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Monday, April 22, 2019

A Pretty Good Day!

Easter Sunday 2019 in the Heartland.

A glorious day. All sunshine, blue sky, warmer temps. Changes everything. The day carresses. As I've said before, we are the weather, so lots of bright light and far-seeing good vibes.

Funny. I was all over the map inside my head. Did anyone say "mixed-up, spiritual confusion?"

For instance. I read Pope Francis' homily at the Easter Vigil. I mean, I know the Pope is the head of a criminal enterprise, a corrupt, dysfunctional organization with a long record of abuse and cover-up, but at the same time I do think this particular Pope is an extraordinary voice, an essential voice, and this Pope seems to want to do better. Why did I read the text? The line "Do Not Bury Hope," that resonates with me, I think of the great, long-gone Studs Terkel's line: "Hope Dies Last." I'd say that's my motto!

I also found myself turning to the Great Google... sort of betrays my "confusion..." and asked...

Can you have Hope without Faith?

"In resolving this dilemma, the etymological foundations of the terms “faith” and “hope” are significant. “Faith” (from the latin fidere – to trust) is typically defined as a belief which expresses confidence in the truth, value, or veracity of something or someone, and is often characterized by an absence of verifiable empirical justification or logical proof."   

“Hope” (OE hopian – confidence or trust) is an expression of what Husserl called “directed intentionality.” For Husserl, hope might best be understood as a confident expectation in the achievement of a desired state of affairs, and it was an example of what he called an “anticipated fulfillment of intention.”

The short anwer from the "Philosopy of Religion," -"... they have faith because they have hope. That is to say that we know that a person who has faith has it because they have hope and they could not have hope without having faith because faith is necessary for hope."

Not sure I'm persuaded. Maybe I just have a blind, dumb, hope without any faith... but then again, maybe I do have faith, faith in what? The next moment. A better day.

Next I Googled, Can you have Chrisitianity without Christ?  I came up with the concept of Christian Atheism - "Christian atheism is a form of cultural Christianity and ethics system drawing its beliefs and practices from Jesus' life and teachings as recorded in the New Testament Gospels and other sources, whilst rejecting supernatural claims of Christianity.

Christian atheism takes many forms: some Christian atheists take a theological position in which the belief in the transcendent or interventionist God is rejected or absent in favor of finding God totally in the world (Thomas J. J. Altizer) while others follow Jesus in a godless world (William Hamilton). Hamilton's Christian atheism is similar to Jesuism."

Yeah, Jesus seemed like a nice guy, got a little big for his britches, (watch that Ego Jesus), and ultimately kind of got a raw deal. Roll away the stone!

Hah! Then for some reason, maybe because I was listening to Bob Dylan's, (I have been on a major Dylan kick lately, so many fantastic albums, his work is the soundtrack to my life) great born-again, gospel album recorded at Muscle Shoals entitled: "Saved," with that resonant line, which I repeated all day long - "I have been Saved by the Blood of the Lamb." (I kept picturing a cute little lamb offering me a cup of blood. Weird!)

I mean, maybe Dylan Not Jesus? My Dylan is a mystery. I like him like that. Jesus seems kind of simple & impossible ("Love thine Enemies!"), Dylan is complex, contradictory, enigmatic, maddening, confounding, disappointing, inspiring, a very creative, flawed human being.

I Googled Jews for Jesus -  I mean Dylan is a famous Jew who fell for Jesus in the late 70's and made what now in retrospect are some fantastic gospel albums, with fabulous musicians, and a handful of great female backup singers.  Check out Bob Dylan "Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 (1979-1981)" to hear this band tearing it up live.  Of course, Dylan pushes it too far, I just hate that freaking song "Man Named All the Animals." Makes me want to throw the CD into the trash, so I mainly skip that one. Still fabulous album. Dylan is on fire with the Holy Ghost for sure. I mean I am imagining a Holy Ghost, a little white bird with supernatural powers, especially the gift of tongues frequently whispering in Dylan's ear especially during sessions for "Highway 61 Revisited," "Blonde on Blonde," "Desire," "John Wesley Harding," "New Morning," "Nashville Skyline,""Blood on the Tracks," "Time Out of Mind," and in the basement and on the road with the Band! Oh yeah, pretty much every time that man opens his mouth he seems touched by the poetic spirit. Official release and Bootleg, in song, in converation. Mysterious!

"Jews for Jesus (originally called Hineni Ministries) is a non-profit Messianic Jewish organization that seeks to proselytize Jews towards the belief that Jesus is the promised Messiah of the Jewish people. Jews for Jesus is not considered a sect of Judaism by any mainstream Jewish authorities.[1]"

Yes, confused. Confusing.

Of course, later in his career Dylan seemed to retreat from his Christian-thing, and kind of went back to the enigmatic poet/man of mystery thing. Anyway, it was a confusing day. Digging the tunes, the sunshine, and words of encouragement from the Pope. What did it all add up to? 

A pretty good day.

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