Matthew Arnold: sentimental, dour, whiskered. Influenced T.S. Eliot.



Wordsworth says in one of his letters:—

“The writers in these publications, (the Reviews) while they prosecute their inglorious employment, can not be supposed to be in a state of mind very favorable for being affected by the finer influences of a thing so pure as genuine poetry.”

But is it true that criticism is really, in itself, a baneful and injurious employment; is it true that all time given to writing critiques on the works of others would be much better employed if it were given to original composition, of whatever kind this may be? Is it true that Johnson had better have gone on producing more Irenes instead of writing his Lives of the Poets; nay is it certain that Wordsworth  himself was better employed in making his Ecclesiastical Sonnets than when he made his celebrated Preface, so full of criticism, and criticism of the works of others? Wordsworth was himself a great critic, and it is to be sincerely regretted that he has not left us more criticism; Goethe was one of the greatest critics, and we may sincerely congratulate ourselves that he has left us so much criticism.

The critical power is of lower rank than the creative. True; but in assenting to this proposition, one or two thing are to be kept in mind. It is undeniable that the exercise of a creative power, that a free creative activity, is the highest function of man; it is proved to be so by man’s finding in it his true happiness. But it is undeniable, also, that men may have the sense of exercising this free creative activity in other ways than in producing great works of literature or art; if it were not so, all but a very few men would be shut out from the true happiness of all men. They may have it in well-doing, they may have it in learning, they may have it in criticising. This is one thing to be kept in mind. Another is, that the exercise of the creative power in the production of great works of literature or art, however high this exercise of it may rank, is not at all epochs and under all conditions possible; and that therefore labor may be vainly spent in attempting it, which might with more fruit be used in preparing for it, in rendering it possible.

For the creation of a master-work of literature two powers must concur, the power of the man and the power of the moment, and the man is not enough without the moment; the creative power has, for its happy exercise, appointed elements, and those elements are not in its own control.




Lithography enabled graphic art to illustrate everyday life, and it began to keep pace with printing. But only a few decades after its invention, lithography was surpassed by photography. For the first time in the process of pictorial reproduction, photography freed the hand of the most important artistic functions which henceforth devolved only upon the eye looking into a lens. Since the eye perceives more swiftly than the hand can draw, the process of pictorial reproduction was accelerated so enormously that it could keep pace with speech. A film operator shooting a scene in the studio captures the images at the speed of an actor’s speech. Just as lithography virtually implied the illustrated newspaper, so did photography foreshadow the sound film.

Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be.

The uniqueness of a work of art is inseparable from its being embedded in the fabric of tradition. This tradition itself is thoroughly alive and extremely changeable. An ancient statue of Venus, for example, stood in a different traditional context with the Greeks, who made it an object of veneration, than with the clerics of the Middle Ages, who viewed it as an ominous idol.


It seems to us that Arnold is merely speculating to no purpose, while Benjamin really has something to say.






  1. drew said,

    March 28, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Never heard of either one…
    Does Benjamin play defense or offense?

  2. thomasbrady said,

    March 28, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    Team Benjamin is Marxist. The reproduction of labor. Arnold wrote my dad’s favorite poem: Dover Beach. Also a lot of very questionable criticism.

  3. drew said,

    March 31, 2014 at 2:26 am

    I thought that labor preceded reproduction – but then I am not a mother so I can not be sure.

    One thing is certain –
    Though y’all have dissed my boy Arnold, he threw down pastoral lyrics like a true Victorian Gangsta. Old camera-face Benjy could never drop lyrics like dis:

    Alack, for Corydon no rival now!—
    But when Sicilian shepherds lost a mate,
    Some good survivor with his flute would go,
    Piping a ditty sad for Bion’s fate,
    And cross the unpermitted ferry’s flow,
    And relax Pluto’s brow,
    And make leap up with joy the beauteous head
    Of Proserpine, among whose crownèd hair
    Are flowers, first open’d on Sicilian air,
    And flute his friend, like Orpheus, from the dead.

    O easy access to the hearer’s grace
    When Dorian shepherds sang to Proserpine!
    For she herself had trod Sicilian fields,
    She knew the Dorian water’s gush divine,
    She knew each lily white which Enna yields,
    Each rose with blushing face;
    She loved the Dorian pipe, the Dorian strain.
    But ah, of our poor Thames she never heard!
    Her foot the Cumner cowslips never stirr’d!
    And we should tease her with our plaint in vain…

    (from Thyrsis [Θύρσις] elegy for A.H. Clough

    Woo-ha! It’s those Cumner cowslips that drive me crazy!
    And I’m not even DORIAN. I’m Corinthian actually…hail Orpheus.

    • thomasbrady said,

      March 31, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      Yes, beautiful…especially this:

      Her foot the Cumner cowslips never stirr’d!
      And we should tease her with our plaint in vain…

      “flute his friend” sounds a bit strange…

      The reference to “our poor Thames” points right to Eliot and “The Waste Land,” the modern who despairs at the comparison of pastoral beauties and modern ugliness, which is a conceit as silly as any, really…a nice irony, that…

  4. rishan pathaw said,

    March 11, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Please elaborate on the quotation “for the creation of a master work of literature two powers must concur,the power of the man and the power of the moment,and the power of the man is not enough without the moment ” by matthew arnold.

    • thomasbrady said,

      March 11, 2018 at 4:33 pm


      Arnold is saying to the creative person: ‘there may not be an audience who can appreciate your poetry for another 500 years. So don’t bother writing it.’ Or: ‘You are destined to be a photographer, but sorry, the camera has not been invented yet.’ The “moment” refers to the material conditions of appreciation outside the artist which he or she cannot control.

      Which is pure speculation. Arnold’s point cannot be proven. The great poet, we might say, creates audiences. And photography obeys the eye—which has always existed.


  5. maryangeladouglas said,

    March 11, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    I wonder what Matthew Arnold would say about the many poets and other artists whose ‘moment’ came after, sometimes long after they had passed away. There seem to be so many of them.

