Neo-Modernism

Machines Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. "Fig. V. Chiromylos, pro tincturâ sculptarum laminarum parandâ." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/5fe9a0b3-5500-68bb-e040-e00a180615c4
Machines
Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. “Fig. V. Chiromylos, pro tincturâ sculptarum laminarum parandâ.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/5fe9a0b3-5500-68bb-e040-e00a180615c4

Have we been here before?

Certainly.  Through the centuries humans have arrived at a fallacious assumption that we have discovered all there is to know and if something has slipped through the cracks science and human intelligence will know the answer shortly.  The world was thought to be flat; the Earth is the center of the Universe; The Milky way Galaxy is the entire Universe.

Telescope The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Sidrophel examining the kite through his telescope" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/7d64b280-db8d-0130-46e9-58d385a7b928
Telescope
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Sidrophel examining the kite through his telescope” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/7d64b280-db8d-0130-46e9-58d385a7b928

These are only three misconceptions that were proven wrong  after they were considered true.  The rapid advance of science and the progress of the industrial age joined together with advances in medical science, sociology and psychology along with  increased communication lured people into a belief everything is known or will be known soon. The pinnacle? The age known by the term Modernism.  A period when humans thought all answers to all questions were within reach.

Catalog Everything Science, Industry and Business Library: General Collection , The New York Public Library. "Stelliones, Ex Matthiolo; Stern Eÿdex; Scincus; Frembd Eÿdex; Candulus; Lacertus Indicus Cordÿlo Similis; Cordÿlus Sive Vromastix; Chamælon Varius; Chamæleon niger." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dd-d2d5-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Catalog Everything
Science, Industry and Business Library: General Collection , The New York Public Library. “Stelliones, Ex Matthiolo; Stern Eÿdex; Scincus; Frembd Eÿdex; Candulus; Lacertus Indicus Cordÿlo Similis; Cordÿlus Sive Vromastix; Chamælon Varius; Chamæleon niger.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dd-d2d5-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

I am going to suggest that September 1, 1939 was the day Modernism was diagnosed as terminal.

Machine Guns The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Deutsche Maschinengewehr-Abteilung im Westen mit erbeuteten russischen Maschinengewehren." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47de-01b9-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Machine Guns
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Deutsche Maschinengewehr-Abteilung im Westen mit erbeuteten russischen Maschinengewehren.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47de-01b9-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Explosion The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "The Louisiana floating battery blown up by the rebels. Explosion of the rebel floating battery during Farragut's passing of the Mississippi forts. April 28th, 1862" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/6eaed3cc-759a-1df6-e040-e00a18065bf1
Explosion
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “The Louisiana floating battery blown up by the rebels. Explosion of the rebel floating battery during Farragut’s passing of the Mississippi forts. April 28th, 1862” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/6eaed3cc-759a-1df6-e040-e00a18065bf1

The realization that world order was beginning to unravel despite intelligence, advanced knowledge and skilled abilities of humans fell dramatically short of a Utopian dream.  It would take World War II and its aftermath to inflict a rude awakening upon people that we all fell short in creating a new World Order that provided universal peace and prosperity.  In stead we discovered that human used their intelligence, knowledge and skills to inflict a great deal of  suffering and death  to millions of people. What happened to the fond vision of altruism, virtue and the manifestation of a greater good for all?

Deep rooted human flaws, selfishness, lust and greed was just below a facade of civilized constraints.

Woodrow Wilson Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. "Press Club" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c1924630-f227-0130-c0ec-58d385a7b928
Woodrow Wilson
Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. “Press Club” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c1924630-f227-0130-c0ec-58d385a7b928

Where did the evil come from? I believe it was and is omnipresent: some people can control it better than others.  Given an opportunity it appears enough people are willing to give in to ancient impulses of behavior that benefits themselves at the expense of others: “The Law of the Jungle”?  The weak succumb to the whims of the strong? Viewing a single day’s worth of news from local to international proves the point: murder, rape and barbarism. From trivial motives to ideological (faux) motives the range of evil manifestation is undeniable.

Bridge of all Nations The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "View of the Bridge of All Nations at the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-9bca-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Bridge of all Nations
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “View of the Bridge of All Nations at the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-9bca-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Can the be hope for the fallible species homo sapiens?

