Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Saucy Quip

Now I am reading CHRISTIANITY: THE FIRST THREE THOUSAND YEARS by Diarmaid MacCulloch. I'm already on page 34! Less than 1,000 pages to go. At this early stage, we find a saucy quip about Diogenes, far too spicy to be repeated on the "blog." And MacCulloch refers to Kierkegaard as Socrates' "most mischievous disciple" - nicely put! Also, "No one sane has sought to replicate Plato's picture of government in the real world - although some insane societies have warmed to his recommendation that the activities of musicians should be curbed and all poets expelled." An interesting fact: "And so the name of metaphysics, the study of the nature of reality, was born in an accident." Plus a fascinating pronouncement in the introduction: "The writing and telling of history is bedevilled by two human neuroses: horror at the desperate shapelessness and seeming lack of pattern in events, and regrets for a golden lost age, a moment of happiness when all was well. Put these together and you have an urge to create elaborate patterns to make sense of things and to create a situation where the golden age is just waiting to spring to life again." That's just in the first 34 pages! Just think: despite the flash-forward to Kierkegaard, we haven't even made it to Jesus yet! And so many tidbits already. If my math holds up, CHRISTIANITY should be good for at least 203.2 awesome tidbits for me to "blog" about. Oh, wait. "Is Shakespeare's Hamlet 'true'? It never happened, but it seems to me to be much more 'true', full of meaning and significance for human beings, than the reality of the breakfast I ate this morning, which was certainly 'true' in a banal sense." And, "There is no surer basis for fanaticism than bad history, which is invariably history oversimplified." So I think I'm going to get 239.05 tidbits out of this. PS: The government wants you to know that I did not receive this book free from a publisher. I bought it with my own money. It's already paying for itself!