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      March 11, 2018 at 9:00 pm

      Maybe it was a blessing in disguise

  6. March 11, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    Great minds are recognized and remembered because they were ahead of their time. I give you Galileo, Copernicus, Newton, Darwin, Pasteur, Einstein. This is true for the Arts as well. By virtue of that fact they are usually disregarded or disrespected in their own time.
    If what they discovered or created was known by all, who would care? If Darwin wrote a paper to confirm that water was, indeed, wet, for instance, or Einstein proclaimed that the sky was truly blue.
    On the other hand it appears to be human nature to automatically reject what is different and new. Fear of the unknown, perhaps.

  7. maryangeladouglas said,

    March 11, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    To say they were recognized later because they were ahead of their time presupposes that the cultural stsge following theirs was more enlightened. I don’t see that as always true. Which means I definitely don’t believe in culture as a process of evolution;it there were such a thing as cultural evolution Shakespeare would have ‘ocurred” much further down the line.

  8. maryangeladouglas said,

    March 11, 2018 at 11:17 pm

    Hey, bui what do I know. I’m just happy so many great works of art survived and so many insights were gained. They certainly have made my life a lot happier and more interesting, that is for sure.

    • thomasbrady said,

      March 12, 2018 at 1:59 pm

      Mary, you are correct.

      Gary is a secular, “enlightened” man; an Aristotelian through and through.

      You, however, are a follower of Christ and Plato, and you understand the secret—joy and knowledge lie in the past.

      • March 12, 2018 at 2:31 pm

        You mean that past without airplanes, automobiles, vaccines, moon landings, printing presses, television and. . . oh, yeah . . . internet poetry blogs?

        • March 12, 2018 at 3:17 pm

          Long live the Flat Earth Society!

        • maryangeladouglas said,

          March 12, 2018 at 3:36 pm

          Da Vinci’s notebooks in their studies of birds prefigured the airplane. Jules Verne and the Brothers Lumiere (I think) imagined moon landings and the great writer Ray Bradbury who was connected to the past more than anyone I can think of in his writing said we went to the moon first in our imaginations. Don’t think anyone was stopping at the pre Gutenberg era and television now is a wasteland. As for vaccines the latest one was 12 percent effective (the flu one I mean), I flunked my driving test and too many of those who passed theirs die too soon through traffic fatalities. and people who have internet blogs would otherwise be sharing their poems one way or another. We are living in a present where people list their influences from the past late greats and you look at their poems and you can’t find a single trace of that heritage. That is sad to me. Though there are some exceptions. And Shakespeare is now optional in formerly famously erudite colleges, BASED ON STUDENT INTEREST THAT SEMESTER . We kind of live in the dark ages in some ways, or short term memory re the riches endless riches of the past so that only what matters is what just happened and nothing else or what can be misconstrued as pc fodder. I find this bizarre.

      • maryangeladouglas said,

        March 12, 2018 at 3:20 pm

        I definitely love the art of the past more than that of the present. Though I wish everyone well in the present. I do consider myself a friend of Plato and I love the reverie of his dialogues very much and the imagery even more. But Christ is my heart, my Saviour and there is no other comparable. The comfort of the past in the arts is immense a deep well to draw from and there is a way at looking at the past as the present. I think of wrote on this in different ways, from time to time on Scarriet. If in the present you are reading from the past you actually are bringing it into the present (moment). Chronological time is necessary but is not real in this sense. When you are reading you are in communion NOW that is certain. Sometimes it is startling when the poet recognizes that as in Whitman so often adressing the reader directly. And Keats extraordinary line: this living hand. That is real freedom reading even writing that way, beyond time and beyond time is our destination.

        • maryangeladouglas said,

          March 12, 2018 at 4:01 pm

          Message had some words accidentally ommited. I was trying to say in part that I know I have read in several of your essays Tom, the idea of the past continuing its influence into the present to the extent of being actually mingled WITH THE PRESENT. There aren’t electric fences between the past and present anyway. That a person died, left earth whatever you want to call it does not mean the works they created go with them. THEY DID NOT DIE. THEY ARE STILL HERE. All a person has to do that is pick up a book, listen to a piece of music, go see a painting from the so called past. You will see and you will feel that it is still living. BECAUSE IT IS.

      • maryangeladouglas said,

        March 14, 2018 at 8:22 am

        March 14 heard on BBC World Service report on death of Stephen Hawking: ✔
        Stephen Hawking was born January 8, 1942, on the 300th anniversary of Galileo’s death. He died today, March 14th, on the anniversary of Einstein’s birth. Time is circular – no beginning, no end.

        1:18 AM – Mar 14, 2018

        • March 14, 2018 at 4:39 pm

          Also, died on Pi day. Respect.

          • maryangeladouglas said,

            March 14, 2018 at 6:13 pm

            I remember the word Pi and seeing it written on the board. That’s pretty much it. Math beyond simple arithmetic has never made sense to me. I probably don’t even have the right to spell Stephen Hawking. But I thought the dates were interesting and I liked how he kept going in life with the train of thought he liked the most. And that he was happy with it.

            • March 14, 2018 at 8:01 pm

              It’s amazing Hawking lasted as long as he did. My brother died from ALS in 2015. He was diagnosed in 2011.

              • maryangeladouglas said,

                March 14, 2018 at 10:24 pm

                I’m truly sorry you lost your brother in that way. I think it is amazing too how long Stephen Hawking lived. I do believe you will see your brother again and when you do he will be completely healed. Maybe the thing that gave Stephen Hawking more and more tenacity in life was immersing himself entirely in his questions about the universe. That’s where he really existed. In his beautiful questions maybe more intensively than anyone ever has in that regard. But who knows why anything happens in this world. Somehow we have to establish ourselves on another plane because this world as it is, is too difficult

                • maryangeladouglas said,

                  March 14, 2018 at 11:01 pm


                  sometimes it is true that we are breathing sand
                  and find it difficult to walk even the small hills
                  when we have had our fill of the unanswered

                  questions, conversations muted
                  the vow of beauty remembered no more.
                  then I think of trees and worlds on worlds

                  of green and the oxygen of kindness dream
                  I imagine kindness, real freedom. I think what if there were suddenly
                  small rainbows over all the brooks at once

                  and all the books opened to the very page you need
                  and were singing, only to you.
                  sometimes we make our own oxygen.

                  sometimes we must.
                  for all the times
                  it turns to rust.

