Category Archives: Science

To do the right thing

Introduction

Today we read Luke 10:38-42. The text  made me think about priorities.
Elisabeth of Trinity, I wrote about in  a previous post  decided to become a Carmelitan nun.
Märta in Sweden did the same 1998 . She was 19 when she made this decision. A Swedish documentary at   www.svtplay.se/video/2135690/nunnan  tells about her. She is today  happy with her decision 20 years ago, still happily active in a Swedish Carmelitan monastery.
Other youth want to become bosses,  drug dealers or soccer champions. Most of them want to become rich. 
We all make priorities and decision in our lives. 
The Luke Gospel text today is about what makes you happy and feel good. The  meaning of life we have is important.  I wrote about meaning of life in a previous post.

Index.

  • introduction
  • Luke 10:38-42
  • Conclusion

Luke 10:38-42

Next day, he took out two denarii and handed them to the innkeeper and said, “Look after him, and on my way back I willmake good any extra expense you have.” Which of these three, do you think, proved himself a neighbour to the man who fell into the bandits’ hands?’

 He replied, ‘The one who showed pity towards him.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go, and do the same yourself.’

 In the course of their journey he came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house.

She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet and listened to him speaking.

Now Martha, who was distracted with all the serving, came to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me.’
 But the Lord answered, ‘Martha, Martha,’ he said, ‘you worry and fret about so many things,
 and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part, and it is not to be taken from her.’

Conclusion

 

 

The Silence in Lipari

Introduction

I wrote before about silence in this article:
 www.kinberg.net/wordpress/stellan/silence/

Inspired by a article from La Republica Dossier 13/7 2019, I decided to create this page with my English translation of parts of this article.

Living outside the town, I experience a lovely silence on the island of Lipari.

Index

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The article in English

The World Health Organization has defined noise pollution a “modern plague” because “there is indisputable evidence that exposure to environmental noise has negative effects on the health of the population”.

The man needs to live well, silence, that in our increasingly noicy  city has become a rarity. In the Western world wet run away from the noice wearing a pair of headphones or using a yoga meditation class. 

In India, however the population took to the streets to demand the right to silence, against honking cars and motorbikes. 

Meanwhile, the technology is studying and putting devices on the market to soundproof environments taking advantage of the wireless vibration, but also bracelets that replicate the heartbeat to remove stress from the brain, caused by the surrounding noise. 

Ingenious publicity office of tourism in Finland: to attract tourists Finland has launched Silent slogans, depicting views of unspoiled nature. It is the same principle that inspired the Benedictine monks of Pluscarden Abbey, Scotland, to open the doors of the convent, which dates from the thirteenth century, to anyone who wants to spend a few nights (or months) in complete tranquility. 

The silence, in short, has become a business. 

Thi grows with the  noise of the cities. depicting views of silent nature. What then it is the same principle that inspired the Benedictine monks of Pluscarden Abbey, Scotland, to open the doors of the convent, which dates from the thirteenth century, to anyone who wants to spend a few nights (or months) in complete tranquility. The silence, in short, has become a business, a business

ALESSANDRA FRIGERIO, PSYCHOLOGIST WITH a PhD in cognitive and clinical social psychology, is a professor at the University of Milano-Bicocca and the Sigmund Freud University. 

“In the hyper-connected world and in the noisy society we live in, is there really an increased demand for silence?”
There is a high quest to get to silence. These requests are answered, for example  in meditation classes, yoga retreats, relaxing drive.

However, there are ways to live the silence, that allow access to its own needs through structures and standardized methodologies, like e.g.silent fast food. 

What can  silence be?

People often perceive it is repressed by silence, because silence can represent a heavy experience. Be in silence means dealing with an apparent void, with a series of enigmatic aspects of unresolved questions.  Our tendency is therefore  to fill the silence with noise (ed. music e.g. in stores, bars or on the beach) or repetitive meaningless talking. Silence confront us with the limits of language. It is the space of the onspoken, what we fail to express with words.

