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Blindness and new paths

02 Dec

The greatest of all personal blindnesses is hatred, and the greatest social blindness is war, in which men lose their reason and become fanatics.

It is common in times of crisis and few know and actually defend the path of serenity and wisdom in these moments, polarization and war were signs, resorting to authoritarianism and social misguidedness is the consequence.

The visual physical limitation made me have the exact feeling of what this means, first recognizing my own blindness and then knowing how to walk with it and accept the limits resorting to healing.

Socially it is not quite like that because the narratives make men believe in what they say and say and what they imagine they see, we have already posted here Saramago’s essay and other blindness, also their meaning around the pandemic.

The social course of a society in disequilibrium and under tension is always worrying, because common sense does not always win, remember the two wars and their humanitarian disasters and other pandemics.

The Christian liturgy at this Christmas time does not speak only of the advent of the baby Jesus, it also speaks of the Parusia, that is, of a new advent, where it also says that there will be cuts and changes (Mt 3,10): “The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire”, that is, the root of all evils and disagreements.

In religious terms, conversion is asked, a change of route, in social terms it is necessary to recognize what is not in the path of hope and love, and cut it at the root because it is the only way to change.

 

Not everything that shines is gold

01 Dec

Who proclaims or hears about changes, thinks of values ​​and immediate situations that indicate earthly benefits and not straight and new paths that lead to a superior ascesis, then this is not the time to come, this is not a new advent.

Structural changes imply a change of mentality, in religious terms they mean conversion, not for this or that particular position, but for a new moral and social asceticism.

Words are often said to convince men, but they do not mean that if in fact there is coherence in what is said, in current terms they mean building narratives to favor personal interests.

Just as not everything that is new is revolutionary, and as the popular saying goes, not everything that glitters is gold, also for those who believe, not everyone who claims to be religious is in fact changing values.

The literal reading is (Mt 7,21-24): “not everyone who says Lord, Lord enters the Kingdom of God, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Therefore, anyone who does not listen to these words of mine and put them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the Rock.”

When in fact the changes start to happen, times of crisis always indicate this, consciences will also be enlightened, they will enter a “clearing”, but for now everything is confused and uncertain, each one wants to prevail his point of view, and so if fanatically opposes what he considers opposed to his interests, but a new advent is announced.

More than prophetic or apocalyptic words, they are necessary conditions and structures for a new social, moral and spiritual time, everything is immersed in conflicts of interest groups and immediate politics.

So, while the house is being put in order, everything looks upturned and uncertain, and in fact it is.

 

 

Straighten the paths

30 Nov

What is out of kilter In many times of transformation, the confused and decadent environment induces irascible reasoning and temperaments and gives vent to what philosophers called drives or, if we want to simplify, a tendency towards what is easier, more useful and more pleasurable, without worrying about the consequences.

This type of impulse can be what in the English language is called “drive” (to direct) or in German trieb (both in the negative trieben deriva, and positive. Triebende driving force), so it is possible, in a very liberal reading, to see these values ​​as positive, but historically they were signs of decay, as at the height of the Roman Empire or at the end of the Middle Ages, the maladjustment of social morals was clear.

However, in all these times, there have always been political, intellectual and social reactions to this decadence, and with that, history walked and some problems were solved, totally or partially, for example, the Roman Empire died little by little with the liberation of the colonies, already the period of liberalism and anthropocentrism at the end of the Middle Ages, gave rise to economic liberalism that led to the construction of new colonies in Africa and America and with this new forms of political and social decay extended until the French Revolution, for example, and in the English case, the coexistence of the monarchy with the republic.

A new cycle of decadence opens in this second decade of the millennium, with a visible fall in social and moral values, where politics is not a separate case.

Thus appear men and women capable of fighting to revert the historical picture of decay, but without a deep analysis the picture is confused, while ideas could be propagated in smaller circles in previous periods, now they travel the world in a fraction of seconds and invade even closed countries, such as Iran (there is a revolt for women’s rights) and China (where the strict confinement because of Covid provokes protests), but the background is a social reorganization.

In a small colony of Judea, in a period of many false prophets and rebellions against the Roman Empire, there was a religious figure called John the Baptist, who challenged the powers and governors, Herodes feared him not because he had an army or because the people followed him, but for the harsh words he had.

The lessons of John the Baptist are valid for our time: straighten the paths and level the hills, that is, seek straight paths that help open minds and forces to social reorganization.

