hell? And he says, "Let me think about it?". It could not have been that way! At some point, they saw "dignity returned", or "progress and jobs" or some darned thing we would approve of also, as the link back to Senor Crazy Pants. They don't begin as tyrants...they become.
  Somewhere along the slope on this nasty curve, is a point of no return, a kind of event horizon which when crossed, MUST yield "bad results". Consistently, we are blind to these rascals, and only in hindsight, do we have some grasp thereof. I am not trying in this C.P.E. to "fix or cure" this disease in us humans. What would the point of that be?
  Hitler was running upon the same speculative slope we do. The brainiacs of the 19th century had promulgated some really bad theory. Chance plus time equals reality, ergo there is no inherent dignity in man the creature. He is a pointless bit of flotsam cast up by a meaningless process. The logic runs (and ran then); "If from ape to man, then obviously, we are not an 'end point'; so then, we must inquire into 'over-man', the next step 'up'''. Chuck Darwin, and Fred Neitzsche came up with this disease, and sweaty Loony Boy simply put political legs on the stinker. They voted for the next step up. German voters were not ignorant, they were "progressive"! And as long as goo emergent, remains our working definition of "progressing", our spectral analysis is always going to come into play.
  At some point along the track (I'm clearly guessing here), even they; the "dour krauts" began to "have their doubts" about A.H.. Sure, cool skull logo you got there Pal, and you gotta love that trains on time gig, and who doesn't look awesome in black? But maybe we went too far somewhere along the line? Can we get back? Can we return to the limited good, the restoration of dignity, and lose the zany excess?
  We are the krauts! Who, over here isn't building consensus, to achieve commonsense solutions? Who around here is not involved in restoring the foundations of our "fathers"? So we are going to "get back to" 18th century gentlemen farmers? Is that it? Who is not awaiting a "grassroots" revival of decency and honesty? I (for one), do not buy it. I'm not even certain you can give the junk away! The basic ideas we carry around in our skulls are that "change comes from the bottom-up", and that "progress is inevitable". Both of these are unprovable axioms. They function much as religious dogma does. It is the beginning point of reference, not the result, and so remains "unquestionable", at least from within the given system.
  We end up hanging around like so many surfers, awaiting the next big wave, just ever so certain that it "must" come. The "folk"s will coalesce, and "rise up" demanding reform! Hogwash. You get all this weird lingo (body talk) about "standing up", and/or "taking a stand". It doesn't actually mean (do not misunderstand) that you, or anybody that you know, ever DOES anything. Heck, we are reform minded, not radicals! We are busy restoring greatness over here... As a general rule of thumb, I would assert that it is a deeply unwholesome fixation to dwell upon "health and fitness". You just get more rules, and next you get the exercise/fitness Nazis, the food Nazis, who first prescribe, then moving on into proscribing, so to then "find" the police powers to take children from their parents due to "health concerns". These people (us really) are the chiefs of sinners in our era, and their main symptom thereof is a glut of "righteousness"; thank you very much Billy-Bob. We must conclude that Adolph Hitler was "trying" (like us!) to be part of the cure, not part of the disease. The hipster word "sick" fits here I think. The sickness is "in" us. It; to a way of thinking, "is" us.
  We end up in a polarity trap. Liberal versus conservative, one choice is evil and "backward", one is the "forward looking". Pick one, you must choose! It's rather a bit like saying which would you rather, being shot or stabbed? Do you favor cancer or heart attack? Both options are bad, both are just varying kinds of poison. Ours; she is a dark world, cloaked is a sadness, and a madness incurable. Everything we do to "fix" things is but more evidence against us. General rules of polarity traps must include "N.O.T.A.", and if left to ourselves there are no good options. You, we, us; are truly damned if we do, and damned (worse!) if we don't. We require a third option within a two option field; and I say "none of the above" is the only sane answer. We must have help from outside the system, Godel was right.
