God’s Blessings on January 18, 2017

God’s blessings to you on this the eighteenth day of January in the year of our Lord’s incarnation 2017.

There’s a really interesting question in why it is that we teach children to say “thank you” even when they don’t “mean it,” by which we mean, that it’s something done by choice or habit rather than a spontaneous outpouring of gratitude. When a child says “thank you” without meaning it, it is an acknowledgement of a situation in which something was done for them which they were not owed. They may not recognize this in the moment, but the acknowledgement still exists, and is something which they can contemplate (unconsciously) as time permits. A great deal of childhood is the building up of data to be understood later, even if not consciously recalled later, and taking a physical action (like speaking) to recognize something that has happened makes it far more memorable. This gets to the incarnational nature of human beings; we are body and soul united, not merely joined.

The “cartesian dualism” which predates Descartes by quite a bit—the gnostic divided soul and body, and were not the first to do so either—is an interesting thing. It seems to be very natural to our fallen nature to turn this distinction into a division. In some sense I suppose that this is inevitable because our souls can survive the death of our bodies, so the things are in fact divisible, but fallen humanity seems to want to divide them earlier than necessary. I’ve noticed that in other places, too, where people seem to want to die before they’re dead. A person having an identity is an example of that. You’ll have an identity after you’re dead. Right now, you’re a work in progress and might end up being anything. I wonder if this isn’t a fear of making choices. Making choices means that we can make bad choices, and the reality of that can be scary. It might also be related to how many people like to make the world comprehensible by reductionism. People, as origins of causality, make the world horribly complicated. Far too complicated for our finite minds to comprehend. It might be something else too; it’s an interesting question to contemplate, anyway. (Usually things don’t have single causes but are caused by multiple threads intertwining; this is especially true when multiple people do the same thing, with different threads having different amounts of influence in each person.)

In other news, I finally put up my interview with professional science fiction and horror author Brian Niemeier:

We talk about writing, fiction, theology, and more. It’s almost three hours long, but I found it very interesting when I was in it, and when I listened to it afterwards during editing. 🙂

Glory to God in the highest.

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