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February 18, 2015


Oh, but I do have to respond to Gobry's saying of racism:

...some Christians jumped on the bandwagon, and those who stuck to traditional teachings were branded as backward fundamentalists…

Here's some excerpts from a nice, conservative Christian speech from 1963. It's a pretty famous one, you may recognize it:

We are faced with an idea that if a centralized government assume enough authority, enough power over its people, that it can provide a utopian life - that if given the power to dictate, to forbid, to require, to demand, to distribute, to edict and to judge what is best and enforce that will produce only "good" - and it shall be our father - and our God. [...] It is an ideology of government erected on the encouragement of fear and fails to recognize the basic law of our fathers that governments do not produce wealth - people produce wealth. [...] [W]e find we are become government-fearing people - not God-fearing people. We find we have replaced faith with fear - and though we may give lip service to the Almighty - in reality, government has become our god.

Recognize the speech? Here's another little tidbit:

It is this theory ... that led a group of men on the Supreme Court for the first time in American history to issue an edict, based not on legal precedent, but upon a volume, the editor of which said our Constitution is outdated and must be changed and the writers of which, some had admittedly belonged to as many as half a hundred communist-front organizations. It is this theory that led this same group of men to briefly bare the ungodly core of that philosophy in forbidding little school children to say a prayer. And we find the evidence of that ungodliness even in the removal of the words "in God we trust" from some of our dollars, which was placed there as like evidence by our founding fathers as the faith upon which this system of government was built.

Still not ringing any bells? Okay, one final excerpt:

In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say - segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.

Now that's gotta sting.

A few points of interest on truths, times, and histories. The data on children raised with one parent is relevant in a few ways here. Children raised by the single father are found to be less aware of, and more likely to possess some degree of maladroitness in, many relational contexts where the feminine is concerned. And the reverse is seen in those raised by the single mother. This of course does not amount to simple dysfunction, but rather to degrees of awareness, to degrees of ability to fully interact in and with and by our humanity’s full range of potential, of capacity. Obviously this can be in part overcome by emersion – from day one – with a wider circle of close – daily – contacts (it takes a village, so to speak). However, we don’t seem able to find the equal to the sort of daily intimacy of the home as our own humanity’s fully feminine to fully masculine range weigh in on childhood plasticity. Many humanists appeal to the brain, to neural-networks, as the sole basis of humanity – despite the intractable philosophical problems such reductionism fails to navigate – and yet they seem to disinvite such (tempting for them to be sure) nuances as these from the table. One would think the reductionist would jump to embrace such observations. The observation that a kind of critical mass is needed in those critical formative years of high plasticity finds our humanity’s range of the fully masculine to the fully feminine in need of a particular some-thing which, as it turns out, actually exists in the real world. Of course, just because “X” for various reasons offers the highest possible chance for a robust emotional intelligence amid the sexes does not mean that good functionality is not obtainable with X-minus-some-thing. We all get by with various levels of discomfort or unawareness, as it were, amid something less than fully healthy interfaces as adults. But being functional has gradations, or layers, or degrees, as it were. We find here an interesting move on the part of the newly institutionalized majority and its narrative in the denial of such layering in our humanity as it develops. And here we find a close cousin to another interesting observation we see in the narrative of the newly institutionalized majority inching further into its dependence on the marginalization of minority lines of actual lived-lives and/or real observation. By that we mean that just as that newly institutionalized majority’s narrative cannot welcome the small minority of ex-gays to the table on pains of that small minority’s narrative housing a critical and fundamental line of evidence against a core pillar of the majority’s narrative, so too here we are seeing the newly institutionalized majority’s narrative actively ignoring – or disinviting – very real gradations, degrees, and layers of childhood development narratives – and these seem to be means motivated towards the ends that its own narrative may remain not just, say, work-able, but rather, say, highly plausible. As we unpack this it seems that perhaps these sorts of (inconvenient) minority gradations and layers – and so on – are just that – inconvenient to the majority’s narrative which seems, for unclear reasons, wedded to something which the ex-gay’s minority narrative threatens and also seems wedded, again for unclear reasons, to – when it comes to the development of emotional intelligence amid healthy interfacing with both sexes as adults – something along the lines of this: “Children’s highly plastic emotional intelligence amid the sexes don’t do best when immersed in our humanity’s full range of that which is the robustly feminine to the robustly masculine in the sustained intimacy of the home. That range in that setting just is not a real, living, factor with real, living outcomes”. These sorts of basic, apparent, and intentional steps are rather interesting when applied to the issue of narrative. When any one narrative becomes dependent, as we see here, on, say, the need to disenfranchise inconvenient minorities who are themselves lived-lives, or on, say, the need to shape public awareness with select layers or degrees of observation that sum to something less than the full array of all layers observed, or on, say, the necessity to just go ahead and foist what amounts (in essence, as it were) to false-narratives, when any institutionalized majority begins employing those means for the ends of its own narrative remaining highly plausible, well then, as Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. taught us so well, when such narratives begin to succeed by such means they are themselves fated to come down on the wrong side of history – time and truth just do have that peculiar sort of relationship. History is both our teacher and a kind of proof in this arena. Power and deception just cannot endure over time. For a century or two, yes, but eventually the truth of our humanity rises. We’ve seen these principles of Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. play out over and over again on the world stage – for millennia. Disinviting truths about our humanity from the assembly cannot serve humanity in the long run. No one, none of us, can move forward in autohypnosis and wish-fulfillment and expect to succeed. The newly institutionalized majority cannot commit the crimes of the old majority and expect to survive – for it will, quite obviously then, fail for all the same reasons the old majority failed. Perhaps that is one of the reasons many of us find ourselves on the side of Christ here – simply on the grounds of grace’s embrace of every last one of us and on the grounds of seeking to embrace reality’s true narrative.

