Faith: In a podcast on the Jesuits in China yesterday, I learnt that – at least back then – the Catholic Church believed that God had (conveniently) inserted 'intimations of Christianity' in all pagan religions and that these should be built on these to drag unfortunates towards the real truth. Clearly, there's no limit to what the human mind can believe when it wants to. I just wonder why God would bother to go this long way round. Why not make everyone Catholics in the first place? For divine amusement? Hardly, I guess, as S(He) would know the outcome of all missionary efforts. Slaughter included. It's a mystery to me. Though perhaps not a sacred one, like the unfathomable doctrine of the Trinity.
Which reminds me . . . . Christianity then and now: Back in the 12th century, Christians of the West and the East were separated by two things:- 1. Persia, and 2. Doctrinal differences over the nature of God. Was Jesus human or divine? Or both? How many natures/personalities had God? How many persons was God? And were some of these subordinate to others? Who the hell knows - or could know. But, 900 years ago, clever people had precious little else to argue about other than these esoteric issues. And the Western and Eastern Churches went separate ways. The current Pope is cosying up to the leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church but no one believes they'll ever sink their differences. Nor, incidentally, that some Protestant Christians will ever accept the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity. Nor all of them the doctrine of Transubstantiation. But good luck to them, anyway. Things could be far worse; they could all be crazy, doctrine-sharing Scientologists. BTW - The web page of these nutters says that:- Scientology is not a dogmatic religion in which one is asked to accept anything on faith alone. On the contrary, one discovers for oneself that the principles of Scientology are true by applying its principles and observing or experiencing the results.This is pretty hard to credit when their basic (but clearly insane) belief is that a human is an immortal spiritual being (thetan) that is resident in a physical body. Thetans have all had innumerable past lives, lived in extraterrestrial cultures. But, as I noted above, there's truly no limit to what the human brain can believe when it wants to. Or when it's been indoctrinated from the time it could start to think.
On a lighter note . . . This has been voted the most romantic line in English literature or films: My heart is, and always will be, yours. This guff comes from Sense And Sensibility. It garnered 16% of the vote, beating out contenders from 'Dirty Dancing', 'Titanic', 'Wuthering Heights', 'When Harry Met Sally', 'Notting Hill', 'Ghost', 'Far From The Madding Crowd', 'Love Actually' and 'Pride And Prejudice'. So, well done Ms Austen. I wonder if they included the book which claims to reproduce the erotic bits cut out of your 'Pride and Prejudice?
Finally . . . This guy says he knows who the unnamed British actress is who claimed she'd been sexually assaulted on a mainline train station by a guy who brushed past her in just half a second. I have no idea, of course, whether he's right or wrong. Honest.
Finally, finally . . . Yesterday I added a link to Expat.com to my blog page. But I forgot to add their suggested text to my post:-
Whether you wish to live in Spain or you already settled here, you should have lots of question about your expat project. To help you answer them, Expat.com offers you to get in touch with expats living nearby or on the other side of the world. The website is indeed the largest expat help and support network.
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P. S. So far, they haven't offered to pay me for this! So God knows why I'm doing it. Just Mr. Nice Guy, I guess. Masked by my carapace of churlishness.