Saturday, June 29, 2019

Alexander Hamilton, Dr. Cooper, and False Reality

I'm reading the excellent book Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, the biography which serves as the basis for the Tony-award winning music Hamilton, for which Chernow served as historical consultant.

There's a story from the life of 19-year-old Hamilton in Chernow's book that made me laugh out loud, but it serves as a classic illustration of how events in your life are viewed through your prism of perception.

Before I get to the anecdote, think about your life for a moment.

Your perception is your reality.

Author Gregory Berns states in his book Iconoclast, “Perception is the brain’s way of interpreting ambiguous visual signals in the most likely explanation possible. These explanations are a direct result of past experience."
You have a filter or a prism in your mind that colors what you see and experience.
A glance away can be interpreted as a cold shoulder from a friend, a shoulder which may actually be warm toward you. 
Words spoken with passion by a friend or co-worker are interpreted as anger, an emotion that may not be present in the speaker.
An attitude you "pick up on" in your spouse may trigger a negative response from you, puzzling the one who knows you best. 
Your real world is your perceived world.

And sometimes you make poor decisions because you're living in a false reality.

Boston Tea Party, December 16, 1773
Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from St. Croix, entered King's College (now Columbia University), New York City, in the fall of 1773. The Boston Tea Party occurred in Boston on December 16, 1773, Hamilton's first semester at King's as an eighteen-year-old. In the Boston Harbor, American Colonists revolted the against English Parliament by casting barrels of English tea overboard. The Americans were enraged at the Tea Tax, and showed their outrage by throwing the tea overboard shouting the phrase "no taxation without representation."

Tensions increased between the American Colonists after the Tea Party. Those Americans desiring Independence as a country (called Patriots) were opposed by those colonists who were loyalists to England (called Tories). Some English politicians who served in the English Parliament at London wished to destroy the city of Boston as punishment for the Tea Rebellion and "turn it into a modern Carthage."

On July 6, 1774, six months after the Boston Tea Party, collegian Alexander Hamilton went to The Commons (now City Hall Park) and climbed a "box" to speak to the crowd which had gathered. The Commons regularly hosted impromptu political speeches, debates, and news, and New Yorkers gathered regularly to keep informed. This was Hamilton's first public speech.  He started slowly and quietly, but words began to flow more quickly and passionately as Hamilton eloquently defended the Patriots of Boston and stated his logical, legal, and civil arguments for American Independence.

After listening to nineteen-year-old Hamilton's stirring speech, the crowd began to whisper "It is a collegian!"

That speech marks the beginning of Hamilton's meteoric rise as one of American's Founding Fathers.

On April 19, 1775, less than a year after Hamilton's speech, British soldiers killed 8 colonists at Lexington and 2 more at Concord, and the American Revolutionary War began.

Hamilton was still a student at King's College when the War began.

Dr. Myles Cooper
The President of King's College, Myles Cooper, had been known as the most vocal Tory in New York. Dr. Cooper despised the rebels who wished to throw off English authority, and he made known his opposition to American Independence as often as possible.

In December 1773, President Cooper had admitted the autodidactic Hamilton into King's College as an "exception" to the typical college entrance requirements.

For that grace and for other reasons, Alexander Hamilton looked on President Cooper "as a father to me."

But Alexander Hamilton's vocal support of the American Patriots which began on July 6, 1774, and continued through his erudite essays published in the King's College newsletter caused President Cooper to wrongly believe Alexander Hamilton had become his enemy. 

That was Myles Cooper perception, and thus his reality.

