I was trying to think about what it was that I gained from reading this book another time. I noticed as I was reading this book the idea of bent v. broken and that reminded me of the type of books we read. I noticed that the story is about leaving morals behind for science. Leaving behind the pure, the simple, and even the advances we have for the sake of progress and science. That is a pattern that has seen before. The thing that really struck me was connected to a talk that I listened to by Oliver DeMille on Natural Laws. The topic was about looking for how books relate to the 12 Natural Laws. When I went to see how many Natural Laws that CS Lewis referred to I was a bit surprised...there were many!
Quick notes about the 12 Natural Laws (Natural laws = revealed law and scientific law)
1. Law of Supremacy - What is supreme?
2. Law of Authority - Who protects the law? Reason for the government?
3. Law of Limits - Do the laws protect natural law? inalienable rights?
4. Law of Delegation - What do we do when we see wrong? Do we delegate our responsibility?
5. Law of Force - What type of force is the government using?
6. Law of Decline- When we violate natural law it leads to a lack of respect to people and law leading to disdain. Do we see hateful actions? **Law of the Harvest
7. Law of Power (Power v. Energy) - Who is trying to dominate? Where are the gaps in power?
8. Law of Gaps - Do we create/keep gaps in government power or do we eliminate gaps?
9. Law of the Vital Few - Few ordinary people who do extraordinary things - Who do we choose to lead us?
10. Law of Liberty - Who is losing power?
11. Law of Economy - Power at the lowest level - Who is responsible for our duties and rights?
12. Law of Progress - Need the freedom to grow & progress - Who controls our actions - You or someone else?
What legacy will I leave my family?
If there is just one thing that I could take away from TJEd it would be the idea of core phase. This has completely changed who I am and how I look at the world. Core phase is the key to everything and I never knew how important it was. I remember the first time I read about TJEd, I just moved on over it and focused on Scholar phase because it sounded like where I “should” be. What I learned is that everything I do affects my core phase. My core beliefs are what drive me to action. My core beliefs determine everyday what I will do and not do. Each step I take makes my core stronger or weaker. I wish to leave a strong legacy of love and kindness to my family but does my core beliefs show that each and every day? If not, more work on core phase for me. J
One of the things that Mark Twain seemed to refer back to over and over again in this book is how calmly Joan handled situations. She did not get tricked into verbal traps by those around her. She was constantly challenged about her beliefs and decisions but held firm and constant.
That is a trait that I need to develop – Calmness. I panic. I am a nervous nelly that is always worried. I stress about how things could be and will be. I use essential oils and vitamins and minerals to help me stay calm and still I have to work at it all the time.
How do you develop calmness? How do you face challenges calmly and carefully?
“For we pay a price for everything we get or take in this work; and although ambitions are well worth having, they are not to be cheaply one, but exact their dues of work and self-denial, anxiety and discouragement.”
As I think back over my past I have to say that I find this statement true. As I have worked hard to do some tasks or goals, the cost was not cheap. It took my time and effort. Sometimes I had to listen to lectures 3 or 4 times to get what I needed to get out of it in understanding about Scholar Skills. Sometimes I have had to read a book over and over again and then discuss it with people in order to get a better understanding of what it meant to me or how this information could change me.
As I pay the price to learn to read well, I find that I enjoy it more each time AND I am learning faster each time.
Rocking the boat
This play about Sir Thomas Moore ends with the common saying, "It isn't difficult to keep alive, friends - just don't make trouble..." This reminds of the idea I was taught of not rocking the boat. It is a bad thing to rock the boat, or so I was always told. As I have gotten older and watched myself I find that when I did not rock the boat, I did not get in trouble but I was not happy. I knew that I was playing it safe but not right.
There was this really big decision that I had to make many years ago, and I really fought rocking the boat. Don't do it was all I could hear but I knew it was making me miserable. I was hating myself and my life. I was enduring it all. I finally took the step saying I would rather drown that not rock the boat. So rock it I did. I survived it and it was a great decision for me. It was the right thing to do. It was so scary at the time to go against this idea.
