Sobriety check

Sobriety, n.
Synonyms:  earnestness, graveness, gravity, intentness, serious-mindedness, seriousness, solemnity, solemnness, staidness

“Sobriety.”  Commonly, the word connotes being clear-headed, not clouded by the influence of alcohol.¹  In a more strict verbal sense, though, the word means more.  The Cambridge English Dictionary proposes that a legal judge might be known for his “sobriety.”  That usage speaks to seriousness of mind and perhaps fair judgment.  And human judgment regarding what is terribly serious is precisely my concern here.

You might have seen police sobriety checkpoints for drivers, and perhaps people outside their cars, not passing the check.  What about a sobriety check of our speech?  Some so frequently speak serious words carelessly that one must question their spiritual sobriety, their judgment about serious matters.  Now, conscious of the notion that, when one points a finger, there are three fingers pointing back at the self, I’ll admit this here:  I am given to extreme verbiage of other sorts, and I check my own word use from time to time, too, increasingly trying to reserve superlatives for the situations that call for them.

Rarely a day goes by that I don’t hear or read a very serious word used lightly, in some quip about a comparatively unimportant matter.  A software blogger might not respect the notion of eternal fear (see right), and that’s not all that unexpected.  On the other hand, professing believers who habitually use the words damn, hell, and God flippantly have some thinking and changing to do.  We who believe in God ought at least to be thoughtful in using these words.  Although we have no right to expect such use from the nonbelievers around us, the standard of behavior for us believers ought to be sober, serious, substantive use of words/concepts directly related to God and eternity.

A 5th-grade teacher once said to me, and I quote it exactly, “D_ _ _ you, Brian, you know, you ever heard that before?”  (I had inadvertently gotten in his pathway.)  I can remember his inflection and how his bearded face looked to this day.  Perhaps he was miffed at something else, or perhaps he was just a shallow person.  Regardless, no one should ever want any person to be damned.  What damnation means existentially, eschatologically, and/or cosmologically is up the the Lord.  All I need to affirm is that I, like God, must never wish damnation for any person.  On the other hand, sin is damnable and will ultimately be damned if not forgiven by God.

Now, the profane use of the word “God.”

As shown above, strictly speaking, profanity is not really about potty-mouth; it’s about God.  The Ten Commandments’ injunction not to take the LORD’s name “in vain” is well-known, but I’ve come to understand that the traditional, surface-level reading of “in vain” is off-base.  Regardless, believers ought not to be drawn in to the common, low use of the word “God” that’s so common in pop culture.  Yes, it’s just a word, and words are just symbols, but I quickly lose respect for the profession of Christians who speak that way.  Careless, irreverent uses of words for the Deity always, always, always jar my consciousness.

This post was much longer, but I’ve deleted good-sized chunks and barely scratched the surface.  No one needs to hear me go on and on about this.  I’ve shared only a few anecdotes and comments.

I expect this essay to be passed over by those who don’t call themselves “Christians.”  That is understandable.  It is sad, though, that these thoughts won’t resonate with many of those who do profess Jesus as Christ.


¹ To a recovering alcoholic, the word might mean “finding peace with yourself, with life and its ups and downs, developing the discipline to remain sober, and abstinence.”  https://blackbearrehab.com/blog/what-is-sobriety/, accessed 6/1/20

Are you a Christian?

Quotation without comment:

“Are you a Christian?”  I used to love it when someone on a plane asked me that question.  “Absolutely,” I’d answer, proud to be on the side of all that’s good and right in the world.  But answering that question has become far more difficult.  Much of what has been done in recent years in the name of Christianity embarrasses me and disfigures the God I love. Some of it even horrifies me.

So now when I’m asked the question today, I hedge a bit.  “It depends on what you mean by “Christian,” I often respond.  If they are asking whether or not I am a faithful adherent of the religion called Christianity, I have to confess that I’m not.  I’m not even trying to be.

– Wayne Jacobsen, “Bait and Switch:  Trading the Vibrant Life of Jesus for a Ritualistic Religion Called Christianity,” May 2009

A piece . . . of heaven?

A little more than two decades ago, I experienced a joyous return to Camp Manatawny.  The roads leading to that special place gave me such anticipation, and nothing disappointed during that week—the first in which I’d served and worked there for quite some time.  I had the privilege of leading faith-strong, congenial groups of teenagers and devoted staff members in hymn sings each afternoon, and I had counselor responsibilities as well.