  See? I'm running on the reality ticket over here. If forced to choose the political left or right, I cry out for the return of the King! If it is chicken or egg, I vote for the rooster. See? He has brought a new thing into earth, a thing not tainted with our stupid futility-unto violent destruction. He has brought hope, in that He brought Himself! We keep hoping for a fix, a program, a reform which will knit the world back into a meaningful, glad house. Traitors! Liars! Frauds! us. We keep wanting to push the "answers" onto an institution, a gubmint, and simply sit back to enjoy good results. There are no good results from high treason. Judas "got it".
  The way "out" is "down". Somebody has to do the dirty work. Somebody has to hold the center, with blood, sweat and tears. Some "Body" has GOT to go first, take the risk, enjoy the ridicule, and die alone. Life is kinda like that Bub, how's about we all wake up and smell the coffee already?
  None of us "righteous ones" are up to the task, and (frankly) we are unwilling to even try. Doubly damned, that is us; unwilling and unable, always waiting for "another" to take responsibility, and hunker down to move the load. We await AAA at the roadside, and expect them to change the tire. Even if we were able to choose right, we have not the power to hold the center. We are not able. We are not willing.
  "Change" (is that such a good thing in the first place?), is never effected by committee, all they do is make things worse. One Courageous Man, One Holy Champion, had the wherewithal (the "balls" frankly), to shove the only working solution through. Ignoring "good advice" to save Himself, He passed through the goal. Secretariat was coming into his burst of speed at the finish line! Jesus is Secretariat, writ large. The Trailblazer unto life, unto sanity, and meaning. He alone is able, and has demonstrated His willingness to stoop under the load.
  The short skinny here, is that it is "you who have ears" that He trusts, as agents down in this madhouse; to be the "junior stalwarts" the "small pillars" of order, of decency, of honor we ever so fruitlessly "demand" out those fools in D.C., imagine that! With all our endless chatter about placing trust in Him? He trusts you! How deeply weird, and good! Mother Teresa, didn't ask permission, she just went to those; her children. Martin Luther didn't busy himself "seeking consensus", and Rosa Parks, just sat down! You lead by leading. You die by dying, what ever was the other option anyhow? I have courage, He gives me His, for I have none. Yet I shall stand up again, this time clothed in light, gladness, and a fierce love; so to greet my Captain. Run to win! He the goal, He the pattern, so too the fuel, He the drink for our parched souls; and has been all along.
  It had to be this way. I have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous, and he fails not.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Learning the Gospel By Gut

  Note to the reader; this does not constitute a genuine C.P.E., but rather is a legible version of a "pass-me-out" offered to those attending the U.P.C. adult Sunday school class of 29 Jun 2014. My "rapid fire" verbal style is so overwhelming that some find it difficult to keep up. This is the written version of the content covered that day...

  We used to have a college type minister serving here at our church. He since; has moved on, and is (I think) a minister at some church in Oregon maybe? At any rate, I wish I could remember just how he said it; but it was to the effect, "We are to preach the gospel to all creatures, and so (I believe), we should begin that speaking to the creature called "me".
  Now as far as I know, the creature called "me" learns in several modes, and if I am reading things aright, there is also a bias within the "me", such that; I "favor and prefer" one mode over another. We presbyterians prefer (it seems) to think of ourselves as "mental". Our youth Pastor (of today) by way of demonstration, leans over and "opens" the top of his head with his hands, to imitate the top door of a dumpster. "Just fill 'er up!". This mind/think axis is who we prefer to be, at least in public that is.
  This bias results in a "think" gospel, a content filled, doctrinal and apologetics linked view. It's a brain thing. Now, do not misunderstand, it is not as-if, I've in the past seven minutes; become "opposed" to such, but rather am noting it as our (mine too) bias. But the text, the message we bear, is a "heart" message. It is "crucial" information, not "exhaustive" we discuss here.
