Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Non-time and Hauntology

 May 5, 2011


Non-Time and Hauntology

by Rob Horning

There are lots of plausible and interrelated explanations for why the pop-culture future can no longer occur.

I went to a talk last night at NYU by Mark Fisher about “hauntology,” which refers to a kind of intermediate space-time between places palpably shaped by organic time and nonplaces (shopping malls, etc.—see Marc Augé), which are wrenched out of time and posit an unending nontime, the end of history, an undisruptable retailing present that perpetually recurs. I didn’t really get what hauntology was all about: it seemed to have to do with cultural productions that are aware of the nonplace/nontime crisis—the way neoliberalism has foisted non-space/time on us, along with a subjectivity without depth that must flaunt its requisite flexibility by shuffling the deck of floating signifiers—and are “reflexive” and “critical” and “negative” about this condition. Fisher made this point with music: British pop music now is blithely appropriational of the past without foregrounding that in any particular way; retro has ceased to be a meaningful descriptor. So music made now would not be at all disruptive, he argues, if someone living in 1979 heard it. There would be no retroactive future shock. It doesn’t sound like the future; the future that should be occurring now has been thwarted, lost, effaced. The sense of cultural teleology is gone, vanished, perhaps, in the now pervasive relativism that regards all culture product as potentially valuable.

There are lots of plausible and interrelated explanations for why the pop-culture future can no longer occur, including:

(1) The demise of a hegemonic culture industry (and the rise of digitization and peer-to-peer distribution) brought the end of a shared sense of the cultural moment. We’re not all watching the same TV show at the same time and hearing the same records on the radio. Instead we have access to all culture all at once, on demand—whether it’s, say, Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, the complete works of Margaret Cavendish, yesterday’s episode of Survivor, or all of them at once. This AV Club article by Steven Hyden about Def Leppard’s Hysteria gets at the idea:

As everything changes rapidly around us, we as music fans in many ways still think we’re living in a Def Leppard world, where winning a Grammy means you’ve arrived, and going to No. 1 on the charts makes you a pop star. In reality, we live in a culture where the terms “mainstream” and “underground” have become virtually meaningless, as practically every song by every band ever is equally accessible, frequently at no cost, to anyone with an Internet connection and the interest to seek it out ... It’s clear that music rarely unites us under the banner of mass-accepted artists anymore; even in a concert audience, we’re all just a bunch of individuals, with little connecting us to one another beyond a shared interest in the artist onstage—one artist among hundreds on our abundantly stocked iPods. Sounds lonely, doesn’t it? Sometimes I yearn for the old world, the one I grew up in, a place where dinosaurs like Hysteria stomped around pop culture for months, if not years, leaving sizable impressions in the hearts of a generation, whether they liked it or not.

The availability of everything means that particular works of pop music lose “symbolic efficiency” to use (and possibly misuse) a term from Žižek. Nothing successfully connotes the zeitgeist; everything invokes a desire to one-up with a better reference or a new meme or detournement of the contemporary. We are too knowing and skeptical to accept anything as unproblematically representative of the now.

(2) Neoliberalism/post-fordism/late capitalism has projected itself as the end of history, normalized nontime, and generalized the reception of conditions of ontological insecurity as freedom. We lack a subjectivity that can experience or recognize historicity.

Fisher links the idea of a “missing future” with the disappearance of negativity and criticality in contemporary pop culture, which (as I interpret it) has no space for anything oppositional or which transforms oppositional gestures into postures that circulate only as signifiers of personal identity. It reminds me of Douglas Haddow’s “Hipsters are the dead-end of Western culture” argument:

An artificial appropriation of different styles from different eras, the hipster represents the end of Western civilization – a culture lost in the superficiality of its past and unable to create any new meaning. Not only is it unsustainable, it is suicidal. While previous youth movements have challenged the dysfunction and decadence of their elders, today we have the “hipster” – a youth subculture that mirrors the doomed shallowness of mainstream society.

Hipsters don’t experience non-time negatively, as a loss, as melancholic, as indicative of deep alienation. Instead they seem to be thoroughly subjectivized by neoliberalism to the extent that they regard it as opportunity to show off how creative they can be in their cycle of appropriations. That last thing they want is to be reminded of how their personality is conditioned by the times they live in; in nontime, one can feel transcendent and immortal, one can permanently defer adulthood.