                  mary angela douglas 14 march 2018

                  • maryangeladouglas said,

                    March 14, 2018 at 11:26 pm

                    I wrote that poem thinking of an amazing story by Ray Bradbury. It is called the Green Morning. And also because I have been having trouble taking deep breaths for the last six weeks or so. But I recognize it is partially from emotional causes. The weird thing is when I thought of that story and wrote the poem and read it over I really did feel and i still feel like I can take much deeper breaths. I think a lot of people are getting sick this way lately not just because it is flu season (as if that were a real event on the calender, haha). There seems to be kind of a heavy atmosphere overall right now. Sometimes you may think you are the only one feeling that way. Its not worry exactly. Its the very air you breathe. And then somehow you can breathe again. Best new years resolution ever. Just keep taking deep breaths as often as you can. But whoever is reading this please read Ray Bradbury’s the Green Morning. I wish someone poetic would make a film of it. Or read the 23rd Psalm. There’s a lot of deep breaths greeness and stillness in that Psalm. I love it. Glad Thomas put it on the sentimental poem list.

                    • maryangeladouglas said,

                      March 14, 2018 at 11:32 pm

                      I just rememberd. Bradbury’s The Green Morning is in his novel The Martian Chronicles. It is one of the stories that comprise that book.

  9. maryangeladouglas said,

    March 14, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    My brain, if left untended to fend for itself has a horrible habit of looking for trouble on the horizon. I used to think it was because of all the many temp jobs I had etc. that I was constantly on the alert like that. Another horrible thing my brain did/does is gather up every single thing that could go wrong and present it to me like a constant, continuously running newsreel. I have found various ways ot slapping down the newsreel. Different things work at different times. But the thing that works the best right now is laughing and saying it to it (when I’m at home): that’s not even happening right now. Then It feels embarassed and shuts off the film.

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      March 14, 2018 at 11:51 pm

      It wasn’t the temp jobs because I’m not even working anymore and the brain is still making trouble where there is none. It was me all along. Why is it the brain on its own does NOT automatically run a film on everything good that’s ever happened. What a spoilsport it is. Haha. Exactly like watching the evening news on ANY given day. Hey, here we are again to let you know every horrible thing that happened in the world today so you can catch up. And if we can’t find enough stuff we’ll just run stock footage of crap that happened ten years ago.

      • March 15, 2018 at 1:24 am

        Mary, if you want to figure out all the weird stuff that’s going on these days, I suggest you read the Revelation of St. John.

        • maryangeladouglas said,

          March 15, 2018 at 6:17 am

          I suggest you keep your sarcasm to yourself. And I have been handling my reading material myself now for a really long time. I suggest you stay in your own lane.

          • maryangeladouglas said,

            March 15, 2018 at 6:23 am

            I really would like to know why you have such venom toward me. The Book of Revelations is complex, beautiful, and highly allegorical, spectacular and visionary. You are ignorant. But what is worse, you are unkind.

            • maryangeladouglas said,

              March 15, 2018 at 6:26 am

              And that’s a cancellation on ever reading anymore poetry of yours. You don’t have a right to take your shit out on me. I have been more than kind to you. You should be ashamed.

              • maryangeladouglas said,

                March 15, 2018 at 6:35 am

                I have been on Scarriet now for some time. No matter what the subject matter I’ve never had to wait more than a few days for some pop up, bully, troll, to surface. But this is across the board garden variety bs on the internet now, everywhere. What a waste of breath.Yeah I am tired of all the clown cars pulling off the road and hurling their diaper baby insults before hee haw merging back into general generic clown traffic.. Especially when its against Christians Or anyone, really. I thought you were a better person.

                • maryangeladouglas said,

                  March 15, 2018 at 6:56 am

                  “the lone and level sands,” buddy;y’all capisce?

  10. maryangeladouglas said,

    March 15, 2018 at 8:43 am

    These words are beautiful and I am not ashamed of them (Rev. 21).

    This is from the Book of Revelations Chapter 21.

  11. March 15, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    I’m sorry you misunderstood my comment. I was serious. I believe Antichrist has arrived.
    I did not intend to upset you.
    I was moved by your comments and just wanted to give you some encouragement.

    I will trouble you no more.

    • March 15, 2018 at 8:50 pm

      You actually believe the antichrist is on the earth right now? Is he spending the afternoon with the boogieman? Come on!

      People, magic isn’t real. There is no “Antichrist”. Relax. If any bad shit happens it’ll be humans doing it. Plain ol’ humans.

    • Desdi said,

      March 19, 2018 at 2:21 pm

      Due to misinterpreted blog-forum vibes and easily-offended readers I think it could be said (to quote that crypto-Christian John Lennon) that

      “Mother Superior jumped the gun” . . .

      • maryangeladouglas said,

        March 19, 2018 at 2:28 pm

        Let It Be.

        • Anonymous said,

          March 19, 2018 at 10:12 pm

          Paul wrote that.

          • Desdi said,

            March 20, 2018 at 12:11 am

            I stand corrected. Musta got it mixed w/the Warm Gun part.

            • March 20, 2018 at 1:41 am

              John wrote ‘Happiness’. I was talking about ‘Let it Be’.

              And, I wasn’t offended, I just don’t believe in ghosts or magic.

  12. maryangeladouglas said,

    March 15, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    Apology accepted. Im glad because I really didn’t want to stop reading your poems. I like a lot of them. I definitely don’t go around looking for the antichrist. Why would anyone do that. What sre you going to do if you find him. I have enough trouble in my neighborhood already. Not always. But enough. I like the part in Rev. 21 where it says God Himself will wipe away all tears. It proves that God hates human suffering. And it comforts me to read that. There certainly have been enough human tears with or without the revelations. I do not believe suffering comes from God at all. No matter how much a person studies Christian theology there are a million contradictiosn and inexplicable things in the world connected with human suffering that cannot be explained. Why is there so much disparity in it for one thing. Some people suffer all their lives. Some children excape abuse, some do not. Why why and why. I don’t know. I know that evil is not from God. I can’t think about the Apocalypse because t think of that means that suffering in the world is going to get a whole lot worse at some point. It looks plenty bad to me right now and the 20th century we just went through sure took the blue ribbon home for suffering. I do believe there is a war seen and unseen between good and evil between God and the Devil the real Enemy of mankind. This is not Halloween costume stuff. This is real. And why did Stephen Hawking have ALS and live 76 years when the Pimeister’s brother lived only three years after his diagnosis. I try to think that the unfairness in life is more than compensated for in Heaven. That is indicated to be true for me in the phrase GOD HIMSELF WILL WIPE AWAY ALL TEARS. I count on it. For everyone.