  As such, we are at a disadvantage among our Christian brethren it appears to me. In our information glutted world, we (I do at least) think of "learning by heart" as memorization, or simply to learn by rote. The message we bring, is heart medicine, it is "gut", it is the "me of me" which we address the words to. Yet that "me" (the real one I mean), has been badly damaged in the fall.
  For example, this is how I "heard" with my heart (gut) the message as a boy. "Jesus loves you" said they. "So, am I to infer then, that Jesus just has really really bad taste in friends? And tell me, why is it that He is so very busy associating with losers and blockheads in the first place? Furthermore, where (exactly) do you get off Pal; going around insulting Him(!) in such a fashion? With bad hearts in us, we must always "miss" in the hearing, even when the message is given straight...and by the way; is it EVER, in this world, given straight?
  As an aside, just about all of the "culture wars" we see going on in America just now boil down to one thing. The message from on high, the Word of God; is hated, contested, and denied. Start there. From reefer to robots, from homosex to hate groups, the message He sent is being battled, distorted and finally forgotten.
  Now, as believers, we are often satisfied to note this social dystopia of ours, and simply do "advertisements" for the Word. They run, "Hey Pal, read it, study it, memorize it!" See? That group of powerful and lifesaving truths, those sound principles shall bless thy socks off, and encourage you to boot! Does it seem odd to you that for such a central and utterly life-saving "Word" as all-that, that we are (often) so weirdly silent as to what said message is! It would be like running up to your neighbor, all out of breath, and "forgetting" to mention that his house is on fire? Forget then for a moment memorization, lose the advertisements, can you please tell (the) "me" what that all-so-horrendously important message is?
  I seem to specialize in bad examples! Bad example one then (in my estimation), is the "It's a love letter from God" view. Since I just happen to love God, and simultaneously "buy into" the covenant; I would say, "If it is a love letter, it isn't addressed to you (of all people!). No Sir! In that case, it would be a case of "The Father loves the Son, and the Son does all the Father commands". That love (between "Them"), that relationship (over there!), that reality is the format. The covenant is private! True enough, you have been invited in, but face it the thing (in that case) is addressed to your "Head", not to your head!
  Bad example number two, of the basic drift, the big idea involved, really grinds my gears. In this case, we find a kind of "wishful" God, who (ala' Hallmark) sends "His very best"... See? He "wishes" that you and He could "develop relationship" (yuck), and supposing you ever had the good sense to opt  in, by golly; He'd be all for it! The hitch here is that He is so terribly busy respecting your "freewill", and moreover, that this feature of your person is so dreadfully crucial to Him, that the "best" the Guy is capable of; is to make the offer!? This drives me bonkers. I mean here we see it, how could such as "word" as that, ever (under any circumstance); change a heart from traitor to son? How could "best wishes" command resurrection? For it is certainly rez power in which we walk! My basic problem along these lines is that I need help controlling myself! Face it, if He is "afraid to meddle" there, then I have no hope. It's that "complex".
  Frankly speaking then, the "message" we carry with us is an eviction-with-prejudice notice. When the S.W.A.T. team takes out a shooter, when the SEALs whack a mullah gone south, they do so with "prejudice"! He then, the Sheriff from on high is coming. Coming to war, coming to judge, and to burn. Forget about hell for the moment, forget condemnation...He!!, (He Himself) is "the problem" we humans face. Learning the gospel by gut, we endorse, we agree with the apostle..."Flee!". Flee that wrath coming, ever so surely coming.
  So then, how we "get" the gospel is as a solution, the only solution, to our only real problem, this; His dreadful threat. He is coming, at the head of an army of hostile (and holy!) angels. He, their Supreme Commander is armed for war! Do you have a... a "strategy" perchance? Do you have...a hiding place? Because that is what this thing is about. The gospel is the only working answer to this, this the central threat we face as humanity. Learning the gospel by gut, is to wear the blood upon you, and agree! This sacrifice (of His) is the only solution.
  The "twin pillars" of Justice and mercy is the domain of the drama. In brief; somebody has GOT to go!
