Tag Archive: Teaching


Good Point, Melvyn Bragg

Why DID Jesus tell the disciples to take a sword and say ‘it is enough’ when they said they had two?  What did they need them for?  We aren’t told they used them.  I heard that and thought my whole anti-war argument was demolished.  I felt really embarrassed and wrong.  So did Jesus’ teaching contradict itself?  Did Jesus require obedience, or did he teach by tests and by allowing people to discover themselves to themselves?  He said ‘if you love me, keep my commandments’, so what commandments are we to keep? ‘Render to no man evil for evil but overcome evil with good’, or ‘take a sword’?

On Thursday morning I felt I had a moment of painful but completely cohesive understanding.  The writer of Hebrews (who I thought of as Paul, even though I know many if not most scholars reject that, but I had forgotten, so most of what I was thinking falls in regard to Paul) says in Hebrews 6:4-6 that it is impossible for someone who has tasted of the heavenly gift, if he falls away, to be renewed to repentance, as he has put the Lord to an open shame.  On Thursday morning I was thinking that it would be better if that had never been said or written.  But I was thinking of it out of context.  Its context was the return of Hebrew Christians to the old sacrificial system.

But I was thinking that verses like that as they are often understood and feared are the reason  for so much bandstanding when it comes to disagreements between Christians and insisting that we, really, love God.  I think so.  I think it is verses like these, coupled with some of the more heavily directive and dogmatic teaching that can be heard in church, that make us afraid to embrace ourselves and our thoughts and experiences and trust God that, if we face and handle and accept who we are, as and when in every aspect, that God will bring us through.  Rather than saying, ‘no, no, no, I love God’ without even allowing the thing we fear in ourselves to fully present itself.  We try to push it away rather than let it present itself fully to our perception to be ‘naturally’ rejected by us as Christians, recognised after a good long look, after exposing our inner eyes and ears, and just expelled by the whole person as foreign, rather than battening down the hatches and nipping even the thought and perception in the bud before it can develop to be understood and recognised.  If you don’t understand what you are rejecting, how can you REALLY reject it?  Is that why we so often struggle over and over with the same thing, because we won’t let it manifest in the first place to our recognition so it keeps coming back, because we are not rejecting it in the first place but closing our eyes in stubborn fear?

And the bitter arguments and the fear of each other, the denunciations, overtly or covertly.  It seems to me they are born of a fundamental fear, rather than a trust in the love and faithfulness and goodness of God.

For years I stopped telling God I loved Him.  I believed it was an assertion of something which was barely true.  Sometimes I would tell Him I obviously DIDN’T love Him, or I couldn’t do or be as I was.  I affirmed HIS love for ME and refused to lie, as I saw it, by saying I loved HIM.  Consequently I think pleading and asserting our own love for God in a discussion, conversation, disagreement or confrontation, or even in a public act of individual worship, can be an act of abuse and manipulation and a hindrance to humility and openness.  I think focussing on our love rather than His is a hindrance to deep and lasting change, more often than not.  Change is about more than performance.  It has to be initiated from outside of ourselves and should be something we submit to, not something we try to produce as an angst-ridden proof.  That is what I think.  Lasting change is a response to a truth which we know won’t move or change.  The truth puts pressure on us and we yield.  We don’t need to invoke God.  He is in the process and reveals Himself in the process.  In the process itself He draws us into relationship, with Him and with others.

I’m thinking a lot at the moment and having conflicting thoughts, but at the moment I would say I know this much is true, and that is where I will stop in this post.

Advertisements

Touch

People are touch starved.  I am.

In schools teachers are being given more disciplinary powers.  I wonder if they are also going to have restored to them the right to casual, affirming touch and hugging?

It isn’t only the teacher’s right, it’s the child’s right as well, to touch and be touched positively.

Relationships with significant others where hugging and affirming touch are restricted are subhuman.  Everyone needs it, especially with significant others.  It is normal and natural.  Withholding it is not.

I believe it would resolve many discipline problems, because freedom to love and be loved makes people more secure.

As a society, we go immediately to coercive touch because we dare not or will not practise positive touch.

We are drunk and giddy on goodness knows what and some of us have been beaten senseless by the refusal to love in the most obviously normal and natural ways.