Tame Nature with a Dam Science, Industry and Business Library: General Collection , The New York Public Library. "Kensico Influent Weir. Completed Influent weir and partially completed Influent chamber. Water flowing over weir into Knsico reservoir. Contract 55. December 6, 1915." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-dd66-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Tame Nature with a Dam
Science, Industry and Business Library: General Collection , The New York Public Library. “Kensico Influent Weir. Completed Influent weir and partially completed Influent chamber. Water flowing over weir into Knsico reservoir. Contract 55. December 6, 1915.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-dd66-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Yes.  The answers have been available a very long time.  God has provided a moral framework of behavior for us several thousand years past.  As a Christian I see the message God gave us clearly in the Holy Bible.  Our nature is revealed.  The inability of humans to stay with “doing good” is ingrained.  Not because he created a flawed creature but because of our inability to utilize free will to its apex intention: use it for that which is good.  Evil can tempt all who have free will.  The only hope we have?   Accept God’s guidance, submit to God’s authority and by Faith BELIEVE GOD.

 

 

 

Johns Hopkins Hospital The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Md." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-a5ea-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Johns Hopkins Hospital
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Md.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-a5ea-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

As a Christian I believe what God revealed about our nature is clearly stated in The Holy Bible.  And, the instructions for defeating evil are also contained therein.

Air Travel Science, Industry and Business Library: General Collection , The New York Public Library. "L'aviation d'hier et de demain, par Louis Bréguet." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/627f55fd-5ceb-2cae-e040-e00a18062420
Air Travel
Science, Industry and Business Library: General Collection , The New York Public Library. “L’aviation d’hier et de demain, par Louis Bréguet.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/627f55fd-5ceb-2cae-e040-e00a18062420

Excerpts from The Holy Bible that yield the truth:

2 Timothy 3:7 ESV

Always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

Isaiah 44:25 ESV

Who frustrates the signs of liars2 Timothy 3:2 ESV
and makes fools of diviners,
who turns wise men back
and makes their knowledge foolish,

Proverbs 20:24 ESV

A man’s steps are from the LORD;
how then can man understand his way?

Proverbs 19:21 ESV

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.

Galatians 6:3 ESV

For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

2 Timothy 3:2 ESV

For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,

Oneness: Body, Soul, Spirit

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Our Consciousness is engaged with our Body but, Soul and Spirit too?

Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Shanghai. A Chinese funeral." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 14, 2016. htp://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c2625t01b-0364-8402-e040-e00a18060146
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Shanghai. A Chinese funeral.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 14, 2016. htp://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c2625t01b-0364-8402-e040-e00a18060146

There is no way to separate our awareness of our bodies from our consciousness since the body’s senses are constantly supplying information about where we are, what we feel, hear and see.  Our mind is embedded within the stream of data and brings together what we perceive as reality and our personal identity; it also integrates our short and long-term memories (our personal archive or database) .  Is that all there is to it?  Is that all we are?  Are we just very advanced machines with sophisticated processors with vast stored databases?  Few people will accept that, but why?

I would be hard pressed to think of a person I met who thought we were just living machines with a good memory.

I do not know about ESP (extra sensory perception) or details of the experiments being done around the world where scientists are augmenting humans with devices to add new senses (or even much about scientists replacing damaged sensory organs for that matter).  I do believe most people with ordinary senses do suspect there is something beyond what this physical world presents.  Not just thoughts of the meaning of life but, that there seems to be something more than just this physical reality we dwell within.  Sure some may believe this vague sense can furnish a deeper meaning for life or, give meaning for the person pondering this question but, is it more than that? Is it just an artifact generated by our powerful brain that has vastly more capability than any other living creature that we are aware of?  Or could our minds touch our souls subconsciously and our souls touch our spiritual nature?

Are we triune sentient beings? Body gives rise to mind; mind connects subconsciously to the soul; the soul is aware of our spiritual nature? Some people seem to believe that.

General Research Division, The New York Public Library. "Amon-ra. (L'esprit des quatre éléments, l'ame du monde matériel.)" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 15, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-5b7b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
General Research Division, The New York Public Library. “Amon-ra. (L’esprit des quatre éléments, l’ame du monde matériel.)” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 15, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-5b7b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Some may also believe we are all connected in some way: we are just one big spirit or soul. They may believe people who have provided breakthroughs in human achievement obtained their ideas from some elsewhere, some altered state of reality or some parallel dimension (or universe). I however have a much simpler view.

I believe the human mind is capable of great achievements and especially when we advance our knowledge and abilities through teamwork – now we have the Internet and The World Wide Web to make collaboration easier. My belief does not end with that however: I believe in God the supreme being, Creator and providential ruler of all there is.

As a Christian I trust that the information about God, existence and reality, is all revealed in God’s Word.

Bible Excerpts on the Matter

General Research Division, The New York Public Library. "Amon-ra. (L'esprit des quatre éléments, l'ame du monde matériel.)" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 14, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-5b7b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
General Research Division, The New York Public Library. “Amon-ra. (L’esprit des quatre éléments, l’ame du monde matériel.)” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 14, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-5b7b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

1 Thessalonians 5:23 (ESV)

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your spirit and soul

and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 22: 36-37 (NIV)

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “ ‘ Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ‘ . . .

