I was glad that our venerable, almost formless religions, drained of all intransigence and purged of savage rites, linked us mysteriously to the most ancient secrets of man and of earth, not forbidding us, however, a secular explanation of facts and a rational view of human conduct.
The cause is within us. The cure is within us. When we know this our concept of disease is no longer that of something fixed upon the body cells which must be purged, cut or burned away. It is not something coming in from the outside which we cannot prevent. Rather it is a change from within, and we must find the reason why the body changes its perfect pattern to vibrate to discord rather than to harmony.
In the United States...politics is purged of all menace, all sinister quality, all genuine significance, and stuffed with such gorgeous humors, such inordinate farce that one comes to the end of a campaign with one's ribs loose, and ready for King Lear, or a hanging, or a course of medical journals.
H. L. Mencken
Wouldn't it be incredible if everyone could be purged, somehow, of the projected not-them badness that they internalized and perhaps have acted out because their souls have been so damaged? Wouldn't it be incredible if everyone could find the joy that comes with committing to our own goodness? Perhaps we would stop dividing ourselves into malignancies of various forms.
We are biological creatures. We are born, we live, we die. There is no transcendent purpose to existence. At best we are creatures of reason, and by using reason we can cure ourselves of emotional excess. Purged of both hope and fear, we find courage in the face of helplessness, insignificance and uncertainty.
It [the world] must be a world in which affection has free play, in which love is purged of the instinct for domination, in which cruelty and envy have been dispelled by happiness and the unfettered development of all the instincts that build up life and fill it with mental delights. Such a world is possible; it waits only for men to wish to create it.
Reason has never really directed social reality, but now reason has been so thoroughly purged of any specific trend or preference that it has finally renounced even the task of passing judgment on man's actions and way of life. Reason has turned them over for ultimate sanction to the conflicting interests to which our world actually seems abandoned.
We inherited these principles and these freedoms and we here highly resolve that we shall pass them on, as we will pass on an undivided Republic purged of racism and slavery, to our descendants. The popgun discharges of a few pathetic sectarians and crackpot revisionists are negligible, and will be drowned by the mounting chorus that demands: 'Mr Jefferson! BUILD UP THAT WALL'.
All others are outside myself; I lock my door and bar them out The turmoil, tedium, gad-about. I lock my door upon myself, And bar them out; but who shall wall Self from myself, most loathed of all? If I could once lay down myself, And start self-purged upon the race That all must run ! Death runs apace.
The society will be dominated by an elite of persons free from traditional values who will have no doubt in fulfilling their objectives by means of purged techniques with which they will influence the behavior of people and will control and watch the society in all details. It will become possible to exert a practically permanent watch on each citizen of the world.
Human cultures are all experiments in trying to find a form that will fit the matter of our immediacy; but it is absolutely not the case that all such experiments are of equal merit or value. Some cultures - and modernity is patently one - have managed to transmute consciousness into the "disease" that Nietzsche called it, the self-affliction of a self-centeredness that has purged itself of all vestiges of wisdom and value.
However much history may be invoked in support of these policies (affirmative action), no policy can apply to history but can only apply to the present or the future. The past may be many things, but it is clearly irrevocable. Its sins can no more be purged than its achievements can be expunged. Those who suffered in centuries past are as much beyond our help as those who sinned are beyond our retribution.
I think I get used to, even addicted to, the feelings associated with the end of a long training run. I love feeling empty, clean, worn out, starving, and sweat-purged. I love the good ache of muscles that have done me proud. I love the way a cold beer tastes later that afternoon. I love the way my body feels light and sinewy.
Then the soul, freed from vice, purged by studies of true philosophy, versed in spiritual life, and practised in matters of the intellect, devoted to the contemplation of her own substance, as if awakened from deepest sleep, opens those eyes which all possess but few use, and sees in herself a ray of that light which is the true image of the angelic beauty communicated to her, and of which she then communicates a faint shadow to the body.
As if this great outburst of anger had purged all my ills, killed all my hopes, I looked up at the mass of signs and stars in the night sky and laid myself open for the first time to the benign indifference of the world- and finding it so much like myself, in fact so fraternal, I realized that I'd been happy, and that I was still happy. For the final consummation and for me to feel less lonely, my last wish was that there should be a crowd of spectators at my execution and that they should greet me with cries of hatred.