  If "pure justice" wins the day, then all of His foes are shattered, never to rise again. Every head rolls! We have no survivors, if justice wins, we go.
  On the contrary, if "pure mercy" triumphs, then (I hate to be the one to break it to you) we just replaced the Almighty with Santa Claus, dressed up as the Easter bunny! If mercy wins, He has got to go!
  Covenant, the real covenant between the Father and the Son, is the one "place" wherein He deals with these realities, those realities being that either man dies, or God is "sent away". Only He is actually serious about the problem here, and in the cross and resurrection He "finds" the only solution to the standoff. "Somebody"...has got to go! He...goes. It is our only hope. He "buys the deal".
  Those snippets and whispers, those hints and prefigures we have, we know them so well! Adam and his fig-leaf brainwave, we find that his "cover" is replaced by skins (of the living) placed "upon" him. Noah, and the catastrophe of old, it's judgement coming, as come! Here, we find the one (precisely) "safe place", the one (not two) refuge against that storm. Or consider Jacob, the scoundrel "defrauding" his "older brother" out of the blessing. The "unfairness", the switch at the heart of the gospel, sends "the rightful inheritor away"! Or think of Moses and the blood upon doorposts, as the death angel sweeps the land. Under cover, of innocent blood...we "find" (or rather, are found!) life. What of Rahab and her kin, "found alive" after the invasion and destruction at "Jesus's" hand...
  Far from a hamstrung, well-meaning nice Guy, wishing ever so hard that we'd (for once!) respond (well) to Him, we find the conquering King, laying down terms acceptable (to Him)...for unconditional surrender. We are agreeing (in the gut) that death sweeps all. Our "options" are either to die-with (Him)...or die alone, but everybody dies. We then, "die-with, and-in" Him. Now! Today! Gladly!...Consider the alternative.
  Much more like Dwight Eisenhower putting on civilian clothes and going to Berlin in 1941 to deliver in person, terms acceptable; for unconditional surrender, to the NAZIs, is Jesus of Nazareth, King of Jews. This surely rather than some wimpy well meaning nice Guy. If Ike had done such, it would have been terrible strategy, and a waste of a great man. Think of it. The Supreme Allied Commander of the free armies of heaven, arriving in the center of His enemy's camp, in order to accept surrender! They would have hung Ike with a piano wire from the nearest light-pole. How much less then, was the True five star General "well received"?
  He brings terms acceptable to Him, and to His (!) Commander. As in Noah's day, prior to the deluge, the ark (of life) is built. Likewise, prior to the overthrow (by fire) in Sodom, "messengers from above" Urge Lot and family to flee!
  The gospel by gut is Sampson, but instead of the "sign-Sampson", the real One! That Champion Judge of Israel we find Him chained between the "twin pillars" of Justice and Mercy, in His enemy's house. For Him to pull down that house, man dies and God is "sent away"... He agrees! The demolition, the destruction on that day is total...He too dies.
  And yet, standing up again out of that rubble, is the One Man, and Him un-condemned. Jesus Christ the Righteous is the sole survivor...except.
  Except under Him! Look! Under where He fell, He shielded a small cadre with His body. And look, hidden in  His side, where once "mother of the living" was found, is...His wife? That "small" congregation of the glad, can we get a count?
  Yes Sir! Get outdoors and get me a head count on the stars of heaven will ya? Then sprint down to the beach, have a sit, and number the grains of sand, okey dokey?
  Do you see? The "new age" is upon us! That kingdom wherein things work, and life makes begun. All that blasted noise in our heads about achievement-unto-acceptance is over! No Sir! We have been accepted for "Another's" sake, so then freed-unto-achievement! We've been looking at things upside down, we've been standing on our heads all along.
  That pathway back to Eden is now closed. There is no return to that home. That world is being closed and sealed, but a world "above" is now opened.