Which leads us to the anecdote of how false reality can harm you. Five days after Lexington and Concord, an anonymous pamphlet appeared in New York blaming Myles Cooper and four other "obnoxious gentlemen" for the deaths of American Patriots in Massachussets. Listen to Ron Chernow recount what happened next (emphasis mine).
On April 24, a huge throng of patriots, some eight thousand strong, massed in front of City Hall. While radicals grew giddy with excitement, many terrified Tory merchants began to book passage for England. The next day, an anonymous handbill blamed Myles Cooper and four other “obnoxious gentlemen” for the patriotic deaths in Massachusetts and said the moment had passed for symbolic gestures, such as burning Tories in effigy. “The injury you have done to your country cannot admit of reparation,” these five Loyalists were warned. “Fly for your lives or anticipate your doom by becoming your own executioners.” This blatant death threat was signed, “Three Millions.' A defiant Myles Cooper stuck to his college post. 
After a demonstration on the night of May 10, hundreds of protesters armed with clubs and heated by a heady brew of political rhetoric and strong drink descended on King’s College, ready to inflict rough justice on Myles Cooper. Hercules Mulligan recalled that Cooper “was a Tory and an obnoxious man and the mob went to the college with the intention of tarring and feathering him or riding him upon a rail.” Nicholas Ogden, a King’s alumnus, saw the angry mob swarming toward the college and raced ahead to Cooper’s room, urging the president to scramble out a back window. Because Hamilton and Troup shared a room near Cooper’s quarters, Ogden also alerted them to the approaching mob. “Whereupon Hamilton instantly resolved to take his stand on the stairs [i.e., the outer stoop] in front of the Doctor’s apartment and there to detain the mob as long as he could by a harangue in order to gain the Doctor the more time for his escape,” Troup later recorded.
After the mob knocked down the gate and surged toward the residence, Hamilton launched into an impassioned speech, telling the vociferous protesters that their conduct, instead of promoting their cause, would “disgrace and injure the glorious cause of liberty.” One account has the slightly deaf Cooper poking his head from an upper-story window and observing Hamilton gesticulating on the stoop below. He mistakenly thought that his pupil was inciting the crowd instead of pacifying them and shouted, “Don’t mind what he says. He’s crazy!” Another account has Cooper shouting at the ruffians: “Don’t believe anything Hamilton says. He’s a little fool!” The more plausible version is that Cooper had long since vanished, having scampered away in his nightgown on Ogden’s warning.  
Hamilton likely knew he couldn’t stop the intruders, but he won the vital minutes necessary for Cooper to clamber over a back fence and rush down to the Hudson. Afraid for his life, Cooper meandered along the shore all night. The next day, he boarded a man-of-war bound for England, where he resumed his tirades against the colonists from the safety of a study. Among other things, he published a melodramatic poem about his escape. He told how the rabble—“a murderous band”—had burst into his room, “And whilst their curses load my head / With piercing steel they probe the bed / And thirst for human gore.” This image of the president set upon by bloodthirsty rebels was more satisfying than the banal truth that he cravenly ran off half-dressed into the night. Cooper never saw Hamilton again and wept copiously when England lost the Revolution. He could not resist grumbling in his will that “all my affairs have been shattered to pieces by this abominable rebellion.”
Chernow, Ron. Alexander Hamilton (p. 63-64). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
"Don't mind what he says, he's crazy!" Dr. Cooper had yelled about the man trying to save him.

Dr. Cooper's false reality almost cost him his life.

May God grant us all the grace to recognize our perceptions are sometimes wrong.

Let's keep an open mind.

Let's not judge motives in others, for we can't know motives.

Even when the "actions" of others seem to indicate one thing, always believe the best about others (I Corinthians 13:7).

In the end, our good and loving God is in control, and to trust Him means we have the wisdom to know that our perceptions are not always our reality.


Bob Cleveland said...

One of the more obvious manifestation of this false reality, IMHO, is attaching to God, or to the Lord, the emotions and reactions we dislike in ourselves here on earth. The prime example of that, to me, is attributing to Jesus the emotion of anger, when He cleansed the temple of merchants and scammers. We would never do such a thing in our church buildings ... like when guests are selling CD's and books in the lobby ... unless we had simply lost control in our anger.

But Jesus did not need anger to motivate Him to do the right thing. He always did the right thing

Rex Ray said...


Enjoyed the very informative history. It’s one I’ve never heard before.

Many years ago, I heard a sermon about our brains having a filter that influenced everything we thought about…our filters were based on our experiences.

That agrees with Gregory Berns: “You have a filter or a prism in your mind that colors what you see and experience.”

I taught 6th in King Cove, Alaska. The boys were tough and unruly. When I spanked them with a 12” ruler they almost smiled at me. It make me angry, and I made a whip from long leather boot straps fastened to a sawed-off broom handle. After the first boy got whipped, I never used it again because they started acting right.

“Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple…”Stop turning my Father’s house into a market place.” (John 2:15-16 NLT)

From my ‘filter’, I believe Jesus was angry, but from Bob Cleveland’s ‘filter’, he believes Jesus was not angry.

Christiane said...

'alternative facts', 'fake news', 'don't believe what you see, believe what I tell you'
expect these days, we are looking at a world where Dr. Myles Cooper might well be confused.

The whole country, the whole world watched this inter-change between a DOJ career lawyer and the Court. All I can say is thank God that the judges were NOT confused, though, for the sake of some vulnerable little ones:

(caution, this is somewhat difficult to watch, depending on the state of the viewer's conscience and/or their 'prism of perception')

Rex Ray said...


