Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hey, dyngus!
Slavic Easter customs and food

More good things about upstate Pennsylvania.

Russia
From John Laughland via Tea at Trianon
The traffic jams are a symbol of the vibrancy of Russian life today, with all the good and bad which that implies.

Russia, like England, is a European country which typically does not consider itself to be part of Europe.

Russia is also one of the few countries in Europe where ordinary people retain a basic religious faith. No doubt it has degenerated largely into peasant superstition (as it has to some extent in Italy) but the fact is that you are far more likely to see a Russian person cross himself in a moment of worry than a German, a Briton or even a Spaniard.

Russia, indeed, can never be an ordinary country. She will always be a world unto herself.
Liberating truth: eggs are actually eggs
Reason is conforming to reality (‘reality is, man’), or modern philosophy is a big wank as Chesterton explained in St Thomas Aquinas:
Since the modern world began in the sixteenth century, nobody’s system of philosophy has really corresponded to everybody’s sense of reality; to what, if left to themselves, common men would call common sense. Each started with a paradox, a peculiar point of view demanding the sacrifice of what they would call a sane point of view. That is the one thing common to Hobbes and Hegel, to Kant and Bergson, to Berkeley and William James. A man had to believe something that no normal man would believe, if it were suddenly propounded to his simplicity; as that law is above right, or right is outside of reason, or things are only as we think them, or everything is relative to a reality that is not there.

The modern philosopher claims, like a sort of con man, that if once we will grant him this, the rest will be easy; he will straighten out the world, if once he is allowed to give this one twist to the mind...

St. Thomas stands founded on the universal common conviction that eggs are eggs. The Hegelian may say that an egg is really a hen, because it is a part of the endless process of Becoming; the Berkeleian may hold that poached eggs only exist as a dream exists, since it is quite easy to call the dream the cause of the eggs as the eggs the cause of the dreams; the Pragmatist may believe that we get the best out of scrambled eggs by forgetting that they ever were eggs, and only remembering the scramble.

But no pupil of St. Thomas needs to addle his brains in order adequately to addle his eggs; to put his head at any peculiar angle in looking at eggs, or squinting at eggs, or winking the other eye in order to see a new simplification of eggs. The Thomist stands in the broad daylight of the brotherhood of men, in their common consciousness that eggs are not hens or dreams or mere practical assumptions; but things attested by the Authority of the Senses, which is from God...
— Sheed and Ward, New York, 1934, pp. 177-180

From Stephen Hand.

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