Years back you used to be yourself, you used to dwell on the surface in the sunlight; but now you’ve buried yourself beneath so many things, and the earth weighs heavy upon you. I can see you, but at the same time I cannot. You belong in the sunlight, will you not take hold of the spade that is given to you? Shovel away such masks, pile up away from you such characters- in order to be naught but yourself; your wonderful, shimmering self.
The only cause of my death is my zeal for the Church of God, which devours and consumes me. Accept, O Lord, the sacrifice of my life for the Mystical Body of Thy holy Church.
-St. Catherine of Siena
Love has its priests in the poets, and one hears at times a poet’s voice which worthily extols it. But not a word does one hear of faith. Who is there to speak in honor of that passion? Philosophy “goes right on.” Theology sits at the window with a painted visage and sues for philosophy’s favor, offering it her charms. It is said to be difficult to understand the philosophy of Hegel; but to understand Abraham, why, that is an easy matter! To proceed further than Hegel is a wonderful feat, but to proceed further than Abraham, why, nothing is easier! Personally, I have devoted a considerable amount of time to a study of Hegelian philosophy and believe I understand it fairly well; in fact, I am rash enough to say that when, notwithstanding an effort, I am not able to understand him in some passages, is because he is not entirely clear about the matter himself. All this intellectual effort I perform easily and naturally, and it does not cause my head to ache. On the other hand, whenever I attempt to think about Abraham I am, as it were, overwhelmed. At every moment I am aware of the enormous paradox which forms the content of Abraham’s life, at every moment I am repulsed, and my thought, notwithstanding its passionate attempts, cannot penetrate into it, cannot forge on the breadth of a hair. I strain every muscle in order to envisage the problem—and become a paralytic in the same moment.
Søren Kierkegaard (writing as Johannes de Silentio), Fear and Trembling. (via movementsandmoments)
I’ll never forget the look upon the face of my great grandfather during the funeral of my great grandmother. Married for over sixty years; his dearest earthly companion of whom he loved so very dearly. His gaze was set upon my grandmothers coffin, upon the case which held her bodily remains, but I knew him to be seeing through that as though through a portal to her unseen soul. Until this day I have never seen a face laden with such a grief as this. I’ve seen the faces of those who have lost their loved ones before, but there was something different about his face, something I cannot explain. A love that hadn’t died, but a love that beckoned one to wait. This was the face of one who had not let love die, but one who longed to love into evermore.
Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.
Susan Cain, Quiet (via gloria-in-excelsis)
I’m sleep deprived, not because I struggle trying to get to sleep, but because I struggle to want to sleep. There’s much to do, and never am I bored for one single moment.
Unless you have no internet access, no television, no way of viewing or hearing any media outlet in the past few days or you live under a rock then you will have heard of Pussy Riot. No, I’m not going to go into it again.
I just want to point out what I see to be hypocrisy of…
“Sadly, in crossing this line, not only did we seldom make real love, we made war on the very meaning of love itself. We turned the meaning of love from something that began with consideration of the other to absorption with ourselves. We converted love from something exceptional and permanent to something ordinary and unstable and, for many, to something vulgar and pornographic that leads from moment to moment on a journey without end. Our quest for non-violence through so called “love” led to violence unprecedented, only this time it was on children not yet born whose cries we would not hear. We rendered the word “love” meaningless while using it more and more in our art, music, movies, and public discourse to put our hearts on our sleeves for all to see and to justify ourselves as a people who cared, because caring felt good.”
I love jelly fish. That’s all there is to really say.
Wisdom’s ripped out. Drinking tea through a straw. Localised anesthetic still in effect and I’ve all the time in the world: to read, write, ponder and bask in silence. I’m liking this.
Local Paper: Dog eats marijuana found in park.
When I met for lunch with Dr. Phil Zimbardo, the former president of the American Psychological Association, I knew him primarily as the mastermind behind The Stanford Prison Experiment. In the summer of 1971, Zimbardo took healthy Stanford students, gave them roles as either guards or inmates, and placed them in a makeshift prison in the basement of Stanford University. In just days, the prisoners demonstrated symptoms of depression and extreme stress and the guards had become sadistic. The experiment was stopped early. The lesson? As W. Edwards Deming wrote: “A bad system will defeat a good person, every time.” But is the opposite true? I asked Zimbardo, “Can you reverse the Stanford Prison Experiment?”
He answered with a thought experiment referencing the infamous Milgram experiment (where subjects showed such obedience to people in authority that they administered what they believed were fatal electric shocks to patients). Zimbardo, who by an almost unimaginable coincidence went to high school with Stanley Milgram, wondered whether we could conduct a Reverse Milgram Experiment. Could we, through a series of small wins, architect a “slow ascent into goodness, step by step”? And could such an experiment be run at a societal level? We actually already know the answer.
For years, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) detachment in Richmond, Canada ran like any other law enforcement bureaucracy and experienced similar results: recidivism or reoffending rates ran at around 60%, and they were experiencing spiraling rates of youth crime. This forward-thinking Canadian detachment, led by a young, new superintendent, Ward Clapham, challenged the core assumptions of the policing system itself. He noticed that the vast majority of police work was reactive. He asked: “Could we design a system that encouraged people to not commit crime in the first place?” Indeed, their strategic intent was a clever play on words: “Take No Prisoners.”
Their approach was to try to catch youth doing the right things and give them a Positive Ticket. The ticket granted the recipient free entry to the movies or to a local youth center. They gave out an average of 40,000 tickets per year. That is three times the number of negative tickets over the same period. As it turns out, and unbeknownst to Clapham, that ratio (2.9 positive affects to 1 negative affect, to be precise) is called the Losada Line. It is the minimum ratio of positive to negatives that has to exist for a team to flourish. On higher-performing teams (and marriages for that matter) the ratio jumps to 5:1. But does it hold true in policing?
According to Clapham, youth recidivism was reduced from 60% to 8%. Overall crime was reduced by 40%. Youth crime was cut in half. And it cost one-tenth of the traditional judicial system.