Hauntological music (like Burial) tries to at least evoke the feeling of loss, tries to register the missing future as a kind of catastrophe, Fisher argues, though it can’t actually instantiate this missing future. It tries to at least restore meaning to the concept of retro, foregrounding the appropriations of the past by sounding like a scratchy record, and so on. (I don’t know; all electronic music literally sounds the same to me.) I wasn’t persuaded that a work’s reflexivity about how symptomatic it is itself of the impossibility of escaping non-time made it viable as a mode of resistance. I’m probably too skeptical of reflexivity to ever regard it as resistance; I see reflexivity as the quintessential mode of neoliberalist subjectivity—a calculating self-consciousness that can’t be escaped, that forces us to be considering our identity as an alienated thing to be developed and invested entrepreneurially. (The following is highly provisional and may ultimately prove embarrassing): Whatever is reflexive needs to become collective. The problem of non-spacetime is that of an isolated individual subject who admits of no possibility for intersubjectivity, which is perhaps the primary way we experience history, through how our relations with others subjectivize us in particular, contingent ways. Reflexivity about our loss of that intersubjectivity seems to still cling to the individuation, to see and secretly cherish one’s isolated uniqueness and incontingency in the recognition of it as a loss.

In my view, social media have become the extension of non-spacetime, where nothing, no identity or incident, is necessarily contingent or organic, and one is doomed to the “freedom” of endless ontological insecurity, the forever search for a grounding authenticity that can only generate more memes. Social media are where we go to protect our experience of nontime, which is threatened by the Real, by historicity, by death. Facebook is the ultimate nonplace. Being on it is to enter non-time, to maintain a continual pseudo-presence.

The non-spacetime crisis, I think, is a crisis of presence. When we exist in non-spacetime, presence becomes impossible—or it is known by its absence, in a kind of negative theology. To put that less cryptically (or maybe not): technology has basically dissolved the unity of the subject in a particular place in time. Smart phones, etc., let us be in many places at once, conducting any number of conversations and self-presentations asynchronously. This casts an air of provisionality over everything we do; our lack of total commitment to a that place at that moment is always implied, always understood. No one is even bothered anymore when someone they are talking to looks at their phone. There is no ethical requirement to be fully present, and without that, there is no genuine (I know, how can you even ever define “genuine”) intersubjectivity. The refusal to be fully present is a restatement of the refusal to permit our identity to be socially contingent or to be palpably collective. The smart phone reserves our right to check out of any collective identity formation at any time. This is the essence of contemporary “convenience,” which I have long interpreted as being able to avoid interaction with other humans and being forced to empathize with them and recognize their existence as other. (We can only tolerate other people when we regard them as extra in our movie.)

Fisher referred to Jameson’s distinction between psychological nostalgia and formal nostalgia, between the ability to evoke a real lost past and being trapped in pastiche. What I took from this is that the postmodern/neoliberal subject cannot access psychological nostalgia, but can only simulate it through pastiche, as this sort of subject has only existed in nontime as opposed to historical time. My sense is that this subject doesn’t yearn for historical time at all but worries about historical time erupting into nontime via some sort of terrible Event. When something that threatens to be an Event happens, subjects rush to assimilate it to nontime by mediatizing it, “sharing” it in social media, or meme-ifying it. I’m not sure if this holds, but it may be possible to interpret the ad hoc celebrations of Osama bin Laden’s execution this way—an effort to experience a historical moment in a way that dehistoricizes it—puts the partyers back at the center of their personal hermetic history, claims the Event as just an event in their individual story.

Because we have no access anymore to psychological nosalgia, we end up nostalgic for the capability for nostalgia, we feel homesickness for a home we never had. These leads to a compensatory attraction to childhood kitsch, to moribund objects (joining a typewriter club is an extreme manifestation of this), to anachronism, atavism, whatever seems genuinely and indelibly marked by a past. This perpetuates the cycle that denies the creation of a distinctive future, guarantees that the future is a more attenuated and annotated reconfiguration of detritus from the past.

continued discussion:

Sunday, August 13, 2023


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To His Venerable Brothers the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops and other Local Ordinaries in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See, and to the Clergy and Faithful of the Entire World.

Venerable Brothers and Dear Sons, Health and Apostolic Benediction.

The Mystery of Faith, that is, the ineffable gift of the Eucharist that the Catholic Church received from Christ, her Spouse, as a pledge of His immense love, is something that she has always devoutly guarded as her most precious treasure, and during the Second Vatican Council she professed her faith and veneration in a new and solemn declaration. In dealing with the restoration of the sacred liturgy, the Fathers of the Council were led by their pastoral concern for the whole Church to regard it as a matter of highest importance to urge the faithful to participate actively, with undivided faith and the utmost devotion, in the celebration of this Most Holy Mystery, to offer it to God along with the priest as a sacrifice for their own salvation and that of the whole world, and to use it as spiritual nourishment.

