Friday, April 2, 2010

what the little french guy said

But if you want me to be really honest, when we see the U.S. debate on the healthcare reform from Europe, it's difficult to believe . . . .

The idea that we have such a violent debate so that the poor are not left on the streets without a cent when they are sick ... Excuse me, but we've solved this problem more than 50 years ago . . . .

If you come to France and you feel sick on the street we won't ask for your credit card before admitting you into a hospital . . . .

Welcome to the club of states who do not turn their backs on the sick and the poor.

Always look on the bright side of life!

One year of "e g r e g o r e s" (My Top 25)

I decided to put together a Top Ten Twenty 25 list from my first year of blogging.

In no particular order:

1. The Religion of Socrates
"Socrates was a Pagan, of this there can be no reasonable doubt."

2. Wonderful World, or, the Pagan Value of Basic Goodness
"We each possess our very own personal laboratory in which to investigate the questions (1) what is the fundamental essence of human nature? and (2) what is the fundamental nature of the cosmos? For me this laboratory is me, for you this laboratory is you."

3. Hic Sunt Dracones
"Having traced Pagan history back to late antiquity, and having shown that the Paganism of that time was itself a seamless continuation of the Paganism that preceded it, there can be no doubt that the Paganism of today is, indeed, the Old Religion."

4. The Essence of Religion
"While the Mosaic distinction posits its own subjective division between true and false religions, it thereby automatically creates an objective division according to which there are two kinds of religion: (1) those religions that make the Mosaic distinction, and (2) those that don't."

5. Secret knowledge, sacred knowledge
"'It is the doing, not the knowing, of secrets which is the key.'"

6. A Form of Ministry: Push Polling for Jesus
"Have you ever wondered what, if anything at all, Amway has to do with the Order of Charlemagne?"

7. Paganism is not a European Religion
"An 'expansive comparative perspective' is, unfortunately, exactly the opposite of the perspective with which many Pagans today, especially those who consider themselves "reconstructionists" and/or fans of Ronald Hutton, look at our Pagan past."

8. Gotta Serve Somebody
"Like a character in some Daniel Defoe novel, Ficino is able to save his soul and his neck through timely repentance and conversion. In this way Corsi can openly state the truth in part, and broadly imply the rest, all the while preserving Ficino's Christian reputation without denying his Paganism."

9. Detached from the masses and usually disempowered
"The examples of Boyle and Newton leave no doubt, regardless of any other considerations, that Esoteric subjects were treated seriously by some of the greatest intellects of the early modern period."

10. Pythagoreanism: the personal is cosmological
"Pythagoreanism, then, is a way of life, and both Plato and Aristotle refer to Pythagoras as a "founder of a way of life". In this way of life there is no separation between ethics and cosmology, just as there is no separation between the nature of the human soul and the nature of the Cosmos and the Gods. The ethical principles that human beings should strive to implement in our lives reflect the moral order that can be observed at work in the cosmos. And in the same way, the human soul internally mirrors the external order of the cosmos and, therefore, the fate of the soul is bound up with our progress in aligning our lives with the cosmic order.

11. Worshipping the Source: The Buddhist Goddess Prajnaparamita
"'Even Buddhas and bodhisattvas pay homage to her, because to her they owe their omniscience. To worship a Buddha, the relics of a Buddha, or a stupa is to honor what she has brought into being; to revere her directly is to worship the source.'"

12. J.B. Bury on Christianity and Persecution
"'Persecution was an unavoidable consequence of Constantine's act in adopting Christianity.'"

13. All Along The Watchtower
"If the Joker is Dionysos, then the Thief can only be Hermes, the God of Thieves. Hermes, very appropriately is also the God of Boundaries - and while this means he is associated with city walls and borders of every kind, it also means that he is the master of all boundaries and is, therefore, very much the God of crossing boundaries."

14. Intolerance and Coercion in Islam
"'Then when the sacred months have passed, slay the polytheists wherever you find them, and catch them and make them captive, and wait in ambush for them at every place.'"

15. God. Purpose. Culture. Side Hugs.
"Be. Very. Afraid."

16. Hindus and Pagans: A Return to the Time of the Gods
"'If the Renaissance had taken its full course, it would also have become aware of its Eastern, its Hindu, links, but it was soon aborted. In fact, an opposite movement started, an anti-renaissance movement, in the shape of Protestantism, a movement of 'back to the Bible,' 'back to the Apostles.''"

17. Brad Warner versus the Dalai Lama?
"'In the framing itself, the question is already skewed. It’s not so obvious to a person who’s totally immersed in Western civilization and has almost no understanding of anything outside of Western civilization. Frankly, so much of this antireligious rhetoric from the likes of Richard Dawkins is just wildly unconsciously and uncritically ethnocentric.'"

18. "End", as in Telos (You are the Harbinger of Death, Kara Thrace)
"Depending on how one reads the original character Turnus, though, there is a serious problem with the Turnus=Tory equation, and this is especially true to the extent that we accept Maffeo Vegio's version of the ending. However, for those who see Turnus as a pure villain, then this is a pretty good match."

19. Socrates: Still making people crazy after all these years
"Socrates was mercilessly and masterfully ridiculed in Aristophanes' The Clouds, which was entered into the comedy competition of the City Dionysia in the year 423 BC, when Socrates was 45 years old. One story holds that Socrates was in attendance during the performance, and at one point stood up and cheerfully took a bow while the play was in progress."

20. Why They Hate Francis Collins
"'Isn't he disqualified, not by whether or not he leaves his beliefs outside the laboratory and the committee room, but by the very fact that he is capable of holding such beliefs at all?'"

21. Immanence versus Transcendence (three part series)
"'The Immutable is the still and secret foundation of the play and the movement, extended equally, impartially in all things, samam brahma, lending its support to all without choice or active participation. Secure and free in His eternal immutability the Lord projects Himself into the play and the movement, becoming there in His self-existence all that the Seer in Him visualises and the Thinker in Him conceives.'"

22. A Brief History of Revolutionary Monotheism (seven part series)
"'Such awful things to happen! To account for them, awful passions must be imputed. If these were in the service of some cause, then the cause itself must be considered, in itself bloody.'"

23. Heart of Darkness: Christianity, Colonialism & Africa (five part series)
"The vast majority of Christians in Africa today are Christians because of only one reason: European colonialism."

24. Nazis & Christians & Pagans (six part series)
"'in an unscrupulous manner the fantasy was concocted that I wished to reintroduce the pagan cult of Wotan.' [Alfred Rosenberg]"

25. The Varieties of Sceptical Thought (five part series)
"'We are not the type of philosophers who think that nothing is true.'"