Thursday, August 29, 2013

The power of the erotic: joy and fulfilment.

My own summary from reading Audre Lorde:

The erotic as an internal sense of satisfaction that comes from being in touch with the depth of our feelings, which opens and realises our capacity for joy.

The erotic as power, because knowing that we can aspire to this yes, to this fulfilment within ourselves, we are less inclined to accept resignation and powerlessness.

Finally, the erotic as a power and satisfaction that can be shared from the mutual recognition of the feelings that come from participating in the same experience, instead of using one another though our feelings.

So nice that I will give you a quote to enjoy
The erotic functions in me in several ways, and the first is in providing the power which comes from sharing deeply any pursuit with another person. The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, form a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.
        Another important way in which the erotic connections functions is the open and fearless underlining of my capacity for joy. In the way my body stretches to music and opens into response, hearkening to its deepest rhythms, so every level upon which I sense also opens to the erotically satisfying experience, whether it is dancing, building a bookcase, writing a poem, examining an idea.
        That self-connection shared is a measure of the joy which I know myself to be capable of feeling, a reminder of my capacity for feeling. And that deep and irreplaceable knowledge of my capacity for joy comes to demand from all of my life that it be lived within the knowledge that such satisfaction is possible, and does not have to be called
marriage, nor god, nor an afterlife.
        This is one reason why the erotic is so feared, and so often relegated to the bedroom alone, when it is recognised at all. For once we begin to feel deeply all the aspects of our lives, we begin to demand from ourselves and from our life-pursuits that they feel in accordance with that joy which we know ourselves to be capable of. Our erotic knowledge empowers us, becomes a lens through which we scrutinize all aspects of our existence, forcing us to evaluate those aspects honestly in terms of their relative meaning within our lives. And this is a grave responsability, projected from within each of us, not to settle for the convenient, the shoddy, the conventionally expected, nor the merely safe.
        During World War II, we bought sealed plastic packets of white, uncolored margarine, with a tiny, intense pellet of yellow coloring perched like a topaz just inside the clear skin of the bag. We would leave the margarine out for a while to soften, and then we would knead it gently back and forth, over and over, until the color had spread throughout the whole pound bag of margarine, thoroughly coloring it.
        I find the erotic such a kernel within myself. When released from its intense and constrained pellet, it flows through and colors my life with a kind of energy that heightens and sensitizes and strenghtens all my experience.

This is part of a chapter of Sister outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde, 1984. I hope you liked it.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Debunking the myth of the old catholic church persecuting science and thus creating the terrible dark middle ages

Armarium Magnum is a blog by an atheist that knows about middle ages. He debunks the following:
The myth goes that the Greeks and Romans were wise and rational types who loved science and were on the brink of doing all kinds of marvellous things (inventing full-scale steam engines is one example that is usually, rather fancifully, invoked) until Christianity came along, banned all learning and rational thought and ushered in the Dark Ages. Then an iron-fisted theocracy, backed by a Gestapo-style Inquisition, prevented any science or questioning inquiry from happening until Leonardo da Vinci invented intelligence and the wondrous Renaissance saved us all from Medieval darkness.
Later he goes on saying
It's not hard to kick this nonsense to pieces, especially since the people presenting it know next to nothing about history and have simply picked this bullshit up from other websites and popular books and collapse as soon as you hit them with some hard evidence. I love to totally stump them by asking them to present me with the name of one - just one - scientist burned, persecuted or oppressed for their science in the Middle Ages. They always fail to come up with any. They usually try to crowbar Galileo back into the Middle Ages, which is amusing considering he was a contemporary of Descartes. When asked why they have failed to produce any such scientists given the Church was apparently so busily oppressing them, they often resort to claiming that the Evil Old Church did such a good job of oppression that everyone was too scared to practice science. By the time I produce a laundry list of Medieval scientists - like Albertus Magnus, Robert Grosseteste, Roger Bacon, John Peckham, Duns Scotus, Thomas Bradwardine, Walter Burley, William Heytesbury, Richard Swineshead, John Dumbleton, Richard of Wallingford, Nicholas Oresme, Jean Buridan and Nicholas of Cusa - and ask why these men were happily pursuing science in the Middle Ages without molestation from the Church, my opponents have usually run away to hide and scratch their heads in puzzlement at what just went wrong.
To read the argument in full detail instead of this advertisement that I am pasting here you should go to the actual post here, and maybe even read the book James Hannan Book: God's Philosphers: How the Medieval World laid the Foundations of Modern Science. (only 7 dollars in Amazon's Kindle) 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Leah Libresco and Hemant Mehta.

Leah Libresco, a blogger that I have followed for years, had converted from atheist to Catholic more than one year ago. The main path to her conversion is the moral argument. Here you can see an interview to Leah and Hemant Mehta, a prominent atheist blogger.

Here you can hear the interview. Unfortunately Hemant doesn't appear to understand the moral argument. The question is what is the grounds for morality? Not that the interview goes in depth in the interview but many interesting are said by Leah and if you want more you can always go to her unequally-yoked blog.