I was lucky. Sir Thomas Moore attempted to not rock the boat by his silence. Galileo attempted to not rock the boat by recanting his works. It is so risky to not rock the boat. Joan of Arc rocked the boat and look what happened to her.
How do we determine when to rock the boat and when not to? When we choose to rock the boat, is it for the right reasons? Can we live with the consequences? Tough tough questions to think about.
I didn’t have specific essay topic jump out at me for Frankenstein, but I did want to share my journal notes.
I had to look up many words in this book. While I thought I could figure out the gist of word, I am sticking to my goal of actually looking up words this year.
· Chimerical: existing only as the product of unchecked imagination; fantastically visionary or improbable; given to fantastic schemes.
· Charnel: a building or chamber in which bodies or bones are deposited; also called a charnel house.
· Portmanteau: a large suitcase that opens into two parts.
· Succor: something that you do or give to help someone who is suffering or in a difficult situation.
· Sanguinary: blood thirsty.
· Contemn: to view or treat with contempt; scorn.
· Assize: a judicial inquest.
· Futurity: the quality of being or happening in the future.
· Chamois: a small animal that looks like a goat and that lives on the mountains in Europe and western Asia. (I’m not sure if I can wash my car again! I had no idea the original chamois actually came from a goat like creature!)
I noted that Frankenstein wouldn’t listen to his first mentor at the university who told him to give up alchemy. He then changed mentors to find one who would let him study what he wanted. I don’t know what to think about this. On one hand finding the right mentor is important. But his first mentor was on the right track in the end. Meddling with nature can be very wrong. It is one of the many things in the book that left me unsettled.
The slow destruction of Frankenstein, how he became sick, sallow and withering away from the guilt, reminded me of Arthur Dimmesdale from The Scarlet Letter. He too was so overcome with guilt that it tore him apart.
Finally, in the end I thought that Frankenstein asked too much of Walton when he asked him to continue his journey to kill the monster. The monster had destroyed him and his family and now he was asking a stranger to take that on. Luckily the monster said he would kill himself which enabled Walton to not have to do it.
What was it worth?
I really enjoyed watching Billy grow during this story. I saw him learn about commitments, love, and perseverance. Billy learned that his word meant something and that his actions must back up his words. Billy started out with a want and changed it into a plan the moment he started determining how he was going to get those dogs. As he learned to act on his desire, his desire and determination grew. He worked very hard for those dogs. Two years is a long time to keep that desire strong, yet he did. Billy shared his experiences with his dogs with us. All the frustration and the achievement. I marveled at his dedication at cutting down that tree because he promised his dogs he would help them if they treed a coon. What an amazing amount of character.
At the end, I cried for the loss that Billy suffered. As I sit here I just have to say, "what? what else, don't leave it there." The idea of the Red Fern is there but did Billy never recover? Never grow from there? I want so much for Billy. The opening of the book shows that he was working and seems to be living alone. Can't tell how long has passed but I don't want that image it seems so sad. He has no more dogs, and no family to fill his life. Where is the rest of the story. Did Billy go on to accomplish great things? Did he keep on the Hero Cycle? He certainly was on the Hero cycle during most of the book, but did he stay on the Hero Cycle? Did he keep moving towards become a better person with more character? Was his experiences worth it? Did he do something to help him heal and grow?
My friend Kathy Mellor created the word MentorHeart. As I have been reading Charlotte’s Web this time through I thought of Charlotte and her role. If you remove Charlotte, the story changes. If I remove mentors from my life, the story changes. Mentors are such a huge part of personal growth. Most of my life I did not even know what mentors were but as I look back, I see people that helped me along the way and books that helped me grow. INCREDIBLE books. Books have been a mentor for much of my life and I did not know that. Why do people choose to mentor? Why do some books mentor us while others do not? I can’t answer that but I have been thinking about how to grow my MentorHeart because I want to follow an idea that Charlotte shared: “By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle.”
Audrey shared this link: http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2015/08/timeless-essays-when-books-die-all-at-once.html
A very interesting read about how are society has changed its view of the printed word.
Abigail Adams Academy is created by moms for those seeking their own education.