One more shot that Jesus could feel anger.

“When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him and he was deeply troubled.” (John 11:33 NLT)

“Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb…” (John 11:38 NLT)

“When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.” (John 11:33 KJ)

“Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave…” (John 11:38 KJ)

“When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jewish leaders wailing with her, he was moved with indignation and deeply troubled.” (John 11:33 Living)

“And again Jesus was moved with deep anger. Then they came to the tomb…” (John 11:38 Living)

Rex Ray said...

Since Jesus planned to raise Lazarus from the dead, why was he angry? Seeing her brother alive again would cause Mary to scream with delight. It would be a joyous occasion. This miracle would cause the enemies of Jesus so much distress they plotted to kill Lazarus.

I believe the key to why he was angry is found in this Scripture: “Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!...Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?...Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.” (John 14:9-11 NLT)

Jesus was angry because there was not one thought or hope in the whole bunch that the Son of God could raise Lazarus from the dead.

Rex Ray said...


I tried your link, but I declined when it said I had to sign up for Twitter that required a lot of information such as my password etc.

I guess it had to do with conditions of children detained at the Texas border. Surly it’s not as bad when Obama had them in cages.

Christiane said...


oops, I didn't realize what people might run into 'cause I don't 'tweet' (use Twitter)!

the link was showing a DOJ (Dept. of Justice) attorney being told by the judges that the safety and security of the children required them more than had been provided to them.
Maybe we never heard about Obama tormenting children because Michelle would have killed him if he tried something like that, and I really don't think it was in his nature to take babies from their mothers' arms, no.

REX RAY, we live in our 'bubbles' where reports come to each of us that are very different. If we hear something in one 'bubble', it helps to check out other sources of information to see what is also 'out there'. I tell you, there is a huge difference in what you hear on Fox News and on MSNBC. The more moderate channel might be CNN. Of course written sources also must be scanned from various diverse sources and after a while, you can kind of 'get it' what's going on, using common sense and communicating with other people outside of one's own 'bubble'. Beware Russian-bot social media and RT and related sources: the truth is that Russia is NOT our 'friend', no.

Wade's article is interesting: how it is possible for perspective to go so wrong when emotions and relationships are involved ..... I can see that this would be the source of great pain for people who weren't aware of this possibility....... but maybe Wade's point is also tied in with why it is that God is the only One who can see into the hearts of men and judge fairly, as we cannot always do this (goodness, we mess judging others up badly).

I'm certain our great country can afford a little soap and toothpaste and some diapers for the little toddlers who are soiling in their clothing because they have no diapers in those facilities . . . . . and maybe some trained child-care folks can come in and supervise, as now they have older children trying to care for little ones and there is a 'guard' but literally, no caring adult in the room for these children. Our country harbors these innocents in terrible conditions, REX RAY, and it is happening now and in the end, we Americans will have to look into the mirror and ask ourselves 'is this who we really are now?' I know you would help any suffering child, and so would I. Well, there are a lot of them in American custody, and they need help now, yesterday, for the love of Christ who said 'I thirst' on the cross. 'We' are Americans, not all those other labels someone has been trying to sort us into and you and I are Christian people, and that means more than 'Catholic' or 'Baptist' in the end. When those children hurt, we hurt. And the pain is getting worse. God have mercy. On all of us. Together.

Christiane said...

here is hopefully a better link for you:

I hope Judy is doing okay. Grieving is a hard journey.

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said...


Do you remember making a comment on 6-22-19 that said:

“Today’s Newspaper Headlines: "Texas to deploy 1,000 troops to Border"

“Texas Governor, Greg Abbott announced Friday that the state will deploy 1,000 troops from the Texas National Guard to the U.S.-Mexican border to aid the federal government with border security efforts.
There is an escalating crisis at the border - a crisis Congress is refusing to fix," said Abbott, who was flanked by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, along with Brig. Gen. Tracy Norris, the adjutant general of the Texas National Guard, during a news conference at the Texas Capitol.
Abbott said the troops will have two main roles: to help at temporary holding facilities for single adult migrants in the Rio Grande Valley and in El Paso, and to help Border Patrol units along ports of entry.
At the beginning of June, 133,000 were apprehended or surrendered to border agents along the southwest border in May. The vast majority are unaccompanied minors or families from Central America.
“Congress is a group of reprobates for not addressing a crisis on our border,” said Abbott.”

Christiane said...


