Monday, November 26, 2007

A Satanic Reversal of Meaning

On Passion:

To have passion, to have a dream, to have a purpose in life. And there are three components to that purpose, one is to find out who you really are, to discover God, the second is to serve other human beings, because we are here to do that and the third is to express your unique talents and when you are expressing your unique talents you lose track of time --Deepak Chopra

I didn't want to repeat my parents' life. I saw in their lives a routine and a lack of dreaming, a lack of the possibilities, a lack of passion. And I didn't want to live without passion. --Hugh Hefner
And Apathy:
Apathy is a sort of living oblivion. --Horace Greely

Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all -- the apathy of human beings. --Helen Keller
On language:
"The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible." --George Orwell, 1984

Webster's defines "passion" as
3: the state or capacity of being acted on by external agents or forces
4 a
(1): emotion passion is greed> (2)plural : the emotions as distinguished from reason b: intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction c: an outbreak of anger
5 a: ardent affection : love b: a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept c: sexual desire d: an object of desire or deep interest
"Passion" derives from the Latin passio, to suffer, to be acted upon. In the Latin, and the Greek (peithos) a "passion" was primarily a negative aspect, a feeling or emotion from the outside that seizes us, is immoderate, is alien to human life as creatures of God. This is the way it was used in Christian theology through at least the 10th Century.

It's opposite is apathy (Greek a-peithos). Webster's defines:
Etymology:Greek apatheia, from apath─ôs without feeling, from a- + pathos emotion

1:lack of feeling or emotion: impassiveness
2:lack of interest or concern:indifference
In the Christian theology of the Church Fathers, fighting against the passions, which are (usually) sinful by nature, means living a dispassioned life--or in Greek an apathetic life, a life not tossed about by every wave of emotion and argument, not in slavery to fears or lusts, selfishness or inappropriate favoritism.

The meanings of these words have been changed, at least in popular usage and connotation to convey opposite values: passions are good, being passionate is human and the very definition of virility and femininity, whereas apathy and dispassion are negative traits and to be avoided.

The effect of this is that modern American Christians have been severed from the Christian faith of the Fathers, from the faith that was lived out for centuries (and continues to be for many). Thus you can hear modern Christians talking the same way as Hugh Hefner and rarely like any Christian living in the first 1000 years after the Ascension.

We ought to be circumspect, to say the least.


  1. Christopher Esget said...

    Great post. This would make a good sermon.