Bob Dylan’s “Land of permanent bliss” – The irony of human desire and false utopias

Sweetheart

There’s only one step down from here, baby
It’s called the land of permanent bliss
What’s a sweetheart like you doin’ in a dump like this? Continue reading

“Aspirations for Leviathan” – Thomas Hobbes, Gentle Giant, and Jacques Ellul

hobbes

I admit that this is an odd post  – consisting mainly of three excerpts from the minds of men: 1) an excerpt from “Leviathan” by Thomas Hobbes that expresses the nature of his idea of a commonwealth of men materialized in a social contract under a supreme ruler; 2) a song called “Aspirations” by the early 70’s English progressive rock band Gentle Giant that poignantly expresses the desires for peace that compel men to conceive of, and covenant for, such societal schemes; 3) An excerpt from “The Betrayal of the West” by Jacques Ellul that effectively demonstrates that the pattern of aspiration/degradation has plagued every social construct and aspiration of mankind in the West. Lest we drown in despair, I conclude the post with some thoughts from elsewhere… Continue reading

A lesson from Heinrich Heine – How to prophesy the future by knowing the present

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Heinrich Heine, 1831

For Christmas 2011, I received a kindle from my wife. After I had downloaded more free public domain works than I will ever be able to read in my lifetime, I actually read “On the History of Religion and Philosophy of Germany” by Heinrich Heine. It proved to be a fascinating work from beginning to end. One of the most interesting parts was toward the end when he began to write as though he knew without a doubt, that some dark and foreboding world shattering event would transpire in Germany, in the future. Continue reading

“Roll Away Your Stone” by Mumford & Sons – An Interpretation: Narrative of a conversion

Knowing the potential perils of song interpretation, I nevertheless could not resist this song by Mumford & Sons that seems to be quite unique in popular culture in regard to its subject. I may be taking the song too literally, but I find this song to be a narrative of a spiritual conversion. Continue reading

“What Good Am I?” – Bob Dylan and the Book of James

Oh Mercy

Another great song from Dylan’s 1989 masterpiece, “Oh Mercy.” Below is a link to hear the song, the lyrics, and some words that should open a window on Dylan’s source of inspiration for this song. Continue reading

Blaise Pascal’s “Night of Fire”

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MEMORIAL

In the Year of Grace 1654,

Monday, the 23rd of November

Feast of St. Clement, Pope and Martyr,

and others in the Martyrology.

Vigil of St. Chrysogonus, Martyr, and others.

From about half past ten in the evening

until about half past twelve,

FIRE Continue reading

Take Me With You When You Go by Jack White – an interpretation

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Take Me With You When You Go

Take me with you when you go, girl.
Take me anywhere you go.
I’ve got nothing keeping me here.
Take me with you when you go. Continue reading

Theological Aesthetics – Video – Ben Quash – Not for “Artists Only”

supernova

“Whatever it be that keeps the finer faculties of the mind awake, wonder alive. and the interest above mere eating and drinking, money-making and money-saving; whatever it be that gives gladness, or sorrow, or hope – this, be it violin, pencil, pen…is simply a divine gift of holy influence for the salvation of that being to whom it comes, for the lifting of him out of the mire and up on the rock. For it keeps a way open for the entrance of deeper, holier, grander influences, emanating from the same riches of the Godhead. And though many have genius that have no grace, they will only be so much the worse, so much nearer to the brute, if you take from them (their art).” George MacDonald, 1824-1905, quoted in “State of the Arts, From Bezalel to Mapplethorpe” by Gene Edward Veith, Jr., p. 232. Continue reading