“A Little Piece of Heaven.”  Like the phrase “God’s country,” which only Texans are arrogant enough to think applies just to them, the phrase “little piece of heaven” is neither new nor unique.  I picked up on its use there at Manatawny and was inspired to write a song using that as a title.  I still have a soft spot in my heart for that camp and the song, despite some mixed feelings and mixed experiences at the hands of some of the powers-that-be.  I feel some pride in having become a Life Member of the Camp Manatawny Association, but at some point I stopped receiving invitations and communications.

Another Time, Another Place, Another “Piece.”  Fast forward about 4 years. I experienced a remarkable healing/rebirth, having moved to northeastern Kansas.  I was again inspired to write songs—this time, in direct honor of God for His creation and the healing that I was newly experiencing.  In a real sense, during that time, I was experiencing Kansas then as “a little piece of heaven.”

No more.  Now, my experience of Kansas is quite the opposite, with few exceptions.  Whatever pieces of heaven we experience during this life, they seem to be mostly absent in Kansas, this go-round.  

Ah-maah-zing, overzealous, and dead wrong

On the hit Canadian sitcom “Kim’s Convenience,” Shannon seems to be a curious mix of hip and nerdy, beautiful, overdone, and weird. She puts her own twist on words with a personal flair. For instance, she calls things “ah-maah-zing!”


A couple decades ago, there was a guy who was hyper-energetic in most things he did. We’ll call him David. David would hug and kiss people a lot, and he used his hoarse, outside voice almost everywhere. Often, he’d head out, carrying a 64-oz. caffeinated drink, aiming to help people, to travel, to preach, to visit, to confer, to un-indoctrinate the spiritually wounded. People might have called him “amazing.” I thought of him as overzealous and cocky, though sincere.

Then this same guy spiritually wounded someone else. We’ll call him Donald, because he ducked (get it?) and winced and smarted … but the water never ran off the duck’s back. David once told Donald he was a “Spirit-controlled melancholy.” This compliment was back-handed: it indicated that a melancholy temperament would have to be moved specially by God to be of much earthly use. Some time later, David wrote Donald a scathing letter, seriously disagreed with something, and proclaimed to Donald that he had no capacity for loving anyone.

David is dead. And Donald is proving David wrong. Donald’s capacity is way short of awesome or amazing. It is, rather, a credit to the One who is awesome.


My graduate advisor’s wife once said to me, in what I took as a kind spirit of affirmation, that I was “amazing.” She was referring to the speed of my progress through my doctoral program. (I’ve always been fast at those kinds of things, but that hasn’t always been the best choice. I wasn’t nearly as deeply good at things as I was fast, in other words.) I have generally considered myself competent and capable with things in front of me, but certainly not amazing. And my capabilities seem to be diminishing with age and stressors. I have some competencies and a fair number of insights, but I am most decidedly not amazing.


These days, people say “amazing” and “awesome” too much. Way too much. God is amazing. He is the One who inspires awe. But He is also sometimes deafeningly silent in human experience.

Two years ago

Two years ago was a very eventful day, but it is not marked with any sense of positive reminiscence.  Although many days melt together in one loathsome pot of something-or-other, and there have been many other days of suffering, I can legitimately say that June 5, 2018 was one of the five worst days of my life.

It was a horrible day.  One to lament.  One over which to wail.

God, have mercy.  God, have mercy.

A year and a half

This guy and I were becoming friends.  One day, we were working to prepare a meal at a retreat.  I confided in him.  I told him of my deep pain, my pathway, and my struggle for the last while.  Impatiently, he said, “C’mon, Brian.  It’s been a year and a half.”

He didn’t get it.

Fast forward a couple decades.  Another guy and I have become friends.  In a different phase of life, I told this one of new, deep pains and my struggles.  We shared some of his struggles, too, over a period of more than a year and a half (so far).  He has never said, “C’mon, Brian.  It’s been a year and a half.”

Be like the second friend.

Debunking

One day, these book blurbs flitted across my browser:

This is the 1st ever children's book that is dedicated to helping parents and professional educators teach children the Biblically based Flat Earth Doctrine.  When God made the earth He could have made it any which way He chose.  However, according to the Biblical account of Creation, from Genesis to Revelation, His earth is only ever stationary and flat with a dome overhead.  Every child deserves the opportunity to learn a Biblical account of God's Creation.  If you are ready to teach your children this truth, then this book is the perfect fit for your home, school curriculum, and your church.