Friends come and go, clothing is packed and unpacked, households are continually purged of unnecessary items, and as a result, not much sticks. it's hard at times but it makes a kid strongs in ways that most people can't understand. Teaches them that even though people are left behind, new ones will inevitably take their place; that every place has something good and bad to offer. It makes a kid grow up fast.
From my mother came the idea that going down to the sea repaired the spirit. That is where she walked when she was sad or worried or lonely for my father. If she had been crying, she came back composed; if she had left angry with us, she returned in good humor. So we naturally believed that there was a cleansing, purifying effect to be had; that letting the fresh wind blow through you mind and spirits as well as your hair and clothing purged black thoughts; that contemplating the ceaseless motion of the waves calmed a raging spirit.
Holiness is the strength of the soul. It comes by faith and through obedience to God's laws and ordinances. God then purifies the heart by faith, and the heart becomes purged from that which is profane and unworthy. When holiness is achieved by conforming to God's will, one knows intuitively that which is wrong and that which is right before the Lord. Holiness speaks when there is silence, encouraging that which is good or reproving that which is wrong.
James E. Faust
Reason and free inquiry are the only effective agents against error. Give a loose to them, they will support the true religion by bringing every false one to their tribunal, to the test of their investigation. They are the natural enemies of error and error only. Had not the Roman government permitted free inquiry, Christianity could never have been introduced. Had not free inquiry been indulged at the era of the Reformation, the corruption of Christianity could not have been purged away.
So successful has the ideological-political-cultural purge been executed that it is hard indeed to find vigorous liberals, and no energetic, coherent and cogent leftists at all can find expression in our controlled media and educational systems. Forget about wholesale culture- or civilization-critics like Marxists. Universities have to be purged of any "radicalism" that can see through to the roots of issues and pathologies, for the same reasons that workers have to have nascent unions aborted among them and contrarian newspapers and media have to be starved of advertising.
The Puritan, of course, is not entirely devoid of aesthetic feeling. He has a taste for good form; he responds to style; he is even capable of something approaching a purely aesthetic emotion. But he fears this aesthetic emotion as an insinuating distraction from his chief business in life: the sober consideration of the all-important problem of conduct. Art is a temptation, a seduction, a Lorelei, and the Good Man may safely have traffic with it when it is broken to moral uses--in other words, when its innocence is pumped out of it, and it is purged of gusto.
H. L. Mencken
I don't speak about my pain. My pain is something that doesn't need to be purged. I want to prevent people from suffering. I don't speak about my suffering. Suffering is something personal and discreet. Also, I know it will never leave me. I don't want it to leave me. It would be a betrayal.
On Saturday night, I would see men lusting after half-naked girls dancing at the carnival, and on Sunday morning when I was playing organ for tent-show evangelists at the other end of the carnival lot, I would see these same men sitting in the pews with their wives and children, asking God to forgive them and purge them of carnal desires. And the next Saturday they'd be back at the carnival or some other place of indulgence. I knew then that the Christian church thrives on hypocrisy, and that man's carnal nature will out no matter how much it is purged or scoured by any white-light religion.
Anton Szandor LaVey
Just as God's love entered the world, thereby submitting to the misunderstanding and ambiguity that characterize everything worldly, so also Christian love does not exist anywhere but in the worldly, in an infinite variety of concrete worldly action, and subject to misunderstanding and condemnation. Every attempt to portray a Christianity of 'pure' love purged of worldly 'impurities' is a false purism and perfectionism that scorns God's becoming human and falls prey to the fate of all ideologies. God was not too pure to enter the world.
Ah, dear Reader, is there a married man living who hasn't purged his drawers and closets of premarital memorabilia, only to have one more incriminating relic from yester-life rear its lovely head? Kristy contends that old flames never die, not completely. They smolder for years in hidden places. They flare up again just when you think you're over them. They can burn you if you don't deal with them. Such is the price I've had to pay for not rooting out the evidence of my life B.C. (Before Contentment). Or, perhaps, for having planted it too well. But that, you see, is no longer an issue. Shall I tell you the crux of this argument? A man with a past can be forgiven. A man without one cannot be trusted. If there were no pictures in my drawer for Kirsty to uncover, I would have had to produce some.