  It's a bit like a banquet you do not belong at, but attend under the care of "Another" in  any case. It is a kind of "making room" in the White House for refugees, who turn out to be sons? The Covenant was the ONLY way He could "find" to both honor Himself, and display His goodness.
  We are being sped...slowly; to a home...which we have never known, by He who knew us before we were conceived.
  The gospel by gut is a fire and a light, and a gladness unkillable. we flee wrath, by running to...our Lover!
  He "buys"..."the deal". Our hope now is unkillable, in that...He is!

Note to the reader: This version is more lengthy and "repaired" in junk syntax issues than the paper version. Bear with me, a work in progress!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The powers of the Age to Come

  In the past ten years or more, there has come a big ol' slug of "super-hero" movies. It seems that there is no practical end to these things. It has been (in my opinion) a mistake for the movie industry to "forget" themselves, and further, the super-hero motif has helped them to "remember". So, if that is true, then it is over-all a wholesome development I think.
  It's a bit like those cd's which took over the music universe 20 or 30 years ago. Just about zero "hiss" (remember cassettes?) in the background, no "popping" (like l.p. music) to interfere! Pure signal, nil noise...except that blasted noise of crip-crap! Gangsta-guck, wherein sociopaths maunder on about rape, pillage, and murder does not qualify as music. And worse, they don't even do us the dignity of singing their stupid misery, they cadence-talk it? In all the techno-advance, did somebody over in production land "forget" that music was intended to be, well; musical?
  Similarly, the movie "industry" seemed to have absolutely nailed "technique", with all the dumb c.g.i. effects, and pointless 3-D junk, it seemed for awhile like: "Heck, we don't need no stunt men, we don't even need actors!" Remember when Max Headroom was "inevitable"? We got flawless, seamless reality-like scenes,...except for one teensy factoid. These movie guys kept "forgetting" that they are in the business of telling stories! No amount of faked stunts, or "life-like" action can make up for the gross lack of a story-line! We end up with non-musical music, but professionally recorded, with zero background hiss? We get non-storied drama, yet; as such, seamlessly filmed? So, to sum up a bit, the super-hero genre has been very good for those blockheads in Hollywood, in that it allows them to begin to tell stories again, and if you are in the business of telling stories, it might be nice to have one to tell?
  The western civ idea of things, is to posit a "regular Joe" of whom great things are expected. He, (the Joe) by the rules of "story" must defeat, or must achieve. It is all done against opposition, and with the odds stacked against, he prevails. "Powers" can be just about anything in movie-land, but that is a type of license taken with story per se. I mean, who would want to be able to zip around and burst into flame anyhow? Who would want to shape-shift into an animal, or read minds? So there are officially recognized powers and bogus ones. Bogusosity of powers here is not really that serious of a crime in that they are used in the narratives to "expand" the theme. The theme survives, even if the scriptwriter is unable to detect real powers from fraud.
  The great thing about super-powers is that just about everybody would like one! So, storytellers have an automatic "in" with the audience. If you could secure a "power" what might it be? I am fairly sure, that flying would be fun (at least for awhile), and possessing super strength would be impressive to some, although it might be tough to figure out just what to do with it;...with such strength I mean. You could, we suppose; work at a tire store, and lift up the cars rather than having the employees there, wasting all their time playing with hydraulic lifts? Or take x-ray vision for example, what (precisely) are you searching for, if you are busy seeing-through everything? Seeing through, and looking at, where does said "x-ray-ian" viewing leave off I should like to know...
  The west, it appears to me, is rooted in a scriptural view of story, committed to the "Joe", his struggle, and it is also here, that we find the idea of "powers". No leaping of tall buildings in a single bound, no invisibility, nor mutations for us to see here. Rather, we are looking at worlds colliding, of powers of one age contrasting with those of the coming one.