  13. noochinator said,

    March 15, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    Mary, this is a good lecture from Biola U. — sample quote: “Shame is the vector that evil is actively wielding to devour the world”

    Speaking of ‘Revelation’, D.H. Lawrence’s study of that book in his Apocalypse changed the way I look at life and work.

  14. maryangeladouglas said,

    March 15, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Many tricks can be playaed with words. I am not ashamed. Why should I be. I know that God is my father and loves me. I know that Jesus is my brother and my friend and my saviour from evil in the world and from those who twist words into animal balloons and deceiving shapes of all kinds Neurobiology is being used quite a bit to condition and recondition people by those who have no no conscience no conscience at all and to justify hedonism. D.H. Laurence was a troubled person, also manipulative. But I loved his poems: The Ship of Death. And Piano. Freud was at the base of a rotten tree and is mingled with so much like a kind of poison. You seem always to imply, and you are not alone, that Christianity is manipulating people with shame. This is not my experience. at all. This is also a distortion of the nature of God and the scriptures. My people will never be ashamed, those who do not lie says the Scripture. David said of God in the Psalms: Thou are the lifter up of my head. It is the Devil and his enthusiasts who uses the weapons of shame, humiliation, you name it. I am not going to be converted to these ways of thinking because I recognize because I discern the lies behind them. There is good and evil. In the world in ourselves. We can seek the good or we can tiwst things so that we call good evil and evil good. Each person is free to go either way. I’m not listening to this lecture because I can discern even in this man’s face which way he has chosen.

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      March 15, 2018 at 6:28 pm

      Jesus Christ in the crucifixion and the taunting and beating and jeering that went with it, and in every day of his life on earth facing constant accusation, ridicule from even his own brothers and from the religious leaders of the time who envied him and wanted to kill him their envy was so strong in them, took shame and humiliation upon himself for the sake of all mankind. HE FREED US FROM SHAME, ACCUSATION, RIDICULE, HUMILIATION. It was the heart of God to will it so, to take the suffering into Himself. On the other hand , the Devil, the angel who became the devil became the constant accuser of mankind. Psychology, and certain of the sciences set themselves up in the place of God, or tried to. except in rare instances. How odd that the Greek word for soul is at the root of the word psychology and all its branches which were so easily used in totalitarian countries by evil men and women to torture innocent people. Along with psychotropic drugs, particularly in the former Soviet union… Carl Jung courageously broke from Freud and discovered much of beauty. But just like the jeering crowd chose to pick Barabbus over Jesus, “experts’ have chosen Freud over Jung and caused great misery and confusion to many people seeking wholeness. We are still infected with all of that. D H. Laurence was a snake.

      • maryangeladouglas said,

        March 15, 2018 at 6:41 pm

        There is no wholeness possible for any of us without accepting Jesus Christ as our Saviour and friend and thus being reconciled to the love of God. Without saying simply to God and Jesus I am sorry for what is wrong in me we will never be free from shame and sorrow. We know in our hearts there is something noble. As well as something at times despicable. Which do we want to be? All we have to do is ask for His help. The fact that there have been sham prachers, religious leaders in Christianity (in all religions really) does not alter in any way the nature of this reality.or the nature of God. This is the reality we are born into. We know almost from childhood that something is at war in us. The message of the gospels teaches us how to fight, how to be embraced by God, defended by God, to have hope. We are all conscripted in this battle and we can choose to fight or we can find every possible justification not to fight. This is not a myth, not a fairy tale, a tale told singnifying nothing. It is real. It the heart of all reality. We are His children who were cheated out our inheritance by the lying Devil. That is the truth. We need to get our inheritance back.

        • Desdi said,

          March 18, 2018 at 6:28 pm

          Amen. None of these academics were saved, including Jung.
          They are distractors, full of their own speculations and determined to affirm humanity and discount God until they die. Their credentials and their professional reputations were/are at stake. They must reject Christ in order to maintain their prideful identies. They can offer some interesting theories but that is all. Don’t ever compromise, Mary.
          If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you SHALL be saved.

          • maryangeladouglas said,

            March 19, 2018 at 10:06 am

            That is not what I said. I totally appreciate Carl Jung. There are MANY people who have made enormous contributions to mankind without being quote unquote saved. There are many saved people who have made many people, inclouding those close to them miserable as hell. The good that men do lives after them. Whether they are theologically correct or not. Not everything I say is perfect. I was wrong to judge that man by the expression on his face and it is possible for neurobiology to be used for good. I am just aware of the way it has been used by dangerous people. I bless from my heart every human being on earth. I don’t always like them but then they don’t like me either and that is their privilege to feel the way they want to feel about me. I am highly aware of the fact that I am not God. There are atheists who have worked from their heart for the good of others. It is not just about what people say or profess. It has a lot to do with what they DO and the intention of their heart. I have read a lot in philosophy and fields outside of literature too. And I have learned a lot of interesting insights from them that have to do with the truth. Truth is in many unexpected places. I know Christ is the way, the truth and the life. I also know there is a lot more going on than what is on the surface, everywhere. God is not limited to inspiring the saved and i REALLY hate that classification THE SAVED. It sounds so arrogant to me. And if Christians really showed the love Jesus did they would be weeping and heartbroken at the doctrine that some will be left behind qote unquote. They would be on their knees begging God to spare the quote unquote unsaved from the tribulations instead of sailing merilly off on the boat of Heavenly Raprue, viewing from above the devastations. There is a vein of gold running through every human expression, artistic expression, sincere work of art or scholarship. I am always looking for that vein of gold. It doesn’t have to be like Mary Poppins absolutely perfect in every way for me to listen and learn from it. Of course I know doctrine is important. But Jesus reduced it all to two things; Love God with all your heart, mind and soul and your neighbor as yourself. Im not condemning what you are saying. You have a perfect right too to say how you feel as a Christian and a person and a poet. I’m just saying please don’t put words in my mouth. Im not going to wholesale condiemn ANYONE, not academics, not liberals, not agnostics, not atheists not anybody. Every human being has incredible depths and incredible suffering often hidden. The Bible says man looks on the outward appearance;God looks on the heart. It is a lot more complicated in my opinion than what you have said. Nooch is right. That guy is an orthodox Christian and his university. That is an issue I have a problem with that Christian counselors are using certain methods, terminology etc. that I don’t personally agree with. But even there I guess i would have to know the actual affect of their therapies on the persons they are working with to actually know for certain if it was good or bad AND HOW THE CHRISTIAN THERAPISTS ARE USING IT.. Because even the right tools in the hands of the wrong person can cause great damage. I didn’t like his face. I felt he had smugness toward people and his own agenda. Then I thought what right do I have to judge his face and to publicly in a way defame him. yet I have had experiences when my intuition really turned out to be true.

