Author Topic: Religion  (Read 54889 times)

don s.

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Re: Religion
« Reply #1340 on: April 27, 2014, 07:23:16 PM »
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Junior

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Re: Religion
« Reply #1341 on: February 21, 2016, 10:09:56 PM »
I suspect only one or two members here will have read the book I want to talk about today. Piers Plowman, anybody? Oldkid? It's this giant medieval tract about how society does and should work, and who works and who is getting fat off of the people who work, and how beggars are almost all evil, especially because they could all be working. It's also a kind of manual on how to get to Truth (that is, the divine believe in the divine).

Anyways, I came across this trio of lines in the 9th Passus (whatever that is!) of the C-text, thought it might provoke something.

Quote from: Piers Plowman in Middle English
For hit is symony to sulle that sent is of grace,
And that is wit and water and wynde and fuyre the ferthe;
Thise foure sholde be fre to alle folk that hit nedeth.

Quote from: Piers Plowman in my probably crappy translation
For it is simony to sell what is sent of grace,
And that is wit and water and wind and fire the fourth;
These four should be free to all folk that need them.

Perhaps some context might be of use. This comes at the end of a long ramble about the evils of lawyers, and an admonition to not take any money for their duties, especially bribes. Langland (the poet) is big against bribes and money disrupting the natural order of things.

There seems to be two distinct but related propositions here. The first is that it is simony to sell things that are sent of grace, and that they should be given away for free instead. I guess that makes sense. You don't want money to keep people away from warmth or fresh air or water. In this way I think it lines up nicely with your practice, oldkid. The second, though also lists wit among that lot, and that throws in a whole lot of complications. Copyright law would have to go, and maybe teachers along with it? Would you (the general you) list wit among these other three elements (usually earth would be in its place)? Would it make more sense to you if instead of wit it was Kynde Wytt (or common sense)?
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oldkid

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Re: Religion
« Reply #1342 on: February 21, 2016, 11:19:50 PM »
I haven't read this text, although it seems interesting.

This idea is one that I live out and set up communities to reproduce.  I get it from Jesus' words, "Freely you have received, freely give."  And we see this in practice with the original Simon (where the word "simony" comes from), who wanted to purchase the power of the Holy Spirit from Simon Peter. 

Wit probably wouldn't be equated with education.  Even in the time of the Plowman, the University of Paris cost money, and so you could take that education and sell it.

But ideas should be free.  Not books-- paper, pressing and distribution costs money.  Water should be free, but not potable water.  Weather should be free, but not energy obtained from weather.  Fire could be free.

But I receive a lot of food, water, etc for free.  So I give it for free.  I receive books for free, so I give them away.  I receive donations, so I shouldn't charge people for what I receive for free.  I received a house for free, so why should I charge others to live with me?

It makes sense in a religious context.  In a society in which our survival and our worth is based on what we can sell, it is difficult to convince others of.  But I'm anti-capitalist, so I can talk to like-minded folks in that way, or people who believe in certain kinds of community living.
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Junior

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Re: Religion
« Reply #1343 on: February 21, 2016, 11:49:16 PM »
I knew I was coming to the right place. That's all really interesting insight, and I'll be stealing some of it for class tomorrow, so thanks for that!

I like this distinction between actual products and their essences/elements. That all makes good sense. I keep thinking about how this (being both this particular instance and the whole text) would work in our society. It's all founded on this principle of the estate system, where the royalty and knights protect the lands, the clergy protect the people's souls, and the people provide the food and products for everybody. Langland is really invested in this, and he mostly throws stones at those who would pervert it. Part of an earlier section calls for the kings to care especially for the poorest among his people, because it means he's doing a bad job of being a king. Kind of fascinating stuff.

Perhaps even more interesting is the way it treats the church. It is deeply skeptical of the way that the church and people within it lie about their holiness in order to get rich or fat off of the easily fooled populace. And it says that the way towards Truth comes not through Holy Church's teachings (she's a character in it, and a nice lady) but through an internal journey of the soul and the will. Very interesting stuff. We read a bunch of Augustine and Aquinas, so we know about a good deal of the thoughts on this particular subject. I could recommend a really good translation if you're interested.
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oldkid

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Re: Religion
« Reply #1344 on: February 22, 2016, 02:45:46 AM »
I am.  And it looks like I'd need a decent translation.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

Junior

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Re: Religion
« Reply #1345 on: February 22, 2016, 11:50:28 PM »
This is the one I'm using: http://www.amazon.com/William-Langlands-Piers-Plowman-Version/dp/0812215613

George Economou is the guy's name. Maybe your library can get it?
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oldkid

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Re: Religion
« Reply #1346 on: February 29, 2016, 01:22:21 AM »
What do you mean?  I can get a hardcover for just a bit more than a thousand dollars-- bargain!
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Religion
« Reply #1347 on: November 05, 2016, 01:12:37 PM »
Even stormtroopers believe in Jesus.



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IDrinkYourMilkshake

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Re: Religion
« Reply #1348 on: November 05, 2016, 01:29:13 PM »
Tonight is Bonfire night in the UK. An annual celebration during which we celebrate BURNING CATHOLICS TO DEATH.

All in good fun, though.

That's enough out of me.

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