Psalm 139:14 (ESV)

I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.

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The Mind Behind the Gun

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People with an evil perspective murder with guns and other weapons.

Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Fort Knox: Colt automatic pistol.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections.

We here in The United States of America live in a society that is in the midst of several trends that are able to alter our National identity in a negative way.  A free land with cherished liberty that now is trending toward: stringent identification requirements; has the most incarcerated people per 100,000 people (more than any other large nation) in the world; now has less opportunities for lower income youth then it once had; now has a larger income gap between low income workers and the affluent of  the society.  These characteristics and several others amount to one big complex paradox from my point of view.  Along with these concerns are the inexplicable trends that our school children seem to face: they are not learning about our history or World history for that matter. The knowledge gained from the study of both, enable people to better understand the dynamics of governments and their effects upon the governed.  Last, we seem to be losing a strong national identity which includes high moral standards, respect for one another and respect for authority.  A solid widespread use of one national standard  language is weaker and a sound spiritually grounded understanding of right and wrong appears less clear to many citizens.  Both of these seem to be becoming diffuse. This weakening of our “American Identity” puts us at risk of becoming so disintegrated we may become a second rate country.  Things like relativism and political correctness reduce our clear position on vital issues so much so that we risk loosing our role as preeminent free Nation and leader in the Free World.  Ironic that the land that produced so many of the improvements for the lives of “common men and women” is, in danger of some improvements becoming just a thing of the past (a shadow of what we once were). So how do we begin the recovery process?

We must revitalize the basic family unit here in The United States.

Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. "Typical American Family - Family walking" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1935 - 1945.
Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. “Typical American Family – Family walking” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1935 – 1945.

Humans are not perfect, they can be hypocritical and most lack the skills of a seasoned diplomat yet, most can establish a family unit that nurtures children and readies them to become contributing citizens.  Civil, law abiding and productive; well prepared to raise a family of their own.  This was the way I saw life moving along during the 1950’s when I was a child.  Of course I have since learned people are all unique and variation is normal; almost nothing that is associated with humans is perfect.  The lack of perfection can be used as an excuse by people who want to avoid, responsibilities,  not work and not exercise self control: it is easy to say, “I did the best I could.”  Yet when people sincerely try to do the right things, they do contribute to the positive activities in the society they are part of, and while there is variation the negatives then have less effect.  Where do we acquire the necessary foundation for the establishment and maintenance of high quality family units?  I find the guidance for having and running a family is clearly defined in The Holy Bible.  The underling moral fiber that made our Nation great comes from the overwhelming positive effect of the Christians who have lived here.

I am not just being nostalgic about family life in the past, I think we need it.

Examples in the Holy Bible yield a great deal of guidance for people about family life.  Do not pick verses or sections out that reveal human failings, but instead seek the revealed good and apply it to your life.  The adherence to the essence of the Ten Commandments and the principles disclosed for Christian living, will produce a better United States of America.  In that case I believe more people will be good citizens and the Nation will prosper and, we all will experience greater peace.

Yes the U.S.A. would have a better society if we have more real family units.

Dad goes to work Mom stays home with the kids at least until they all are pupils and then work part time only, and only if necessary. It would be a good start and it can be accomplished.  I know that the economic pressures are great and the high divorce rate yields many single parent homes but these challenges can be mitigated too.  If we strive as a people who want to return to what was good about the past we will achieve it.  We will become a Nation comprised of quality family units, able to teach their children behavior that is respectful, self controlled and productive. We must begin this process in the homes when the children are at an early age; then we will improve our Nation’s quality of life.  And If so, we will discover that the mind behind the gun will no longer be a threat to people as the current trend indicates.  Yes I believe If children are taught about ‘good’ early the manifestation of evil will diminish.  At the very least I believe the negatives will be lessened immensely.

 

Schomburg General Research and Reference Division, The New York Public Library. "[An African American family; Reading books.]" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1922.
Schomburg General Research and Reference Division, The New York Public Library. “[An African American family; Reading books.]” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1922.

Some Bible advice for Family Life (ESV) :

Exodus 20:13  “Thou shall not murder.”

Proverbs 22:6  Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

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It is Amazing what the Human Mind can do

Right now we know of only one life-form that can do what humans can do: imagine things well beyond their immediate milieu, work with mathematics, contemplate a vast cosmos, consider many possibilities and probe reality to its smallest and vastest limits.  Science has not achieved one notable goal however, complete peace and security for all people . . . but we can dream, hope and seek to make improvements by continuing to explore and develop the world of science.  Let us share the newest and best discoveries and inventions here.

Thank You

James Halifko

Helpers