On whatever topic may arise – not just this thread's topic – we seek, strive, press – it’s difficult – to use caution in our own interior navigations of our own tendencies both towards and away from grace, and, just the same, in our own tendencies both towards and away from truth. On such navigations I’ve proven to be an inept sailor. Fortunately though, He is Himself the Ocean – that is to say – He holds all things. We are, perhaps, not on the side of any Majority/Minority in any ipso facto sense, but rather we are on the side of Grace in all directions – towards all period, and of Truth in all directions – towards all period. Grace and Truth as a Singularity. That is the Narrative Whose Name is The-Real.

Phillip, I'm really not sure what your point is. As Gobry said, anyone who embraced racism was rejecting traditional Christian doctrine in favor of what had become popular. Ending segregation and fighting the racism that had developed over a couple of centuries "was not a “socio-cultural revolution”; it was the halting and reversing of a socio-cultural revolution."

If you're trying to compare that speech to maintaining man/woman marriage, there's no comparison. Changing the definition of marriage by force of law is like changing the definition of a human being by force of law—you end up with segregation or the destruction of marriage (see here).

A second huge difference is this: Defining marriage as the union between a man and a woman has nothing to do with saying gay people are lesser human beings not worthy of rights. It's not about the difference between gay people and straight people, it's about the difference between men and women. It's about recognizing what marriage is and why it exists. It's not about making anyone a second class citizen.

Defining marriage as the union between a man and a woman has nothing to do with saying gay people are lesser human beings not worthy of rights. [...] It's not about making anyone a second class citizen.

Yeah, and George Wallace never believed in the inferiority of black people either. His fight was solely against tyrannical Federal infringement upon State self-government. He was at the time, and remained until death, a self-described non-racist.

Therefore I ask you, what is your opinion of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"? Should the Boy Scouts allow openly gay youth and leaders to participate in its organization? Do you support legislation like ENDA, banning employment discrimination based upon sexual orientation? What did you think about the Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas? The head of your organization, Greg Koukl, has expressed his opinion on all these issues, and assuming your opinions align with his, then I say to you: if you don't want to be perceived as a duck, you may want to quit your quacking.

I'm sorry, but I have endured too many decades of agitation against "the homosexual agenda" to take your claim that this "has nothing to do with saying gay people are lesser human beings" seriously. It also doesn't help that I find newfangled "natural law"-based arguments utterly sophistic and incomprehensible.

Phillip, the institution of marriage—a pre-political institution—was not created to keep gay people out. It had nothing to do with gay people being lesser human beings. So yes, you ought to take that claim seriously because it's a fact. Nobody was trying to separate out heterosexuals from homosexuals by creating marriage. The reason why marriage has been the union of a man and a woman is not that anyone thought that gay people were lesser human beings. It had to do with realities about men, women, and the social implications of their union.