2. For if the sacred liturgy holds first place in the life of the Church, then the Eucharistic Mystery stands at the heart and center of the liturgy, since it is the font of life that cleanses us and strengthens us to live not for ourselves but for God and to be united to each other by the closest ties of love.

Reaffirmation by Vatican II

3. In order to make the indissoluble bond that exists between faith and devotion perfectly clear, the Fathers of the Council decided, in the course of reaffirming the doctrine that the Church has always held and taught and that was solemnly defined by the Council of Trent, to offer the following compendium of truths as an introduction to their treatment of the Most Holy Mystery of the Eucharist:

4. "At the Last Supper, on the night when He was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of His Body and Blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the Sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries until He should come again, and so to entrust to His beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of His Death and Resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is eaten, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.''

Both Sacrifice and Sacrament Highlighted

5. These words highlight both the sacrifice, which pertains to the essence of the Mass that is celebrated daily, and the sacrament in which those who participate in it through holy Communion eat the flesh of Christ and drink the blood of Christ, and thus receive grace, which is the beginning of eternal life, and the "medicine of immortality" according to Our Lord's words: "The man who eats my flesh and drinks my blood enjoys eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (2)

Restoration of Liturgy Linked to Eucharistic Devotion

6. And so We earnestly hope that the restoration of the sacred liturgy will produce abundant fruits in the form of Eucharistic devotion, so that the Holy Church may, with this salvific sign of piety raised on high, make daily progress toward the full achievement of unity, (3) inviting all Christians to a unity of faith and love and drawing them to it gently, through the action of divine grace.

7. We seem to have a preview of these fruits and a first taste of them in the outpouring of joy and eagerness that has marked the reception the sons of the Catholic Church have accorded to the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy and to the restoration of the liturgy; and we find these fruits too in the large number of carefully-edited publications that make it their purpose to go into the doctrine of the Holy Eucharist more profoundly and to come to a more fruitful understanding of it, especially in terms of its relationship to the mystery of the Church.

8. All of this brings Us deep consolation and joy. And it gives Us great pleasure to inform you of this, Venerable Brothers, so that you may join with Us in giving thanks to God, the bestower of all gifts, who rules the Church and makes her grow in virtue through His Spirit.


9. There are, however, Venerable Brothers, a number of reasons for serious pastoral concern and anxiety in this very matter that we are now discussing, and because of Our consciousness of Our Apostolic office, We cannot remain silent about them.

False and Disturbing Opinions

10. For We can see that some of those who are dealing with this Most Holy Mystery in speech and writing are disseminating opinions on Masses celebrated in private or on the dogma of transubstantiation that are disturbing the minds of the faithful and causing them no small measure of confusion about matters of faith, just as if it were all right for someone to take doctrine that has already been defined by the Church and consign it to oblivion or else interpret it in such a way as to weaken the genuine meaning of the words or the recognized force of the concepts involved.

11. To give an example of what We are talking about, it is not permissible to extol the so-called "community" Mass in such a way as to detract from Masses that are celebrated privately; or to concentrate on the notion of sacramental sign as if the symbolism—which no one will deny is certainly present in the Most Blessed Eucharist—fully expressed and exhausted the manner of Christ's presence in this Sacrament; or to discuss the mystery of transubstantiation without mentioning what the Council of Trent had to say about the marvelous conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body and the whole substance of the wine into the Blood of Christ, as if they involve nothing more than "transignification," or "transfinalization" as they call it; or, finally, to propose and act upon the opinion that Christ Our Lord is no longer present in the consecrated Hosts that remain after the celebration of the sacrifice of the Mass has been completed.

12. Everyone can see that the spread of these and similar opinions does great harm to belief in and devotion to the Eucharist.

Purpose of the Encyclical

13. And so, with the aim of seeing to it that the hope to which the Council has given rise—that a new wave of Eucharistic devotion will sweep over the Church—not be reduced to nil through the sowing of the seeds of false opinions, We have decided to use Our apostolic authority and speak Our mind to you on this subject, Venerable Brothers.

14. We certainly do not deny that those who are spreading these strange opinions are making a praiseworthy effort to investigate this lofty Mystery and to set forth its inexhaustible riches and to make it more understandable to the men of today; rather, We acknowledge this and We approve of it. But We cannot approve the opinions that they set forth, and We have an obligation to warn you about the grave danger that these opinions involve for true faith.


