Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ignes Fatui Wisely Dispelled

When one realizes a piece of furniture in his mental home is ugly, uncomfortable, and tormenting it is time to remove it, not simply relegate it to the attic or give it a cursory, faute de mieux reupholstering. "If disease moves, mind, not matter, moves it; therefore be sure that you move it off." (S&H 419: 14-15) Not even a grin without the cat should be allowed to remain.

Trying to cope foolishly with some mesmeric claim rather than peremptorily destroying or unlearning it is to play Br'er Rabbit to a mortal mind tar baby. Pope's observation on vice in his "Essay on Man" can just about as easily apply to any false belief or attraction.
Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.

Such an embrace may sell itself as a kind of moral squeeze play, but a bunt is never going to get the ball out of the park, and the truth that just might get across home plate if the play works won't compensate for the offending error's remaining ensconced. There is also the possibility of a discouraging double play if the bunt is whiffed or popped up. One may know intellectually that prayer isn't simply a General McClellan-like marshalling of spiritual ideas, but really "getting it" is the ineluctable understanding and demonstration of Truth and learning that what is seen as vale was never in fact ave.

Note: If the above baseball metaphor leaves too many runners stranded on base (about five too many by my count), I hope at least the gist of the effort is clear. It's too late for another at-bat.

20 comments:

Thanks! - Oregon said...

Another fine blog post, Christian. Alway so fresh, put in a way I haven't seen CS's do it before.

P. F. said...

Don't know what your first 2 words mean, but some other learned individual who frequents this site can no doubt inform me. Will check back. In the meantime, a good essay, well worth my stopping by to see what you've been up to lately.

Anonymous said...

Very well put together, Christian!

L. R. said...

Quite helpful to me, blogger. Got some solid metaphysics here. Appreciate what you are doing.

Near Boston said...

With all the junk there is out here in cyberspace, it's good to see someone blogging at the level you are, on our favorite topic--divine Science!

CS (UK) said...

I rather imagine your essays are not to everyone's liking, especially the literary touches you add quite often, but speaking for myself I find them most interesting. And I learn something now and then.

It's me again said...

P. S.
Meant to say, I like that bit you put in from Pope.

Appreciate you! said...

Thanks, Christian, for a creative, well-written blog. Always a pleasure to stop by.

LowlyWise said...

Today, Christian, you quoted one of my favorite Alexander Pope passages. The three-fold process there is important, and it helps to pinpoint the workings of the "mechanism" of mortal mind: "…first endure, then pity, then embrace." It starts with "enduring" evil and error: neglecting to deny error, reverse it, affirm truth. This not done, it is too easy to accept the error as the regular state of things, and finally hug it to ourselves even if it makes us strike out. Just to mix in a little more baseball metaphor!

Phoenix, AZ said...

Love the way you put your thoughts into words, Christian. Writing may come easily for you, it would appear to me that it does. But whether easy or labored, keep sharing your inspiration with the Field. We need it.

Thanks (Midwest) said...

Aren't we grateful for every useful invention (as our dear Leader was). Just think of all the places this blog of yours is going--and blessing.

Anonymous said...

You do make a person ponder things. One or two sentences aren't very clear to me,so I shall have to keep thinking about what you intended in this blog post.

Cambridge said...

Good job, Christian. Enjoyed reading your latest!

Regular reader said...

"Ignes Fatui" -- foolish light, Will-o-the-Wisp, something misleading. This is as far as I got.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't "ignes" be "ignis", in the nominative case, which I think, (without looking it up to confirm) has the "i". "Fire of fools," literally. "Fool*" is a very instructive Concord search, or so I found when April Fools Day fell on a Wednesday in 2009. As First Reader I did a fun lesson which I titled "Answer a Fool, Answer Not a Fool."

Stephen said...

So, Christian, what precisely were you trying to convey in your title?
Tell us when next you visit your comments.

Anonymous said...

There is no key to happiness, only a ladder..................................................................

T. W. (CA) said...

Enjoy your learned website, and often pick up a new word or two. Solid metaphysics and educational, as well.
Thanks Christian -

Boston suburb said...

Note to the foreign language (I write this from the USA) commenters: tell the rest of us which Asian language you are writing in, why not?

Anonymous said...

人生有些波折,才能有些成長,所以不論順逆,凡是成長、成功的助緣,都應該心存感激。..................................................