Windy City

I'm off to Chicago for a week. Expect a full report when I get back.


Hineinlebenshaltung Revisited

Last year, I had the opportunity to take an aesthetics course and to write this essay. I recently reworked it as an article that appears in the latest issue of Catapult (on What's Beautiful). It is also posted within the aesthetic modality discussion on the Dooyeweerd Pages.

I, myself, am not an artist by vocation. But since aesthetics, as a good creation of God, is an integral dimension of life; ubiquitous in human existence, I was anxious to search out the matter theoretically. I hope what I've written is of some use to you.


Fascist Religion

While Qur'anic Islam advocates war with non-Muslims (see 11 Sept post), other religions are intrinsically tied to a specific militaristic nationalism. Recently, there has been a lot of fuss about Japan's Prime Minister's involvement in the revival of Shintoism. It may indeed be that Koizumi was worshipping as a private citizen and not in any capacity as a government official. But given the nature of Shinto as a religion and the history of Japan, there is tremendous reason for concern.

Sadly, John ML Young's superb work, The Two Empires In Japan, on Japanese Christianity and the Church-State conflict is long out of print.


Freelance Worldview Consultant

I heard a report that the U.S. suicide rate is currently double that of homicide (2001 NIMH data). Apparently, suicide has been on the rise.

Now I would venture to say that most of these people probably weren't killing themselves out of some sense of religious zeal. Quite the contrary. I could imagine that among those who gave it serious thought many came to philosophical dead-ends about life.

The New York Times Magazine recently printed a story about a "philosophical counselor." The number of such practitioners is growing. There's an increasing awareness that some of our deepest troubles are not, after all, emotional. Some of them are actually philosophical.

This is reminiscent of my part-time job. Since I never bothered to get business cards, a lot of you don't know that I work as a Worldview Consultant. Of course, it's strictly pro bono at this point. But, somewhere down the road, I hope to develop an online preliminary worldview identification test to draw-in paying consultees.

[You know, several such questionnaires already exist for political ideology. Check them out.]

After one's current basic life-orientation is identified via the worldview test, I devise a more specialized, in-depth list of questions and topics for discussion. Depending on how far a client wants to go, and in which direction, I make particular recommendations for ways that one might continue to live an examined life.

No foolin'.