Physicians do not systematically prescribe placebos to their patients. Hence they have no way of comparing the effects of the drugs they prescribe to placebos. When they prescribe a treatment and it works, their natural tendency is to attribute the cure to the treatment. But there are thousands of treatments that have worked in clinical practice throughout history. Powdered stone worked. So did lizard's blood, and crocodile dung, and pig's teeth and dolphin's genitalia and frog's sperm. Patients have been given just about every ingestible - though often indigestible - substance imaginable. They have been 'purged, puked, poisoned, sweated, and shocked', and if these treatments did not kill them, they may have made them better.
We expect the world of doctors. Out of our own need, we revere them; we imagine that their training and expertise and saintly dedication have purged them of all the uncertainty, trepidation, and disgust that we would feel in their position, seeing what they see and being asked to cure it. Blood and vomit and pus do not revolt them; senility and dementia have no terrors; it does not alarm them to plunge into the slippery tangle of internal organs, or to handle the infected and contagious. For them, the flesh and its diseases have been abstracted, rendered coolly diagrammatic and quickly subject to infallible diagnosis and effective treatment. The House of God is a book to relieve you of these illusions; it ... displays it as farce, a melee of blunderers laboring to murky purpose under corrupt and platitudinous superiors.
Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs; Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes; Being vexed, a sea nourished with loving tears. What is it else? A madness most discreet, A choking gall, and a preserving sweet. *Here's what love is: a smoke made out of lovers' sighs. When the smoke clears, love is a fire burning in your lover's eyes. If you frustrate love, you get an ocean made out of lovers' tears. What else is love? It's a wise form of madness. It's a sweet lozenge that you choke on.*
But for a younger generation of conservative operatives who would soon rise to power... They were true believers who meant what they said, whether it was 'No New Taxes' or 'We are a Christian Nation.' In fact, with their rigid doctrines, slash-and-burn style, and exaggerated sense of having been aggrieved, this new conservative leadership was eerily reminiscent of some of the New Left's leaders during the sixties. As with their left-wing counterparts, this new vanguard of the right viewed politics as a contest not just between competing policy visions, but between good and evil. Activists in both parties began developing litmus tests, checklists of orthodoxy, leaving a Democrat who questioned abortion increasingly lonely, any Republican who championed gun control effectively marooned. In this Manichean struggle, compromise came to look like weakness, to be punished or purged. You were with us or you were against us. You had to choose sides.
The 'healthy' sign, for Barthes, is one which draws attention to its own arbitrariness-which does not try to palm itself off as 'natural' but which, in the very moment of conveying a meaning, communicates something of its own relative, artificial status as well... Signs which pass themselves off as natural, which offer themselves as the only conceivable way of viewing the world, are by that token authoritarian and ideological. It is one of the functions of ideology to 'naturalize' social reality, to make it seem as innocent and unchangeable as Nature itself. Ideology seeks to convert culture into Nature, and the 'natural' sign is one of its weapons. Saluting a flag, or agreeing that Western democracy represents the true meaning of the word 'freedom', become the most obvious, spontaneous responses in the world. Ideology, in this sense, is a kind of contemporary mythology, a realm which has purged itself of ambiguity and alternative possibility.
Tick is a humble genesis, tock a feeble apocalypse; and tick-tock is in any case not much of a plot. We need much larger ones and much more complicated ones if we persist in finding 'what will suffice.' And what happens if the organization is much more complex than tick-tock? Suppose, for instance, that it is a thousand-page novel. Then it obviously will not lie within what is called our 'temporal horizon'; to maintain the experience of organization we shall need many more fictional devices. And although they will essentially be of the same kind as calling the second of those two related sounds tock, they will obviously be more resourceful and elaborate. They have to defeat the tendency of the interval between tick and tock to empty itself; to maintain within that interval following tick a lively expectation of tock, and a sense that however remote tock may be, all that happens happens as if tock were certainly following. All such plotting presupposes and requires that an end will bestow upon the whole duration and meaning. To put it another way, the interval must be purged of simple chronicity, of the emptiness of tock-tick., humanly uninteresting successiveness. It is required to be a significant season, kairos poised between beginning and end. It has to be, on a scale much greater than that which concerns the psychologists, an instance of what they call 'temporal integration'-our way of bundling together perception of the present, memory of the past, and expectation of the future, in a common organization. Within this organization that which was conceived of as simply successive becomes charged with past and future: what was chronos becomes kairos. This is the time of the novelist, a transformation of mere successiveness which has been likened, by writers as different as Forster and Musil, to the experience of love, the erotic consciousness which makes divinely satisfactory sense out of the commonplace person.
