Jim Cowles

Joy And The Absurd — A Meditation On Buridan’s Ass

Joy And The Absurd — A Meditation On Buridan’s Ass

"Life" Issues, Abrahamic Traditions, Advent, Atheism, autonomy, awareness, book review, C. S. Lewis, Challenge, Change, Character of God, Christianity, Christmas, contemplation, Creator, critical judgment, culture, December, existentialism, Ezra Pound, faith, God, Holy Mystery, Human Condition, Jim Cowles, Kierkegaard, Literature, Numinous, Religion, Secularity, Skeptic, Spirituality, T. S. Eliot, Theology, Thinking, Uncategorized
Full disclosure:  as I have said elsewhere, I never got the “hang uv” being a Christian, and consider the multiple decades I spent beating my head against that particular brick wall as time merely pissed away. I still believe that. But that is only half the truth. The other half is that it is equally true that I could never get, have never gotten, the “hang uv” being an atheist. I am no more successful as a “creedal” atheist than I was as a “creedal” Christian. My admiration for, e.g., Sam Harris, the late Christopher Hitchens, Bill Maher, Richard Dawkins, Julia Sweeney, and Daniel Dennett is undiminished. Nothing I say in what follows should be interpreted as disagreeing with their contention that religious statements should be subject to the same critique as other statements. Religio
Reading As Companionship — A Personal History

Reading As Companionship — A Personal History

"Life" Issues, Abrahamic Traditions, Albert Camus, Archetypes, Ash Wednesday, At-One-Ment, Atheism, awareness, C. S. Lewis, Challenge, Change, Christianity, Christianity/Catholicism, Church, Comfort, community, Compassion, conflict, contemplation, courage, Creator, creator senses, critical judgment, culture, curiosity, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discernment, doubt, Education, Enlightenment, existentialism, Ezra Pound, faith, Four Quartets, God, Holy Mystery, Hope, Human Condition, Imagination, Intelligence, Jim Cowles, Lent/Ash Wednesday, Literature, Longing, Mystery, Myth, Mythology, Nihilism, Numinous, Philosophy, Poetry, Religion, Secularity, solidarity, T. S. Eliot, Uncategorized, Wholeness
In Shadowlands, the movie about the courtship and marriage of C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman Gresham, C. S. Lewis is quoted as saying “We read to know we are not alone”.  I have found multitudes of citations  where people quote Lewis as having said this in those very words, but have so far found no specific source, no book, no article, no lecture, for this remark. But even if Lewis did not say it, he should have.  For in my own personal experience, there have been instances too abundant to count where this proved to be the case with uncanny timeliness.  The following examples do not even scratch the surface. But in virtually all cases of where I have been reminded that I am not alone, this reminder also amounted to a revelation of what I myself thought even at times when I was not aware
Of Dead-Weasel Toupees And Homophobia

Of Dead-Weasel Toupees And Homophobia

Christianity, Consitution, Discernment, Essay, GLBT, Jim Cowles, Philosophy, Politics, Sexuality, Skeptic, Spirituality
Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer: there is nobility in preserving it coolly and proudly through long youth, until at last, in the ripeness of instinct and discretion, it can be safely exchanged for fidelity and happiness. -- George Santayana In opposition to civil rights for LGBTQ people, conservatives often advance the argument that, whereas civil rights legislation for African-Americans is justified on the basis that one is not free to choose one’s race, civil rights legislation for LGTBQ people is not justified because homosexuality – at least, so the allegation goes – is something people choose.  So, the argument proceeds, legislation prohibiting discrimination against African-Americans in matters of housi