15. First of all, We want to recall something that you know very well but that is absolutely necessary if the virus of every kind of rationalism is to be repelled; it is something that many illustrious martyrs have witnessed to with their blood, something that celebrated fathers and Doctors of the Church have constantly professed and taught. We mean the fact that the Eucharist is a very great mystery—in fact, properly speaking and in the words of the Sacred Liturgy, the mystery of faith. "It contains within it," as Leo XIII, Our predecessor of happy memory, very wisely remarked, "all supernatural realities in a remarkable richness and variety of miracles." (4)

Relying on Revelation, Not Reason

16. And so we must approach this mystery in particular with humility and reverence, not relying on human reasoning, which ought to hold its peace, but rather adhering firmly to divine Revelation.

17. St. John Chrysostom who, as you know, dealt with the Mystery of the Eucharist in such eloquent language and with such insight born of devotion, had these most fitting words to offer on one occasion when he was instructing his faithful about this mystery: "Let us submit to God in all things and not contradict Him, even if what He says seems to contradict our reason and intellect; let His word prevail over our reason and intellect. Let us act in this way with regard to the Eucharistic mysteries, and not limit our attention just to what can be perceived by the senses, but instead hold fast to His words. For His word cannot deceive." (5)

18. The scholastic Doctors made similar statements on more than one occasion. As St. Thomas says, the fact that the true body and the true blood of Christ are present in this Sacrament "cannot be apprehended by the senses but only by faith, which rests upon divine authority. This is why Cyril comments upon the words, This is my body which is delivered up for you, in Luke 22, 19, in this way: Do not doubt that this is true; instead accept the words of the Savior in faith; for since He is truth, He cannot tell a lie." (6)

19. Hence the Christian people often follow the lead of St. Thomas and sing the words: "Sight, touch and taste in Thee are each deceived; The ear alone most safely is believed. I believe all the Son of God has spoken; Than truth's own word, there is no truer token."

20. And St. Bonaventure declares: "There is no difficulty over Christ's being present in the sacrament as in a sign; the great difficulty is in the fact that He is really in the sacrament, as He is in heaven. And so believing this is especially meritorious. " (7)

Example of the Apostles

21. Moreover, the Holy Gospel alludes to this when it tells of the many disciples of Christ who turned away and left Our Lord, after hearing Him speak of eating His flesh and drinking His blood. "This is strange talk," they said. "Who can be expected to listen to it" Peter, on the contrary, replied to Jesus' question as to whether the twelve wanted to go away too by promptly and firmly expressing his own faith and that of the other Apostles in these marvelous words: "Lord, to whom should we go? Thy words are the words of eternal life." (8)

22. It is only logical, then, for us to follow the magisterium of the Church as a guiding star in carrying on our investigations into this mystery, for the Divine Redeemer has entrusted the safeguarding and the explanation of the written or transmitted word of God to her. And we are convinced that "whatever has been preached and believed throughout the whole Church with true Catholic faith since the days of antiquity is true, even if it not be subject to rational investigation, and even if it not be explained in words." (9)

Proper Wording of Great Importance

23. But this is not enough. Once the integrity of the faith has been safeguarded, then it is time to guard the proper way of expressing it, lest our careless use of words give rise, God forbid, to false opinions regarding faith in the most sublime things. St. Augustine gives a stern warning about this when he takes up the matter of the different ways of speaking that are employed by the philosophers on the one hand and that ought to be used by Christians on the other. "The philosophers," he says, "use words freely, and they have no fear of offending religious listeners in dealing with subjects that are difficult to understand. But we have to speak in accordance with a fixed rule, so that a lack of restraint in speech on our part may not give rise to some irreverent opinion about the things represented by the words.'' (l0)

24. And so the rule of language which the Church has established through the long labor of centuries, with the help of the Holy Spirit, and which she has confirmed with the authority of the Councils, and which has more than once been the watchword and banner of orthodox faith, is to be religiously preserved, and no one may presume to change it at his own pleasure or under the pretext of new knowledge. Who would ever tolerate that the dogmatic formulas used by the ecumenical councils for the mysteries of the Holy Trinity and the Incarnation be judged as no longer appropriate for men of our times, and let others be rashly substituted for them? In the same way, it cannot be tolerated that any individual should on his own authority take something away from the formulas which were used by the Council of Trent to propose the Eucharistic Mystery for our belief. These formulas—like the others that the Church used to propose the dogmas of faith—express concepts that are not tied to a certain specific form of human culture, or to a certain level of scientific progress, or to one or another theological school. Instead they set forth what the human mind grasps of reality through necessary and universal experience and what it expresses in apt and exact words, whether it be in ordinary or more refined language. For this reason, these formulas are adapted to all men of all times and all places.