I can accept that this author thinks this teaching is “Biblically based.”  That’s the extent of my acceptance, though.  Perhaps his idea of “Biblical” rests, unsuspecting and innocent, in a monochromatic notion of “Bible”—as though every document expresses things in the same way, for the same purpose, with the same audience and occasion in mind.  Did the Almighty arm-wrestle the authors into sequel after sequel, creating one, giant Star Wars epic?  The story of God and his people is indeed epic, but that is not the nature of the scriptures we hold dear.

He continues,

Do you trust God's Word to be Faithful and True? Have you ever considered what the authors of the Bible, who were inspired by God, wrote about regarding the shape of the Earth? Does God's Word even mention the topic?  Are NASA's claims and the mainstream Scientific Community in complete alignment with God's Word, or are there some contradictions?  If there are contradictions, does it really matter?  Did God intend for us to interpret his description of his Earth as mere poetry and metaphors?  Is it possible that NASA has debunked God's Word at our subconscious?  Does God's Word state that he created a Globe Earth, Flat Earth, or some other kind of shaped Earth? Does God care what you believe the shape of the Earth to be?  The answers to these questions and many many more are within, and you may just be surprised.

I’m not surprised at much anymore.   But I’m disappointed by more each day.   I’m not so sad over this apparently sincere author’s apparently sincere belief.  (Had it been kept between God and himself, I imagine God would appreciate the sincerity, too.)  Rather, I’m sad that this material is “out there”—and that it might lead more intellectually astute, perhaps agnostic minds to think that all God-believers might actually think his way!

It was only a couple months ago that I learned of a connection between six-day-creationist and flat-earth ideas.  (To be sure, not all flat-earthers are believers, but some are.)  Now, I’m generally distrustful of large institutions, certainly including governing bodies and big business.  As a result, I tend to be amenable (some would say gullible!) to conspiracy theories, but it seems pretty far-reaching that science could foist a round earth on the public for very long if the earth were not, in fact, round.  I had suspected the idea of a flat earth was held by a few quacks who hole up with fellow quacks, amass weaponry, and maybe to obsess over Area 51.  Their beliefs about the shape and motion of the earth seems like quackery.

But, then again, I hold beliefs that are just as iconoclastic—and are just as likely to cause other people to think I’m crazy.

God, have mercy on us all.  We all need a lot of debunking.  For instance, in certain conceptions of church and the Bible.

B. Casey, 3/26/20 – 5/30/20

(By sheer coincidence, the day of posting is the day of the SpaceX launch, which I hadn’t even heard about until yesterday, but which my son is following with interest.  I suppose that if the earth turns out to be flat, maybe we’ll find out in a few hours.  Nah.  The government and big business are still all over this.)

Granddaddy

More than once on this blog, I’ve given written attention to a man admired by many:  my Granddaddy Ritchie.  His character, leadership, and personal influence are still remembered well by many around the country.  He was a persistent advocate for quality and depth in both words and music during congregational assemblies.  Here is a pic of Granddaddy in his prime, leading worship during Harding’s chapel in the 1950s.

image

A year before he died, the extended family had gathered for my grandparents’ 50th anniversary, and I’d been honored with the opportunity to arrange a medley of some the songs Granddaddy performed in recital (and also in the home for his grandchildren on occasion).  Last week, I unearthed the pencil/pen score and parts, produced long before music software was available.  The medley, scored for four of us cousins to play on brass instruments, included excerpts from about a dozen songs, including “None but the Lonely Heart,” “Loch Lomond,” Little Boy Blue,” “The Big Bass Viol,” “Three for Jack,” and  “Ol’ Man River,” a selection for which Granddaddy is remembered.

This day would have been his 111th birthday, and I think I might just dig up a cassette tape of that brass quartet to mark the day.  My prayer-song Lord, I Want To See, was later written in Granddaddy’s memory.

