The spiritual mind

The spiritual mind does not grab onto one idea to the exclusion of others. It loves all things according to their due.

Therefore, only the spiritual mind can be an educated mind.

The spiritual mind is principled in its thinking. It is not empirical or “spiritual” but objectively rational. This rational thought is the foundation of order. This is not a Cartesian rationalsim, however, but a more ancient rationalism whose quest is not “certainty” but harmony.

Thus the spiritual mind does not treat someone in isolation and ask for things like relevance at all times. It deals with all areas of life before they become a crisis.

The spiritual mind makes commitments.

The spiritual mind does not denigrate skill – it consecrates it.

On Truth and Intellectual Development

Truth revealed and accepted accelerates learning by drawing the lover of truth like a magnet. Dogma, therefore, if they are true, do no harm to the intellect. Falsehood, however, does positive harm.

Thus the modern disregard for assertions of truth (which are, of course, directed at truths the modern doesn’t like or at people who think they know the truth because they’ve memorized a statement about it) is fatal to the intellect and at the root of how our most-schooled-society in the world is also among the dumbest.

Thus there are at least three ways in which truth helps cultivate learning.

  1. The hope of finding it still motivates our best thinkers
  2. When something true is discovered, it brings order to our thinking and opens new avenues of insight
  3. The mind that believes in truth, cultivates the habits and virtues needed to find it.

On teaching History

Kids need and like heroes, but they also like having a context in which to locate them. Besides, no hero is a hero without a context in which he became a hero. He had to fight something. They love to see the overall flow of history or of a given period. This is pleasing to the intellectual faculty, while the heroic element appeals to their spiritedness.

Bobby Jindal

Not a great speaker, but the boat story hits home. No matter how great a leader President Obama is, he can’t get us anywhere if impersonal bureaucrats are the ones making our decisions.

Bobby is taking a position. I don’t think this speech will move many people tonight. But in three or four years it will be a standard he can return to. We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but if the Republicans don’t get creative they could be swamped again by the Obamomentum.

If they don’t get creative on health care, we’re doomed. If they don’t privatize education and open up the schools, it’s already too late.

Mainly, Jindal is oversimplifying the government vs. the people argument. We’re in trouble now because of our government, of course. But we’re also in trouble because of private decision makers who had too much influence. The trouble is not only government; it’s rampant bureaucracy in both the public and the private sector. It’s the depersonalized impact of our worship of numbers and giantism.

It reminds me of Burke’s words on the French Revolution.

The age of chivalry has passed. The age of sophists, oeconomists, and accountants has come.


President Obama on the military, Ty’Sheoma Bethea, and his conclusion

I’m grateful to hear him say that we do “not torture.”

A new era of engagement has begun. We can’t be alone and the world needs us. We need to engage in negotiation with confidence and candor.

The world depends on us having a strong economy as we depend on the strength of the worlds. Deep implications to that. Not something to enter into without a lot of judgment.

The world is watching us. We hear that a lot. “In our hands lies the ability to shape our world; for good or for ill.”

“Hope comes from the dreams and aspirations of ordinary Americans who are anything but ordinary.”

He does a great job connecting to the audience. Good story teller.

The young girl from South Carolina, Ty’Sheoma Bethea, was very effective. Nevertheless, in my opinion, he sort of stumbled. He should have hit a grand slam, but he only hit a double. But that’s on rhetoric. The point was beautiful. “We aren’t quitters.” The girl inspired me and that’s what a great leader ensures.

We need to remember that 2% of the population is one out of every 50 people. Sure they all live in New York, but that’s a lot of people, over 6,000,000.

He’s a true leader. I hope he leads us in the right direction.

One last comment. He wants us to send everybody to college. I hope he has in mind something different from the typical contempoary college. If that many people go to this kind of college we’ll be wiped out by venereal diseases and people who can’t keep their commitments to their spouses and children. College might help people get jobs (though it’s vastly over valued in that regard), but it has a tendency to ruin a lot of other things.

Let me conclude by saying that President Obama has my prayers and my best wishes. We need great wisdom.

I may have some closer analysis tomorrow, but probably not. I’m heading off again so I’ll just point out that Obama’s “inherited deficit” comments are interesting and demand a close review.

President Obama on the deficit

A note on the economic portion:

Bad move: “I know we can get some consensus in here.”

“With the deficit we inherited.”

He can’t back hand like that if he doesn’t want to offend and alienate people. The first line was great. The second was too easily perceived by Republicans as spiteful.

I look forward to the waste, fraud, and abuse being rooted out. I wonder what morally upstanding bureaucracy will do that. I also want to see the details on that tax cut for 95% of working families.

He is most certainly a leader: decisive, adequately detailed for the forum (though I have to wonder what the details will be), and inspiring. He clearly is attentive to the needs of common people.


President Obama on Education

President Obama wants everybody to get educated, but will he stand in the way of those who have proven to be effective, or will he only allow the public schools to get educated.

He’s asking us all to commit to at least a year of education. I like that he included apprenticeship.

Good to hear him challenge the high school dropouts: “It’s not just quitting on yourself, it’s quitting on your country.”

“By 2020 America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.”

If you volunteer, we’ll make sure you can afford a higher education. Hatch/Kennedy: that’s a document I’d like to see reviewed by honorable and eye open people.

“It is up to us to ensure they walk through [the doors.]”

Thank you for the call to parents. Responsibility for education must begin at home. I would argue it should end there too.