            • maryangeladouglas said,

              March 19, 2018 at 10:09 am

              Haha. Weird typo lady strikes again. Raprue should be Rapture and by the way there is no time in the Bible that word occurs in the sense it is used today in evangelical circles. But raprue could be a real word haha. There is a lot of rap I rue.

              • maryangeladouglas said,

                March 19, 2018 at 11:03 am

                I guess there are some things where I do differ from traditional Christian doctrine. For instance, what if an atheist gives his life for another person, say he throws himself in front of a buddy in battle to keep him from getting hit and therefore dies.. This person showed sacrificial love. This person gave his life for another person.So did Jesus, for the whole world. This kind of love is the main quality of God, the Father. So when the atheist altruistic soldier gets to the Pearly Gates are they going to let him in or not. I can’t imagine God or Jesus turning him away. The main quality of God and Jesus is perfect love, sacrificial love. They HAVE to let him into Heaven. They wouldn’t be able NOT to. That’s how I really feel.

            • Desdi said,

              March 19, 2018 at 1:18 pm

              I agree with you, Mary.
              Jesus said it all in the Sermon on the Mount . . . but it is hard to live it out.
              What people say/believe vs. what they DO continues to be a thorny issue. Luther against St. James ha ha ha .
              I don’t believe in the “Rapture” idiocy.
              But I do believe if you are not saved then you are lost and no gray area.

              I wasted years with Jungian ideas.
              Hermann Hesse/Joseph Campbell too.

              I’d rather have salvation, thanks.

    • noochinator said,

      March 15, 2018 at 8:07 pm

      His face is deceiving then, b/c he is an orthodox Christian, and Biola is one of the country’s premier Christian universities.

  15. maryangeladouglas said,

    March 15, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    Just stating my belief system. It most definitely does not involve psychiatry on any level. Suggesting i watch a psyhchiatric lecture on shame seems a little dubious. If you find it helpful well then I guess you do. I’ve never found it necessary.

    • noochinator said,

      March 15, 2018 at 8:05 pm

      A lot of Christians, including myself, have a problem with excessive feelings of shame for things they did in the past That’s great that you don’t, b/c too much shame is not a good thing!

      D.H. Lawrence wasn’t a believer, but things he taught can help those who do believe.

  16. maryangeladouglas said,

    March 15, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    Well, I am sorry that you went through that kind of tribhulation and I’m glad you found a way of circumventing that. When you get down to it, it is the Devil that should feel shame. I particularly do not like the fusion of Christian counseling with psychoanalytics of any kind. Everyone nakes mistakes. As far as I can tell Jesus NEVER shamed anyone except the moneychangers in the Temple. But many pastors have. Everyone has different weaknesses. I am sorry to God that I often feel selfish. But I am cheerful in combatting it because I know that God doesn’t condemn me. I don’t have to feel ashamed. I just have to keep encouraged and keep trying. God honors us for that. I know He does. I probably should not have said about discerning what was in the man’s face. It’s not my business. But I did see it. I also should not have called D.H. a snake. But everytime I tried to read hiim, except for the two poems I mentioend, I felt that way. So I didn’t continue. My people be ashamed God says in the Bible. I believe Him.

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      March 15, 2018 at 8:23 pm

      Correction My people be ashamed God never says in the Bible. He said my people shall NEVER be ashamed. And I do believe Him. Also, as it says, God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Jesus also said love covers a mltitude of sins. Is a man or woman the best thing they have ever done or the worst thing? I chose to believe bhe best thing. I think God does too. But anyway, Jesus on the cross said the thief right next to him This day you will be with me in Paradise. And there is no indication he took a moment first tosay BUT YOU HAVE TO FEEL ASHAMED FIRST. He just asked the thief to acknowledge Jesus for who He was. Believe on the Lord and you will be saved. He came t help us because the battle was and is too heavy for us on our own. All of human history was moving toward the point where that would happen. BECAUSE THE DEVIL WAS CONSTANTLY SHAMING THE CHILDREN OF GOD. AND GOD WAS SICK OF IT.

      • noochinator said,

        March 15, 2018 at 8:38 pm

        “Is a man or woman the best thing they have ever done or the worst thing? I choose to believe the best thing. I think God does too.”

        That’s a very beautiful sentiment that I’ve never seen or heard expressed anywhere else.