Effects on mental well-being

In the past, many psychologists have shown that silence serves to foster creativity. The brain cells regenerate and, in the hippocampus area, it is possible the development of new cells that can become neurons and help boost memory and learning. In this regard, silence is essential for the healthy development of a child. A parent who knows how to give the silence, as well as the words, shows the child the significance of absence, which is as important as the presence. In addition, leave the child in an empty space, in the silence, where even you can get bored, so need to be able to feed their own creativity.  In other words, an agenda full of commitments is often counterproductive

Silence in clinical practice 

“Silence for a psychologist or a psychoanalyst is an integral part of the instrumentation. The therapist is mostly silent because it leaves the patient an area of ​​freedom. Thus permitting a chain of speeches, to get rid of the words, beyond the constraints of consistency, morality, rational logic. The silent listening allows the patient to be able autolistener, grasping the implications of his own words. Sometimes the analyst’s silence is for those who do not anaswers at  a patient’s questions. It does so because it avoids influencing the individual with his judgment and to avoid being pedagogical. Silence, in this case, is to return the patient’s own question,  to find the best solution. 

Silent zones in India. 

India has  silent zones that are comparable to the C zones in the center of Milan that prohibit cars to circulate. The difference is that in India  the traffic ban was not erected against smog and air pollution, but against noise. 
It all started a few years ago in the chaotic Mumbai, where a group of activists began to demonstrate for the right to peace. The reason is that the average decibel level in Mumbai is more than 80, while the World Health Organization indicates it should not exceed the maximum threshold of 65 decibels by day and 40 at night.

So the Mumbai High Court ruled the noise absolute prohibition in a radius of at least 100 meters around hospitals, schools, courts, parks, public buildings, libraries and universities.

… read more in La Republica Dossier 13/7 2019

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Silence on the island of Lipari

The silence has partly abandoned Lipari. Ddonkeys have disappeared and cars and motorbikes have take over on the roads. Police does not care about the noice that some cause with their two wheelers. Happily July is the month of silence. You are not allowed to run machines during that month probably to protect the tourists that come to the island on that month. But for those that are unlucky to live in the village near a bar you may not be able to sleep at all from the evening at 10, until morning at 4-5 the next day. The night  summer time is party time on Lipari with musicians playing all the evenings, a Eden for youth that prefer to sleep during the day. 

But there are many opportunities to enjoy silence on the island anyway.  In the early mornings or if you make trekking in the valleys you find a incredibly relaxing silence.

If you come to Lipari and you want silence, I reccomend not to stay in the village of Lipari in July and August but instead find rooms outside like in the smaller villages like Pianoconte, Quattropani or Acquacalda. E.g. hotel Cutimare in Acquacalda on the north part of the Island is probably a  good choice. there is only one road that has little or no traffic, one little bar and at a distance, one restaurant.

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Conclusion

I definitively prefer to live on Lipari. Fortunenately my house is outside the village so I really enjoy the dark and silent nights and the early mornings. Sometimes there are dogs barking. But I can stand that with some silicon in the ears.

 

 

Jesus and the Samaritans

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introduction

Today at Mass it was time for the reading of Luke 10:25-37 about the good Samaritan.  it is a opportunity to learn more about the Levites and Samaritans.

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Luke 10:25-37 with comments

Luke 10:25-37.

“And now a lawyer stood up and, to test him, asked, ‘Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ 26 He said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? What is your reading of it?’ 27 He replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.’ 28 Jesus said to him, ‘You have answered right, do this and life is yours.’ 29 But the man was anxious to justify himself and said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’ 30 In answer Jesus said, ‘A man was once on his way down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of bandits; they stripped him, beat him and then made off, leaving him half dead.”

Being attacked by bandits  is something that happened frequently at the time of jesus, when traveling to Jerusalem. For this reason it was safer to follow caravans or travel together in bigger groups. So jesus used a example that was a well known reality for the lawyer.

Jesus and his family may themself  have experienced bandits on their way to Jerusalem.

31 Now a priest happened to be travelling down the same road, but when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 In the same way a Levite who came to the place saw him, and passed by on the other side.

 

33 But a Samaritan traveller who came on him was moved with compassion when he saw him.

34 He went up to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them. He then lifted him onto his own mount and took him to an inn and looked after him.

35 Next day, he took out two denarii and handed them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Look after him, and on my way back I willmake good any extra expense you have.’

36 Which of these three, do you think, proved himself a neighbour to the man who fell into the bandits’ hands?’

37 He replied, ‘The one who showed pity towards him.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go, and do the same yourself.’

