Asking if Secularisation of a Society is Bad

Leonardo da Vinci

Just the other day, I saw a WordPress blogger asking for debate if secularisation is good or bad.  She defined it, and I take it she means the decline of the influence of religion, like, for example, the power of the Catholic Church, on society around the world.

 

https://lovableliterature.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/debate-is-the-secularisation-of-modern-society-a-bad-thing/

 

This year I made time to read Cormac McCarthy’s book The Road, a novel about a man and his son trying to survive some time from now in the future when society no longer exists as it did previous to the events in the novel.  I think of church attendance preventing circumstances in our world like that in this Cormac McCarthy book.

 

If strong leaders utilize the unitary values of religious institutions in a way that helps people lead lives of better prosperity, it would be likely, I think, that people will make better progress in the world, decreasingly supernatural as it is.

 

Reading The Road, I didn’t think much supernatural dread happened to the characters, probably in part because to create their own resources they were too hard pressed to deal with the spiritual implications of society being at an end.

 

If I think about secularisation as it could relate to the plot of the novel, I think that the leaders of the world which existed before the events of the book have failed in their ability to keep the structure of its society intact.  Maybe this owes to an overall weakness in the story’s idea of religious institutions, but I can’t that except by thinking it is a possibility, judging that religious symbols seem to exist in the book.  The man on the road is a little like Jesus, set apart from others by his singularity.

Leonardo da Vinci
Imitation of The Last Supper

There isn’t an explanation for readers of The Road why society ended–it is a question only that it is gone, and how a much harder reality supplants it, the “road” of the title.

 

Isolation is the new struggle to overcome adversity, instead of questions like how did the world’s institutions fail and what can be done now, in their absence.

 

The novel’s interesting because society as a whole is over and done and there is no solution available.  It is a story of apocalypse.

 

The man traveling in isolation with his son seems unconcerned if there were religious institutions before society fell to pieces.  I don’t see why there wouldn’t have been institutions–in every other detail I can think of in The Road it matches the world as it’s known today, which leads me to think that parts of the world in the book weren’t secularised, as our world in real life remains only in part secularised today.

Dimensions: 3941 x 2931
Photographer: Iryna Tysiak

I tend to think that order would fragment in the event of too much secularisation because people need to feel that there is something supernatural about their lives, that they owe something to God.

 

I am optimistic about trusting religious authorities because I see a sphere of religious influence making a more positive outcome for our world.

 

I am glad to have had an opportunity to write a few thoughts on how thinking back to reading The Road helped me articulate an opinion on secularisation.

 

I was likewise glad that I took time this year to read the book by Cormac McCarthy, as well as having read Bethany’s post asking about secularisation.  The Road is the only title of McCarthy I am familiar with, but the cover of the paperback copy I read advertised that it had sold well.

 

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A New Challenge: Blogging Photos and Miscellanea

Friday‎, ‎June‎ ‎08‎, ‎2018

Between 2011 and 2018, WordPress organized weekly photo challenges. These essays provided inspiration for bloggers to publish photos in their posts. The final photo challenge was the thirtieth of May this year, but after the surprise came that the challenges were finished, I think I will continue to blog with photos I’ve taken.

If and when other ideas come to mind, I will introduce them into the same blog, but I feel I should continue with similar enthusiasm to what I had when I was reading the photo challenges, over the last two or three years.

To get the answer what to do next, after the photo challenges ended, I turned to Quora, the site where users can pose questions and provide answers for others with a question – https://www.quora.com/

A couple of my old friends use Quora. A wonderful answer was provided by Ms. Jennifer Marshburn. What I could do next, she elegantly wrote, drawing on both her own experiences as a blogger and what she learned from similar circumstances.

You can find her answers on Quora here – https://www.quora.com/profile/Jennifer-Marshburn

The photo I took yesterday morning is of trees, in the city, sheltering a schoolhouse underneath a fabulous blue sky. I want to feature it as it is the first time I have decided for myself to be challenged to take a photo and say a few words. At the moment I took it, I was relieved I finally had an idea.

Friday‎, ‎June‎ ‎08‎, ‎2018
Above the Schoolhouse

WordPress has been nothing but great fun. In my case, it’s been an addition to the work I do as part of a not-for-profit cemetery in its junior operations. You can find us on the Internet here – http://www.maplelawncemetery.org/

There are a couple of other sources I would like to mention that provide additional inspiration.