When a soul in sin, under the impetus of grace, turns to God, there is penance; but when a soul in sin refuses to change, God sends chastisement. This chastisement need not be external, and certainly it is never arbitrary; it comes as an inevitable result of breaking God's moral law. But the entrenched forces of the modern world are irrational, men nowadays do not always interpret disasters as the moral events they are. When calamity strikes the flint of human hearts, sparks of sacred fire are kindled and men will normally begin to make an estimate of their true worth. In previous ages this was usual: a disordered individual could find his way back to peace because he lived in an objective world inspired by Christian order. But the frustrated man of today, having lost his faith in God, living as he does, in a disordered chaotic world, has no beacon to guide him. In times of trouble he sometimes turns in upon himself, like a serpent devouring its own tail. Given such a man, who worships the false trinity of (1) his own pride, which acknowledges no law; (2) his own sensuality, which makes earthly comfort it goal; (3) his license, which interprets liberty as the absences of all restraint and law-then a cancer is created which is impossible to cure except through an operation or calamity unmistakable as God's action in history. It is always through sweat and blood and tears that the soul is purged of its animal egotism and laid open to the Spirit ... Catastrophe can be to a world that has forgotten God what a sickness can be to a sinner; in the midst of it millions might be brought not to a voluntary, but to an enforced crisis. Such a calamity would put an end to Godlessness and make vast numbers of men, who might otherwise lose their souls, turn to God.
Fulton J. Sheen
It is 1839. England is tumbling towards anarchy, with countrywide unrest and riots. The gutter presses are fizzing, fire-bombs flying. The shout on the streets is for revolution. Red evolutionists - visionaries who see life marching inexorably upward, powered from below - denounce the props of an old static society: priestly privilege, wage exploitation, and the workhouses. A million socialists are castigating marriage, capitalism, and the fat, corrupt Established Church. Radical Christians join them, hymn-singing Dissenters who condemn the 'fornicating' Church as a 'harlot, ' in bed with the State. Even science must be purged: for the gutter atheists, material atoms are all that exist, and like the 'social atoms' - people - they are self-organizing. Spirits and souls are a delusion, part of the gentry's cruel deceit to subjugate working people. The science of life - biology - lies ruined, prostituted, turned into a Creationist citadel by the clergy. Britain now stands teetering on the brink of collapse - or so it seems to the gentry, who close ranks to protect their privileges. At this moment, how could an ambitious thirty-year-old gentleman open a secret notebook and, with a devil-may-care sweep, suggest that headless hermaphrodite molluscs were the ancestors of mankind? A squire's son, moreover, Cambridge-trained and once destined for the cloth. A man whose whole family hated the 'fierce & licentious' radical hooligans. The gentleman was Charles Darwin: well heeled, imperturbably Whig, a privately financed world traveller who had spent five years aboard HMS Beagle as a dining companion to the aristocratic captain.
As for the vice of lust - aside from what it means for spiritual persons to fall into this vice, since my intent is to treat of the imperfections that have to be purged by means of the dark night - spiritual persons have numerous imperfections, many of which can be called spiritual lust, not because the lust is spiritual but because it proceeds from spiritual things. It happens frequently that in a person's spiritual exercises themselves, without the person being able to avoid it, impure movements will be experienced in the sensory part of the soul, and even sometimes when the spirit is deep in prayer or when receiving the sacraments of Penance or the Eucharist. These impure feelings arise from any of three causes outside one's control. First, they often proceed from the pleasure human nature finds in spiritual exercises. Since both the spiritual and the sensory part of the soul receive gratification from that refreshment, each part experiences delight according to its own nature and properties. The spirit, the superior part of the soul, experiences renewal and satisfaction in God; and the sense, the lower part, feels sensory gratification and delight because it is ignorant of how to get anything else, and hence takes whatever is nearest, which is the impure sensory satisfaction. It may happen that while a soul is with God in deep spiritual prayer, it will conversely passively experience sensual rebellions, movements, and acts in the senses, not without its own great displeasure. This frequently happens at the time of Communion. Since the soul receives joy and gladness in this act of love - for the Lord grants the grace and gives himself for this reason - the sensory part also takes its share, as we said, according to its mode. Since, after all, these two parts form one individual, each one usually shares according to its mode in what the other receives. As the Philosopher says: Whatever is received, is received according to the mode of the receiver. Because in the initial stages of the spiritual life, and even more advanced ones, the sensory part of the soul is imperfect, God's spirit is frequently received in this sensory part with this same imperfection. Once the sensory part is reformed through the purgation of the dark night, it no longer has these infirmities. Then the spiritual part of the soul, rather than the sensory part, receives God's Spirit, and the soul thus receives everything according to the mode of the Spirit.
