Well the boys in Rome are at it again. I thought Catholics of every age were taught by nuns. Even cardinals and popes. You don’t mess with the good sisters. They can get back at you in strange and mysterious ways. And still the Curia says do it my way or the highway. It’s our ball and you play by our rules. No exceptions.
Fair enough. But you also seem like a bunch of old men trying to keep the status quo. I locked horns with a higher up whom I believe was a decent person. He simply stated that I could think whatever way I wanted, but in the end I had to step back in line and obey. You can probably imagine how that sat with TTG.
I was challenged last week by a good friend and reader to talk about things like women, religion and other tough subjects. Once again she hit the right buttons and Ted’s Head has been ruminating ever since. Here goes.
Status quo is so comfy. Play by the rules and don’t rock the boat. Agnosticism is not saying I don’t believe per se but that what you are professing just doesn’t make sense given reality and the current data available. To that person it is unknown or unknowable. Why does that scare us? Why do we want to rip that person to shreds in the court or dare I say church of public opinion.
It gets better as you surround yourself with believers. You all agree this or that person is a jerk. You can recite the catechism but do you really know what the Our Father is saying? You put some money in the plate but are you really charitable? This isn’t just religion but democracy, capitalism and a dozen other principles by which we lead our lives.
The gang in Rome, Washington and Wall Street all sing from the hymnal. A few are off key but you know the tune. Don’t you dare introduce something new. Even worse don’t introduce a new instrument. We know and you follow. They have this incredible ability to assume that they are right and ergo everyone else is wrong.
I have at various points in time doubted my faith. As you can probably tell I am doubting my religion right now. That to me is not a bad thing. Unless you really think about what you believe and doubt it to its core, it really is nothing more than rote.
And yet Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Muslims fear agnostics and atheists. Liberals fear libertarians. Democrats and Republicans vote in lockstep. Gays. Straights. Whites. Blacks. Is it that we know we are right or do we really fear that we might be wrong that makes us so pigheaded? Are we coming from a position of strength or are we professing symptoms of fear.
I watched a fascinating interview between Charlie Rose and the neuroscientist, Jonah Lehrer. He has just written a book entitled “Imagine How Creativity Works.” He made a rather startling statement that K-12 does more to squelch creativity than any other period in our lives. Kids are unruly. Teach them to behave not explore. It is the only way we are going to get through this lesson plan. Gotta keep up.
As I thought more and more about life I realized it is probably a lot more than K-12. Do large corporations or our government embrace new thoughts? What about that partisan that really believes this or that law is wrong but has to vote for it? My God, why on heaven’s green earth would Augusta let women into their hallowed fairways?
Yes I crave a little chaos and change. If the dam springs a leak here and there it might get a little scary but then again it might irrigate some fallow ground. I should just ride off into the sunset. I should have all the answers. I should say the world will somehow make it. But there is this gnawing urge in my poor little brain to try and find a better way. Explore more. Challenge myself. Not exactly blowing things up but for sure spending time tinkering with the engine.
Bless me Father I have doubted you. I hold these truths to be self evident….sorta. I think instead of preaching to you I am just going to try to be a better person. Maybe something stupid like doing unto others. Maybe taking a little from Column A and Column B as opposed to being one dimensioned. You know when you have a chink in the armor and it is old, most of the time you fix it with a new and improved metal. I am no metalurgist but if I am not mistaken that makes it stronger not weaker.
Ted The Great
The human brain weighs approx 3lbs.It is a muscle and like all good muscles must be exercised or it atrophies.
We have 100 billion neurons in our brain or about the same number of stars in our galaxy. We have on the order of 70,000 thoughts per day. Some good. Some bad
The brain is 2% of our weight but uses 20% of the energy consumed by our bodies.
Juggling can change our brain significantly in just 7 days. Learning new things can change our brain dramatically. Imagine that.
Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Galileo, Da Vinci, Einstein et alia accomplished all they did without computers.
I had to chuckle last week when I read the article in the NYT’s on the nun’s censure by the power mongers because I knew immediately that three truths would soon follow therefrom: TTG would be stirred to the depths of his very soul (yet again), BP would vow once more to never give another nickel to such a corrupt organization and someday, somehow, someway all those nuns will give those sorry geezers their comeuppance. I have been waiting for this blog to appear for over a week…such restraint. After all, if those dear ladies can put up with decades of 8th grade boys’ stinking feet and 2nd graders barfing celery from their noon chow mein lunch, what’s a few meaningless words from archaic men in flowing robes desperate to preserve what little power base they have left outside their consecrated halls. Indeed, what comes of a mantra that says, think what you want, but get back in line and obey….how I wish I could have been there to hear that one. Thanks for stimulating my neurons yet once again, as you do every week. This does bring to “mind” however, that your factoid microscope must be broken since I have never seen brain tissue with striated or non-striated muscular components. Good attempt at an analogy, however. Keep ’em coming and hit ’em straight! JEC
Merci Mon Ami:
I knew the scientist would see through my little play on words. We still don’t exercise it enough. I wont get off on the idiots in Rome. The only thing i remember most about my trip to the Vatican was the conspicuous opulence. Throughout my journey amongst Vatican treasures was the constant WWJD. Is this what Jesus was all about. Go sell what thou ownst and give to the Red Hats. Your or should I say their reward will be great.