The Magical Thinker

One aspect of modern society is the emergence and the widespread occurrence of the magical thinker. The magical thinker is one who does not think carefully and does not examine deeply what he or she experiences. He or she usually suffers from a techno-euphoia syndrome where the latest tech fixes all problems, always. The disappointment felt by the magical thinkers is always fixed by the next tech product, of course. The magical thinker believes in and is seduced by the easy fix, the magic potion, the pied piper.

Magical thinkers are a bane to the rest of existence. They proclaim the difficult things to be easy and so they delude others like them and the rresulting happy hordes run off cliffs. Worse, they make the rest of life difficult because then other magical thinkers are frustrated when we cannot multiply bread and fishes like Jesus. Sorry, but simple vector graphics are not the same as bitmap photos, and the two cannot be treated the same way. No, Obama’s birth cert was never credible because of PDF layers — sorry!

It is frustrating because people invent things to solve a limited number of problems, and this lurching forward into the future is both healthy and good. This is not to discount the revolutions caused by discovery or genius, not at all. However, one is not the other, and even a revolution in say, plastics, does not make other areas of life suddenly better. Even a revolution in plastics has limited application, because some items are still better made with metals.

Magical thinkers don’t care about any of that, because they aren’t really interested in creating things, building things, or doing things. They flit about like hummingbirds, seeking the next big thing, the next great high, the easy fix, the magic potion. Such are not to be found in this world or any other, and that is not doom. That is reality, and it is reality to appreciate things for what they are, for the benefits that they provide, and not to idolize them or to be disappointed when they do not save your soul.

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Healthcare is Complicated

When people speak of the difficulties of dealing with doctors, handling arrangements, taking medicine, and paying for it all, I get it. Health care is complicated, because you’re dealing with individuals and everything that has happened to them. It never was cake, and it’s not necessarily easier now.

Yet into this sea of complexity, come the simpleminded, proclaiming that all we need is for the great desk-daddy, government, to fix our problems. What they do not mention is all the failed experiments where desk-daddy murders people to cover up the costs (e.g. the Liverpool pathway). We’ll get it right this time, they say to any questions. And while some may still be seduced by simplistic answers to this difficult question, ask yourself: are you willing to suffer? Are you willing to personally experience all the other side effects of a government-run system? When the rubber finally reaches the road, people get skittish, and understandably so. If you’ve found a competent doctor, a system that works for you, if you’ve built up trust, then why would you want to change anything?

Another point — for all the difficulties that doctors experience, for all the expenses they’ve incurred by going to school and recertification, to say that they must work for free is literally insane. Why not argue that people who design bridges work for free? Both professions impact the health of people. For that matter, why not demand that all drink manufacturer CEOs work for free, or that anyone in charge of a business with income exceeding $1 million work for free? Why not just let the government run the whole economy? What you hear argued for in healthcare is the same logic applied to other sectors as well, with the whole goal to make things simple so that the simple-minded can grasp it and run it. Freedom is a complexity which they cannot abide.

Then again, I’ve always wondered about the intentions of people who want to run other people’s lives, especially when their lives would make the Kardashians blush. Fix your own mess. Leave me alone. I can handle my own health care, thank you very much. Difficulty does not dissuade me, because this difficulty — of caring for yourself and for those you love — is a part of life, inseparable. In fact, learning to care for yourself is a part of growing up. I do not wish to be a baby forever. Keep your cribs and your cradles. I will be walking.

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The Lies of Spiritualism

The supernatural has always fascinated me. I have experienced evil. I have family members who have various gifts. I have experienced and do experience the Holy Spirit. One thing that unites all of this is a relentless honesty. Because I am saved, I do not lie. However, others without the moral code of the Christian feel no such scruples about truth. They claim great powers, strange visions, gifts, and they have no problem at all shading or lying outright. In this camp fall people such as the adherents of spiritualism (false prophets I leave for another day).

This is at once sad and predictable. It is sad because there are gifts that are beyond the ordinary. It is predictable because those without the truth not only lie about what they experience but they lie about the nature of reality itself. If you look up the history of ectoplasm for instance, you will find some interesting things.

One, the spirit mediums were so lacking in confidence about their own gifts that they required an arena where faking and deception were easy (dark rooms). Two, they didn’t police their own. The spirit medium community, such as it was, didn’t care anything about the truth. They just let people do anything and claim anything. This made them extremely susceptible to expose`s, such as those of Harry Houdini.

Then you have the legions of the gullible, who without any fact-checking at all, peddle these deceptions as being the whole truth, places like Angels and Demons, as just one example. The site owners continue the deception because they don’t want to interface with reality, and so they attract others who don’t wish to, either. This does a disservice to everyone, because it creates misinformed hordes who promulgate things they have never examined themselves. Then still others popularize this and so lies become weaponized and everyone walks about thinking, “I need to prepare for the zombie apocalypse.” Really, people?