John of the Cross
After a few sips, he picked up his sax and started jamming with the storm. Most days, Rivers meditated twice, when he awoke and again in the evening before writing or reading. But he still found a special relaxation and renewal in solitary playing. Contemplation through music was different from other reflective experiences, in part, because his visual associations were set free to mutate, morph, and meander; while the other senses were occupied in fierce concentraction on breathing, blowing, fingering, and listening. Within the flow of this activity, his awareness would land in different states of consciousness, different phases of time, and easily moved between revisualization of experience and its creation. The playing dislodged hidden feelings, primed him for recognizing the habitually denied, sheathed the sword of lnaguage, and loosened the shield and armor of his character. His contemplative playing purged him of worrisome realities, smelted off from his center the dross of eperience, and on those rare and cherished days, left only the refinement of flickering fire. Although he was more aware of his emotions, the music and dance of thought kept them at arm's length, Wordsworth's 'emotion recollected in tranquility.'... As he played, his mind's eye became the fisher's bobber, guided by a line of sound around the driftwood of thought, the residue of his life, which materialized from nowhere and sank back into nothingness without his weaving them into any insistent pattern of order and understanding. He was momentarily freed of logical sequencing, the press of premises, the psycho-logic of primary process, the throb of Thought pulsing in and through him, and in billions of mind/bodies, now and throughout time, belonging each to each, to none, to no one, to Everyone, rocking back and forward in an ebb and flow of wishes, fears, and goals. He fished free of desire, illusion, or multiplicity; distant from the hook, the fisher, the fish; but tethered still on the long line of music, until it snagged on an immovable object, some unquestioned assumption, or perhaps a stray consummation, a catch in the flow of creation and wonder.
From time to time our national history has been marred by forgetfulness of the Jeffersonian principle that restraint is at the heart of liberty. In 1789 the Federalists adopted Alien and Sedition Acts in a shabby political effort to isolate the Republic from the world and to punish political criticism as seditious libel. In 1865 the Radical Republicans sought to snare private conscience in a web of oaths and affirmations of loyalty. Spokesmen for the South did service for the Nation in resisting the petty tyranny of distrustful vengeance. In the 1920's the Attorney General of the United States degraded his office by hunting political radicals as if they were Salem witches. The Nation's only gain from his efforts were the classic dissents of Holmes and Brandeis. In our own times, the old blunt instruments have again been put to work. The States have followed in the footsteps of the Federalists and have put Alien and Sedition Acts upon their statute books. An epidemic of loyalty oaths has spread across the Nation until no town or village seems to feel secure until its servants have purged themselves of all suspicion of non-conformity by swearing to their political cleanliness. Those who love the twilight speak as if public education must be training in conformity, and government support of science be public aid of caution. We have also seen a sharpening and refinement of abusive power. The legislative investigation, designed and often exercised for the achievement of high ends, has too frequently been used by the Nation and the States as a means for effecting the disgrace and degradation of private persons. Unscrupulous demagogues have used the power to investigate as tyrants of an earlier day used the bill of attainder. The architects of fear have converted a wholesome law against conspiracy into an instrument for making association a crime. Pretending to fear government they have asked government to outlaw private protest. They glorify "togetherness" when it is theirs, and call it conspiracy when it is that of others. In listing these abuses I do not mean to condemn our central effort to protect the Nation's security. The dangers that surround us have been very great, and many of our measures of vigilance have ample justification. Yet there are few among us who do not share a portion of the blame for not recognizing soon enough the dark tendency towards excess of caution.
John F. Kennedy