Tag Archives: spirituality

Author Interview The Luddite’s Guide to Technology Tour

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I’m interviewing CJS Hayward, author of creative non-fiction “The Luddite’s Guide to Technology”. Welcome to my blog!

1) How long have you been writing?
​ I have wanted to be an author for a long time, and writing in online forums since high school. I wrote volumes of material, probably lost to no great effect, as I was struggling to write in a way that people could understand. I eventually made it, in part at least, and finally learned to write in a way people would understand.​
2) Is The Luddite’s Guide to Technology your first book? If not, please tell us a little about your first book.
​Exactly pinning down my first book is hard; I took, years back, my writing and divided it into seven books: The Steel Orb, Hayward’s Unabridged Dictionary, The Christmas Tales, Firestorm 2034, Yonder, A Cord of Seven Strands, and The Sign of the Grail.​ If we table the question of “first to market”, my “best to market” was probably The Best of Jonathan’s Corner. The Best of Jonathan’s Corner is a well-rounded collection about faith, religion and spirituality.
3) Why did you choose to write about technology?
​ There is a saying in the Orthodox Church, of “Immemorial custom has the weight of canon law.” In other words, how Orthodox cultures have always worked has great weight.​
​ Today we live in a time of great upheaval, where the social aspects of technology are significant, and I’ve been interested in them at least since a professor at college handed me a copy of Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in an Age of Show Business.​
4) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
​ The best advice I can give is very old advice: “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you as well.” There is nothing better to offer.​

5) Do you have any works in progress you’d like to tell us about?

​I would like to write something about Merlin, but it is coming in fits and starts. If you visit my website,​ there is a great deal that is already there and already written.

About The Book

21247087Title: The Luddite’s Guide to Technology

Author: CJS Hayward

Genre: creative non-fiction / religion and spirituality / technology – social aspects

Mammon, as it is challenged in the Sermon on the Mount, represents such wealth and possessions as one could have two thousand years ago. But that is merely beer as contrasted to the eighty proof whisky our day has concocted. The Sermon on the Mount aims to put us in the driver’s seat and not what you could possess in ancient times, and if the Sermon on the Mount says something about metaphorical beer, perhaps there are implications for an age where something more like eighty proof whisky is all around us.

Author Bio

cjsh_square_fullChristos Jonathan Seth Hayward wears many hats as a person: author, philosopher, theologian, artist, poet, wayfarer, philologist, inventor, web guru, teacher.

Some have asked, “If a much lesser C.S. Lewis were Orthodox, what would he be like?” And the answer may well be, “CJS Hayward.”

Hayward has lived in the U.S., Malaysia, England, and France, and holds master’s degrees bridging math and computers (UIUC), and philosophy and theology (Cambridge).

Links

​http​://amazon.com/author/cjshayward

http://CJSH.name

http://fan.CJSH.name

https://CJSHayward.com

http://tinyurl.com/luddites-guide-technology

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Book Excerpt from The Luddite’s Guide to Technology

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I’m hosting an excerpt today from creative non-fiction, religion and spirituality book “The Luddite’s Guide to Technology”. I hope you enjoy this excerpt. This excerpt comes from the essay with the same name as the book’s title.

Book Excerpt

The Luddite’s Guide to Technology:

Since the Bridegroom was taken from the disciples, it has been a part of the Orthodox Church’s practice to fast. What is expected in the ideal has undergone changes, and one’s own practice is done in submission to one’s priest. The priest may work on how to best relax rules in many cases so that your fasting is a load you can shoulder. There is something of a saying, “As always, ask your priest,” and that goes for fasting from technology too. Meaning, specifically, that if you read this article and want to start fasting from technologies, and your priest says that it won’t be helpful, leave this article alone and follow your priest’s guidance.

