...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



afghani heart


Chance that an eighty-year-old American is left-handed : 1 in 100

Chance that a ten-year-old is : 1 in 7

Ratio of the length of toilet paper used annually in the US to the distance between Earth and Uranus : 1:1

Source: Bert's World of Little Known Facts, by Bert Wilson

Amount Americans say they would pay to learn how to avoid paying taxes: $9,194
Amount they say they would pay to know what Jesus would do: $3,451
(harper's interactive index)

Renata Adler in Harper's on "don't fuck with the New Yorker"

Vollman in Salon on Afghanistan


Language remains this inexhaustible reservoir from which noises, proverbs and stories continue to flow when water is scarce � For memory and language are places both of sameness and otherness, dwelling and travelling. Here, Language is the site of return, the warm fabric of a memory, and the insisting call from afar, back home. But here also, there, and everywhere, language is a site of change, an evershifting ground.
-Trinh T. Minh-ha1
via Shahzia Sikander
via Kemper Art Museum Missouri

amazing scary privacy-NOT! analyzer

Douglas Adams (yeeaaahhh!) on the Net and futurity and stuff
via Ian's Knowledge modelling Weblog (via Jorn{he's not anti-Semitic}Barger's robotwisdom visitor's page)



sceptics Bible


"I am told God lives in me -- and yet the reality of darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul," she wrote in one of the letters.

The letters' release comes days after the archbishop of Kolkata, the city formerly known as Calcutta, said church officials performed an exorcism on Mother Teresa at a hospital later in her life. This act and the letters showed Mother Teresa was "both holy and human," making her even more special, Archbishop Henry D'Souza said.

CNN's Satinder Bindra reports on letters from Mother Teresa that show she often was tormented by doubts over her faith (September 7)

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CNN's Satinder Bindra talks with Archbishop Henry D'Souza about the exorcism performed on Mother Teresa (September 7)

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What is an exorcism?

Excerpts from Mother Teresa's letters

The nun's letters were largely forgotten until two years ago, when the Vatican began gathering paperwork on Mother Teresa -- including all her confessional letters -- for sainthood proceedings. The correspondences were sent from India to Rome, with some being published in the "Journal of Theological Reflection."

Some of the letters depict a spiritually bereft Mother Teresa, struggling to maintain her belief.

"Where I try to raise my thoughts to heaven, there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives and hurt my very soul. Love -- the word -- it brings nothing," wrote the woman known the world over as the "Messiah of Love."

In another letter, Mother Teresa wrote, "In my soul, I can't tell you how dark it is, how painful, how terrible -- I feel like refusing God."

Church officials said the letters strengthen Mother Teresa's case for sainthood -- the struggle with her own spirituality and purpose showing her humanity.

"You can't be a saint without having suffered," said the Rev. Edward de Joly, who once served as spiritual adviser to sisters in the Missionaries of Charity, the Kolkata-based humanitarian order founded by Mother Teresa in 1950.

"This is part of the spiritual life of people, and God sometimes wants to unite the soul very closely to himself," added Sister Nirmala, head of Missionaries of Charity and one of the late nun's closest confidantes. "He will allow them to feel abandoned by him. And Jesus also on the cross felt he was abandoned."

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