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  • Jesus was not a  Levite

The Levites were one of the 12 tribes of Israel. Today there are still a few hundred Levites living on the West Bank

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Samaritans 

Despite being discriminated by the Jews, Jesus had according to me  a good relation with Samaritans and the Samaritans looked at him as the “Saviour of the World” without the need of Jesus making miracles. 

Marc, Matthew and Luke choosed for some reason to tell only about  how the Samaritan rejected Jesus hospitality once on their way to Jerusalem. 

In  John 4,3-39 , we are given  a completely different picture

the story starts with the encounter of Jesus with the woman at the well

39 Many Samaritans of that town (ed. Sychar) believed in him on the strength of the woman’s words (ed the Samaritan woman Jesus met and talked with at the well outside Sychar) of testimony, 

40 So, when the Samaritans came up to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed for two days, and 41 many more came to believe on the strength of the words he spoke to them; 42 and they said to the woman, ‘Now we believe no longer because of what you told us; we have heard him ourselves and we know that he is indeed the Saviour of the world.’

If you know about this encounter, you may read Matthew 10:5-6 differently:

5 ‘Do not make your way to gentile territory, and do not enter any Samaritan town6 go instead to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.”

The Jews’ view about the Samaritans.

the Jews hated the Samaritans as “dogs,” or “half-breeds.” according to housetohouse.com probably  because the Samaritans intermarried with the Assyrian invaders (ed.  in fact they loved their enemies as Jesus teached) and they stopped traveling to Jerusalem to offer sacrifice and worship helping to rebuild Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity.

read more in  www.israelite-samaritans.com and in housetohouse.com.

the Samaritan story is to be seen in the ligth of  Jesus statemen in( Matthew 20,16 ) ‘ “the first shall be last, the last shall  be first”

jesus did not agree with the Samaritans about Mount Gerizim that was and still is sacred for the Samaritans. John 4,20-26  tells what the Samaritan  woman  at the well said and how Jesus answered:

20 ‘Our fathers worshipped on this mountain (ed. she must refer to the nearby Mount Geerizim), though you say that Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.’ 21 Jesus said: Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know; for salvation comes from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming — indeed is already here — when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth: that is the kind of worshipper the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth. 25 The woman said to him, ‘I know that Messiah — that is, Christ — is coming; and when he comes he will explain everything.’ 26 Jesus said, ‘That is who I am, I who speak to you.’

28 The woman put down her water jar and hurried back to the town to tell the people, 29 ‘Come and see a man who has told me everything I have done; could this be the Christ?’ 30 This brought people out of the town and they made their way towards him.”

You may read about Samaria and its history in www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=10403

There is also a intresting article to preview in 
www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/43712286.pdf?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

Jesus must showed how to be respectful to the Samaritans. So…

“The apostles recognized that in the Church Samaritans must be accepted as equal to Jews. Peter and John conducted a special mission to Samaria to confirm Samaritans who had already been baptized by Philip (Acts 8:14-17). This initiation of the Samaritans was a middle stage between the preaching of the gospel to the Jews (Acts 2) and the preaching of the gospel to full-blooded Gentiles (Acts 10).” ( Source: www.catholic.com )

the relation between jews and Samaritans today

I tried to get an answer from a Jew on https://jewsforjesus.org/ but he made hsi best  to not answer. 
I tried again and wrote “jeff could not or did not want to answer my question about the Samaritan-Jew relation today. Can you find someone who can talk about it. i am writing about it on my page at http://www.kinberg.net/wordpress/stellan/2019/07/14/jesus-and-the-samaritans/#samaritans
This time got a advice that led me to this article
jewsforjesus.org/newsletter-aug-1987/newsletter-aug-1987/newsletter-aug-1987/the-bad-samaritan/

 

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Conclusions

As said above I tried to know about the Samaritan-Jew relation today in jewsforjesus.org  disqus but got no clear answer. I like their interreligious (Christian-Judaism) approach but to get in peach with e.g. Christians you have to look for peace also with the Samaritans of today as the Samaritans were the last at Jesus time  and Jesus said that the last (in Society like the Samaritans at Jesus time) will be first in Heaven.  This post let me to  write a post about Judaism and Christian theology. You find it in in www.kinberg.net/wordpress/stellan/2019/08/07/judaism-and-christian-theology/