 

Folly and messy house

29 Nov

In addition to the war in Eastern Europe, a possible return of the pandemic, human common sense seems to be out of fashion, days are confusing, even the dates of the week and the end of the year, traditionally more festive and calm, seem to give in to an atmosphere of foolishness and protest, due to the sporting event that involves at least 32 nations: The World Cup.

Although the house is in disarray, all the political rage seems to have gone to football, in fact politics looks like football with organized supporters destabilizing social life and removing authorities from their status quo, the judge who lowers himself to the fool, the president who rebels with the power it represents, new land invasion movements and calls for more authoritarianism in the midst of an evident crisis of authority.

Although the fan threw the LGBTQIA+ flag on the lawn, he was also protesting the war in Ukraine and the oppression of Iranian women (see the picture).

The Cup already had a protest from an Islamic country that did not sing its own anthem, a fan who invaded the field to protest against gender inequality and even a request for the selection to be expelled from the World Cup, the player is injured and the fans themselves celebrates, finally, wisdom seems to be out of kilter.

After all, a sport is fun, it does involve passion, but it is only within its limits, and cultural diversity must also be respected, as well as the right to protest within the limits of the demonstration.

The important analysis is that none of these facts should be taken out of context, an isolated fact or just the manifestation of minority groups, the house is in disarray, there is something dark in the air.

There are isolated and muffled voices that ask for a return to the axis and the solution of problems that are serious, yes, but they cannot be solved with foolishness, a messy house requires care in tidying up every corner, cleaning every hidden object or left aside, and let that sport is what it is in essence, a peaceful way to compete and bring joy to balanced national hearts and sentiments.

 

 

New variant and covid 19 on the rise

28 Nov

Although the numbers are not the same as the peak of the pandemic, the upward trend in cases remains and a new concern emerges as a worrying factor.

According to the German Primate Center (DPX), the Leibniz Institute and the Friedrich Alexander Erlangen Nurbnerg University, the therapies currently approved to treat people at risk of developing severe cases of Covid-19 are also not effective against the viral variants that are in worldwide ascension, especially the underlining of }omicron BQ.1.1. on the rise worldwide.

Also the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) which regulates drugs in the United States as well as the European Medicines Agency (European EMA0, the previous vaccines do not work for this variant, new vaccines in tests are already being used, and as always there are already denialist theory circulating, and the excessive lockdown in China already generates a wave of protests.

What is at stake, as at the beginning of the pandemic, is the fall or rise, now with previous experience, of a new lethal wave over all of humanity, the picture promises to get worse if measures are not taken or if they are not accepted by already exhausted populations containment and preventive measures.

The number is not exaggerated, neither in the moving average in the number of cases, in Brazil in the range above 20 thousand daily cases, nor in the number of deaths, in Brazil less than a hundred (80 at the weekend). However, the rate remains (see the figure).

In addition, in the Brazilian case, the tumultuous transition and government, which generates a certain inertia in the health system, where costs are also high and, according to the elected government, very chaotic.

In the northern hemisphere it is winter and this worries even more, the inefficiency of preventive measures is also a concern, not to mention the aggravating factor of a war that undermines the energy sources necessary for heating environments and coping with the cold, especially in the region where the war does not give truce.

Everyone in the world, and especially in Brazil, is expected to show some sense from the authorities who are ultimately responsible for the health and lives of thousands of people at risk.

 

Changes in earth and sky

25 Nov

Little is analyzed about the great social changes in the history of the earth and in human life, the earth came long before human life, they also represented man’s vision of the universe and its mysteries, and thus there is a correspondence between earthly changes and their corresponding cosmogony , whether this is just a coincidence or divine providence depends on the cosmovision itself, but it has changed for sure.

Thus, the vision of the cosmos at the beginning of Classical Antiquity is as evident as the birth of the Greek polis and its consequences for the modern world, Aristarchus of Samos (310 BC – 230 BC) came to calculate the radius of the Earth long before the circus navigation ( Fernão de Magalhães 1512), and also at the end of the Middle Ages the Ptolemaic idea of ​​Geocentrism gave way to Copernican heliocentrism and the change from feudalism to modern liberalism can be linked to this change in astronomical vision.

In current times, initially Hubble and now James Webb have made man look to the ends of the universe and even a change in the modernity of relativity theory, black holes and wormholes show a universe in greater mutation than we expected, thousands of galaxies are born and die throughout the universe and our system is just a grain of sand.

Perhaps the great revolution is the change in the conception of time, we can look at the birth of the Universe (see our post on the divine locus) which may not be called eternity, but is more than a simple absolute dimension of time and space, and perhaps it is more than Einstein’s space-time dimension.