        • maryangeladouglas said,

          March 15, 2018 at 9:02 pm

          I really believe it’s true. It says in the Bible that Jesus is constantly pleading for us, advocating for us in Heaven. I think he looks for the smallest details seeing our good intention Bible also says God searches the heart. Most people think He is looking for what is bad in us. I believe he is searching for what is good in us. He is looking to see himself reflected in us, some glint of His nature because he wants like any Parent to see a family resemblance . i think he rejoices to find even the least thing. It is important not to feel shame but to feel what the Bible calls a contrite heart. To say Lord I am sorry I hurt another human being, I am sorry I didn’t tell the truth (truth being very important to him, even in little things), and He is so happy when we say we are sorry because it is a quality of heart he values. It shows we care. It shows we want to reach the highest love. That’s what Jesus saw in the thief. The thief had compassion on Jesus in that moment and nobody else did except for of course John and his mother Mary. But the thief said why are you suffering when you didn’t do anything wrong? And that heart, that feeling of compassion in the situation where everybody and their brother was yelling Crucify him Crucify him about Jesus, that one man saw that he was innocent and that one thing made Jesus love him so much and impulsively declare THIS DAY YOU WILL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE. But I never heard a sermon on tht in my life. Somehow it feels like the pastors want to keep that one a secret so they can keep yelling at us I guess. Or maybe they don’t realize how easy it fcould be to go to Heaven. it’s the quality of our heart over a lifetime. Not one awful period in our life where we did horrendous things. TRULY GOD DOESN’T CARE!! He just wants us to come home and He’s never going to feel alright unless everybody does. Why I think Christians should pray for their to be no apocalypse .and for everyone to be forgiven everything. It says in the Bible sometimes people prayed and it changed things. WHY NOT PRAY ABOUT THAT AND NOT BE GLAD ABOUT WHO GETS RAPTURED AND WHO GETS LEFT BEHIND. HWO CAN WE NOT PRAY FOR NOBODY TO GET LEFT BEHIND. LET’S JUST SKIP THE WHOLE THING I PRAY SOMETIMES. I KNOW YOU WANT TO LORD I PRAY. And I feel its true everytime I pray it. God believes in us the way He made us to be in the first place. All Adam and Eve had to do was say they were sorry. That’s all. But they hid themselves and broke God’s heart and then the Devil made his move to take over. And the only reason God sounded so harsh in the Garden was because he was trying not to cry and to completely lose it. And I know this is not in the Bible that way but I believe it happened just like that. And all the time in the bIBLE IT TALKS ABOUT GOD’S WRATH He was not angry at us. he was angry at the situation. That because of the rules of the game and free will he could not stoop the beautiful world he made for us turning into a nightmare and for things to have to run the course they have had to run. BUT HE IS ON OUR SIDE. AND THAT S THE VERY THING THE DEVIL LIES ABOUT THE MOST. HE WANTS US TO THINK GOD HATES US. IT IS COMPLETELY OPPOSITE.

          • maryangeladouglas said,

            March 19, 2018 at 11:28 am

            People who have commited a lot of what are considered in popular Christianity the major sins (although for God it is all the same) have a great advantage over other believers. They will never be smug. They understand all humanity and God’s dilemma on a very very deep level. And they are often the ones most deeply used by God. Such as Peter, Paul, St. Augustine. And many more. Those who have shame particularly have shame because the devil sees them as a threat. They are well aware of all his tricks and traps having suffered from them to a great degree. The greatest so called sinners have the greatest capacity to be loved by God. They can understand the difficulty God has in reaching us. They can understand especially I guess from the study of neuroscience and the way addictive behvior or ANY kind is formed and how unbleievably hard it is to break those circuits once they are established so that they understand more what they are dealing with what everyone is dealing with depending on their own weaknesses, in terms of the recurrence of shame and guilt because it’s locked into the whole nervous system. I can see how finding out about that could be freeing. God knows that we are often tricked through no fault of our own and deceived into behavior we could regret our whole life. I understand that. I went through stages to understand that. And to undersand it is not a virtue to resist sins which don’t even tempt you. And when we really think about sin or separation froim God the real issue is LACK OF LOVE toward others and ourselves. God knows I DO feel ashamed of that. I do want to love more and not condemn and not be selfish and not be smug. The thing I have the hardest time with in the Bible is the very beginning, the Fall of Man. The first children God were told not to do whatever is represented by the Tree of good and evil. They were deceived by the devil in a train of logic that they had not been trained to understand. In a way it was not their fault they were tricked. Eve by the devil, Adam by Eve. into thinking that what God said could be disregarded. But I believe that is not the main sin. I think the main sin was that when God called for them THEY HID. And also the sin of NOT TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN ACTIONS. If they had RUN TO GOD IMMEDIATELY and said to him in perfect honesty: We are sorry. We disobeyed what you said. Please forgive us. If they had done this quickly, I believe that Paradise would have remained with us and no evil would have entered into the world. But instead they hid, and then they blamed each other. In our own indivdiual lives I think the most important thing is when we sin, RUN TO GOD IMMEDIATELY and say from your heart I am sorry, I am sorry. And then to say: I am responsible for what I did and I still love you God. I still want to grow in love. That way in our relationship with God and through Christ we are still in His light and grace. The greatest sin and the only one that matters is the lack of love.

            • maryangeladouglas said,

              March 19, 2018 at 11:37 am

              Because Adam and Eve did not act quickly and turn back to God and take responsibility for their actions in accordance with the authority of taking dominion God had given them both, because of them not immediately mending their hearts with God, this gave the Devil the time he needed to take from them Dominion over all the earth and human history from that point on. And God had to let it play out that way.because he had already given them Dominion, God couldn’t take earthly dominion away from them. He had to watch in grief as the Devil took domnion from them It only took a few seconds and then things were set in motion. And the course of restoration of man to God began its laborious. torturous unfolding. This is my interpretation. Then Christ as a human being sent from God came to do what Adam and Eve did not do. Represent perfect love at the risk of his own life, meeting all the conditions of heart and going through all levels of temptation. It could have happened earlier but it took the time it took because of man’s continued disobedience.

              • maryangeladouglas said,

                March 19, 2018 at 11:43 am

                If either Adam or Eve when God asked who has done this had, instead of accusing each other said, out of love, Dear God it is my fault they would have fulfilled the condition of perfect love, taking all blame upon themselves. Because in that moment they blamed each other and the Devil that was I think kind of the last condition that could have been met in Paradise. In taking the blame on themselves they could have immediately through perfect love kept things from unraveling. I think it is a very serious sin when we accuse each other and blame each other. It continues to make things worse in the world. To learn how not to blame and accuse is a very great thing.

  17. maryangeladouglas said,

    March 15, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    Im not saying that only the Bible helps me. A lot of things help me. Myriads of things. Things I have to fight are mostly connected with worry, thinking of myself more than others, being quick to judge, quick to say the first thing that comes to mind. All these things can hurt other people. I don’t want to hurt other people but I know I have. And all the while I focus on how I think they hurt me. This is stupid and a waste of time. But standing in a corner feeling ashamed about it would also be wsating time. Mostly I think God wants us to say we are sorry, then be forgiven, then keep going and don’t let our not being perfect spoil doing someting good even a little thing in the day. We have to believe in God’s forgiveness or we can never be free. Because we will always be doing something that will be short of who we really are. Try to do something to lighten the load. Even the smallest thing. This is a very great thing. Even praying. Most people don’t realize how powerful it is to pray. And it is someting you an always do even when you are sick. Even if you feel like the whole day everything you did and said was wrong. The main thing is to keep our spirits up our hope up and do what we can. And appreciate the moments of peace we have and truly be happy in them. And grateful. And learn all we can. Learning is very important I think. I went on too long. But, haha, I don’t feel ashamed. I just look at it and I think I always think if I keep talking long enough maybe SOMETHING I said just by the law of averages might help someone to feel better. I hope so.