  If we peer into scripture, we get a deeply weird grasp of such "powers". Tremendous strength, talking to food (such that it "multiplies"), long range sight, being a military genius (with no previous training), telling the future (with no crystal ball), dreaming and it's interpretation, and in the Bible, there are a whole bunch of "powers" we hardly recall. Jesus walks on water, Phillip walks through thin air, people are healed by touch, and/or by a word. Death is reversed, and the weirdest kind of powers are moral and ethical reversals, in mere listeners! Haters become lovers, cowards become lions, crooks become givers. The dead stand up, and the living fall dead.
  The Hero, the real One, is foretold from the borders of Eden. Right after the high treason of the garden, the Messiah is foretold. Through the pictures, through the warnings, examples and types in the O.T., we await the Coming One. Finally, the Guy shows up; and guess what? The One we've been anticipating for millennia has a message! And what, pray tell; is that oh-so-terribly important message? And it is deeply odd, entirely unsuspected. It runs along these lines, and although not quoting here, we get something like; "Go back, rethink everything! Re-prioritize your entire view! "Why?", you ask? Because (I tell you) that golden age you have been awaiting, that era wherein life is good, and things make sense, is come!". And we collectively say, "Huh? Where?". That "world-age", that era of peace and of plenty of which the whole earth has been long awaiting...arrived! Really? How come I don't see it? How can a golden age show up, and nobody notice?
  The Hero isn't busy "convincing" us so much of His message, as demonstrating it! He shouts at the weather? And it "listens"? He walks through walls? Busting up perfectly good funerals, ruining the wheelchair franchise, He is transforming lives, bringing honesty into corrupt hearts, He is feeding the hungry, refreshing the exhausted, and teaching the simple. But weirdest of all, He is making you into His "spittin' image"? The powers of the age to come are ... uhm beginning to "manifest"(?), and in the most unlikely spots! Children of this age have been "claimed" by the Lord of Ages (Himself!), and that coming-age (which is not-yet), is yet begun! The Kingdom is at-hand. Uhm, how could we tell that? The King (Himself!) has come, and so, by definition, His domain follows.
  We think of things backwards. We demand to know first, and so to believe. He says "Nix". The reality is that we believe-unto knowing. We demand a world rebuilt prior to trusting the King of the realm. He says "Nope". We trust the "low-king", and He rebuilds the world from the inside out! Pssst, this is where you come in. The first item on the agenda of rebooting reality was your sad-silly heart. Like a yeast, which grows from in-to-out, the basic premise is a living solution, a life-based, heart answer. We keep requiring Him to "fix" reality first, and then after that is done to our satisfaction, we might stoop to trust His craftsmanship? Maybe? We keep wanting the outside (world) fixed first, and that fresh world moving inward to our broken selves. He says "No dice gringo". He begins with massive heart surgery, and you (shockingly) become His agent of new life into the little world you inhabit. The powers of the age to come, are beginning to manifest! Purely? No. Completely? Not at all. But certain-enough they are; those shockingly fierce-loyal little lions of the age to come, have already begun to growl. Those eyes alight with an unkillable gladness, have lately started glowing somewhat...
  He is making us like them that have gone on ahead of us. So, like them; lose "the second thoughts"already; ditch the "fears and doubts", shed the gutless foot-dragging and finger pointing. Those ahead of us "prove" that we don't require such miserable baggage.  Them that have died, have died to this age, and all it's sad, pointless futility. They have died to bureaucracy, perished to "carefulness", already they are alight, even now they are roaring! He is making us (on earth), like them (in heaven), His "will" indeed, is being done! But mainly; but mostly, but certainty of certainty, He is making Him!
  Eyes like fire, feet as burnished bronze, face like the sun shining in all her strength. He is breaking into our dumb little prisons, Furnishing our lives with clean air, deep clarity, and focused sanity. He, breaking-in; is busy. He "let's us out"!
  The ultimate super-power (in us), may well be, us having the new sense to walk out of our old prisons. Freedom was the gift, life was the means, forgiveness the method.