In the biblical path Adam and Eve appear at a time when man is already sedentary and no longer nomadic, since Cain was a farmer of the earth and Abel a shepherd of sheep, who knows, the death of Cain was the first land conflict of humanity, the It is certain that this fact is linked to a new sedentary worldview, just as Noah would correspond to a deluge, or perhaps a simple flood that occurred in the Arabian peninsula, since it is located below the Negro, where we can observe the narrow Bosphorus, the path of sea ​​between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

Thus, the time of Noah may have meant a geographical change, at least in that region of the planet that involved the transformation that took place further down between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, the cradle of Arab civilization, and if there is no historical record of Noah, there is of his descendants: the Semites, from his son Shem, who had populated the region.

Thus, when speaking of the transformations that heavens and earth would undergo, the biblical reading of Luke (Lk 24, 37-39): “The coming of the Son of Man will be like in the time of Noah. For in the days before the flood, people were running and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark. And they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away. So shall it be in the life of the Son of Man,” the second coming called the Parousia.

The great civilizational crisis will not have to be just a change in the social structure, but it will certainly accompany a physical change on the planet, since its environmental forces are running out.

 

 

 

Raphael and the World

24 Nov

Manuel Alegre is a contemporary Portuguese poet when he was a military man in the then colony of Angola, he participated in the first rebellion that tried to free Angola from the yoke of his country (he was arrested by the PIDE, Salazar police), he won several awards, including the Camões Prize in 2017, he wrote “Jornada da África” in 1989, “Alma” in 1995 and “The third Rose” in 1998, between others of course, but his book that we reference here is “Raphael” (in picture used in figure of its cover).

During his period of exile after his arrest, he lived in Algiers, which is why he will refer to Rafael in the novel as someone who lived under different pseudonyms, sometimes he feels Spanish, Portuguese or Algerian, but Manuel Alegre’s deepest feeling is of a citizen of the world, nameless and looking for references.

In the Book Rafael goes from house to house, from hotel to hotel, changes his name, lets his mustache grow, wears glasses without lenses, uses a passport in hotels where he hides his citizenship and another to travel, in each new document a name and a different profession, he is clandestine within himself, he has lost his references and his own personal identity, he already is and he is not, he does not use his first name, he has four or five pseudonyms that he prefers, whether he is French, Spanish or Algerian, he is alone, not in the proper sense, as a solitary literature might wish, but as a member of an international brigade, he feels solidarity with it.

Ser e não ser has already been written by William Shapespeare, but in Manuel Alegre it acquires a contemporary meaning, the citizen of the world in solidarity with all peoples, I make here a mystical incursion, which is not in your book and which I consider important, not to be is also part of Being when we are in solidarity with other peoples, customs and cultures, and in my case without losing our own, also the name of the archangel Raphael is significant for me, in Hebrew origin El is God and Rafa is healing, so Raphael has the meaning God heals, here in the sense of a socially and culturally sick world for not recognizing other values ​​and cultures.

I know 23 countries, 4 in Latin America, 19 in Europe, especially Spain and Italy because of my ancestry, and Portugal where I saw more clearly all the influence in Brazil, but I still feel Brazilian and today’s debut day of the national team in the World Cup around the world I will be with neighbors and friends cheering for the national team, without this meaning hatred or contempt for other peoples and cultures.

 

 

Christians and Social Crises

23 Nov

Christian values ​​that are universal are those that promote fraternity among men and for this they make use of their so-called theological virtues: faith, hope and charity, among them it is charity that has the greatest precedence.
Without charity, an essential aspect of those who profess religious faith in the advent of Jesus, a feast that begins next week, whose culmination is Christmas, without this charity neither the greatest altruism nor the greatest virtue can achieve the true Christian faith.
In times of crisis men not only lose fraternity, in fighting for their own survival and vision of the world, they also lose hope and with this grows not only hatred, but also intolerance, fear and division between peoples and nations.
So it is truly heroic to continue to promote charity and faith, and at different times in history it has even been necessary to go to the point of martyrdom to keep them as values, it is not just the misunderstanding of Christian values, but of all human values ​​that come into play. game when hatred and division thrive in many ways.
Dangerous times as we remembered in the previous post can be particularly difficult.
When Christians are also attacked, this is where their true faith and values ​​are tested, says a passage from the Gospel of Luke (Lk 12:13): “Before these things take place, you will be arrested and persecuted, you will be handed over to synagogues [false temples ] and put in prison, you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be the occasion when you will testify to your faith”, but the gospel promises divine protection.
Thus we are not immune to human difficulties and divisions, but we seek unity.