So I'm to ignore 30-40 years of anti-gay (not just anti-gay-marriage) activism by the Christian right. I'm to forget about Anita Bryant, the Briggs Initiative, the Moral Majority, the "Day of Truth" (now called the "Day of Dialogue"), the Family Research Council and its myriad state spin-off groups. I'm to forget about the time when Jerry Falwell, while the ruins of the World Trade Center were still smoldering, went on TV and blamed gays and lesbians for provoking God's wrath against America. I'm to forget about your very own Gregory Koukl's former policy of calling gay people "sads", which he said was "more reflective of that whole movement." I'm to forget about the universal outrage among the Christian right when the Supreme Court decriminalized gay sex in 2003. I'm to forget about the Republican Party maintaining, in its platform, the "incompatibility of homosexuality with military service." I'm to forget about all this, which happened before a single legal same-sex marriage ever occurred on American soil.

And I'm to forget about it because, now that some stuffed shirt from Princeton has put out a half-baked book of neo-Platonic ruminations about the metaphysical role of gender in marriage, suddenly opposition to gay marriage has jack-all to do with prejudice against gay people. That the very same people and interest groups are involved is just a magical coincidence.

So I'm to ignore 30-40 years of anti-gay (not just anti-gay-marriage) activism

No, you're to think clearly about this issue without bringing irrelevant (and understandably emotional) ideas in to cloud the issue. Not one of those things has anything to do with the question of what marriage is and the role it plays in society. So arguing against a man/woman definition of marriage based on those things is irrational and unhelpful.

No, you're to think clearly about this issue without bringing irrelevant (and understandably emotional) ideas in to cloud the issue.

Well, I can't. I'm sorry. I just can't come off of what I mentioned above, and then discard all emotion and have a purely rational, Socratic dialogue about the ontology of marriage. Especially with the very same people who were involved in all the stuff mentioned above. I admit, I'm not without my prejudices. And, as this issue strikes rather close to me, I have emotions, guilty as charged. I'm sorry if my rhetoric has been immoderate.

Philip A,

I think I have an understanding of your dilemma. One thing you have not mentioned is the depiction of gays in situation comedies throughout the decades. The trends have changed for the better, but there is still the stigma of that history of presentation.

The Christian community also has this long-standing trend of being parodied by the same media. This too is the doing of a "media community" that desires to impact the culture. We seem to be in the same boat as we have only been trying to be understood, the gay community for their zeal for civil rights (trampled on by culture) and the Christian community in their conscientious upholding of Scriptural norms (trampled on by culture).

Perhaps it would be a check to our emotional tempests to remember this. Enjoy your day.

Hi Phillip A, if you consider yourself to be rational, it might be useful for you to come to terms with the fact that emotions follow thought and that if you aren't willing to look behind the emotional reaction to stimuli into the rationality or non rationality that stimulates it, you wont be very effective in advocating your position. As it stands you come off as just ranting and raging like a child in a temper tantrum. You seem to be armed with examples...maybe legitimate enough to persuade others but Amy's point to you in response is legitimate.

...because marriage existed before politics, politics won’t be able to force it into a new, artificial shape forever.

What is it about marriage being older than politics that will prevent politics from forcibly maintaining the new, artificial shape forever?


It's sort of like childhood plasticity. That plasticity and its potentiality is what it is. As discussed earlier, where emotional intelligence amid the sexes is concerned, there is that certain potentiality, capacity, and then there is that certain range of exposure which finds its greatest or most robust extraction there within the intimacy of love's fully-felt range from the robustly feminine to the robustly masculine in the stable, ongoing environment, from day one and onward. Such means applied to childhood plasticity just does extract capacity in distances which various other combinations and/or permutations can't seem to reach. This or that century’s latest Politic cannot change this – as in – when it comes to our own childhood plasticity, potentiality, and means of extraction, it is an interesting observation that given *either* final causes (God) or neural-biological networks (no-god) as the end of the line, well, all of that still is as it is, still is what it is, for what amounts to obvious reasons given that the means/ends needed there in this or that some-thing actually exist in the real world. That is not to say other combinations or permutations don't get by, often quite well - they do - but we are speaking *here* of the full range of what just is our humanity's capacity as it relates to childhood's early plasticity and a robust emotional intelligence amid the sexes. Nature is what nature is - and here we come to the question of what love's final causes may be, of what person-hood's final causes may be. Obviously if all is, if all ends are, as it were, truly nature-less then there really is no such thing as either harm or loss in seeking something different than this or that specific human nature as there actually is no such ontic-end as human nature (hydrogen plus time just does equate, finally, to man plus time, which just does equate to….. and so on….). And so too with whatever slice we wish to speak of void of final causes.

