On the Religious Conversion of Ignatius of Loyola (Founder of the Jesuits)

On the Religious Conversion of Ignatius of Loyola (Founder of the Jesuits)

When you start a religion, it’s best to do it in a cave. That’s the conclusion that I’m getting while reading A Candid History of the Jesuits (1867) by Joseph McCabe. It’s an interesting review on the beginnings of the movement (one that I, admittedly, know very little about).

The book talks about how Ignatius of Loyola (founder of the Jesuits) got his inspiration. Much like the infamous Mohammed, he received his revelation in a cave:

“After a few months he found a cavern outside the town, at the foot of the hills, and entered upon the period of endless prayer and wild austerity in which he wrote his book, the Spiritual Exercises. He scourged himself, until the blood came, three times a day: he ate so little, and lived so intense a life, that he was sometimes found unconscious on the floor of the cave, and had to be removed and nursed; his deep black eyes seemed to gleam from the face of a corpse. Thus he lived for six months, and wrote his famous book.”

I guess it makes a lot of sense. Divine revelation is usually received in private. Of course, the inevitable question will arise: is the revelation fact or fiction? Well, that’s in the mind of a believer, I guess.

At any rate, I’m interested in learning more.

The Jesuits are a topic of controversy. According to McCabe, every book written on the Jesuits order has been biased in one way or the other: either excessively pro or con. You either love ’em or hate ’em. This reminds of a Jamaican man that I once knew; he claimed that the Jesuits controlled the Vatican and, subsequently, controlled all the leaders of the free world. My instinct was that he left his tin-foil hat at home; however, for the purpose of polite conversation, I bit my tongue. Now I get the chance to confirm my suspicions or remove them.

Any thoughts on the Jesuits? I have some educated readers out there and I’m open to learning more…

See Related Article: Cultural Awareness is a Meaningless Term

How to Be a Man (1846 Versus 2015)

Here we have How to Be a Man (A Book for Boys Containing Useful Hints on the Formation of Character) written in 1846.


Here we have How to Be a Man (and other illusions) written in 2015.


In 1846, the teenager has a definition of manhood; in 2015, he’s told that it’s an illusion. In 1846, the teenager has a road map on the Highway of Life; in 2015, the road is covered in fog.

How can you arrive at a distant location without a map? How can you learn a trade without a teacher? How can you become a man without a mentor?

The crisis of the modern man, illustrated in one juxtaposition.

See Related Article: Why Did Bill Nye Become a Feminist?

On the Beauty of “You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me” by John Mayer

On the Beauty of “You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me” by John Mayer

John Mayer has transcended to another level. A case in point is the song “You’re Gonna’ Live Forever in Me.”

What a beautiful ballad! It’s provocative and soulful…a song about death and the memories that remain. Take a look at these lyrics:

A great big bang and dinosaurs
Fiery raining meteors
It all ends unfortunately

But you’re gonna live forever in me
I’ll guarantee, just wait and see

Parts of me were made by you
And planets keep their distance too
The moon’s got a grip on the sea

And you’re gonna live forever in me
I guarantee, it’s your destiny

Life is full of sweet mistakes
And love’s an honest one to make
Time leaves no fruit on the tree

But you’re gonna live forever in me
I guarantee, it’s just meant to be

And when the pastor asks the pews
For reasons he can’t marry you
I’ll keep my word in my seat

But you’re gonna live forever in me
I’ll guarantee, just wait and see

Mayer’s on another level, standing next to the great songwriters. He’s become an Uber man, carefully crafting his poetic words. Age and wisdom have collided with musical talent.

The critics have long been divided on Mayer. Some people (see women) love his obsession with romantic topics. While others (red pill men) feel that he goes overboard on the topic. For example, there’s never been a straight man that sang “Your Body is a Wonderland” with conviction.

However, the musician needs time. As with any GREAT MAN, wisdom comes with age. You need to experience the vicissitudes of life. You need to see the Grand Canyon of Pain and the Great Wall of Suffering.

John’s officially there…and America needs him right now. We’ve seen too many musicians “check out” recently: i.e. Prince, David Bowie, B.B. King, Don Henley, Tom Petty, etc. So what’s needed is a new poet: a man of the new millennia.

A note to the nostalgic: Remember that the great men of a generation are like ocean waves; they soar and crash…until another wave comes to take their place.

At any rate, here’s a link to the wonderful video…enjoy!

See Related Article: Why Have We Not Heard About Stanley Jordan Becoming a Woman?

Pliny the Younger On the Value of Being Prolific

Pliny the Younger On the Value of Being Prolific

Pliny the Younger was a famous Roman lawyer and statesman. In the Letters of Pliny, he mentions the importance of being prolific:

Good compositions, as in everything else that is valuable, the more there is of them, the better. You may observe in statues, basso-relievos, pictures, and the human form, and even in animals and trees, that nothing is more graceful than magnitude, if accompanied with proportion.”

Very true. The great artist is prolific. His creations are numerous and expansive. If he’s a musician, he has 50 albums. If he’s a writer, he has 50 books. And so on and so forth…

Agatha Christie, surrounded by some of her 80-plus crime novels.
Agatha Christie is a good example of a prolific writer. She wrote 66 detective novels in her lifetime.

There’s no heroism in “storing it away for a rainy day,” or “waiting for the moment to be right.” Greatness is calling…the bus is leaving. Your goal is to create content. Your daily calling…to provide something of value to the public.

