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Blogging my thoughts, June 18th, 2011

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Blogging my thoughts on Saturday, June 18th 2011

For the Joseph Book: I’m not arguing that the Theology of the Cross is central to Luther’s theology, mostly scholars have agreed that it is justification by faith, yet for the old Luther, it became believing that God would keep his or her promises. (God is beyond sex.)
“For if I believe the promise of God, I am certain that my life is pleasing to God and is superior to all the orders, since it makes a heavenly [human being], a conqueror of death, an heir of eternal life, and one who tramples the devil underfoot….This is the strength and particular power of a Christian”  (LW 8: 167).
When the promise is analyzed through the Philosophy of Language, it corresponds with justification by faith. After all, living a life that is pleasing to God is the result of both believing the promise and being justified by faith. In a promise, the accent falls on the speaker, in the case of God’s promise, on God, who actively carries out the justification, salvation, God-pleasing life of the passive listener, the believer. A listener has to carry out a command, that is, the Law, while the speaker carries out a promise, that is, the Gospel. So the Philosophy of Language indicates a correspondence between the performative speech act of a promise and justification by faith.

My mind wandered to reading “Those Manly Men of Yore” by Sara Lipton (NY Times OP-Ed page A31, June 17, 2011). Sara Lipton called Schwarzenegger a girlie man, a name he called others. If the constraint on sexual desire spelled being a man (in early modern times) and being womanish meant to have a voracious appetite in this regard, then Schwarzenegger’s lack of constraint made him a girlie-man, she argued.
I wonder how this relates to Carl Gustav Jung’s psychological argument that a man needs a woman’s soul within him to become mature and a woman needs the soul of a man? Then the lack of self-control cannot be blamed on either being a man or a woman, but just on the maturity of a person.

In Plato’s famous chariot metaphor of the ego-states, the mature rational ego in the healthy self (slightly modifying Plato here, of course)  can hold the horse and not let the horses blindly take the chariot over a cliff. “Hold your horses!” The mature rational self, however, takes care of the emotional and sexual needs of the horses, that is, of the id. To neglect them under a false or idealistic self-image of maturity feeds the monstrous strength of the id and extreme sexual strivings can unconsciously become a monkey on a person’s back. This may well take place in persons under the rule of celibacy, which they cannot control internally, but are forced to do by a bad law, an illegitimate law, an unwise law, that might make them prey on the vulnerable.

My thoughts reverted to violence. How filled with violence the Middle East, the East, hey, we in the West are too. What they did to the poor people in Sri Lanka in the fire-free zones, what they are doing to the people in Syria, in Libya, in Afghanistan, in Iraq! All this violence is embedded in societies between their governments and their people. we ourselves in the U.S.A. cannot gloat self-righteously. We’ve merely displaced our violence into technology, partly even remotely controlled. Then the regime change that we initiated in Iraq has cost far many more lives than the blood any regime has so far spilled in the Arab Spring and now Summer.

My mind turned to philosophical and theological thoughts. What do we make of brain research that almost reduces the mind to the brain? What do we make of a violin that excludes the music that it makes? Perhaps the mind is the music of the brain.
Luther’s conception of concrete physicality can come to our aid. The external word, like an organism of physical sound has to precede the internal word, its sense, meaning, and coherence, as it is translated into thoughts. Thus the brain is to the mind, what the speech act word is to the heard and internal word, and what the violin is to music. Physicality does not negate spirituality, but both participate in the complementarity of opposites.

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Written by peterkrey

June 18, 2011 at 10:26 pm

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