Question Time 28/10/10, BBC1

This is the link to the recording on BBC iPlayer.  It should be available until about 11.30 tonight, but I’m not sure, as the availability information on the site is inaccurate.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00vn1d0/Question_Time_28_10_2010/

Please download it and you will have it for another 30 days, thereabouts.  Or record it, using whatever device you have.  I use Replay Media Catcher from Applian.com.  It doesn’t always catch immediately, when it does you will know because it will have ‘mp4’ in the streaming information.  Until then it isn’t capturing.  I don’t know if it is the device or my computer.  You need to refresh the page to start again.

The reason I am drawing your attention to this is that it features the historian I wrote about in my first post in May, Simon Schama.  He is now the advisor to the government on the teaching of history.  Given that he, along with his media colleagues, have been involved in a political cover up, I personally find this concerning.

I will edit this later with the original audio I managed to capture from that programme 6 months ago, if at that point my blog still exists.  I am anxious to get this posted now though, so that those of you following my blog, if you are reading before you go out to work or whatever (I’m sure there must STILL be some people who approach the day that way), you might be able to get this copied or downloaded or at least have all day to be ready to do so.  I think it is important.  I have been aware of enough involvement around myself, or involving myself, at least, to believe this is significant for reasons this particular blog has not made you aware of, though I still have the copies from my Premier blog which was closed down.

Please take this seriously and get the recording.  I will add more later.  If you are outside of the UK you will need to acquire a UK computer number, it’s called unlocking your VPN.  It is completely legal, as is everything else I have suggested in this post, according to the people who sell it.  Enter the terms in a search engine and find what suits you.  There are some which specify that they unlock iPlayer, among other things.  I suggest you make sure you know this before you purchase.  The company I use has a download cap of 2gb per day, though you don’t physically lose the ability to download at that point.  You may wish to find another.

I like what I have seen of Simon, though I did find myself outraged by the deliberate and studied childlike flutter of his eyelashes as he was introduced.  Everyone on TV does that, though.  In this programme he is constantly working at developing and maintaining a persona, which appears awfully scatty and expansive.  He is referring to and replicating the style (or lack thereof) ofmy blog, and assigning a completely false personality and motivation to the way I communicate, and saying I am not a credible witness, because I am morally disgusting and not a reliable source of information either.   I assume he is doing it to protect himself, but I don’t know, obviously, not having spoken to him.  But when I email, people don’t respond.  So here I am feeling disgusting and blogging instead.  David Dimbleby keeps referring to him as an adviser to the government, and after one of the later references he makes, Simon responds with a Shakespearean gesture which immediately put me in mind of the speech from Julius Caesar, ‘I come not to praise Caesar, but to bury him’.  It would be awfully patronising of me to think of someone as being sweet and vulnerable just because they are small in physical stature.  I’m only 5’1″ myself.  But my impression 6 months ago was that Simon only let slip by accident something they were all aware of and were involved in, at least on the Newsnight programme, and they were all angry with him and embarrassed, and are they testing me and my reaction, or are they really out to make Simon the sacrificial lamb, or scapegoat?  They ALL KNEW this.  He was just unguarded in mentioning that he knew the day that Gordon Brown was going to resign.  But their reaction said very clearly that they all knew.  The two days’ lead up to the resignation was nothing more than theatre, whatever the motive for that.  But the media already knew.  I’m repeating it to try and get my own mind to deal with it and stop the flashes of light which say ‘told you, the media is a propaganda organ, nothing more nor less’.

Unless someone wipes it from my computer, I have my own permanent copy of the programme which I will send to anyone who asks for it.  WordPress has an independent internal messaging system independent of the comments facility and you can contact me that way.  I think you need your own account, but I’m not sure.  Signing is very simple, though, it only needs your email address, and you might not even need to register a blog, but if you do, you can keep all of it, or any parts you want, in private mode.  So don’t let that put you off.

Have a nice day!  I mean it, that’s a sincere wish.

WAGblog: Dum Spiro Spero

"While I breathe, I hope"

Emerging From The Dark Night

Working through the Dark Night of the Soul to emerge as me.

The Elephant in the Room

Writing about my experiences with: depression, anxiety, OCD and Aspergers

The Sir Letters

A Tale of Love

The Seeker's Dungeon

Troubling the Surf with the Ocean

Seroquel Nation

Onward and upward...

We are all in this together

it's gonna be okay.

my last nerve

psychology | psychiatry | neuroscience | n stuff

A Philosopher's Blog

A Philosopher's View of the World...assuming it exists.