  He's so good, it's scary!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Sticky Music

   If you examine your brain sometime, you will likely find that some tunes "stick" in there. Perhaps (and clearly, I am guessing here) there might be a sort of wave function in "sticky" music which is just not present in the "regular" variety? Take a listen to "Happy" by Pharrell Williams, this is seriously sticky stuff. At some level of mentation then, we infer that "liking" a set of sounds may not be entirely "voluntary"? How weird is that? Admit it, you have spoken this way, when you find a thing you find to be clever or catchy, what do you say to your friends? "You have just got to love this!". Or consider Gnarls Barkley's song "Crazy". You would (unfortunately) be technically nuts to not find it "catchy". In brief, it is terribly sticky stuff. Take a listen to "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba, if this stuff isn't in the class of song called "adhesive", what is? And it isn't just pop tunes, what about "Victory In Jesus"? If you don't like that song, you are at; or near, brain my humble opinion.
  And yet, somehow; stickiness per se is not entirely predictable. We talk of "popular hits", and in my opinion, we are in that case, discussing this very thing, this feature I dub "sticky". But there are sticky sounds which have never (yet?) achieved a popular embrace. Witness "Tokins" by Steve Miller, or "Country Girl" by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils. Here, we find adhesion sure enough, but the sticky part never "stuck"? Are there brain receptors out there at large which do not consistently fire? What is that? Perhaps it is but a matter of timing, or of personality, and the package it all comes in? Or what about luck, maybe there? Consider for a moment, is it possible to record the utterly stickiest sound ever...and still have nothing for it to stick to? Do we thereby generate an "anti-hit", a brain-bonded unit, which nobody enjoys? I ask this by way of inferring that we discuss something here "larger than mere" human tastes. For there exists in this realm, the "opposite", and here I am not eager to tread.
  When was the last time you heard "I Shot the Sheriff"? And whenever it was, I say it was way way too recently! There ought to be a law against that stinker. Or consider the sheer toxicity of "Love Potion Number 9". The thing is downright scary. It's even worse than "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" from the Wizard of Oz (if that is even possible!)! These songs, like radioactive waste, ought be hidden in deep, hardened chambers, far from sunlight... So, there exists a bad-sticky, an evil-adhesive in the real world. When one of these dark entities, like say "Kung Fu Fighting"; rears it's head, it is (very) wise to defend your brain, so to prevent a hostile takeover by these...these whatever they are! How could a a song be that be that bad, and yet be a popular "hit"? What if it is actually an "anti-hit"? It would be a bit like eating something truly revolting (like liver for instance!) just because (?) it is revolting? Some seriously degraded thinking we have here, at the very minimum, don't you agree?
  Do you see where this is leading us? "Taste" is not the key! It cannot be. Everybody around us is saying here, that "It's all a matter of taste". But how could "desire" which functions as an attractant, be simultaneously a repellant? Taste "pulls", it doesn't "push". Or to rephrase, beauty has an "allure". If said beauty begins to drive off and repel, to that very degree then, it ceases to be "beautiful" and becomes something say I. Such stuff would yield; "The reason I am so attracted to you is that I cannot stand being in your presence?", what sort of reasonings are these? This feature then, of that which pushes, as what pulls, cannot (in my estimation) be primarily, or purely perhaps a "subjective" thing. No, rather; we were design built for it! Sticky music is "attaching to pre-built receptors", as we "recognize" it! We have an on-board "stickiness estimator", and so being able to (correctly!) identify "sticky". Tens of thousands of persons identify the thing (correctly), and you get a "hit". How far from "adhesive" is "beauty"? Beauty then, is not (primarily) in the eye of the beholder... Rather, beholding then, is itself (as an action); "helping us remember" what we considered to be "beautiful", prior to the looking? I mean, we are "consulting a standard". Where did said standard come from? We did not devise the thing, we refer to it, infer from it, and agree upon it; but did never devise it! This is shocking. This can only mean that you came into the world, pre-wired to admire and "be drawn to"..."something"? More realistically, to "Some One"...