Remember that others will be scared of your prolific desires. What are you trying to prove? What’s the point of your hustle?

Ignore the miniature man. His future wife (if he gets married) will despise his mediocrity. You refuse to cower at the Altar of his Insecurity. He’s a meaningless clerk, working at the Hall of Insignificance. Listen to Pliny instead, for he’s pointing in the right direction:

“…in books a large volume carries a certain beauty and authority in its very size.”

Very true. Usually, the large book is great simply because of its size. Remember: most people only write large novels if they have something to say. True, there’s an occasional traitor in the bunch: the half-man, with his addiction to ambiguity. Usually, the wretch is exposed as an enemy to the GREAT MAN, or a traitor to the nation state (see Noam Chomsky).

The GREAT MAN is a creator of content. He produces on a regular basis, until a mountain of work is marking his noble name.

See Related Article: You Either Have Ambition or You Don’t

On the Wisdom of P.T. Barnum

On the Wisdom of P.T. Barnum

P.T. Barnum gave us great advice (from his wonderful book The Art of Getting Money; Or, Golden Rules for Making Money)

The safest plan, and the one most sure of success for the young man starting in life, is to select the vocation which is most congenial to his tastes.

Do what you love. If you love what you do, then you’ll never work a day in your life. This advice was true yesterday and it’s true today.

The logic is basic. But still, many people cannot follow it. One reason (according to Barnum) is they receive poor advice from their parents:

Parents and guardians are often quite too negligent in regard to this. It very common for a father to say, for example: “I have five boys. I will make Billy a clergyman; John a lawyer; Tom a doctor, and Dick a farmer.”… He does this, regardless of Sam’s [his child’s] natural inclinations, or genius.

Very true. Many parents are concerned with the prestige of a child’s position; sadly, they overlook the natural talents of the child. And so the boy grows up in a job that he hates. And more importantly, he never becomes a GREAT MAN.

Barnum mentions that he, himself, had very few talents. He was not mechanically inclined, and he sucked at mathematics. However, he stumbled into a job that he loved – owning a business. And because of this, he was able to apply his natural talents.

Barnum summarizes the message:

Unless a man enters upon the vocation intended for him by nature, and best suited to his peculiar genius, he cannot succeed.

See Related Article: Book Review: The Last Playboy: The High Life of Porfirio Rubirosa 


Guy De Maupassant on the Brutality of War

Guy De Maupassant on the Brutality of War

Guy De Maupassant has a wonderful quote on the brutality of war (from his beautiful short story entitled, “Buole De Suif”).

For the same thing [war] happens whenever the established order of things is upset, when security no longer exists, when all those rights usually protected by the law of man or of Nature are at the mercy of unreasoning, savage force. The earthquake crushing a whole nation under falling roofs; the flood let loose, and engulfing in its swirling depths the corpses of drowned peasants, along with dead oxen and beams torn from shattered houses; or the army, covered with glory, murdering those who defend themselves, making prisoners of the rest, pillaging in the name of the Sword, and giving thanks to God to the thunder of cannon—all these are appalling scourges, which destroy all belief in eternal justice, all that confidence we have been taught to feel in the protection of Heaven and the reason of man.

Civility is a veneer: a blanket that covers the body for a night. But eventually, the blanket falls  and the face of mankind is revealed: brutal and blood-thirsty. And when a war is declared, the tidal wave of terror is unleashed.

Political correctness will run for cover. The natural resources are at play, and the pretty lies will meet the maker. Death warrants are placed on the innocent and the weak are stomped out. The aristocrat will kill to please his ever-fattening wife. Scores are settled. Grudges become reality. And the homeless are driven to the grave.

Humanity has always been this way. It’s only in the air-conditioned rooms of a bourgeois life that a dark reality is concealed. But when the clock strikes twelve and the cannonballs fly, the bourgeois will discard their false robes…and they, ironically, become the executioners of death.

See Related Article: I Entered Life as a Meteor and I Shall Leave it Like a Thunderbolt

I Entered Literary Life as a Meteor, and I Shall Leave it Like a Thunderbolt

I Entered Literary Life as a Meteor, and I Shall Leave it Like a Thunderbolt

These were the words of Guy De Maupassant, the legendary French writer. I am currently reading a wonderful collection of his work, entitled Complete Original Short Stories of Guy De Maupassant. It’s filled with stories that demonstrate his greatness. Works of art that stand like a testament to his brilliance.

“I entered literary life as a meteor…”

These words might shock the common man. How vain, how conceited, how full of himself! This reaction is the response of a dullard. The irrelevant clerk. The quiet commoner. The man of no particular fire.

The common man will never understand the fire of a Maupassant…and his girlfriend will quietly despise him.

Some men believe that greatness is their destiny; others laugh at the concept. Some burn with a dangerous flame of desire; others are a lukewarm stove. Some are always dreaming about the apex of a Mount Everest; others are stupidly staring at a traffic jam.

To quote Thomas Carlyle: “History is the Biography of Great Men.” And Maupassant is a man whose biography belongs in the list of GREAT MEN.

*On a side note, it should be said that women despise the common man. His broken dreams, his insecure back peddling, his petty anger, etc. They secretly wish that he would dissipate…fade away into the distance. And that, in his place, a GREAT MAN would emerge – a man ready to carry her off into the heroic distance.

See related article: The Nice Man is Not a Great Man