Monday, February 26, 2007


"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle

I have met certain people that are terribly hard to discuss things with... is not for want of intellect - they are often intelligent, capable people. is not passion - passion is a love for the topic which drives intense conversation (although rare conversion). is not arrogance - though this is to be loathed in any argument.

...maybe it is the inability to entertain any thought but their own.

Could it be that it is not their fault? Maybe it is just that sort of education which is missing in some schools today. Maybe there is a sad sort of indoctrination going on that fails to admit of more than one idea (too textbookish?). One gets little exposure to a really good adversary. In short one is not suitably challenged enough to develop this part of oneself. Could that be?

If so then it seems that in this way mankind is MADE for challenge and cannot develop fully without it.

Of course this is all about step 1... after entertaining the idea, the next step is being able to correctly judge between the opposing thoughts. And that is a habit well worth gaining!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Poetry Friday

One is not always in the same state of mood or mind. It is human. Sometimes we are ready to be the hounds of heaven, sometimes we find inspiration in St. Thomas Aquinas' absolute reason, and sometimes ...

"Batter My Heart" by John Donne

Batter my heart, three person’d God, for, you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn and make me new.
I, like an usurpt town, to’another due,
Labour to admit you, but Oh, to no end.
Reason your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue,
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved faine,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy,
Divorce me untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

I heard this one over 20 years ago and it resonated to my teenage heart even then.