But of course the final causes of immutable love value all of us in ways Naturalism/Humanism never can - hence we find the metaphysics of Christianity far more plausible when it comes to any of our appetites - those appetites being, in neo-Darwinian epistemology, the very definition of baby-making-worth, whereas, in God, we find no such discrimination in that sort of ipso facto hard stop. [Don't bother with the baby-making fuss we've seen from you in the past. Fesser and Hume agree with logic - reason finds no categorical imperative at the end of the line tying it to flourishing.]

The lack of such an artificial hard-stop in Theism’s metaphysics is why when Scripture tells us liars and adulterers will not be found - finally - in God, I discover that though I lie both to myself, to God, and to others in all sorts of ways, daily, and though my eye may follow some woman far too long (and that *is* adultery per Christ), that I am yet found in God, that I am, still, found in God. So too with whatever slice of my/our nature this or that cherry-picked-verse which this or that accuser of Christ's Sacrifice happens to throw. Thinking such will find this or that slice out-powering said Sacrifice just fails to account for the whole-show, that is to say, such accusers are akin to philosophical naturalism’s attempt to define all ends by various ontic-slices of us, of man, rather than of God.

But that is nonsense. Why? Because All-sufficiency just does outreach, well, insufficiency, you and I. God outdistances Man. Or, if that is too complex, then simply, Necessity outreaches Contingency. As if it could be any other way.

Man is what man is - just as - childhood plasticity is what it is. Just as the robustly feminine to the robustly masculine range of emotional intelligence is what it is. Just as the child’s potentiality is what it is. Capacity. Nature. And - then - what intimate, full, range of stable, daily conditions extracts the fullest reaches of that capacity, as discussed in earlier comments in this thread. The humanist who reduces all of our humanity to neural-biological networks ought to wonder here at such ranges if he means to be true to his own definition of that which is our fullest range of humanity as such relates to early plasticity. But then, at the end of all of that, if *that* is only a set of irrationally conditioned reflexes inside our skulls, then there is no such thing - ever - as *actual* loss should we aim at some other mark where the child's ends are concerned - or where any human outcome is concerned. Full stop.

That is why the collective vote, that peculiar will to power, is the whole show in philosophical naturalism’s arena and all definitions begin and end "there". Thus your confusion when the Politic / Majority is at times challenged. Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. outreaches such, that is to say, he got it right.

Obviously Pastor Martin Luther King Jr., and so on, are speaking from within the metaphysical ends of final causes, of God, of those beautiful contours of ceaseless reciprocity within Trinity there in the immutable love of the Necessary Being. Hence your confusion. But surely you must know that such reciprocity, such unending self-sacrifice, such pouring and filling is the first and final cause of love's nature - that such unending sacrifice finds All-Sufficiency pouring Himself out for, and into, we His beloved, we who are – by nature – the insufficient. Surely you must know by now that these lines, these motions, simply have no first, no last, for such fabric just is reality’s landscape, just is the topography of God – that “infinite wellspring of being, consciousness, and bliss that is the source, order, and end of all reality” – that is the ultimate meaning maker.

Wait. Does the guy writing the article at The Week date racism from the 18th century?!?!

Am I reading this wrong?

While some forms of distinctions and prejudice based on ancestry have always existed, the specific idea of race and the ideology of racism — the linkage of skin color with natural, immutable, and global essential traits — is an idea that has a very specific history, whose birth can be dated, which came to dominate the cultural worldview, and thence changed law and behavior. In other words, it was a socio-cultural revolution.