Greater Clarity of Expression Always Possible

25. They can, it is true, be made clearer and more obvious; and doing this is of great benefit. But it must always be done in such a way that they retain the meaning in which they have been used, so that with the advance of an understanding of the faith, the truth of faith will remain unchanged. For it is the teaching of the First Vatican Council that "the meaning that Holy Mother the Church has once declared, is to be retained forever, and no pretext of deeper understanding ever justifies any deviation from that meaning." (11)


26. For the joy and edification of everyone, We would like to review with you, Venerable Brothers, the doctrine on the Mystery of the Eucharist that has been handed down, and that the Catholic Church holds and teaches with unanimity.

Re-enactment at Heart of Doctrine

27. It is a good idea to recall at the very outset what may be termed the heart and core of the doctrine, namely that, by means of the Mystery of the Eucharist, the Sacrifice of the Cross which was once carried out on Calvary is re-enacted in wonderful fashion and is constantly recalled, and its salvific power is applied to the forgiving of the sins we commit each day." (12)

28. just as Moses made the Old Testament sacred with the blood of calves, (13) so too Christ the Lord took the New Testament, of which He is the Mediator, and made it sacred through His own blood, in instituting the mystery of the Eucharist. For, as the Evangelists narrate, at the Last Supper "he took bread, and blessed and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, This is my body, given for you; do this for a commemoration of me. And so with the cup, when supper was ended, This cup, he said, is the new testament, in my Blood which is to be shed for you." (l4) And by bidding the Apostles to do this in memory of Him, He made clear that He wanted it to be forever repeated. This intention of Christ was faithfully carried out by the primitive Church through her adherence to the teaching of the Apostles and through her gatherings to celebrate the Eucharistic Sacrifice. As St. Luke is careful to point out, "They occupied themselves continually with the Apostles' teaching, their fellowship in the breaking of bread, and the fixed times of prayer." (l5) The faithful used to derive such spiritual fervor from this practice that it was said of them that "there was one heart and soul in all the company of the believers." (16)

New Offering of the New Testament

29. Moreover, the Apostle Paul, who faithfully transmitted to us what he had received from the Lord, (17) is clearly speaking of the Eucharistic Sacrifice when he points out that Christians ought not take part in pagan sacrifices, precisely because they have been made partakers of the table of the Lord. "Is not this cup we bless," he says, "a participation in Christ's Blood? Is not the Bread we break a participation in Christ's Body? . . . To drink the Lord's cup, and yet to drink the cup of evil spirits, to share the Lord's feast, and to share the feast of evil spirits, is impossible for you." (18) Foreshadowed by Malachias, (19) this new oblation of the New Testament has always been offered by the Church, in accordance with the teaching of Our Lord and the Apostles, "not only to atone for the sins and punishments and satisfactions of the living faithful and to appeal for their other needs, but also to help those who have died in Christ but have not yet been completely purified." (20)

Offered Also for the Dead

30. We will pass over the other citations and rest content with recalling the testimony offered by St. Cyril of Jerusalem, who wrote the following memorable words for the neophytes whom he was instructing in the Christian faith: "After the spiritual sacrifice, the un-bloody act of worship, has been completed, we bend over this propitiatory offering and beg God to grant peace to all the Churches, to give harmony to the whole world, to bless our rulers, our soldiers and our companions, to aid the sick and afflicted, and in general to assist all those who stand in need; we all pray for all these intentions and we offer this victim for them . . . and last of all for our deceased holy forefathers and bishops and for all those who have lived among us. For we have a deep conviction that great help will be afforded those souls for whom prayers are offered while this holy and awesome victim is present." In support of this, this holy Doctor offers the example of a crown made for an emperor in order to win a pardon for some exiles, and he concludes his talk with these words: "In the same fashion, when we offer our prayers to God for the dead, even those who are sinners, we are not just making a crown but instead are offering Christ who was slaughtered for our sins, and thus begging the merciful God to take pity both on them and on ourselves.'' (21) St. Augustine attests that this custom of offering the "sacrifice which ransomed us" also for the dead was observed in the Church at Rome, (22) and he mentions at the same time that the universal Church observed this custom as something handed down from the Fathers. (23)

The Universal Priesthood

31. But there is something else that We would like to add that is very helpful in shedding light on the mystery of the Church; We mean the fact that the whole Church plays the role of priest and victim along with Christ, offering the Sacrifice of the Mass and itself completely offered in it. The Fathers of the Church taught this wondrous doctrine. (24) A few years ago Our predecessor of happy memory, Pius XII, explained it. (25) And only recently the Second Vatican Council reiterated it in its Constitution on the Church, in dealing with the people of God. (26) To be sure, the distinction between the universal priesthood and the hierarchical priesthood is something essential and not just a matter of degree, and it has to be maintained in a proper way. (27) Yet We cannot help being filled with an earnest desire to see this teaching explained over and over until it takes deep root in the hearts of the faithful. For it is a most effective means of fostering devotion to the Eucharist, of extolling the dignity of all the faithful, and of spurring them on to reach the heights of sanctity, which means the total and generous offering of oneself to the service of the Divine Majesty.

