One myth of our times is that official history is – or even can be – objective and true. Inconvenient facts are routinely suppressed, trivialized or ignored in official histories. So much of what passes for “history” is propaganda, even crude propaganda. The late Dr. Harry Elmer Barnes told his students and readers of the need for bringing history into accord with the facts. That is the purpose of true historical revisionism: to make historiography objective, factual and true. We must critically examine what currently is claimed as history to verify its veracity or lack thereof.
In this essay, we offer a number of links to well researched and thought provoking articles on some hot button historical issues. The reader can choose what to read and what not to read. As well, each individual will have to decide for him or herself what is the truth. A discussion about whether humans can recognize truth is a matter for the philosopher (and perhaps for the behavioral social scientist) and not the historian. We merely present the links and encourage the reader to read them.
Since people are writing and talking about gender roles in marriage, we’ll offer our thoughts on the subject.
We see this discussion as a necessary corrective to the distortions in women’s and men’s thinking caused by the feminism of the past 50 years.
Marriage requires giving, the mutual giving of one’s self to succeed and endure. Marriage is not a winner take all, one way street for either spouse. Keep that in mind.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.com.
These flowers swayed or waved to us in the breeze as we walked along a city street.
About the only thing one can say about the official story of the events of September 11, 2001 with any degree of certainty, is that it cannot be the whole truth. There are too many problems with the official story for it to be the whole truth. No, this is not a post to promote so-called “conspiracy theories”. Rather, this is a short essay that questions why the US government will not tell its citizens the whole truth. Could it be that the US government and its various intelligence services are so inept that these do not know and cannot ascertain the facts in the case? Alternatively, could it be that the US government and its intelligence complex cannot allow the whole truth and all the inconvenient facts to come out, to be made known to the public? Or, is a third possibility a combination of ineptitude coupled with the need for secrecy? Are there dark forces behind the scenes at work here?
Perhaps zen flashes when the dichotomy, the barrier or boundary between the observed and the observer collapses, when the experiencer and the experience are one. Subject and object lose meaning for a brief time. For an instant, the sense of self or “I” is forgotten or lost or transcended. One is not separate from the experience, but becomes part of the experience. But, alas, words fail here as they must. Words can at best only hint at the experience.
While taking these pictures yesterday, I forgot myself for a few timeless moments.
We humans often reach back into our memories for special moments that made us feel fully alive or happy or loved, or were very exciting and thrilling, or all of these. Similarly, we “look forward” with eager anticipation to planned events or experiences that are still in the future. Some of the appeal or specialness of these past and future moments for us lies in the novelty associated with the experiences we had or will have. But, consider that each new moment is special even when we are immersed in mundane every day activities.
Consciousness itself is a wonder and a mystery. Life is also wondrous and mysterious even when it is terrible and not joyful. Each moment of life and consciousness can be savored in its immediacy if we focus the mind on the present moment. By consciously connecting with the present, by being fully present in the present moment, we are more fully alive, and to a certain degree more free. The zen practitioners work to train the mind such that it becomes more natural (and easier) for them to be fully present in the present moment. A person can be less of a witness and more a part of the present experience. Perhaps the satori they seek is direct, interpretation free experience – the state of “no-mind”? (Or, for those who read Carlos Castaneda, the state achieved when one successfully turns off the internal mental dialogue within one’s head, when rational thought is suspended.)
Alternatively, the above title could be something like: Can a person be spiritual and still be sensual within his/her marriage?
Questions that come to mind are: Does attaining a spiritual level of consciousness require an ascetic renunciation of one’s sexuality? Are spirituality and sensuality (within one’s marriage) mutually exclusive conditions or experiences? Can the individual seeking, or aspiring to make progress in spirituality enjoy a certain degree of sense experience and gratification in his or her life? Or, put in other words, is the moral (not illicit) enjoyment of the physical part of one’s being, enjoyment derived from or through the senses, an impediment to making spiritual progress?
Asceticism and renunciation are found in various forms in most religions. In extreme forms, mortification of the flesh is seen as an aid to achieving a spiritual level of consciousness. Lifelong celibacy is a form of asceticism.
Our featured image is of a work of sculpture that depicts a being sitting in a posture of meditation (photo taken in India in February, 2017 by our blog’s photographer). We are not sure if the being is one of the incarnations of Vishnu, or is Shiva.
Alternatively, we could phrase the question: Are differences in religion more destructive of social harmony than racial differences?
Consider two social divides along important fault lines. The first social divide is that of people of the same race (or ethnicity) who are of different religions. Specific examples include but are not limited to the people of Northern Ireland (Catholic and Protestant), the people of Nigeria (Christians and Muslims), the people of northern India (Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs), in Egypt (Muslims and Coptic Christians), and the Shia versus Sunni divide in Iraq. The second social divide is that of people of different races (or ethnicities) who hold to the same religion. Specific examples that come to mind are the multiracial, multiethnic congregations found within both Protestant and Catholic churches in the US, the Muslims in Sudan (Berber and Negro), the Christians of South Africa (black Africans and the white Afrikaners of European ancestry).