Like other socio-cultural revolutions, it started out as a fringe idea and became mainstream seemingly overnight. The idea of studying and classifying "races" as such appears as mostly a sidebar in scientific inquiry in the mid-part of the 18th century, but by the end of the 18th century it's all over the place and by the 19th century the idea of races is pretty much received wisdom. In the American Colonies, the first person to be legally recognized as a slave was owned by a free black man.

Amy, this is more important to me than my previous question: Do you think that racism is (in any important way) only a few hundred years old? If so, why do you think that?


Excellent insight and questions. I believe that there has always been an idle curiosity about "the other guy" that is based on a certain degree of inferiority. As a German-American, I am bemused at Tacitus' Germania, in which he would have my fore bearers being a race of hotheads who lack resolve and easily are swayed from projects and battles by the slightest turn of fortunes.

Yeah, whatever.

Your idea seems much like the scientific field of meteorology. There has been the science with its advancements through the inventions of radar, various meteorological equipment, etc. and the longer tradition of predicting the weather by "red-evenings-gray-mornings" and watching the wooly caterpillars. The scientific terminology of "caucasian,negroid, mongoloid, austral, etc." is of recent mint, but the tendency to hate, distrust, and demean the "other tribe/sman" is a longer heritage.

Hi DGFischer...and RonH, I take the term racism in a much more nattow sense from the quote. The ideology of racism includes a philosophical platform that denies or minimizes the other groups inherent value...the value compared to themselves being the standard.

After reading the piece by Gobry, he does make a point of recognizing that racial prejudices have always existed but makes a distinction that activity in the sciences provided footings for a systematic denial of the human rights based on a supposed polygeny. This then fueled arguments to support policies for gradiation of humanness...and the rights associated therein. All of that argumentation based on science proving lesser stages of evolution and thus the denial of rightful ownership of equal rights and treatment. Why am I not suprized?

Brad B,

Gobry wanted an example of 'a socio-cultural revolution' that has been reversed.

He thought to use racism (the idea that one's own group is superior to all others).

Tough sell: racism is not a socio-cultural revolution - let alone a (partly) reversed one as he Gobry wants to say.

But Gobry had an idea.

Give 'racism' a new, made-for-purpose definition - one that makes 'racism' recent.

Racism: the use of language that sounds scientific in the service of racism.

If you accept this definition, you're only half way there: 'racism' is now only 300 years old.

There's still this problem: It was not a revolution of any kind to start using scientific-sounding language to make such links.

It was the start of a fashion.

(Gobry offers examples of racist laws from the time to support the idea that the use of such language WAS a revolution. But other racist/ethnicist laws predated those laws by hundreds and thousands of years. For example, Lev 25:44)

Gobry says 'racism' can be dated to the 18th century.

It can't: linking skin color (or other racial/ethnic features) with natural, immutable, and global essential traits can't be dated.

Racism is way older than that; it's pre-historic.

Racism is probably responsible (in part) for race and ethnicity.

Jews don't marry non-Jews, etc.

All of this from the Naturalist is comical.

This foisting of “slavery mindsets don’t change” is found here in the *same* setting as Atheists foisting the notion of the evolution of neuro-biological networks ever inching man towards more peace and less war. They typically, here, draw a "up-sloping line of progress" as Nadirs (war) and Peaks (peace) shift over time with more peaks (flourishing defense etc. supposedly observed).


So, basically, the trends of the Christianized conscience sort of peaking in its innate equality-sort-of-thinking over the last generation or so....and still spreading... is "real" if we mean evolution and "fake" if we mean Christ's ontic-footprint.

Again, comical.

Of course, the Naturalist has it exactly backwards. All of Man’s painful cycling of Nadir/Peak has nothing to do with genomic motion. Rather, we find genomic stasis in such rapidly cycling peaks and nadirs – as we know that such deeply embedded neuro-cognitive platforms don’t shift up / down / up / down / so rapidly in time. An example is found in an infant from today - if put in the culture of 5 K years ago she will "be" "that", and, just the same, an infant from 5K years ago put into today will "be" "this". Genome doesn't flux that way, that fast, in those deeply embedded neuro-cognitive networks. Rather, it is, obviously, awareness, light/dark, Knowledge of good, of evil, of human value, and so on - that is what we are observing in all of this flux as Man dances in motion atop such genomic stasis.