  18. noochinator said,

    March 15, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    “We have to believe in God’s forgiveness or we can never be free.” Yes, so true!

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      March 15, 2018 at 9:14 pm

      Remember that verse something about He has taken our sins and thrown them into the sea and remembers there no more and removed them
      as far as the East is from the West. As far as He’s concerned at that point it never even happened.

      • noochinator said,

        March 15, 2018 at 9:56 pm

        “As far as He’s concerned at that point it never even happened.” I need to read this every night before bed and every morning after rising!

        • maryangeladouglas said,

          March 19, 2018 at 10:36 am

          It is a deep subject. It seems to me in Christianity possibly other religions too that even after a person begins to live with the awareness of Christ’s teaching in relation to themselves that even though God himself says he remembers our sins no more the Preachers want to keep the memory of them alive. Are they justified in doing this? I don’t think so. Accusation is what the Devil uses big time to keep us from moving forward and doing ANYTHING further useful in the world. He delights in it. Accusation ahd shame. Works almost everytime to shut a human being down. Another thing I have noticed since I was a little kid is there is something in your head that makes you feel guilty even for things that are not really that important. I guess that is shame. Sometimes we are shamed by parents and teachers also for things that do not matter, we are shamed and judged in the workplace, by so called friends. We pretty much all live in the soup of shame. Or at least guilt. I know I have experienced a feeling of guilt and at some point I would stop what I was doing and I would thinki very sharply: WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON HERE. WHY DO I FEEL THIS WAY. It felt like there was an evil gnome in my head being critical all day long about really stupid stuff. I was lucky in life to have good not bad addictions.Such as reading. Such as music. From a young age this stuff took up all my time. I didn’t go to bars or rowdy parties because I didn’t drink and I hate noise and even more, crowds and I only wanted to be friends with people, nothing more. I didn’t have a tendency to yell and scream at others although I did in my head plenty. I never drank, I never took drugs. I loved my parents and grandparents so why the heck would I rebel. But I do feel regrets. I wish I had loved them more. I wish i could have asked them many more questions about life. BUT YOU ONLY KNOW WHAT YOU KNOW AT THE TIME. I believe God and Christ have INFINITE COMPASSION on us. But you don’t always get that feeling when you’re listening to a sermon.

          • maryangeladouglas said,

            March 19, 2018 at 10:39 am

            The one thing I hate the most in the world is noise. And smugness so maybe it’s two. Can’t figure out how to love that.

  19. maryangeladouglas said,

    March 15, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    Isaiah 43:25.

  20. maryangeladouglas said,

    March 15, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    There are some things I think are wrong about the way we are taught to think of ourselves in traditional Christianity both Protestant and Catholic versions. I do not think it makes God happy if we keep calling ourselves sinners, wretches. All my life that hymn amazing grace, I could never sing the word wretch, as in Amazing Grace that saved a wretch like me. Something in me really rebekked agaubst tgat, Or any type of spiritual meditation where we compare ourselves to worms, the most despicable. Or all the times we are encouraged to think and/or say that we don not DESERVE the grace and forgiveness and blessings of God. With the latter If a parent gives a child a gift say on their birthday or Christmas or anytime would they be happy if the child keeps saying with his or her head bowed I don’t deserve this I am a worm I am a wretch I don’t deserve this. OF COURSE NOT. The parent wants to see the child HAPPY. Unless there is something really wrong with the parent. And by the same token the children are happy not just because of the present but because they feel the love behind the present. God through Jesus wanted to show us for once and for all that He really loves us, that He never forgot that he made us in His own image. And that’s anothe thing I thought about a lot. A lot of old time preachers preached that it was only after repenting and repenting and being baptised and receiving Jesus that we could have anything good in us. BUT HOW COULD THE IMAGE OF GOD, GOD BEING WHO HE IS, HAVE COMPLETELY DISAPPEARED IN US? And how can you explain people who have done truly horrible things all of a sudden for example maybe , pull somebody out of a burning car, risking their life? Or do any unselfish act. Yet this happens all the time. WHICH MEANS WE NEVER STOPPED HAVING GOD’S IMAGE INSIDE OF US. THAT IS OUR REAL IDENTITY. PERIOD. THAT IS WHO WE REALLY ARE.

  21. maryangeladouglas said,

    March 15, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    weird martian typo. Should read: SOMETING IN ME REALLY REBELLED AGAINST THAT. (singing, a wretch like me).

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      March 15, 2018 at 11:32 pm

      God called us by Hiw name from the very beginning. It’s the devil that wants us to berate and berate us and keeps telling us over and over we are wretches, worms, whatever. Because if we truly realize we are the sons and daughters God it will be all over for him. And he will have no more power over us at all. There is an amazing line in Cervantes Don Quixote. I know who I am and who I can be. It’s kind of like that. You can say to yourself ANY time of day, I am a child of God. It will always be true.

      • maryangeladouglas said,

        March 15, 2018 at 11:37 pm

        correction. It’s the devil that wants to berate and berate us, to verbally abuse and mock us telling us over and over we are wretches, worms whatever. Its terrible that well meaning pastors told this to their congregations. Jesus came to tell us two things: LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, MIND AND SOUL. LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. He said YOU ARE MY FRIENDS if you do what I command you. The fact that he thought we could even do this proves that the right way to think of yourself is as a child of God. I am certain Jesus himself had to fight the same lies from Satan telling him he was no good and never would be.

      • maryangeladouglas said,

        March 15, 2018 at 11:38 pm

        Cervantes line: I know who I am and who I can be if I choose. Sorry for mistakes. Im recovering from being ill for six week have cloggy congested head.