On other April 25ths during the past few years, I’ve also mentioned him, most notably in the postcript to this heavy post #1000 on exegesis of John 9, but also here, in November of 2018, just after he’d been honored by Harding University through an endowed chair.  Although he had directed Harding’s chorus for a time, from what I’ve gathered, he was perhaps even better regarded for leading the Monday evening “PE” (Personal Evangelism) meetings and for leading evangelistic campaigns during college breaks.  In his efforts to lead souls toward Jesus, and to encourage others to do the same, songs and poetry played a role.  My uncle Ed (the second of four children) wrote a fine hymn, later published in the widely used hymnal Praise for the Lord.  Here is a recording of my extended family singing it (stanzas 1 and 4 here; opens in a new tab) in 1992.  The final stanza is a prayer Granddaddy used often:

Lord, lay some soul upon my heart, and love that soul through me,
And help me nobly do my part to win that soul for Thee.

Three readings (the most recent, already obsolete)

This morning before work time, I read three things (in this order):

1.  Part of the MatthewGospel’s text about Jesus in Gethsemane. (This particular reading would have been well chosen for many people today, but I claim no intentionality—only submissiveness.  As directed, I prayed, read the short text, and responded, as part of a biblical studies group.)

2.  Four pages of material on technologies and techniques to “navigate the digital rehearsal.”  This was written and shared about five weeks ago by a conducting professional I don’t know.

3.  Charles C. Helmer IV’s article that selected thoughts, principles, and words from Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Christian community, appropriating them to humanity’s current situation.  This article, titled “Bonhoeffer and COVID-19:  ‘Life Together’ in Isolation,” reminded me of Bonhoeffer’s significance in both Christian and 20th-century world history.

Two of the above readings struck me as relatively timeless.  One of them is already obsolete.¹  (Hint:  it’s the one about technology that’s obsolete.)

The ephemeral complexity of our technological landscape boggles the mind, baffles the massive mainstream, and bedraggles the masses.

Our world changes quickly in some of its aspects, but not in others.

– B. Casey, 4/21/20


¹ Today, I also read a few short, work-related documents.  Composed this week, some were either off-base or already obsolete.  I wrote one of the off-base ones myself!

Who or what leads?

Leadership is well considered in terms of concept over action or role, but let’s think about roles and activities first.  During most activities, someone is probably leading, one way or another.

In most traditional ballroom dancing, the man leads.  His female partner may be more assertive off the dance floor, but she does not lead there.

In team sports, there are leaders.  You got your quarterbacks, your point guards.  In baseball, a team captain may be a noteworthy leader, in addition to managers and coaches.  Major league baseball has sometimes enjoyed player-managers who both led the team from the bench and contributed actively on the field.  It can get more complicated, though, if we think of activities and not only identified roles.   ◊ ◊ ◊

When Jackie Robinson entered the majors, 73 years ago Wednesday, who was it who led the team?  General Manager Branch Rickey?  Interim manager Clyde Sukeforth?  Shortstop Pee Wee Reese?  Jackie himself?  Someone on the Boston Braves (the opposing team)?  Depending on the moment, it could have been any one of them.

Conductors are musical and artistic leaders, but, even in a conducted instrumental ensemble, it is often good practice for individual players or sections to take the lead from time to time.  Dr. Lauren Reynolds, now Director of Bands at one of my alma mater institutions, speaks to this aspect of leadership in ensembles within the first three minutes of this fine pedagogical video.

Leadership by players is even more necessary, if not more advantageous, when there is no conductor, e.g., with chamber groups such as brass quintets and string quartets.  It isn’t the same person who is the actual leader in every moment.  Just as in baseball, the nature of the music (or other practicalities such as a line of sight) might suggest who should lead at a given time.

Now to move toward the conceptual and invisible (as opposed to the more observable) actions of leadership.  When we ponder something, there are primary thoughts that take the lead.  Who or what leads us in ways of faith?  Who or what takes the reins as we think about God—and how to live in Him and for Him?  When we think about something, there are primary thoughts that take the lead.  Hear N.T. Wright as he differentiates between theology and text:

I have long had the sense that theology, especially philosophical theology, and perhaps even analytic theology, has tended to start with its own abstract concepts and, in expounding and adjusting them, has drawn in bits and pieces of Scripture on the way.  That is to say, it’s often system first, scripture second.

