Beauty is a window to the Transcendent

We all crave Beauty.  And our lives saturate us in faux-beauty.  It’s like feeding a starving man a stack of Pringles instead of an honest potato.   It’s gotten so that we conflate one with the other.  And yet.  And yet.  Beauty, because of its ability to show us transcendence, cannot truly be counterfeited. We hunger…

There Can Be Only One

We live in a culture where we focus our attention on a very few people, and only those people really “matter”. We gossip about their private lives, we envy their possessions, we sigh at their accomplishments, we strategize over their methodology, desperate to reproduce their success… and yet, they are strangers. They might as well…

Back to the Land

I grew up in the era of back to the land, and there was never a home that we rented when I was a child that didn’t end up with a greenhouse, extra tree (or three), and a garden space. As an adult, I stumbled upon the concepts of permaculture and regenerative agriculture and was…

New Ethics: Curiosity and the avoidance of Gossip

If we’re going to get back to being serious about community, we need to learn the lessons that have been taught – we need to learn about community killers and create new ethics. We’re going to need to make sure our communities have enough fresh air and sunlight, and we’re going to have to choke…

Man and Woman

Woman is the why for man, Man is the what for woman. In some social structures, this balance is seen within marriage, in others “woman” is family/mother/society and “father” is authority/order/god. In the Modern West, we see this primarily in the marriage relationship. What remains is that balance, the innate nature of each sex. We…

Hotel California

To love the land is to know the land. I was born here. Second generation Southern Californian. I have the salt, the surf, and the sage in my soul. This land has been badly damaged by the overpopulation and buildup that has come with its perfect weather. Southern California is not built to support the…

God was never meant to be used as a means to an end

I’ve been reading old books again… and it’s struck me that this thing that we think of as new, where Christianity is valued primarily as a civilizing force, is far from new.  Because a relationship with Christ will make you a better person, and a nation full of better people will become a better place…

Piety vs. Propriety

Piety and propriety hang about together so much that they’re often confused for one another – but they are not the same, and while piety can produce propriety, the reverse is rarely true. The pious person, because of their relationship with the Holy Spirit, lives in such a state that none can put a law…

Femininity is not Weakness

Modern feminism inhabits a paradigm that says that strength is masculine. They wouldn’t put it that way under torture, of course. But all virtues of character are masculine virtues… assertiveness, competition, drive-to-achieve, out-spokenness… those are what we should be. We should push hard and make our way in the world. Those are lovely things. In…

Order of Operations

The paradigm in Christendom for the past thousand years has been to make folks have a “Christian” life on the outside in order to encourage them to accept Christ on the inside. I’m going to be silent on the efficacy of that approach – I’m not God, and He’s the judge. However, excepting a brave…

Hidden Beauty

One of my parents’ students from China dropped by to see them the other night, and I had an interesting chat with him about hiding beauty during the Cultural Revolution. He was eight when it started… he remembered the Protestant church next door the day they brought out all the illustrated books and pictures, piled…