  22. maryangeladouglas said,

    March 16, 2018 at 8:39 am


    this is the fairy tale as it stands
    The King in exile
    the instant we disobeyed

    the green kingdoms slipping from His hands
    and remonstrances fading the anguished
    wringing of bells, the inward collapse of stars.

    Adam where are you rang through all the fields
    and then dissolved
    oh Eve and they cried too as though on

    a glacier breaking apart
    swift unraveling the continent of the Heart
    oh, Disappearing

    the word Catastrophe flung into the abyss
    to explain all of this ravaging
    of what we were where are we now.

    oh fond farewells…and fading, escalating
    and then: nothing on either side.
    no way to begin

    just a Blank in time.
    for aeons.

    and yet, pink petals rained through all the Springs
    and dawns came to the world, blue evenings expired
    but in a kind of diffused, a slanted light snd almost kind.

    iced over geometries
    ah, the Snow Queens…
    and Beauty through a snaked universe

    in mourning veils and mists
    trampled by thieves, the grate steam rising

    in which we could not recognize His face;
    our own hands phantoms before us. we are
    orphans worshipping stone

    our insufficiency.
    we are raised fists
    we wept and then felt nothing

    more than this nothing
    settled in the labyrinths
    building overproud, mute towers of

    new desolations. innovations.
    now we are blinded as in a deafening snow
    alone, we stumble on sans poetry

    though He is whispering in every tree
    to the angels straying by His side:
    still, I still can see them there

    and I am everywhere;
    they think that I am dead!
    or something in their head

    they must uproot

    I love you, love you still! he cried
    hoping to reach the other side
    and small doves came

    holding up his rainbows
    at each end
    to make Him laugh, forget for a little while

    his depths of disconsolation
    while He smiled an instant,
    breaking down again…

    years past. we slept.
    and there were wars
    the settling of scores

    that could never be settled really
    the scuttling of old plans.
    the awful scars.

    then music arose ocasionally played

    andwords flamed tipped end to end
    the Divine ascents

    the star over the lowly child.
    oh come Immanuel.
    the golden key

    and not the beginning of sorrows infinitely discharged
    though it is doomed, destined to seem so
    for a long and afflicted time

    still to come to the chamberless heart
    while we sing carols to the dark.
    and the holy infant cried.

    mary angela douglas 15 march 2018

  23. maryangeladouglas said,

    March 18, 2018 at 10:10 am


    perhaps he made up for us a little
    who waste so many chances
    to even look at the sky

    complaining in the traffic-about-
    the sun in our eyes-
    in all his wondering whys

    his looking back at the broken picture puzzle cracked as
    on a vast unchartered track, an endless spiraling,
    diamonded, past what anyone else would do

    should the thought even occur to them
    star mapping Time, first breath christening
    and paradoxical flowering into the

    personally catastrophic and then, to begin again
    as if it were music and the very first bar
    picking up the golden thead no one else perceived

    and leaving everything but his mind as collateral
    for all thieves and enforced loitering, demented roadblocks
    as perhaps the price to pay for meddling with the known

    conclusions of those who own the prize at the moment
    and will not let it go
    how odd that he only burrowed farther on

    as if he nested then among the stars
    there being truly no alternative
    and the faraway look in his eyes hardening

    crystalized into
    the day before the day before..into a shoal of light
    no equations of the lost but a firmer step

    where for him there was no ground possible
    forming the formulated never yet conceived
    in syllables no longer couched

    in his own human voice
    and circumspect
    without real wings

    there being no other choice;
    shutting out all the noise of the self
    pitying possibilities

    ever more thickly befalling
    deformed in the outer world
    yet still his bow was bent and the golden

    arrows flew so straight
    past all anyone knew or could acknowledge, calculate

    such a fate he had! and acceleration

    the riddle more and more beautiful as he
    climbed, nay, crawled toward the summits
    oh angel I will not let thee go

    except thou bless me
    to grasp the fantastic hold he had on measuring
    what couldn’t be measured they said

    once they glimpsed he already had
    and were sore amazed
    oh let him be laid to rest on a boat of stars

    and rowed on the magic waters

    mary angela douglas 18 march 2018

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      March 18, 2018 at 11:57 am


      after reading Rilke I thought now we are
      embroidered on his far distances, not our own,,
      the encroaching stars

      the angels at Eden
      where it all burst into bloom
      Rilke, the trees wihispered then

      and the wind arose the interstellar
      space the unutterable bridge.has flowered between us:
      the collapses endured in childhood, winged.

      oh how will we sing this, forever translating hymn
      his song upon song enfolded
      vast, petals of the Rose…

      infolding now in us, but first,
      in him.

      mary angela douglas 18 maroch 2018

  24. Mr. Woo said,

    March 20, 2018 at 1:57 am

    Bill Murray & friends covering Van Morrison

  25. Mr. Woo said,

    March 20, 2018 at 2:03 am

    Re: Benjamin: I was an assistant to a photographer for short period. It’s a fascinating activity, though I don’t like having my picture taken.

    Also, Matthew Arnold looks like a total bad ass.

  26. maryangeladouglas said,

    March 20, 2018 at 3:17 pm


    maybe they want the beautiful to disappear
    so that they may rule and reign, the trolls,
    present under every bridge and you

    must pay their fee.
    or stay at home.
    how often then would we long

    for the cloak of invisibility
    at any birthday, under the Christmas tree

    or on the list of the required
    school aupplies.along with the protractor
    the pencil case that slides open.

    and the cray pas.

    but aboveground we were too visible a target.
    how do roses grow I thought in this cold climate
    why do not all castles sink at every nod and wink

    at the dubious eyebrow raised in the
    nightmare madrigal. near graduation
    You are on the brink they say

    of the life before you.
    but you know
    they’re out there under the

    bridge construction going on
    all the time out on highway 101
    just waiting for you, the trolls

    near the office park where you will work
    for some one’s professional smirk to
    grow smirker while you toil and

    where you must learn again and again
    not to depend on accolades.or good reviews
    just be glad that you are you that God is nigh

    still making it through
    and safe across the bridge again by nightfall
    behind your rose clabbered walls

    small but free
    reading about invisible kingdoms
    lost continents where nothing like this

    is required of you.beyond merely blooming.

    mary angela douglas 20 march 2018

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