And the Naturalists here asserting that slavery’s “first” non-existence in this or that culture is, say, in this century, is, well, comical, just as his assertion that slavery’s “change” from existing, to not existing, to existing, to not existing is fiction is, again, comical. Paul’s push on Philemon asserts what we find in the N.T. as all are found in Christ. Hospitals overcame the devaluing of the sick. Orphanages the devaluing of the child. Ravi Zacharias said that when he visited Mahatma Gandhi's small home, he was surprised to find in the front veranda a banner on which was written a quote from Bertrand Russell: "It is doubtful that the efforts of the Mahatma would have succeeded except that he was appealing to the conscience of a Christianized people". Zacharias was amused that the home of Gandhi, the pantheist, displayed a banner quoting Russell, the atheist, who said the former's efforts would not have succeeded but for the Christianized conscience. And yet slavery brought into India was “new” to the Hindu, radically different than its Caste system, and, then, generations later, it was “gone” from the Hindu, there in India. Funny, that.

But wait - that never happens per the Naturalist.


Of course, the Naturalist’s own PN - his scientism - finds no solution to the term "progress" as there are no final causes in his paradigm. The best he can do is blindly assert flourishing amid reason's push, which, as the link above shows, is nonsense, both Feser and Hume agreeing with logic.

It's comical that the Naturalist asserts that Nadirs and Peaks are fiction. Civilizations rise, fall, shift. Over and over and over. Blazing blood sports to blazing peace back to blazing blood sports back to blazing peace. And so on. Change? Of course. To deny such is possible is merely to deny history. And so too where slavery is concerned. Perhaps the Naturalist thinks history is fiction because his eliminative materialism finds *everything* ending in fiction – so perhaps that word does not bother the Naturalist? The Naturalist here in this thread appeals to the latest Politic, to this or that century’s flavor, as housing the “real status” of this or that slice of our humanity – on whatever the topic happens to be. He has to do that. Because that is all he’s got. Hence the Naturalist’s confusion in this thread about how it can even be suggested that this or that Politic fails to be the final meaning maker. Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. looked beyond such ontic-dead-ends – he transcended it – that is to say – he got it right.

As for slavery’s status as Man in his painful fragmentation, which is how the meta-narrative of the OT and the NT define all such vectors – well – that is easy – as such a paradigmatic claim on such metaphysical real estate finds the ontic-ends of love's reciprocity - or they find nothing at all. In the unending self-sacrifice of love’s ceaseless reciprocity that is the landscape of Trinity there in the immutable love of the Necessary Being we find the ultimate meaning maker.

Actually, India is a good case study as slavery there had many peaks and nadirs, for various reasons. The most dramatic being of late, as noted. Mindsets can, and do, perhaps dangerously so, quite easily shift in a generation or two, or three - both for better and for worse - as awareness (knowledge) of Light's vectors come and go. Immunity here is non-entity. It is peculiar that the Naturalist asserts a kind of immunity here - a kind of fiction there in history. But given the OT's definition of Man as ultimately valuable, and of slavery as but Man in fragmentation, and given scripture's definition of Man's motion here as the Knowledge of Good and of Evil - we find that observational reality atop the world stage is ever in agreement with Scripture's predictive power in such trajectories and ever in disagreement with such motion being that of genomic motion. All the physical and social sciences casually agree.

Man in the Image of the God Who is love - and such in fragmentation - those fateful final causes find, it seems, Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. in logical lucidity through and through.

Actually, in India, many of the peaks/nadirs were within the Hindu mindset itself as various tangents went this way and that way - ebbing - flowing - at times deeper into that water and at times less so - and that is in addition to the various outside influxes with other peaks/nadirs. In other people-histories hospitals and orphanages (that mindset) have been noted to fade out as darkness ensued to replace such light - and that light had been (at one point) "new" and then was (at another point) "gone".

There are lots of examples of this.

The essence of Man is not immune to such - and the reason has nothing to do with genomic dances - for genome does not dance so rapidly - but has, rather, everything to do with our knowledge of good and of evil (value, love, hate, and so on).

And knowledge both can be and is gained and lost, lost and gained. And, too, knowledge cannot find the immutable ends of love - it can see them - but it cannot bring Man to them. Such is Man's fragmentation - ever spying his true felicity - never quite capturing them - Him.

This is elementary stuff.

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