Sources

How To Use Internet Images Responsibly For Blogs
Blog design mistakes you are probably making – and how to fix them

May 2 Weekly Photo Challenge: Unlikely

Small town plaza

Today is Friday, May 4, 2018–May the Fourth is the day of the year celebrating the Star Wars canon of sci-fi. I’m not a filmmaker, although people involved in that kind of thing are certainly important 🙂 It is very nice to enjoy Star Wars on one of its most special days each year and to remember how much thought and calculation is why the original Star Wars film is so great.

On May 2, WordPress outlined a photo challenge for photography demonstrating a sense of the unexpected. To be honest, I don’t enjoy a wealth of the unexpected, but it happens from time to time that something is out of place and therefore notable.

The Monday of this week I was walking home from a jaunt when I sauntered by a little plaza here that caught me off-guard. I was on the other side of the street.

It is in the middle of expansion and redesign.

I thought at first it was being dismantled, oddly enough, but when I returned yesterday, having read the challenge the day before, I saw what was going on–money is going in.

I had reflected on this event because it was unexpected to me, that sign of development and growth when I tend to take a narrow view of progress these days. What do I know?

For me, it represented something unexpected. I was amused.

I took a couple of photos despite the overcast conditions of the afternoon. You can see the half-empty laundromat sign, the in-progress storefront, the cars signifying the value of the cozy little plaza to the town.

Small town plaza
Thursday, May 3, 2018

That laundromat interviewed me for a job position ten or so years ago, before I was part of the not-for-profit I help operate with my dad. My job would have been to provide assistance with the washers and dryers, to take out the trash, and to make myself available a little for visitors to enjoy the Internet. This was easily an honest decade ago.

I nearly had the job. Like it or not, a neighbor I had at the time, an older friend named Doug discouraged me from starting over with the work I was lining up at the laundromat. He said I didn’t need it.

Local plaza
Thursday, May 3, 2018

That neighbor filled the role of brother to me, at a time when I was cordial but distant to my own brother, and I decided to abandon my plan to seek the entry work.

You know, you make a choice like that, and it is clearly significant, but it reflects how little work I actually accomplished doing until my dad retired and brought me on at the cemetery.

I had other concerns.

I remember, of the couple who ran the place, when I showed an interest in how the laundromat helped the street get online, the fellow told me to my face I seemed like Internet Terminus.

I wouldn’t trade the appropriated cool of time online for much else, however.

Ten years ago, common Internet platforms of today were a lot newer, such as Twitter and YouTube. I think Netflix was a service for DVD delivery.

I hate checking my facts. Try writing that bluntly and see how it feels. As a blogger, I am interested in being honest, and there is always that propensity to lie, to seem bigger or better than I am.

That’s quite a common phenomenon, I think.

Terminus is also the title of a sci-fi film available on Netflix. It’s the one about rejuvenation.

May the Fourth Be With You.

Wednesday, May 2’s WordPress photo challenge is an essay by Michelle Weber.

Best to Sell Your Elevator Pitch

When my maternal grandmother was in her golden years, she tried to assure me, “Don’t worry!”

 

It hasn’t been that bad.

 

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word, “fret,” and it’s a timely choice by the folk at WordPress.

 

What’s being outlined by writers on tech around the world in the news and elsewhere is big trouble… the Cambridge Analytics scandal dealt with Mark Zuckerberg decimated trust in Facebook and cost Zuckerberg a fortune.  For someone like me, maintaining a tiny little Facebook business page to assist with the operations and goals of our likewise tiny little nonprofit, I am sure I am characteristically flabbergasted the same as so many other people struggling to market their brand on Facebook in the same boat.

 

It is potentially back to the drawing board for many.

 

Meanwhile Twitter, beginning the twenty-third of March, put into effect a change in policy that restricts marketers from tweeting the identical thing across multiple Twitter accounts, which is less a problem for me personally as I only have one Twitter account, but which is intended to scale back the impact that spammers and the like can have if they’re active on several Twitter accounts.  For example, there is far less risk that trending topics on Twitter will be launched by the dubious and artificial method of conflated Twitter accounts bringing to prominence a devious trend.

 

It is nonsense, though, because honest Twitter users who make Twitter part of their business model have far less freedom to market their brand.  It also comes on top of several months of other changes to Twitter that consistently kept people who love Twitter up in arms, like notably extending the famed hundred and forty character limit for a tweet to twice that, two hundred and eighty characters.

 

The little tweet was suddenly full on birdsong, and now, counterintuitively, restrictions are in place so that the social noise on Twitter is slowed down considerably.