No Mass is "Private"

32. It is also only fitting for us to recall the conclusion that can be drawn from this about "the public and social nature of each and every Mass." (28) For each and every Mass is not something private, even if a priest celebrates it privately; instead, it is an act of Christ and of the Church. In offering this sacrifice, the Church learns to offer herself as a sacrifice for all and she applies the unique and infinite redemptive power of the sacrifice of the Cross to the salvation of the whole world. For every Mass that is celebrated is being offered not just for the salvation of certain people, but also for the salvation of the whole world. The conclusion from this is that even though active participation by many faithful is of its very nature particularly fitting when Mass is celebrated, still there is no reason to criticize but rather only to approve a Mass that a priest celebrates privately for a good reason in accordance with the regulations and legitimate traditions of the Church, even when only a server to make the responses is present. For such a Mass brings a rich and abundant treasure of special graces to help the priest himself, the faithful, the whole Church and the whole world toward salvation—and this same abundance of graces is not gained through mere reception of Holy Communion.

33. And so, We recommend from a paternal and solicitous heart that priests, who constitute Our greatest joy and Our crown in the Lord, be mindful of the power they have received from the bishop who ordained them—the power of offering sacrifice to God and of celebrating Mass for the living and for the dead in the name of the Lord. (79) We recommend that they celebrate Mass daily in a worthy and devout fashion, so that they themselves and the rest of the faithful may enjoy the benefits that flow in such abundance from the Sacrifice of the Cross. In doing so, they will also be making a great contribution toward the salvation of mankind.


34. The few things that We have touched upon concerning the Sacrifice of the Mass encourage Us to say something about the Sacrament of the Eucharist, since both Sacrifice and Sacrament pertain to the same mystery and cannot be separated from each other. The Lord is immolated in an unbloody way in the Sacrifice of the Mass and He re-presents the sacrifice of the Cross and applies its salvific power at the moment when he becomes sacramentally present— through the words of consecration—as the spiritual food of the faithful, under the appearances of bread and wine.

Various Ways in Which Christ is Present

35. All of us realize that there is more than one way in which Christ is present in His Church. We want to go into this very joyful subject, which the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy presented briefly, (30) at somewhat greater length. Christ is present in His Church when she prays, since He is the one who "prays for us and prays in us and to whom we pray: He prays for us as our priest, He prays in us as our head, He is prayed to by us as our God" (31); and He is the one who has promised, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them." (32) He is present in the Church as she performs her works of mercy, not just because whatever good we do to one of His least brethren we do to Christ Himself, (33)but also because Christ is the one who performs these works through the Church and who continually helps men with His divine love. He is present in the Church as she moves along on her pilgrimage with a longing to reach the portals of eternal life, for He is the one who dwells in our hearts through faith, (34) and who instills charity in them through the Holy Spirit whom He gives to us. (35)

36. In still another very genuine way, He is present in the Church as she preaches, since the Gospel which she proclaims is the word of God, and it is only in the name of Christ, the Incarnate Word of God, and by His authority and with His help that it is preached, so that there might be "one flock resting secure in one shepherd." (36)

37. He is present in His Church as she rules and governs the People of God, since her sacred power comes from Christ and since Christ, the "Shepherd of Shepherds," (37) is present in the bishops who exercise that power, in keeping with the promise He made to the Apostles.

38. Moreover, Christ is present in His Church in a still more sublime manner as she offers the Sacrifice of the Mass in His name; He is present in her as she administers the sacraments. On the matter of Christ's presence in the offering of the Sacrifice of the Mass, We would like very much to call what St. John Chrysostom, overcome with awe, had to say in such accurate and eloquent words: "I wish to add something that is clearly awe-inspiring, but do not be surprised or upset. What is this? It is the same offering, no matter who offers it, be it Peter or Paul. It is the same one that Christ gave to His disciples and the same one that priests now perform: the latter is in no way inferior to the former, for it is not men who sanctify the latter, but He who sanctified the former. For just as the words which God spoke are the same as those that the priest now pronounces, so too the offering is the same." (38) No one is unaware that the sacraments are the actions of Christ who administers them through men. And so the sacraments are holy in themselves and they pour grace into the soul by the power of Christ, when they touch the body. The Highest Kind of Presence.