True freedom does not come cheap. It is not licentiousness as so many people today believe freedom is. True freedom or liberty requires and is inseparable from personal responsibility.
There are threats to individual liberty in society. That is why eternal or ongoing, continuous vigilance is needed to protect and sustain personal liberty in society. The chief threat to liberty through history has been government. One recalls the adage by Thomas Jefferson to the effect that “When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” Alas, it has always been so in human society. Free people need to seek a healthy balance and strive to avoid harmful extremes. The absence of government would be anarchy and chaos. (The anarchists’ dream is a destructive nightmare that must be rejected.) Government’s drive for power and control left unchecked produces totalitarian states where the citizens are not free, and the government is capricious, despotic and tyrannical (even when the state claims it is acting on behalf “of the people”).
Taken in early February, 2017, these are photographs of the Taj Mahal in Agra (northern India). This mausoleum is as readily recognizable and as well known as the (much older) Pyramids of Egypt.
Students of military history try to glean lessons from past wars and the major campaigns and battles within those wars. With all the hoopla over the new movie, Dunkirk, we thought we would share our thoughts from a military history perspective on Germany’s efforts in the Second World War.
These are some of the relevant books we have read that are on our bookshelves (placed on the carpet for purposes of these images). German generals featured here: Franz Halder, Erich von Manstien, and Heinz Guderian (the “father” of Blitzkrieg).
Life goes on. As humans fail to solve the thorny problems they themselves have created in this age of discord (aka Kali-Yuga), other life forms continue the struggle which is life. And, some flourish despite man.
Here on the city streets (which if you recall the words from a song by Joe Walsh, “don’t have much pity”), we see flowers in full bloom on a July evening in the northern hemisphere summer.
Quantity is a poor substitute for quality. Numerous superficial and shallow encounters with different sexual partners do not satisfy a person’s deeper needs.
What can be said of today’s “hook-up culture” where individuals fall into bed with each other not even knowing the other person?
It is not necessarily sex per se that those promiscuous individuals are seeking. It is likely the thrill, the rush of sexual novelty that motivates their behavior.
Taking a step back, one may rightly wonder what are people truly hungering for?
Today, we offer some constructive criticism to those self identifying as Christians.
G K Chesterton (died 1936) lamented that “Christianity had been found difficult and was left untried.”
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900), 130 years ago, claimed that Christians lived their lives no differently than pagans.
There is a lesson here.
A terribly disturbing yet thought provoking comment on a Christian marriage blog is the impetus for this post. Before providing the full quote of the comment (below), let us pose the relevant questions.
Is a sexual incompatibility of the spouses reasonable grounds for seeking a divorce? Can married couples achieve a more harmonious and mutually fulfilling and satisfying sexual life over time through effort and sacrifice? How important is good sex to the strength and success of the marriage? Why are the Christian churches largely silent on this challenge present in many marriages today? What about the harm, the very great harm, done to children who suffer through a dissolution of their parents’ marriage? A final question could be: Why do women play the role of refuser or gatekeeper when it comes to being sexually available for their husband?
Our feature image was captured last May (2016) while on holiday in Arches National Park, Utah.
Why can there be subjects of historical inquiry that are off limits?
It is currently illegal in many European nations to question the official or generally accepted account of the holocaust of European Jewry during the Second World War. This is no distortion nor exaggeration. European readers are well aware of these restrictions.
Our purpose here is not to dissect the official holocaust story, but rather to question the possible reasons or motivations for restricting objective and open inquiry into the official history of the holocaust, and stifling open discussions of the results of such inquiries that are made.
what circumcision does not do
Allegedly a panacea, or at least an effective preventive measure, for everything from masturbation caused epilepsy * to cervical cancer to now the spread of AIDS (HIV), circumcision has nothing to do with any of these things as the foreskin’s presence or absence does not affect cervical cancer rates **, has nothing to do with masturbation habits or practices, and does not play a significant role in transmission of HIV (we have looked over some of the “studies” purportedly showing circumcision as a factor in reducing transmission of HIV and these studies have some serious limitations and flaws). Amputation of the foreskin (and that is what circumcision in the US is) is not medically necessary nor justified.
“There is no God.” – is a statement of faith, not of science. Really, the statement is an assertion.
People who self identify as atheists often think that science supports their chosen position or is “on their side”. True, many in the scientific community are atheists and others say they are agnostic. And, that is the danger. Those people of science have much prestige and command much respect in today’s world. Yet, science has its limitations. (Gasp) Yes, it really does have limitations albeit you rarely hear such talk from those in science.
This post is in answer to the many comments on Christian marriage blogs by wives who lament, justify and rationalize their unwillingness to give oral sex to their husband.
These are some pics from our leisurely walk in the park this past Saturday. The walking was good exercise and it was mentally relaxing, too.
These are images of homes along Lincoln Way in the Sunset District in San Francisco that caught our fancy while walking home from the park.