From ancient times there has been a sense that we need to transcend ourselves. When we fast, we choose to set limits and master our belly, at least partly. “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food—maybe, but God will destroy them both.” So the Apostle answered the hedonists of his day. The teaching of fasting is that you are more than the sum of your appetites, and we can grow by giving something up in days and seasons. And really fasting from foods is not saying, “I choose to be greater than this particular luxury,” but “I choose to be greater than this necessity.” Over ninety-nine percent of all humans who have ever lived never saw a piece of modern technology: Christ and his disciples reached far and wide without the benefit of even the most obsolete of eletronic communication technologies. And monks have often turned back on what luxuries were available to them: hence in works like thePhilokalia or the Ladder extol the virtue of sleeping on the floor. If we fast from technologies, we do not abstain from basic nourishment, but what Emperors and kings never heard of. At one monastery where monks lived in cells without running water or electricity, a monk commented that peasants and for that matter kings lived their whole lives without tasting these, or finding them a necessity. (Even Solomon in all his splendor did not have a Facebook page.)

In Orthodoxy, if a person is not able to handle the quasi-vegan diet in fasting periods, a priest may relax the fast, not giving carte blanche to eat anything the parishioner wants, but suggesting that the parishioner relax the fast to some degree, eating some fish or an egg. This basic principle of fasting is applicable to technology: rather than immediately go cold turkey on certain technologies, use “some fish or an egg” in terms of older technologies. Instead of texting for a conversation, drive over to a nearby friend.

(Have you ever noticed that during Lent many Orthodox Christians cut down or eliminate their use of Facebook?)

Donald Knuth, one of the leading lights in computer science, got rid of his email address well over ​a decade ​ago. He said that email was good for being on top of the world, and what he wanted was to be at the bottom of the world and do research. In other words, he had certain goals, and he found that email was not a helpful luxury in reaching those goals.

About The Book

21247087Title: The Luddite’s Guide to Technology

Author: CJS Hayward

Genre: creative non-fiction / religion and spirituality / technology – social aspects

Mammon, as it is challenged in the Sermon on the Mount, represents such wealth and possessions as one could have two thousand years ago. But that is merely beer as contrasted to the eighty proof whisky our day has concocted. The Sermon on the Mount aims to put us in the driver’s seat and not what you could possess in ancient times, and if the Sermon on the Mount says something about metaphorical beer, perhaps there are implications for an age where something more like eighty proof whisky is all around us.

Author Bio

cjsh_square_fullChristos Jonathan Seth Hayward wears many hats as a person: author, philosopher, theologian, artist, poet, wayfarer, philologist, inventor, web guru, teacher.

Some have asked, “If a much lesser C.S. Lewis were Orthodox, what would he be like?” And the answer may well be, “CJS Hayward.”

Hayward has lived in the U.S., Malaysia, England, and France, and holds master’s degrees bridging math and computers (UIUC), and philosophy and theology (Cambridge).

Links

​http​://amazon.com/author/cjshayward

http://CJSH.name

http://fan.CJSH.name

https://CJSHayward.com

http://tinyurl.com/luddites-guide-technology

Leave a comment

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Book Review The Best of Jonathan’s Corner

the-best-of-jonathans-corner-front-coverTitle: The Best of Jonathan’s Corner

Author: CJS Hayward

Genre: Creative non-fiction / many genres / religion and spirituality / Eastern Orthodox

The Best of Jonathan’s Corner, newly expanded ​ after getting five star reviews​, is a collection of varied works of Eastern Orthodox mystical theology. It spans many topics and many different genres of writing, but it keeps coming back to the biggest questions of all. It is inexhaustible: the works are independent, and you can read a few, many, or all of them to suit your taste. Fans of CS Lewis and GK Chesterton will love it.

I wanted to read The Best of Jonathan’s Corner mainly because I’ve always been intrigued by mystical theology, yet I know little about it. I especially enjoyed the pieces talking about economy, like “Money”, since even for a non-Eastern Orthodox person, o who has not been raised in such a tradition, valid points are raised in these pieces. What I liked as well is that one does not have to read all articles – it’s perfectly acceptable to skip one, or to move on to those articles of interest.

My favorite pieces of the collection were those dealing with religion vs. science, as I find that discussion intriguing, and the other makes some solid arguments.

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