These various ways in which Christ is present fill the mind with astonishment and offer the Church a mystery for her contemplation. But there is another way in which Christ is present in His Church, a way that surpasses all the others. It is His presence in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, which is, for this reason, "a more consoling source of devotion, a lovelier object of contemplation and holier in what it contains" (39) than all the other sacraments; for it contains Christ Himself and it is "a kind of consummation of the spiritual life, and in a sense the goal of all the sacraments." (40)

39. This presence is called "real" not to exclude the idea that the others are "real" too, but rather to indicate presence par excellence, because it is substantial and through it Christ becomes present whole and entire, God and man. (41) And so it would be wrong for anyone to try to explain this manner of presence by dreaming up a so-called "pneumatic" nature of the glorious body of Christ that would be present everywhere; or for anyone to limit it to symbolism, as if this most sacred Sacrament were to consist in nothing more than an efficacious sign "of the spiritual presence of Christ and of His intimate union with the faithful, the members of His Mystical Body." (42)

Continues here:

Mysterium Fidei (September 3, 1965) | Paul VI

Friday, August 11, 2023

NY Post: climate-scientist-admits-the-overwhelming-consensus-is-manufactured / module=conversation

Scientist admits the 'overwhelming consensus' on the climate change crisis is 'manufactured'

 Sorted by 

  • Those who are concerned about pollution picked the wrong horse with the climate change stuff. The weather is going to change, it always has, it always will. And it will always vary in intensity, longevity, location, etc. I agree that measures should be taken to mitigate pollution without being unrealistic or fanatical. We need clean air because we breathe it, we need clean water because we drink it, and we need clean earth because we eat from it. But even if we reach that utopia, the weather will still change.

Wednesday, June 07, 2023

A Hazardous Encounter

Recently, I ordered a spare battery for my newfangled e-trike through a large local store. The Lithium-ion battery shipped from California to PA was involved in a rail transport delay caused by mechanical failure or possibly a train derailment.  My suspicion of a derailment or crash increased when the package arrived with parts, wires and several components widely askew. 

I made an official report of this issue to the store and they said this would be easy to return. So the next week I bussed into the store with the battery repackaged as directed. But then the store rep said they cannot accept hazardous materials such as batteries. 

I inquired why they didn't mention this when I made the official report, knowing that it was about a battery. The Store Rep said that this happens frequently and it can't be helped because it's set in stone in their computers. 

I found this dismaying and beseeched the Store Representative and her Team-Leader to try to do something to avoid similar frustrating circumstances for future battery consumers. I even mentioned that they could become folk heroes of sorts, and if the store they worked for had sense they would reward workers who persistently suggested simple solutions to such longstanding problems.  

Nope - I could see clearly on their plain non-whistle-blower faces.  

And this made me sad that these workers had given up on any chance of penetrating several levels of management to resolve this ongoing hazardous battery issue. 

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Made it to State College and back

As I've been expanding E-Trike rides into larger loops, today I finally achieved the goal of reaching College Township. 

It was a warm Spring Day and I made the ride via Boalsburg through mostly impressive safe bike paths along the roadside. 

Attended a Fellowship meeting while charging the bike battery, and then entered Schlow Library for more recharging and some Jack London and President JFK reading . Then traveled through Friedman Parklet to linger with the sunbathers for a bit before scoring some free bread and bagels from the Saint Andrews dinner. 

On the last leg however, the Trike began behaving funny a couple of times. Then, although the battery still indicated two bars of power the Trike konked out three miles before home. Several times I rebooted the electronic power train, but it kept indicating an error message. This looked similar to what happened before when it broke down. 

The Trike electrical components may have simply overheated as the temperature was hovering at 85 degrees. Plus, I was carrying a heavy load up several medium sized back road hills. 

Monday, April 10, 2023

Slightly further explorations

 Hello Weblog Readers, 

Today I made it to the Mount Nittany Trail head, which was exactly my goal. I'm surprised that only recently I realized this trail is even here. This reminded me of not knowing about the well traveled Bald Mountain Trail in Sun Valley until I lived there for a few years. 

It was a twenty mile round trip on the E-Trike. The battery held up until the last few miles, and then I switched it out for a fresh one to prevent it going out on the last leg. 

I'm hoping to expand the riding horizons over to Boalsburg sometime in the next few days. And then all the way to State College a few days after that, weather permitting. 

Tuesday, April 04, 2023

My E-Trike

I've noticed that the Culver Mobility E-Trike I obtained last year can be quite a nice and interesting conversation piece. When it's operational that is. 

