Disclaimer: The following is from a collection of disparate things that have grabbed my attention and are somewhat connected (at least in my mind). These are not fully formed thoughts. But I think interesting and informative if not revealing nonetheless.
The essence of a fallen world is that the best cannot be attained by free enjoyment or by what is called ‘self realization’; but by denial, by sufferingJ.R.R. Tolkien, 1941
My notes on this quote (edited a bit for clarity):
The fallen world is falling, gravity. Free everything and anything goes can only go in the direction of gravity, in the direction that the world is going (it’s falling).
So in order to get the best in this world you need to be moving in opposition, in the other direction of falling (gravity).
Denial moves in the opposite direction of the world. It’s not that you need to specially suffer in this world (ie. the more pain you endure the more “holy,” special you are, or the more you will receive the best) but the very act of moving in opposition, the very act of denial (moving in opposition to gravity/the fallen world) is suffering, leading to the best in a fallen world.
Go higher, go up, go in the opposite direction of a fallen/falling world. Also see: entropy.
The geographic origin of its members soon lost its importance, and the development of the congregation was determined by power struggles between rich individuals or groups with conflicting interests.Source
What happens when the geographic origin of a community/people doesn’t matter anymore? When did geographic origin matter? Does it still? If it doesn’t how does development of a community/people/nation happen now? Is it better? Also see: entropy. (Also see: the Bible re: nations & possibly related: the folly of empires)
The definition of entropy:
The degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity.
Entropy is the general trend of the universe toward death and disorder.— James R. Newman
A process of degradation or running down or a trend to disorder.
The deterioration of copy editing and proof-reading, incidentally, is a token of the cultural entropy that has overtaken us in the postwar years.— John SimonSource
And one more for the road:
It’s very common to see historians implicitly or explicitly assert that knowledge in their field increases over time. For example, in his 1962 masterpiece Medieval Technology and Social Change, Lynn White Jr. assumes greater clarity from archaeological discoveries are yet to come: “Despite prodigious labours by Hungarian archaeologists, the stratification of Avar materials is not yet clear…[Avars] may well have been the first people of Europe to use the stirrup, but the time of its arrival is still uncertain.” Meanwhile, in a more recent article, nonprofit founder Jason Crawford writes, “I note at the outset that this is an old book, published 1925 and revised 1940. Probably a lot has been learned in the last 80 years and the following has already undergone revision, which I’ll uncover when I read more modern sources.”
My note: It’s very common for historians, scientists, doctors, pretty much anyone to implicitly or explicitly assert that knowledge in their field has increased and/or is increasing over time, that we know much more now than we did then, we are much more capable than we were then, we are much more “civilized,” much more knowledgable.
Archaeologists and Historians Can’t Defeat Entropy
How, then, could past events be so hazy today? Shouldn’t centuries of new finds, ongoing analysis, and knowledge of subsequent history mean that scholars of Henry VIII’s reign know what happened during that period far, far better than scholars of more recent events like the 2008 financial crash or the two world wars? Of course, we usually see the opposite.
These optimistic historians are writing epistemic checks that cannot be cashed.Source
Things to keep in mind when thinking about the way the world works, the way your country works, the way your government works, the way science works, the way everything on God’s green earth works, the way you work. It is all moving towards death, destruction, decay, and disorder. To move the way of life, construction, strengthening, and order requires work, denial, suffering. It requires moving against gravity, going the opposite direction of a fallen(ing) world.
Be sure to ask yourself which way you’re going. Are you going the way of the world? Or are you going the way of suffering?
Also keep this in mind when people talk about progress, new ways of doing things, “improved” ways of doing things, etc. etc.