Tuesday, December 29, 2015

What is wrong with Socrates? / Christmas

Relatively intelligent people I have met on-line ranging from writers, professors, and debaters like the late Christopher Hitchens seem to see what they call a dialectic according to Socrates as a kind of religion or thing to live by.  Question everything, look higher to the elevated consciousness.  Get your head out of the mud of daily diving, cares, needs and desires, and just think.  On one hand, thinking is indeed something we could stand to do more of, and still, Plato's cave analogy serves as a convenient image to denigrate everything that there actually is, and has been created good, and promote the something or other higher (so-called).  They will even say that it is a "satanic" activity in the Biblical sense, the legitimate questioning of everything.

It really is the "fall upwards".  You can be like God. How could God forbid you something?  How could he withhold knowledge of evil from you?  Go for it.  You will be like God.  Look inside for all the knowledge you need.  Nothing is really forbidden, or shameful.

The Satan of the Bible asks Adam and Eve to search for something more than what they have been given--paradise on earth, love, goodness, bodies that reproduce, food, nurture.  But Satan does not care.  Satan offers a pretend light.  It is not a light.  It is death, that he offers.

And so even Socrates, when elevated to religious figure, a prophet, is Satan.

I cried at the account of Socrates' death.  He was brave and good in many ways.  But Plato was into eugenics and control.  So, also, the Socratic dialogue tends to swerve into the nightmare, downhill, rather than upward.  His society thought Socrates a demagogue, and maybe he was one.

Better watch out.

Mohammed, also, tries to teach that God can have nothing to do with the physical. The results are also disastrous.

Christian Science wants to say that illness is an illusion.  But illness is not an illusion.  It is real and scientific pursuits and medicine have offered relief and need acceptance. Buddhism wants us to ignore all the suffering in the world.  Give up caring, altogether.

The Bible teaches us to value what we have in the physical realm. The spiritual and higher realm is attached and integrated into this physical realm.  It cannot be pried apart.  When it is attempted the results are not elevating. It is a mirage, a temptation, a false road.

There is only one good road and it is narrow:  Christ, God in the flesh.  Love incarnate.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Cooking and Baking--fast, no measuring

In the last few days, I have discovered Breadpudding: add some whipping cream to it and--voila--you have something you should only make rarely...

In my experimenting it turns out: that's how I make it, see below.

One lasagna pan.
About 10 slices of bread (cut into pieces)
7 eggs
high fat yoghurt
maple flavor
almond flavor
homemade chai spice mix
Bourbon soaked raisins
brown sugar
cut apples with skin
(some butter)

bake for 40 min., convection oven, uncovered, 350 degrees F.

They recommend a Bourbon sauce, which I have not made yet.
It would consist of:  butter, brown sugar, a bit of cream and Bourbon.

I went out and bought the Bourbon, since we didn't have anything like it.  I thought it was rum, but it is whisky.  In any case, the local liquor store had it, at 32.00 dollar per medium size bottle.  Something really cheap would probably work just as well in baking.

I consider this a "no measurement needed recipe".  Mix it all together.  Whisk the eggs before adding, obviously.  I had forgotten to add butter, so I flaked some over top once it was already in the oven.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Cognitive Dissonance and Music

The internet sent me on some reading and I came across this point:  playing music in the backgrond reduced cognitive dissonance experience.

Interesting.  Similar to hand-washing.  Interesting.  From Wikipedia.

A 2012 study using a version of the forbidden toy paradigm showed that hearing music reduces the development of cognitive dissonance.[10] With no music playing in the background, the control group of four-year-old children were told to avoid playing with a particular toy. After playing alone, the children later devalued the forbidden toy in their ranking, which is similar findings to earlier studies. However, in the variable group, classical music was played in the background while the children played alone. In that group, the children did not later devalue the toy. The researchers concluded that music may inhibit cognitions that result in dissonance reduction.[10] Music is not the only example of an outside force lessening post-decisional dissonance; a 2010 study showed that hand-washing had a similar effect.[11]

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Getting Ready

As we are getting closer to Christmas, all the pieces have to come together.  I am taking the very easy route on the Christmas tree front, as you can see.   In all things simplicity...  Less is more...

It's much better to sing more.  Someone gave me a JBL Pulse Bluetooth speaker, which I took into use today.  A wonderful device, it is! It is more powerful than the previous JBLcharge speaker, plus it gives a lightshow.  My husband finds the light distracting, but,  check it out, you can also turn if off.  It comes with an I-Pad app which helps you organize your playlist.  VERY SWEET!

What was playing during the Biscotti making was this CD of Paul Gerhardt hymns, shown below.  It is a very beautiful recording, but there are too few verses sung.  These are the songs we learned by heart, when in school, verses and verses and more verses, and here we only get a couple.  Alas.  I have to yet find what I am looking for.


Bach-Chor Siegen - Paul Gerhardt:Die schönsten Choräle, CD

For our edification, however, tonight still, let's looks at an English version of "Wie soll ich dich empfangen".  "Oh, Lord, how shall I meet you..."

Friday, December 18, 2015

Babies at Christmas

Dear Blog: keeping going, trying new things... especially in the way of music and music therapy...  I love to make people happy with music.

The best thing, though, are babies at Christmas, the hope and joy they bring, and I have my very own, first grandchild to show off.  She was born small but is doing very well, having eaten like a little piglet for 3 months now, she is at 25th percentile.

We can see how babies give new hope and joy, and we see the wisdom of God, in coming to the world as a baby.  The wisdom and the foolishness, the strength and the weakness, the Prince of Peace.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Jesus Comes

When Stefan died, one of his teachers gave us a card with this image, with the youth safe and sound in Jesus' arms.

Another youth we know, 17 years old, died this week.

It looks like he jumped off a bridge into a large and cold river.  His family, distraught about his where-abouts, posted, after the body was found, "He is safe in the arms of his Savior".

This could seem to some kitschy or wishful thinking.

But it is the only answer I have ever found:  "I love him even more than you."

There is nothing else.