 

Dimensions: 3000 x 2143
Photographer: Mahkeo

My little blog defaults to options to share a post on both Facebook and Twitter, and now both social media giants are mired in an unpredictable morass that quiets down an outcry that until this year seemed like just a normal part of using the social media leaders.

 

Could be time to shop around.

 

Twitter finally made a quarterly profit, it is worth noting, so the changes effected under the leadership of Jack Dorsey may continue to prove effective.  For Facebook, on the other hand, the steep increase in distrust of the formerly reputable social media giant will play out a drama that will see many Facebookers transmuting their internet profiles elsewhere, or at least becoming far more aware of what can happen to data once it is committed to the Internet.

 

Dimensions: 5472 x 3648
Photographer: Flo Karr

What’s happened with Facebook is only one page in the news-intensive deconstruction of all the trouble the United States is seeing given their leadership is so unsteady at a time when a strong technology industry is necessary for friendly waters in the face of the potential for major change in the near future when many players want as much control as possible over the cyber landscape.

 

There is every reason to fret.  Above and beyond prayer, it would be advisable to equip yourself with as much information as possible to ride the tide back to shore.  It is exciting to observe, and if you have a tidy niche from which to beam the perspective you want people to take, I’d recommend you do it with dedication and surety.

 

If you’ve read today’s post, I thank you.  Any like, follow or comment is welcome.

It was Luminescent, and It was True

April 10, 2018

You’re kind of lucky if life’s been luminescent for you.  That’s today WordPress daily prompt, the word luminescent.

Luminescent is a word that has a lot of connotations.  I can think of a few with ease.

April 10, 2018
You’re kind of lucky if life’s been luminescent for you.

Think of the stellar skyscape–the myth that when the moon is full, lunacy runs rampant.

 

Do you like monster movies?  You probably know that the wolfman transforms in the luminescence of the full moon.

 

This month’s full moon is the twenty-ninth and the thirtieth.  Tonight’s moon is a waning crescent.

 

Belief in the power of the full moon can be a devilish outlook, which I’d assert is unfortunate in the season of Easter.  We should be celebrating spring.

 

I am a Canadian, and while I live in the southern parts of the great nation of Canada, it is here, you might say, a short growing season.  I’m certainly envious of the good fortune of people living in more idyllic parts of the world.

 

The work I do, year-round, is to carry out operations in a small not-for-profit cemetery (in a junior capacity), and at times I see luminescence when I am there (usually accompanied solely by my dad).  Effects of that kind can be creepy, but there is often a benign atmosphere there as we care for the grounds and for the church.  It is generally serene.

1/400 sec. f/5 6.1 mm
Just past Maple Lawn Cemetery

I’m inclined to see luminescent as peaceful, which is what the cemetery really is.  I know about grief and I know people go to cemeteries to pray for the departed, but it doesn’t need to be an uncomfortable experience.  When it’s luminescent, I find the ambiance comforting.

 

https://about.me/patrickcoholan

 

You know I’m expected to be solemn.  I’m not one for a pint with the lads, shall we say.  A stab at art or writing or pastimes of that kind in a state of mind that’s luminescent is apt to be rubbish.

 

You have to approach creative endeavors from a point of view that’s solid.  At least do your editing sober.  It is up to you, all the same.

 

Jackson Pollack, for example, painted while very drunk, I believe.  Something he said on the subject is Bums are the well-to-do of this day. They didn’t have as far to fall.


Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/jackson_pollock

 

If I look at something I’ve posted or photographed or the like and it’s terrible, I wonder what my poor beleaguered mind was set upon.  It is easily unflattering.  More frankly, you can make a fool of yourself quite readily.  I know I have.

 

What I think, though, on whether you’re proven a fool is that mistakes happen–shit happens.  One takeaway from college that I have is a theatre axiom.

 

A little foolishness is genius.  Too much foolishness is madness.

 

I am not sure you should repeat that.

 

Youngsters if they’re inclined to creativity should have their own time to discover what’s art and what’s merely luminescent.  Time really does speed and any sane person should fully know the weight of what’s in store in the decades of adulthood and never worry about how it is luminescence plays on the heart and on the mind.

 

I know it’s less than profound, but you can get the same impact on yourself from drinking a basic coffee and watching a good film, like The Shawshank Redemption for example.  I don’t think it’s any better to probe personal depths and pour it out to feel your art than it is to passively and alertly watch something like a good film bringing with you a philosophical bent.

 

Don’t tear yourself apart.  The full moon will rise every single month of your life.