Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Goodthistle Diaries
(A Glittering Carbon Fable)

Dear Mrs. Eleanor Beatrice Goodthistle,

In the post this afternoon the young man brought me your letter of 12th December 1768, for which I thank you kindly. When one reaches my age, some five score and three, one is happy to be remembered, much less to be sought out to give advice to one so young and lovely as yourself.

[As you read along, you can hear as he writes, the quill scratching along the parchment in your hands; you’d swear you can smell the sand that he threw on the ink to dry it before sealing with the family crest to prove its authenticity… You hear yourself speaking the parts of your letter he copied to comment on them…]

{…physical separation, financial, work, our new country, pregnancy… are sometimes overwhelming. I don’t want to say I have a depressive mood but sometimes I have this fear that makes me wonder how would it be to live a couple of days without stress and problems.}

Ah, the worries of a young wife! Is she pleasing her husband? Is she taking her place in the community of believers as one who shows others what it means to be a helpmate, a lifesaver? And what of romance, travel and children? Yes, these and a thousand other concerns can make life look dour, but there is hope, there is a way…

Carracci's painting of Christ encountering St. Peter
Image: Wikimedia, under Creative Commons
{…I do know Christ is asking us every day to help Him taking His Cross and be co-redemptors but He also knows how scared I am many times about all of these challenges so my help is almost zero.}

Courage is not the absence of fear (that might be called stupidity), NO! Courage is doing what you know is right, what you know you must do—in spite of your fear. Discipline is being a disciple when you don’t feel like it, when those around you are questioning or even outright hostile and you still embrace Your Cross for the sake of His Gift, His Cross, His Victory.

{…You are a brave and a faithful man (thank you for being such an inspiration to me, father!) so this is for asking your prayers to help your daughter to be brave and faithful, just like you and Mom.}

I thank you for the kind words, yet it is Horace, your hero of a husband who deserves the praise. Yes, I know he loves you with such a passion as I have not seen since, well probably since the Ottoman Patrona Halil uprising, but I digress. You are young, generous and charitable; I trust that you will forgive an elder who strays off topic?

{…Living with fear is lack of hope, right? Is this a sin? Hope not. Or having fear or thinking the worst is going to happen means I am crazy?}

As a deeply introspective woman, you think much, which is good. Blessed as I have been to have enjoyed time as a guest in your family’s home, what I would remark as a tonic or correction, a remedy if you will, is that you would be greatly blessed and I suggest, experience fewer of these depressing spells, if you would embrace your personal discipline.

You are right in saying love is a choice, so choose to love yourself, let your husband love you and most of all, let God shower down His Love on you right now! God will never abandon you, what happens so often is we abandon Him and then cry in travail, “Quo Vadis, Domine?”

Just 3 Things

Let’s start with just three things, we can address more as God wills that we should tarry here to serve Him. These three are food, frolic and faith. I really said that just for alliterative effect… By food I mean your life’s energy scheme in total:

Food

  • what you eat & drink
  • herbs & tonics you take to bring your cells the nutrients they need
  • keeping your body in an active state through foods you choose and when you choose to say no, say no in peace (no goading)
  • getting (& keeping, more challenging, yes) your body in an alkaline state, to receive the positive outcomes that offers
  • burning more than you take in by adding effort throughout your day: having set exercises that you perform like breathing, they’re just part of who you are.
  • learning to like what’s good for you – and without draconian action – reduce or merely avoid those special weakness foods that are your nemesis (a little bit different from the above).

Frolic

  • Learn what you love, what moves you, what inspires you to work on the better you then doing that because of the rewards it offers, provided God is blessed by you doing it.
  • Develop fun through your exercise, so that it’s something you want to do.
  • choose joy, even when it doesn’t make sense by the world’s standards! We are in the world, not of the world, we’re just traveling through, our homeland is Heaven!

