Monday, August 24, 2009

So Many Thoughts

As this last full week of August begins, I find my head swirling with ideas. Ideas, that is, that I want to write about. At the same time, I find that I have a number of tasks that seem to take priority over writing. I don't seem to be able to produce a coherent composition -- so I'll just jot down a few ideas and hope to be able to expand on them later.

Since I heard a broadcast last summer on Alternative Radio of a talk by George Lakoff, I have been interested in embodied mind theory, and especially in the explanation it provides for why rational argument rarely changes people's minds, why so many ordinary people are persuaded to vote and act against what is clearly in their own interest, and why otherwise decent people can so easily demonize others. This has application to the LGBTQ struggle, to immigrants, to anti-Muslim rhetoric and actions, to the health care reform struggle, and to a host of other issues. I want to write more about this.

Because my wife Liz is active in the ecumenical movement, I have been exposed to both current thinking and the history of the ecumencial movement, the desire for Christian Unity, the Faith and Order movement, and contemporary inter-religious dialogue. I want to write more about this, especially about the Episcopal roots of the ecumenical movement and the influence of William Reed Huntington and Charles Henry Brent.

Although I can't call myself a Marxist (I don't know enough to be able to tell whether I am a Marxist or not,) I do call myself a socialist. I am convinced that capitalism as it exists today, along with what I will call financialism, are incompatible with the Gospel as I understand it.

I would like very much to try to explicate what I mean by "the Gospel as I understand it." This will take a good deal of work.

Those are some of the things I am thinking about. Now for a few of the things I am doing.

Liz and I have been here at Heart Lake full time since July 25 -- that is, Liz has. I hve gone back to New York for one or two nights every week. Sometimes it's for a meeting, sometimes for a dentist's appointment, sometimes for both. The meetings are connected to my service on the Board of Directors of our coop, Morningside Heights Housing Corporation. The dentist's appointment are for prosthodntics at Columbia Dental School which can only take place on Wednesdays (because of the schedule of the attending dentist who is overseeing the work.) Two weeks ago I was in the chair for eight hours and last week for five hours. The drive to New York is three hours each way.

Meanwhile, here at the cottage, we are proceeding with some work to improve things both outdoors and indoors. When we rebuilt the cottage after the 1988 fire, we acquired an attic space. The number of things we have put in that attic is astounding. I have begun the task of cleaning it out -- it's a big job.

To be updated.


Anonymous said...

When you have finished with renovating the cottage and fixing your teeth, I'd be interested to read how the Gospel is pro-socialist. (Hoping your dentistry is OK!)

Allen said...

I didn't exactly say that I think the Gospel is pro-socialist. I do think there is harmony between a socialist critique of capitalism and a gospel based critique of capitalism.