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Topical Insights

#13: Mar. - April 2004 (Non-Fiction)
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Dissident Heart

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Topical Insights

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"It is indeed possible that this human life, in the last resort, is meaningless, that chance, blind fate, chaos, absurdity and illusion rule the world, that in the last resort, everything is contradictory, meaningless, worthless, null." (Hans Kung, Does God Exist? An Answer For Today. P.423,1978.)"The major enemy of black survival in America has been and is neither oppression nor exploitation but rather the nihilistic threat- that is, loss of hope and absence of meaning. For as long as hope remains and meaning is preserved, the possibility of overcoming oppression stays alive. The self-fulfi1ling prophecy of the nihilistic threat is that without hope there can be no future, that without meaning there can be no struggle." (Cornel West, Race Matters. P.15, 1993.)"Whatever I fear becomes true, whatever I dread befalls me. For me there is no calm, no peace, my torments banish rest." Job 3:25 NRSV."I took a drive today. Time to emancipate. I guess it was the beatings that made me wise. And I'm not about to give thanks or apologize. I couldn't breathe, holding me down, hand on my face, kissing the ground, enmity gauged, divided by fear, forced to endure, what I could not forgive. I seemed to look away from the wounds in my mirror, I just waved. It wasn't my surface most defiled. Head at your feet, foot on my crown, fist on my plate, swallowed it down, enemy plague, crippled by fear, made to endure, what I should not forgive. Saw things...saw things...clearer...it all seems so much clearer once you are in my rear view mirror. I gathered speed, from you @#%$ with me. Once and for all, I'm far away. Hard to believe. Finally, the shades are raised." (Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam "Rearview Mirror", Dissident. Epic Records, 1993.)"What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore-and then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over-like a syrupy sweet? Maybeit just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?" (Langston Hughes, "Lenox Avenue Mural" Selected Poems of Langston Hughes. P.27, 1959.)"Six characteristics that create vulnerability to addiction:1. Exploitation and manipulation; 2. Non mutuality and isolation; 3. Objectification and dehumanization; 4. Dissatisfaction and despair; 5. Intensification of shame; 6. Basis in fear." (Patrick Carnes Don't Call It Love. P.18, 1991.)"What has evolved on our planet is not just life, not just grass or beetles or mice or microbes, but being with a great intelligence, with a capacity to anticipate the future consequences of present actions... What a waste it would be if after four billion years of tortuous biological evolution, the dominant organism on the planet contrived its own annihilation. No species is guaranteed its tenure on this planet. And we've been here for only about a million years, we, the first species that has devised the means to its own self-destruction." (Carl Sagan On Prejudice: a Global Perspective. Ed. Daniela Gioseffi. p .38, 1993.)"That's me in the corner. That's me in the spotlight, choosing my confession, trying to keep a point of view. And I don't know if I can do it. Oh no, I've said too much. I haven't said enough. Consider this the hint of the century. Tell me, what if all these fantasies come tumbling around our heads? Now, I've said too much- but that's me in the corner. That's me in the spotlight, losing my religion, trying to keep up with my blues. Like a hurt, lost, and blinded foal, fool. Now it's said and I've said enough. That's me in the corner . (Michael Stipe and R.E.M. "Losing my Religion," Automatic For the Peonle. MCA Records, 1993.)"Indeed, we philosophers and "free spirits" feel, when we hear the news that "the old god is dead" as if a new dawn has shone on us; our heart overflows with gratitude, amazement, premonitions, expectation. At long last our ships may venture out again, venture out to face any danger, all the daring of the lover of knowledge is permitted again; the sea, our sea, lies open again; perhaps there has never yet been such an "open sea?" (Friedrich Nietzsche, "The meaning of our cheerfulness." The Gay Science: Book Five. P.280, 1887.1974.)"The most important thing about the new Jerusalem and the new peoples of God is God's new presence, which consists of the indwelling of his unmediated and direct glory. The indwelling presence makes heaven and earth new...God will 'dwell' among them. That is the cosmic Shekinah. What in history was experienced only among the people of God and the temple, in Christ and in the Holy Spirit, and was expected of God's future, is there fulfilled: God's immediate presence interpenetrates everything." (Jurgen Moltmann, The Coming Of God. p .317, 1996.)"The Resurrection is essentially the proclamation that the Reign of God is here, that it is in the midst of the world. The resurrection life is the Reign of God. To live that life is to live a life in all fullness in spite of the fact that it has to be lived in hardship, pain, and suffering...It is the trans- figuration of life and the world not only at the end time but in the ongoing life and history of humankind." (C.S. Song, Jesus and the Reign of God. P. 287, 1993.)
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