Three, because there was no truth, just a collection of people trying to get rich by defrauding others, spiritualism as a movement collapsed when the slightest outward examination was applied to it. Contrast this with Christianity, as the Bible itself tells Christians to examine themselves, and to test all things. Those in the truth need not be afraid of questions. However, liars fear questions, because they fear that someone will discover that their story is not complete, that there’s some detail they’ve forgotten or some eventuality they haven’t covered. Philosophers have the same problem, as they embark on building the perfect system.

If the truth will set you free, what does the lie do? It enslaves you.

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The Two Layers of Barbarization

There are two ways that a culture becomes barbarized, that is, disdainful of ethics, gross, selfish, narrowly-focused on carnal appetites, and animalistic. The first of these is a turning away from first principles. When individuals, groups, and then cultures decide that the knowledge of God is really not important, or that it takes a place in the pantheon of all other human needs, then the aspirational goal of culture vanishes and nothing unites the mass of men except a framework to pursue their interests; the act of pursuing their own interests with no higher meaning eventually corrodes the framework as well.

The second way in which a culture becomes barbarized is in its rudeness — its lack of concern for manners, politeness, self-restraint for the sake of others. When the first goes and this remains, you have a hypocritical quasi-Victorian society of decorum uber alles, when there is no longer any real reason to be polite. You have people trumpeting “manners” (a la Miss Manners), “order”, “tradition” and other such empty shibboleths, but those will never restrain human lust, in all of its violence.

No, I am not calling for a society of polite rapists and child abusers. The only way towards cultural rescue is to promulgate far and wide the knowledge of God; that will lead to not only to better individuals, but also a more polite society for then society is aiming at things that matter. If meaning has left the building, gentility follows quickly thereafter.

In short, if you are a barbarian individually, you cannot complain when someone cuts you off in traffic or flips you the bird.

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A New Dark Age

One side effect of Trump’s election is the hordes of people who emulate him and his appointees, as National Review points out. Culture suffers, but then again, this is just the most garish fruit of our decay.

Here are two more personal examples. Many times I have been standing in line in a restaurant, or eating in a restaurant, or in line shopping, and blaring over the radio are songs that describe the sex act. No-one pays heed. No-one notices. Is it because they have become so numb that they can eat and converse and not be in any way affected by it? I am struck by the discovery at Pompei, that the Roman houses and restaurants and places of businesses were all crowned with phallic symbols. The Roman culture had become so inured to turning the private public that no-one cared then, either. Eventually Rome was felled by the barbarians who felt more loyalty to their own native filth than the filth that had paid them to be soldiers.

Also, recently, I was watching a 10-year-old child play a video game, whose name is unimportant. This game featured, in addition to rather detailed violence, an abundance of profanities. In the room with me were children six and eight. Again, have parents become so inured to “filthy talk from your lips” that they pay this no heed? Are children so desensitized to this that they don’t think anything of this, that perhaps this is normal? What stops them from emulating this behavior? The parents in question here are born-again Christians.

What have we become?

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Exploiting Citizens

One of the greatest evils that a state can do to its citizens is to determine their weaknesses and then exploit them. The heart of conservatism sees the weaknesses of men and forbids the state from using those weaknesses against them. Thus conservatives long opposed a state-run lottery (and those who have really understood these principles still do). It’s why conservatives also oppose drug legalization, soft or hard; legalizing Oxycontin or weed will not make the problems of addiction go away, nor will it tamp down its effects. Abortion is another example of the state exploiting people; in this case, it exploits the desperate mother and offers her a way out of shame and financial hardship — at the cost of another’s life and lifelong trauma. The same heart disallowed obscenity to be called “free speech”, for pornography destroys women and enslaves men. I can even see this understanding at work in blue laws and dry counties, especially those out West.

To get along with others, we all have to compromise some. Where we voluntarily restrict our liberty, let it be so that others are protected, not destroyed; let it be in compassion for our fellowman, bearing with their weaknesses, that we do so. For it is doing this — promoting liberty, encouraging self-control, and disallowing the state to exploit others — that America was blessed beyond all other nations.

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When the Slope Gradation Changes

I have seen them popping up, and at last count, there are four of them: often garish, large green crosses — medical marijuana dispensaries. Cue the hue and cry from the 1% who want to legalize their fetish. I know, I know — this is the only way out for you. Heard it all before. Just like so many other things that ended up having terrible effects upon society, you claim that this is different.

Everyone knows how this works. You find something you want to do, and then you prepare the mercy drills — leading with sob stories and painting everyone who opposes you as cruel. So now, we have medical weed. Just like we have abortion. Just like we have protection laws for transgenders. What happens to the rest of society? The advocates are always mum, but they laugh as the chaos from their Pandora’s box spreads.

The first goal is legalized drug use.

The next goal is to make others pay for their treatment drugs.

The next goal is to enforce public support.

The ultimate goal is to punish those who oppose them.

Where have we seen this tactic used before? Where else is it being used now? The playbook is always the same for the left, and what’s so disheartening is that few recognize it.

So what happens when you have enough people who are use, medically? The opposition to recreational use grows weaker and weaker until it becomes nonexistent. Then what?

“I have seen the future and it is murder.” — Leonard Cohen.

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