Loch Shianta & Staffin Bay(Photo credit: Heather McCallum)
Looking down on Loch Shianta (the sacred/enchanted loch) from the hazel wood with Staffin Bay, Isle of Skye in the background

Final Diary entries

This is the last day of the Diary that I started last summer when we were told of my wife Margaret’s illness. I stopped writing the Diary at the beginning of April when I started writing the blog. From now on it will be blog only. Those who have followed the story will know that Margaret has now fully recovered. From now on the blog will take its own course. There will,no doubt, be reflection on what has happened and many other topics besides, for example, the Dutch connection …

Herman Dooyeweerd

Today my good friend the Gaelic poet Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh sent me a copy of an essay The Secularization of Science by the Dutch Christian philosopher and theologian Dr. Herman Dooyeweerd who died in 1977. It was Fearghas who introduced me to the work of the great Dutchman many years ago and I set a great value on his work. As a philosopher, he has been compared to Spinoza. Of course Spinoza was a pantheist while Dooyeweerd is a theist of a neo-Calvinist kind. What makes Dooyeweerd special is his ability to analyze and explain the roots of western culture (going back to the Greeks and Romans) and why western civilization is in the apostate mess that it’s in. More on Dooyeweerd can be found on Fearghas’s blog at http://gobha-uisge.blogspot.co.uk

PS Fearghas has given me permission to mention him and his blog.

Wednesday 27th March 2013

Blogs and all that

I started the blog today after a couple of false starts yesterday with blogspot.co.uk. I was surprised it didn’t immediately appear on the internet, but I shouldn’t have been as it takes up to a month or more for seach engines to pick it up. I’ll see how it goes and see if theres any interest in it. I’m not very competent when it comes to sharing information on the internet. Heres hoping.
Peasan (rascal)
Peasan (rascal) our cat

Wednesday 2nd April 2013

Kafka and The Trial

I’ve been reading The Trial by Franz Kafka. It’s certainly an intriguing book and a chilling one as well. Joseph K. The bank assisant manager is accused of a crime referred to in the novel as ‘the case’ but he doesn’t know who his accusers are, or at least who his ultimate accuser(s) is/are. The case goes on interminably, courts and advocate and advisers, but his case never gets anywhere. Friends are potential enemies. He doesn’t really know who his pursuers are. It makes him endlessly on edge and supicious.

Joseph K. and the priest

Obviously, it’s a portrayal of a totalitarian state, where the individual personality is destroyed. The state and the system is all that matters. But it also could be read as an allegory of life itself. This becomes most clear in the penultimate chapter where K. enters the cathedral and meets the priest. The priest knows he is coming and that he is accused by the mysterious ‘Court.’ It becomes clear to K. that the church is in collusion with the state. The priest tells the story of the door-keeper who guards the door to the Law. He refuses entry to ‘the man from the country.’ This man waits to get in for months and years but is never allowed in. He apparently dies in old age waiting for entrance.

The implication is that religion is also a totalitarian system and that the individual is caught in the system like a fly in a spider’s web and that there is never any escape. The door-keeper to the Law is ever there barring the entrance.

A Modernist worldview

Albert Camus said of the novel ‘It is the fate and perhaps the greatness of that work that it offers everything and confirms nothing.’ He is probably right and that The Trial is an example of the Modernist worldview – that we are trapped and that there are no real answers to the most pressing of existential questions: Why are we here? Where did we come from? Where are we going? In that sense it is a great novel. It gives better than any work I’ve read a sense of this lostness, the lostness of a person in a world where there are no answers.

Peasan (rascal)

The Christ-gate

I must say that the novel exactly portrays how I felt myself before I came to believe in God and the revelation of Jesus Christ. For me, now, there is a door, the Christ-gate. But it isn’t a door that is forever barred against the seeker like the door in The Trial. I have found an answer, personal to myself for sure, just as the door in Kafka’s book was for ‘the man from the country.’ For every person their very own Christ-gate is waiting, individually tailored to their need. And unlike the priest’s story it is waiting to be opened by a simple, if persistent, knock. As he said Himself, ‘Knock, and it shall be opened into you.’

Where will ‘the case’ end?

Like K., with all the uncertainties of his ‘trial’, it’s a bit unsettling to be writing a blog when we don’t know where the story will end! I must admit, I keep worrying about that. Yet, all we can do is tell the truth as to what has happened and is happening to us. I have always determined in my life to follow where the evidence leads; to believe the evidence of my senses; to trust and leave the rest with God.