That, I suppose, is better than nothing, but it can provide the illusion of engagement with the text rather than allowing the text to lead the way.   – N.T. Wright Online  (emphases mine  -bc)

We ought to be alarmed by the common “illusion” that Wright spotlights above.  Personally, far more often than weekly, I see the effects of a theological-system-driven Christianity.  It has far more dangerous ramifications than a baseball team driven by the team owner’s greed, or a band led by an errant bassoonist.  It is our scripture texts that ought to steer our ships.  The effects of the illusion of scripture’s primacy run deep.  They are difficult to discern, and even more difficult to admit.  People will speak of theology and text as though they are part of the same ball o’ wax, and they are, in a sense.  Still, it is someone uncommon for a person to realize that theology is driving things for him; it is rarer still for someone to allow the scripture text to lead.  Conductors these days¹ will typically allow the musical text to steer, over and above their personal philosophies or other factors such as the perceived needs of the moment.  Such conductors are admirable . . . and Christians ought to let their texts guide, too!

A recent study opportunity from Coffee With Paul did allow the biblical text to set the agenda.  In the process of examining and applying the John 2 text about the upsetting of the traders in the temple courts, one of our study partners in that group commented, “The thought of ‘God is constantly at work turning over evil in the world’ is comforting and reassuring!”  And in saying that, she was leading, in a most welcome and conceptual sense.  Her thought was primarily philosophical, but she had been guided first by a focus on the text.

What or who should lead in churches, practically speaking?  That’s a different topic, and one I’ll reserve for a different day (or maybe never again!).  But I’ll say this:  it is a philosophical theology, not a text, that assumes that the leader in a church should be “the pastor.”


¹ In a bygone era, conductor Eugene Ormandy once said, quite disrespectfully of the composer or his musical text, “That’s the way Stravinsky was—bup, bup, bup—The poor guy’s dead now.  Play it legato.”

The temple(s)

You may be doing much better than I am during this semi-quarantine.  Taking one aspect:  although I’m normally a pretty good juggler and prioritizer, the mere thought of managing and juggling and dealing actually contributes to my sense of being overwhelmed.  This post may not be all that coherent.


This week, as in the last several, I have been caused to think a great deal about Israel’s temple(s) in Jerusalem.

I learned a few years ago to think newly about the so-called cleansing of the temple, told variously in John 2, Mark 11, Matthew 21, and Luke 19.  There’s something about this temple that Jesus was engaging with, to be sure.

My son and I have watched this 3-minute video more than once.  I am watching it again now as I revise this paragraph, and I’ll return to it in the future.  As emphasized in the video, many have connected temple symbolism to aspects of creation/Eden seen in Genesis 2-3.  It’s important to “see” the Israel’s temple and to be made newly aware of its place in that people’s identity.


The Jews saw the Temple as everlasting. 

(Well, it wasn’t.  Not quite, given the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities.  But you get the point.)

Jesus (and history) showed the Jews—and all the rest of us—that it was not.  -bc


I recall the fact that GMatthew has the curtain being torn in two.¹  This week, I read of the making of that veil/curtain, in 2 Chronicles 3.  Then I read that N.T. Wright had once drawn a comparison between Jesus/Temple to sheriff/gunfighter in an old western, with the Lord saying, “This town is not big enough for the both of us.”  And I thought, yes, that’s right.

The Luke gospel, I have recently learned, seems to focus intently on the temple, if we take the mere number of occurrences of the word ἱερόν | hieron as our cue.  (It’s hard to limit meandering, but I could move as far away as Ezekiel or Paul’s Romans 12 here.)  The John gospel does something different, as related by N.T. Wright:

Did John then think, in writing a new Genesis, that he was writing a new Temple-theology?

The question answers itself:  of course he did.  The temple is one of the major themes throughout the book, with Jesus himself as the focal point:  hence, in the prologue itself, the decisive verse 14, where the Word became flesh . . . and ‘tabernacled’ in our midst.

N.T. Wright

I wonder if this conceptual play, even conflict, between Jesus and the Temple cult is a particular emphasis of John’s Gospel?  If so, it would explain why the story of clearing the market from the Temple was moved earlier in John’s telling of the story — to set the stage for the battle.

Among my personal mini-troubles during the past week have been varying results with internet stream-conferencing and other communications.  I would give my own recent Zoom meetings a B+ in achieving the desired result with little to no difficulty; some other meetings, a C or D; and a certain string of e-mail and phone conversations, an F.  In light of communication difficulties, might we ask Matthew if he had a struggle to communicate the inexpressible?   If the answer to that question is “yes,” maybe that the most dramatic, poetic way Matthew could find (or the way that was found for him!) to say something truly significant was to say the temple curtain was torn in two.¹  The Jerusalem temple, it seems, was not to be eternal. 

