Consumer culture

“Since it is not the absolute
amount of material possessions that determines one’s position but rather what one has compared with what others have, it follows that economic inequality will always be promoted. The consumer culture always leads people to want more than they need because what the individual really desires is to enhance his or her status in relation to others. There is always a striving to have more than others because social status is partially defined by material possessions. The inequality and stratification of people along the lines of income and material possessions is bound to occur.”



young tree.png
A letter to Leah Schade at Patheos, in response to her post about the sacredness of trees.
Thank you for this lovely meditation on trees. You remind me to go to them for their wisdom – I don’t mean in any pantheist sense, but in the sense that in their presence it is possible to reflect on our lives, on what we value. At times, especially in the madness of the everyday, it’s difficult to believe there can be a God. And then I go to the trees, with their majestic beauty, their physical expression of the life force within them – sap, roots, the roughness or smoothness of bark, the tensile strength of branches, cascades of leaves. How they move in the wind, how they change through the seasons. In the presence of a tree, I sense God. A felled tree is always a sort of crucifixion, a young sapling a resurrection. I draw trees, because to draw them is to look intently at them, to see them as more than future lumber or objects for casual landscaping. The old, gnarled ones, the survivors, fascinate me the most. And those ragged trees in dismal cities: they soldier on, abused, cut with graffiti, plastic caught in their branches. I recently met a skilled bonsai grower who had saved a small sapling from a rubble-covered construction site: a tiny living thing had survived a bulldozer! He nurtured it back to health and even with it’s wounds it was by far his most beautiful tree. Trees show us who we are, and what we could be.

Not Good News

TRUMP’s treatment of immigrant families

“Those who face the wrath of God, Jesus said, are those who did not welcome the immigrant, who did not clothe the naked, or feed the hungry. And specifically regarding harming children, let me remind you, is an act where Jesus said it would be better to have a rock tied around your neck and be thrown into the deepest ocean.”

Dr. Benjamin L. Corey: No, The Gospel Isn’t “Good News” For Everyone

True self

Kierkegaard and the True Self’s Alienation

By Benjamin Cain

The full article can be found at:

“…modern secularists face a choice between, on the one hand, conforming to popular ways of life which typically require that we objectify or otherwise degrade ourselves, and on the other, divorcing ourselves from mass society as required by righteous disgust with phony personhood. Of course, staying true to yourself when tempted to succumb to regressive preordained roles is rare in consumer society… To be a Kierkegaardian existentialist or Christian is to struggle with the horror of the abyss between God and the created individual—which an atheist can construe as the conflict between the antihuman otherness of reality and our pretense that we can understand everything despite our natural limits. … The more you struggle with depression or anxiety, the less likely you are to succeed in worldly terms; on the contrary, whether in business or in social relationships, that success depends on deference to noble lies, which is anathema to anyone who cares about philosophical truth. Moreover, existential suffering is chronic and incurable; recognizing the farness and alienness of God and thus the ultimate futility of our rationality isn’t a stepping stone to achieving a greater good, since the resulting disgust and horror already indicate you’ve attained the higher good of being your true self. ”


The Liminal

Relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.
– Oxford

Of, relating to, or situated at a sensory threshold; barely perceptible or capable of eliciting a response.
– Merriam-Webster

Relating to the point (or threshold) beyond which a sensation becomes too faint to be experienced. Of or at the limen, or threshold. At a boundary or transitional point between two conditions, stages in a process, ways of life, etc.
– Collins

“In anthropology, liminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning “a threshold”) is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rites, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the rite is complete. During a rite’s liminal stage, participants “stand at the threshold” between their previous way of structuring their identity, time, or community, and a new way, which the rite establishes.

… More recently, usage of the term has broadened to describe political and cultural change as well as rites. During liminal periods of all kinds, social hierarchies may be reversed or temporarily dissolved, continuity of tradition may become uncertain, and future outcomes once taken for granted may be thrown into doubt. The dissolution of order during liminality creates a fluid, malleable situation that enables new institutions and customs to become established. The term has also passed into popular usage, where it is applied much more broadly, undermining its significance to some extent.” -Wikipedia

“First described in anthropology… as a social theory of the liminal states – spaces of a ‘temporary outcast’ when an individual or a group is being placed by the society on its margin in a ritual of purification and/or recognition. It has got also its usage (sic) in the contemporary psychology where the liminal means sub- or unconscious state with one’s sense of identity being ‘on hold’ or dissolved…”

“… It is when you have left the tried and true, but have not yet been able to replace it with anything else.  It is when you are between your old comfort zone and any possible new answer. If you are not trained in how to hold anxiety, how to live with ambiguity, how to entrust and wait, you will run…anything to flee this terrible cloud of unknowing.” – Richard Rohr