Amish folks in our community certainly eyeball it as I cruise through their nearby countryside. Relevant questions folks sometimes ask are: "How far can I travel on the battery? How much do I need to pedal? How fast can it go? and How much weight can it reasonably carry?"  

After the assembly person completed his work, one item he overlooked was strapping a front cable in tightly enough, which after a few weeks started frazzling against the front tire. This shortly knocked out the power-train. At first I attempted to repair this myself but soon realized that if I tried operating on it much more that I might void the warranty. So I called in an expert mobile repairman to assist. 

Jim from Blacklist Bikes came out a few times diligently finagling around; however, we both realized that since the more complexity there is, the more chances for failure there are and it would work better if he took the e-trike to his warm shop and worked on it there along with consultation from his work partner. 

Meanwhile, Culver Mobility, the Canadian manufacturer apparently went out of business, which caused us difficulty in finding the proper repair parts. 

Since then the Trike has been running mostly fine, though the brakes require frequent adjustment.

I recommend for other folks looking to purchase one that they read the user reviews and look at Trade magazines such as Consumer Reports and then go out to test ride one at a local bike shop as well as consulting with the technicians there. 


Friday, January 03, 2020

William Bronston, "The Shape of a Marathon," 1979



William Bronston, “The Shape of a Marathon,” 1979, Carton 11, Folder 18, William Bronston Papers, [BANC MSS 2002/227 c]. Courtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Complete original source available here.

William Bronston was a physician and activist whose career reflected the rise of disability rights consciousness in the 1960s and 1970s, especially as it applied to children and adults with developmental disabilities. Bronston worked for several years at Willowbrook State School in Staten Island, New York, a massive residential institution that housed thousands of developmentally disabled children. In 1972, parents filed a class action lawsuit against the state because of the school’s deplorable conditions, which included overcrowding and physical abuse. Willowbrook became a national rallying cry for deinstitutionalization and a symbol of all that was wrong with segregated institutions. An agreement was reached in 1975 to move Willowbrook children into community placements but the school wasn’t finally shuttered until 1987.

Born and educated in Los Angeles, Bronston returned to California in 1975. He first served as Medical Director of the State Department of Developmental Services and later as Medical Director in the State Department of Rehabilitation. This excerpt illustrates how significant normalization was for professionals like Bronston. He described it as the state’s official philosophy when it came to shaping the lives of developmentally disabled children in the 1970s and beyond.

There officially exists in California a philosophy of services that is based deeply in values. It submits that in order to grow, each person deserves:
  • love, honor and freedom from stigma throughout life
  • celebration of being special
  • a life-sharing family, home and nurturing support
  • a community of concern and friendship
  • economic security, health and the full benefit of modern technology with a varied continuum of services
  • freedom from the threat of injury due to pollution of food, air, water, and the earth on which we dwell
  • the opportunity to grow, learn, choose, work, rest, play, be nourished, to experience well-being
  • solitude when needed
  • comfort and beauty in which to discover him/herself
  • the power to improve his/her environment
  • justice
  • the dignity of risk, joy and growth of spirit
  • a valid social future.
Such philosophy sums up many of the deepest held beliefs about quality of life. These beliefs are at the root of our current and emerging civil rights and human services laws and standards.
How any of us, as human beings, are perceived decides how we are treated in society…. Normalization in theory and operation offers a standard of minimum acceptability on which human services must be conceived, planned, provided, and judged.
Normalization advocates the use of means which are culturally normative in order to offer a person life conditions at least as good as those of the average citizen and, as much as possible, to enhance and support personal behaviors, appearance, experience, status, and reputation to the greatest degree possible….
Normalization insists upon accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative by doing everything possible to integrate people who have special needs into everyday lives so that they may enjoy all we value for ourselves.
Normalization dictates use of the least restrictive or drastic means to help people grow and change to avoid stifling personal liberty….
How do we assure not only that we do no harm, but that we uplift the persons we serve in the eyes of their fellow citizens?….
The idea [of normalization], like a dandelion seed carried on the wind, spread to consumers, planners, teachers, service providers, advocates and researchers alike. If we do our job well, we may at least derive the following service benefits or actions:
  • Institution placements prevented
  • Persons returned from institutions
  • Emotional breakdowns prevented
  • Family breakup averted
  • Loneliness dispelled
  • Health preserved or restored
  • Services or social participation enhanced
  • Proper treatment provided
  • Persons habilitated
  • Dollars saved
  • Personnel needs reduced
  • Justice rendered or preserved.
We are still in the first mile, a mere decade, into a marathon that will stretch on and on towards the excellence of attainment and fulfillment….
It is meant to be a small commitment to common humanity and respect for every human being.

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