 

Tough times and bad prophecies

22 Nov

It is a fact that great changes and perhaps even revolutions are underway at this time in human history, however the interpretation of false prophets is earthly and not divine, since they only look at earthly facts, is there something divine also going on?

For those who believe there is always, but what is speculated in false prophecies is the end of the world or the new coming of Jesus (Parousia), says the apocalypse through Jesus when he asks when this end time will be (Rev 2,8-9 ): Jesus answered: “Take heed that you are not deceived, because many will come in my name saying, ‘It is I!’ and again, ‘The time is at hand.’ Do not follow these people! When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be terrified. These things must happen first, but it will not be the end right away.”

Impossible clearer, but there is also something divine in the air, civil disruption has taken ethical and moral values ​​together, even the strictest justice seems to slip through authoritarianism and tendentious arrogance, the religious also seem confused, the politicians even worse, pure radicalization blends in with authentic proposals and values ​​of social change and appreciation for the most socially disadvantaged.

Thus, there is a picture of a civilizing crisis: market imbalances, great powers in economic, social conflicts and at war or close to it, absence of a study leader and international organizations that have confidence and credibility, everything is biased and polarized to the extreme.

In the religious field, more spiritual trends are becoming clear and others are merely political and earthly, in the Islamic world there is a lot of tension and the struggle for civil rights, in Iran there is a strong struggle for women’s rights, there are also tensions in the eastern world, in addition to the crisis in China and from North Korea, the ancestral and cultural values ​​of the East are also in check, although the official discourse denies this, young people already question it.

In Brazil, the political polarization reaches the extreme, the elections are questioned and before taking office there are already problems in the new PT government that should start in January, new road blocks and a new wave of Covid 19 is a concern again, the perspective understanding the transition between radically opposed policies is difficult not only in the executive branch, but also in the legislative and legal branches.

To those who believe, God always acts in the extraordinary, that is, what men and earthly values ​​do not reach, so something can be expected in the divine plan, but it is always totally different from human rationality, it is unpredictable and completely disconcerting for men, Who would have thought that Jesus was raised in a village called Nazareth, today it has 72 thousand inhabitants, in the time of Jesus less than 10 thousand.

For those who believe there is always a ray of hope, there is always a divine light feeding and clarifying human reality.

 

 

 

New high in cases of Covid 19

21 Nov

Up for eight days, according to Uol’s website, with an average of 235% compared to two weeks ago, the regions with the highest growth in Brazil are the Southeast with 333%, the Northeast with 228%, the North with 170% , the South with 160% and the Midwest with 93%, the numbers worry researchers, such as the Fiocruz Foundation.

Data from the foundation of Boletim Infogripe 45/2022 state that 47% of cases of respiratory diseases are due to Covid 19, and in a note on Saturday (11/19) it notes that new infections of covid 19 have skyrocketed across the country, the most The detailed data indicate that respectable infections were 10.3%, 3% for influenza A, 0.3% for influenza B, 24.2% for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and 47% for Sars-Cov-2, among the deaths the presence of the same micro-organisms of the positive cases was 4.1% for influenza A, 0.01% for influenza B, and 1.4% for RSV while 83.6% for Sars-Cov-2 which is alertly, since even the number of deaths is still not great, the percentage is higher than the cases of respiratory viral infections.

The raw data are more than 600 daily deaths in recent days and the moving average reaching 15,500 cases, which characterizes the continuity of the pandemic process.

Sanitary restrictions are still partial, as it is a festive period it is possible that there is a higher tolerance limit, which is worrying, because even though commercial spaces remain open, it is almost politically impossible for them to close, care could be greater with hygiene and prevention with masks and alcohol gel, it is a fact that the population is tired, but it is preferable than going to death.

Government bodies need to take urgent measures, the current political crisis cannot prevent the pandemic from having new tragedies and the virus circulating more widely.

As we always do an analysis of the war in Eastern Europe, due to the seriousness and possibility of extending the war to the entire planet, we make a brief analysis of the retreat of the Russian forces at the same time that they try to undermine the country’s air defense and energy capacity, a since the cold has already started there and heating is vital for human life in Europe.

The damage caused by the missile that was launched towards Poland, with strong indications that it was launched from Ukrainian soil, diplomatically weakens Ukraine and makes the West rethink military and financial aid in the country, the war will have dramatic contours in winter terms humanitarian.