“Those in whom the Spirit comes to live are God’s new Temple.  They are, individually and corporately, places where heaven and earth meet.”  ― N.T. Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense

This post may be an outpouring of incoherent tidbits or a semi-valuable smattering from my backlog ….  I may not be managing or juggling or dealing very well at all, but we can be assured of this:  there is One who is managing and dealing.


¹ Translation note on Matthew 27:51 from the NET Bible, referring to the word translated “curtain”:

The referent of this term, καταπέτασμα (katapetasma), is not entirely clear. It could refer to the curtain separating the holy of holies from the holy place (Josephus, J. W. 5.5.5 [5.219]), or it could refer to one at the entrance of the temple court (Josephus, J. W. 5.5.4 [5.212]).  Many argue that the inner curtain is meant because another term, κάλυμμα (kalumma), is also used for the outer curtain.  Others see a reference to the outer curtain as more likely because of the public nature of this sign.  Either way, the symbolism means that access to God has been opened up. It also pictures a judgment that includes the sacrifices.

Creating, dreaming, and envisioning

As the scientific/medical and government worlds churn to maintain healthy populations in the face of a frightening, devastating virus, many are left floundering.

Families are self-isolating or submitting to lockdowns and quarantine orders.

Churches are envisioning how to “do church” without public, in-person gatherings.  (Perhaps many will now be forced to re-envision what it means to be church, quite apart from the man-made creation of the religious “service.”  Please see here for more on the label “worship service.”) ¹

Businesses are temporarily closing, and paychecks are in jeopardy . . . and some now have time and space to dream of newness.

Like most people, I have no medical qualifications and only a modicum of medical insight.  These days, I take typical precautions, and I encounter now-oddly-normal stresses . . . and I also seem to have greater-than-normal time to envision and dream about other things.

For years I have known something about myself, and it’s not necessarily a good thing, although it can be satisfying to an introvert:  I often feel more energized in envisioning, dreaming, planning, and working out plans than I do from seeing the fruition in groups.  That is commentary on several aspects:  on my inner energy and imagination, yes, but also on my lack of ability to plan effectively; on other people’s shortcomings, and on my inability to bridge the gap between dreams and reality.

The best devotional times, the best worship gatherings, the best Camp Manatawny hymn sings, and the best Lights (Christian a cappella octet) programs were better in my head than in the execution.  Even the highest-quality musical performances I’ve been privileged to lead—with the University of Northern Colorado, Houghton College, Texas A&M-Kingsville, and Kansas City Wind Symphony ensembles—probably didn’t give me as much inward energy and encouragement as the silent, planning/dreaming phases that had preceded the performances.

Easter is coming.  I’m not one to get into the “Lenten Season” or to place too much emphasis on one Sunday over another, but Easter can certainly be observed with pleasure and joy.  A friend invited me to perform, and I asked if there could be a place for a special arrangement.  He replied, “Of course!”  “Okay!” said I . . . and off I went to dream and envision.  I had begun that arrangement around the time the effects of the virus pandemic began to be felt in the U.S.

And now what?

What’s going to happen with the arrangement now?  It’s almost finished.  And I’d give it about a  40% chance of being performed at all, and less chance than that of blessing people who choose to be, or are allowed by the government to be, in the same room.  And that’s discouraging, because public performance is one important goal of music.  But was the effort a waste?  No, hardly.  The creative process is a goal in itself.

I’ve envisioned.  I’ve heard it in my head.  I’ve been conscious of the emotions, the intentions.  I’ve audiated.²  I’ve hoped.  I’ve dreamed.  I’ve audiated some more, and I’ve refined the music based on what I see and hear.  And in the process, I’ve worshipped a little.

What are you doing now that you might not have found the time or reason to do a couple weeks ago?  How is this time going for you?  Gotta get back to my arrangement now.  I just had another idea to make it better.


¹ I take this phenomenon as primarily the result of human ingenuity.  It has, just like other human creations, some good elements and intentions.  It has also, like other human creations, gone awry, in my estimation.  I added this footnote after reading Bill’s comment.

² This page gives a nicely succinct definition of audiation:  the comprehension and internal realization of music by an individual in the absence of any physical sound.