Existential Alphabet

Wrote this several years ago and was reminded of it today: 

Existential Alphabet

A is for Angst, that Dizzying Freedom
B is for Being, its Possibility and its Tedium
C is for the Character of Conscience as Call
D is for Dasein, almost Any Existence at All
E is for Existential, it’s What We Are 
And E is also for Experience –in the World, not as Brains Stuck in Jars 
F is for Flungness and Throwness, experienced by the Knower
And G is for God who just might be the Thrower 
H is for the Actual Historicity of Truth 
And I is for the Immanentizing Ideologies of Untruth
J is for Judgments, we make these by Thinking 
K is for Kenosis, when our own Will starts Shrinking
L is for Logos, we’re talking the Divine Ground 
And M is for Mystery, since it’s not just Lying Around
N is for Nihilism and No Objective Morality 
O is for Ontology and Openness to Reality 
P is for Problematizing, my least favourite Verb 
And Q is for Questioning, which is much less Absurd 
R is for Relationship to the Other Man
And R is also for Recognition that should be Reciprocal, if it can
S is for the Separateness in the Human Condition of Plurality
And T is for Transcendence Beyond Worldly Temporality 
U is for Utopia and All such Prideful Conceits 
V is for this Will replacing Vision Not even being Discreet
W is for World, with a Structure quite Complex 
X is for Xenophon, ’cause his Name starts with ‘X’
Y is for ‘Youth’ and ‘Old Age’, Historical Metaphors that have Misled
And Z is for Zoomorphism, ’cause that starts with ‘Zed’
 
Now I think I know my existential alphabet… Next time will this be a waste of time, in retrospect? 

Book: The Personalism of John Paul II

One of my very favourite organizations, the Hildebrand Project, has just released this little book titled The Personalism of John Paul II.

I read it today and here’s the brief review I wrote of it on Amazon: Continue reading “Book: The Personalism of John Paul II”

Cancelled? Postponed? Deferred? Adapted?

On March 10th, this article was published in The Atlantic titled “Cancel Everything.” Eventually there were more and more lists of things that were cancelled and emails upon emails announcing cancellations. But then, came the many euphemisms in an attempt to disguise the reality of just how much our plans needed to change and just how little we are really in control. 

A friend of mine reflected on this to me the other day basically musing: “Why is it so hard for people to just say and accept that things are cancelled?” Continue reading “Cancelled? Postponed? Deferred? Adapted?”

Establishing our existences

My 2019 journal begins with this quotation by Karl Jaspers: 

The truly real takes place almost unnoticed, and is, to begin with, lonely and dispersed. . . . Those among our young people who, thirty years hence, will do the things that matter, are, in all probability, now quietly biding their time; and yet, unseen by others, they are already establishing their existences by means of an unrestricted spiritual discipline.

Continue reading “Establishing our existences”

What man knows ten thousand faces?

This past weekend, one of my best friends suggested that now is a good time to think about Albert Camus’ book The Plague. Since I hadn’t read it before and given the 1947 novel was likely to be particularly resonant now, I spent the weekend reading it.

It’s remarkable how relatable the book is to the current pandemic. And so, I’ve woven some observations along with passages from Camus’ novel that I found most striking.

Fear and serious reflection began when people who society typically doesn’t consider “vulnerable” began to be infected.

“But other members of our community, not all menials or poor people, were to follow the path down which M. Michel had led the way. And it was then that fear, and with fear serious reflection, began.” Continue reading “What man knows ten thousand faces?”