Faith

  • Learning and living that God wants to bless you, in body, mind and spirit; meaning that you CAN have more energy, more fun, need less sleep and still raise healthy, ethical, moral children as your life transforms in ways you can scarcely now imagine.
  • Leveraging the gifts of your nature: you feel profoundly connected and impacted by events around you, some of which matter, some don’t. With Horace, discuss what matters in the family mission and vision and if it doesn’t advance those, don’t do it!

My beloved daughter Beadie-Beadie, that may sound harsh, let me clarify it: at some point, just like the athlete & the warrior recognize that discipline in their craft is its own reward, so too can you!

  • Once you accomplish the basics, you can invest your energy in actually advancing your craft, actually getting better at what you set out in the beginning, often actually reaching your goal.
  • Broaden the scope of things that you consider basic. This is key to God being able to bless you more: when your vessel holds more, He can put more in it, simple as that!

I’ve personally heard Horace say this, so it’s not new:

doubt is a choice to put more faith in the prince of lies than in the Creator of the Universe. From what I know about gambling, it’s not a good idea to argue with the one who makes the rules…

So, wrapping up my dear, (it’s well into the evening as I write this. I got pulled away by other tasks. Forgive me that the ink will appear inconsistent), embrace your nature, yet marry it to your faith and weld it to the daily discipline of the will that is the hallmark of the Work. I feel secure knowing that Horace is spiritually by your side with every heartbeat, even when travel and business require him to be away.

Receive this hug and give my love to Horace my dearest child. I’m very proud of you Eleanor B and I have never been prouder than the day your name changed to Goodthistle. He is a good man, follow him.

With love,

Aristophanes (Dad)

Do we have the courage to question our assumptions?

In researching data and crowdsourcing collaborators for an upcoming book, The New Scarlet Letter, I’m awestruck by the sheer arrogance that is the central facet of this “save the environment” campaign.

Cover of "The New Scarlet Letter"
   Image: STI Press

Before one stops reading and leaves with the idea that your correspondent is a bit of a tosser, consider that those among us courageous enough to question our assumptions typically end up with much better data and much better results!

No thinking person with a shred of common sense, nor anyone with experience in systems thinking or lifecycle analysis, wants to harm the environment.

Are there unthinking people in the world, yes or yes? Unless we are able to ruthlessly challenge our own assumptions, we are potentially participants in the same groupthink that lead Greenpeace from activism to irrelevance, (See pro-GP article in Forbes.)

There are clear-cut reasons why co-founder Patrick Moore left the Greenpeace movement 15 yrs ago – among them, Greenpeace wanted to “ban chlorine” – which inconveniently for Al Gore, is a naturally occurring element of the periodic table.

Those who firmly assert that the “debate is settled” on climate change, were inconveniently forced to switch to this new term du jour, when local weather reports generated first snickers then howls of comic derision over the idea of “global warming” with the polar vortex and the “global warming survey ship” getting stuck in the ice.

A good litmus test of a true “movement” is when people of wildly divergent lifestyles can agree on overarching themes. One may observe a textbook case of this comparing Camille Paglia [1, 2] and Christina Hoff Sommers.

To wrap up, here are 2 of the most forehead-smacking comments worth questioning:

The fundamental issue has to be to reduce / reverse population control as we have gone past the tipping point in sustainability.
According to whom? What is their moral authority to mandate lifestyle choices for others (such as China’s enforced sterilization and in the US selective abortions by gender)?
We are nature, there is no distinction between me, you, a tree, the sea.
Wow. Not really sure how to begin an adequate response to such bollockspeak.

More than half of the world’s population believes in a Supreme Being. In Vegas, it’s rarely a good idea to bet against the house. The most comprehensive, collective umbrella perspective is the “Golden Rule” or do unto others as you would have them do unto you. In this context, the “save the environment” movement spectacularly fails because it does not address needs at the intimately local level of 1:1 personal relationships, but adopts a “corporate one-size-fits-all” that ends up just delivering a different form of tyranny; a a tired, worn-out actor dressed in ill-fitting clothes.

Bjørn Lomborg provides a well-documented alternative to information tyranny via his Skeptical Environmentalist site, books and films.

Yours in clarity,

Matt Weilert