Skip to main content

The insecure person as opposed to the secure person

"Why can't love ever touch my heart like fear does?"
-- "Bluer than Midnight," The The on their album Dusk (1993)

This is from my favorite philosopher these days, Lars Svendsen, from his book A Philosophy of Fear:
The secure person lives in a reliable world — the word secure means "untroubled by feelings of fear, doubt or vulnerablity" — while the insecure person lives in a world that at any time can turn against him, where the basis of existence at any time can be pulled out from under his feet. Dangers threaten us everywhere: in dark streets, …with strangers and with those closest to us, in nature as well as in technology, inside our bodies as well as in external forces. There no longer seems to be anything that is really secure.

In fear we are met by something outside ourselves, and what we meet is a negation of what we want. We fear the important things in life being destroyed or taken away from us, such as our freedom, dignity, health, social status and — taken to its extreme — our lives. We fear not only for our selves but also for others, …

A Philosophy of FearWhen any of this is threatened, fear is a normal reaction. We want to protect ourselves against such threats. For human life is frightening. As Montaigne says: “Our human frailty means that we have more to flee from than to strive for.”  There appears to be something fundamental about fear, and it is scarcely a coincidence that fear is the first emotion to be mentioned in the Bible: when Adam ate from the Tree of Knowledge and discovered that he was naked, fear preceded shame.  We are born into the world naked and unarmed, and — compared to most other animals — remain in this defenseless state for the rest of our lives.
If you think that I am suggesting that homeless people are the insecure folk, you're right.  I am.

This from an article in McClatchy newspaper bureau today:
Last year was the deadliest in a decade for hate crimes against the homeless, with 43 people killed, according to the report by the National Coalition for the Homeless. That's an increase from 27 killings in 2008.

The Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group chronicled such brutal crimes as homeless people doused with gasoline and set on fire and others beaten with aluminum baseball bats, golf clubs or pipes. The research showed some assailants killed merely for the sport of it — a "thrill kill" in police slang. …

A Sacramento man who was listening to music alone suffered seizures and a concussion after a group of "thrill-seekers" reportedly pummeled and stomped on him as onlookers cheered.


David Scott said…
Love your work, Tom!

Popular posts from this blog

The Mission Five Years Ago, And Today

I have spent the night the past two weeks plus at the Union Gospel Mission and am having an excellent time of it -- not only regards to sleeping in the dorm that the mission has, but also listening to the sermons that are delivered in the early evening. The Christmas music that is performed is also splendid. [And the food -- the FOOD -- has been fantastic during my stay so far! A happier Tom there couldn't be.] I chatted with a pal last night about The Mish – about how things were about five years ago when we both used the mission’s services frequently, and how thing are, today.
Five years ago, there were a lot scuffles between the guys when the front gate was opened in the early afternoon and in the area near the contact window there were some brawls as guys fought over where guys were in line to get a bed in the dorm.
Nowadays, however, the mission is very much a peaceful place both on the grounds of the facility and and out on the street.
I do not know what transformative eve…

Homeless Sacramentans lose case that would have given them the right to set up outdoor camping

8/11/13 I certainly give attorneys Mark Merin and Cat Williams credit for pursuing a case against the city of Sacramento to give homeless Sacramentans the right to set up tents and a campsite. I wanted them to win their case, but they didn't. They lost it.

BUT, it is also necessary to look at the particulars of the case that Merin and Williams brought and see that the situation underlying the court case was not very compelling.

During the period eight years ago when 22 homeless campers set up their tents and brought in supplies to Mark Merin's vacant lot at C Street, near 12th, there was loud noise and plenty of other mayhem. Drug dealers were on the street encouraging buys from the campers. The Hernandez couple that lived in a house nearby were constantly being taunted by the campers, disrupting their lives.

Per always with Safe Ground camps, calm was deserted for the sake of boisterousness.

Leader John Kraintz and the other Safe Grounders would claim to have signed strict a…

After a Three-Month Hiatus, a Fall from a Ladder & a Broken Wrist, Evangelist Jimmy Roughton Returns to Union Gospel Mission to Preach

After being away from Union Gospel Mission for a quarter of a year, Jimmy Roughton returned to preach at UGM on the cold night of December 13 -- despite suffering [a little? a lot? dunno.] from a fall from a ladder that likely immediately preceded a significant injury (a wrist that was broken).

It was good to see his group from Capital Free Will Baptist Church up on the pulpit, with Roughton rough-and-ready to seduce and inspire the happily-captivate crowd at UGM.

Roughton told us in his opening words that he was now in his 27th year coming to the mission.

I recall the first preaching I had heard from Roughton on June 13, 2009. At that time and up to the current time, Roughton is the only preacher I had ever heard evoke Pascal's Wager -- which is something he would do, occasionally thereafter at the mission. He would evoke Pascal's wager, yet again, last night [12/13/17].

Pascal's wager

Last night, Jimmy evoked Pascal's Wager. He did so near the end of his talk, citing …