  Perhaps all this might be a bit like an amnesiac, hearing his own Mom call him by name, and him feeling uncomfortably aware of "something familiar" in it all? "I ought to know that name, why does it sound in my ear as it does? That tone of voice, from that person (whoever she is), seems like something I ought know". How weird that this "cognition" goes by-in-large, both used and ignored in us. You say "X" is do you know? How (ever?) could you?
  So then the doorway into the real, called "beauty" is ordinarily closed to us, in that we are the very ones who discount it! I am "drawn" by it, and yet, I find myself repelling, and so, "it couldn't amount to anything much"... That door; as a kind of access point, is now closed to us. But the problem is that the door of truth is also swinging shut! In our time, and in our world, this pathway, this "highway of holiness", this "road of the real", truth I mean; has been (historically) the open route. What if it too closes? What if your "truth" and mine never agree, and also, we both continue to claim that our version is "true"? In that case, truth itself becomes it's "unself", in that it "forgets to be true"! Good becomes evil, and hope dies on that day.
  "Flirtin' With Disaster" by Molly Hatchet, cannot both be a great rock'n roll tune...and not one, at the same time. Either I am wrong, in saying that it is, or you are, in saying it ain't. Possibly, we are both in error, but it is impossible (it cannot be), that we are both right! So then, where truth and beauty meet has been hijacked (for political purposes), by beauty, which is itself a damned ugly thing for it to do! For a woman to begin a discourse with "I am as good as you", may or may not be true, but it certainly ain't attractive! To attempt to make truth (like beauty) a matter of "personal taste", is both un-true and butt-ugly.
  The little factoid that Flirtin' is very likely the greatest rock tune of recent history, and that it is there-by an attractant, not a repellant, says that we are being directed here by heart, and not head. Our brain demands content, our heart decrees a cry for "home". Inside the swamp of logic, debate, and a mere "bare" truth, there remains no hope. The entire discussion of the "modern" is to, as an "adult", embrace hopelessness. Put down the childish desires for a kingdom and a name, and light... And I, for one; say "bullshit"! Hope lives. It lives in us, in that; He-alive again lives, in fact; and in truth. Hope is something crashing into our world from "above and outside". We do not build it, but we "recall" it. It is not, and cannot be a matter of "tastes" as to whether He busted out of the tomb. If you don't like it, feel free to hallucinate as you please, but neither you, nor me, nor the devil of hell cannot get Him back in there! If you do not buy the Covenant, that is your delusion, let me know how that craziness works for ya, but neither you nor I, nor any congregation of the faithless, can ever "hope" un-do it! There is no true "anti-hit".
  And that is a beautiful thing! It doesn't matter if you like it, or not, there is zero you can do to halt it. Our only real "choice" is whether to join in the dance or get crushed by those who do. That age to come, that world of beauty, that golden era, that world where things make sense, the one we have all been waiting for; is come! It arrived, that "Kingdom"...(with her King), done showed up!
  There is no "going-back", where are you going to go "back" to? The reason that you believe what you believe, is that you believe it to be "true". It is base treason, and fantastic idiocy to imagine that it is you-too who deem the true to be "itself". No Sir! At the best, and under "ideal circumstances" (which in fact, never occur), you "recognize", you "remember" the true. "It rings true" something within you, in that the "standard" is met. Your heart says "yes", when the key opens the lock. Your mind is forced to admit that the key and lock "matching", cannot be "chance or taste". The sucker was built for it! Deal with it.
  From prior to when things were, you who was yet to be, were loved by Him Who Is. He knew you, calling unto a future and a life we cannot yet imagine, and when we see it, we will say "It is as I hoped!". Called "back" to the One, we never met, and yet despised, into a time which is to come, by a Voice we hope to hear! It is not as-if logic were a "bad thing". Rather, that she too awaits her Maker!
  He is on the way, and with these eyes of flesh, I shall behold my Maker. So said Job, so say I.