I found that comment, yes, but it's not mine!
It's back on Wade's post ""Headship" Is Either the Design of the Creator or a Description of the Curse and It's Really That Simple"

""Rex Ray said...
Today’s Newspaper Headlines: "Texas to deploy 1,000 troops to Border"

“Texas Governor, Greg Abbott announced Friday that the state will deploy 1,000 troops from the Texas National Guard to the U.S.-Mexican border to aid the federal government with border security efforts.
There is an escalating crisis at the border - a crisis Congress is refusing to fix," said Abbott, who was flanked by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, along with Brig. Gen. Tracy Norris, the adjutant general of the Texas National Guard, during a news conference at the Texas Capitol.
Abbott said the troops will have two main roles: to help at temporary holding facilities for single adult migrants in the Rio Grande Valley and in El Paso, and to help Border Patrol units along ports of entry.
At the beginning of June, 133,000 were apprehended or surrendered to border agents along the southwest border in May. The vast majority are unaccompanied minors or families from Central America.
“Congress is a group of reprobates for not addressing a crisis on our border,” said Abbott.”
Sat Jun 22, 09:39:00 PM 2019"

Rex Ray said...


Sorry, when I said "Do your remember..." I left out ME. I should have said, Do you remember me making a comment...

And I told about what our Texas governor did in sending 1,000 troops to the border.

Christiane said...



I wish I had a dollar for every time I left words out when I was on line.

Sending 1000 troops costs a whole lot more than a little soap and toothpaste and some diapers for little ones. I think we need to be asking ourselves a question, this:
'If these neglected little ones belong to Christ,
who do we belong to if we cannot help them now?'

they are here, in OUR care, and we bear responsibility for the neglect they are suffering, so what's to be done? The courts just ruled that doctors and nurses could enter into those 'centers' to see the refugees to help any who are ill. So there is some progress being made. Not enough, no. But something. My heart hurts over these children.

Rex Ray said...


Did you see at the Democrat debate all the hopefuls to be chosen to run for President raise their hands when asked who was in favor of furnishing healthcare for the 3.9 million illegal immigrants in America?

The cost would be paid by the Federal Government.

Christiane said...

Hello REX RAY,

I think it is time for people to consider basic health care to be a 'human right'.
I'm just saying that the time has come for this nation's PEOPLE to look at what the healthcare industry has become and how so many people are wounded by it financially as the 'middle men' scarf up the profits as a result of increasing premiums and providing less care than clients thought they were supposed to receive. Good time to look at the shenanigans of Big Pharma also.

People know what they are enduring and they see the huge profits being reaped. So when the subject comes up about health care, all Americans are interested in seeing a return to sanity.

Time to talk about it. Past time.

As for 'doing the right thing' by the stranger in our midst, think of the parable of the Good Samaritan. . . . . it's all there: the Samaritan was not in the 'in group', actually he was of a group that was despised, and yet he showed mercy to the wounded man.
He did it for no personal gain. He gave of his own time, and energy and money and in the end, when Our Lord asked:
who was 'neighbor' to the wounded man,
we know that 'labels' were no longer important but that there was another principle involved: that it is HUMANE to look out for one another and not to 'walk on by' or to ignore sick people because they are different, or to say 'it's not OUR responsibility'.

Being 'human' is now, since the Incarnation, a part of being Christian. Our Lord's teaching tells us that helping the stranger in our midst is the right thing to do.
Do I see things so differently from conservative Christian people? I don't think so.
Most Christian people, faced with a wounded or sick person, will try to help them. There is no 'the others' anymore. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran Christian martyr, said it this way:

Bonhoeffer on the Incarnation:
“” We now know that we have been taken up and borne in the humanity of Jesus, and therefore that new nature we now enjoy means that we too must bear the sins and sorrows of others. The incarnate lord makes his followers the brothers and sisters of all humanity. The “philanthropy” of God (Titus 3:4) revealed in the Incarnation is the ground of Christian love towrd all on earth that bear the name of human. The form of Christ incarnate makes the Church into the body of Christ. All the sorrows of humanity falls upon that form, and only through that form can they be borne. The earthly form of Christ is the form that died on the cross. The image of God is the image of Christ crucified. It is to this image that the life of the disciples must be conformed: in other words, they must be conformed to his death (Phil. 3:10; Rom. 6:4). The Christian life is a life of crucifixion.”
(Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

We are our brother's keeper. It's been that way since Our Lord was Incarnated.

Rex Ray said...


Well old friend, I see our ‘filters’ (based on experiences) are miles apart on the subject of who should America take care of.

You’d think a Veteran’s Hospital would not charge Veterans very much. This year, I was in their Dallas, Texas Hospital five days. They collected $6,800 from my Medicare Health Insurance, and I paid them $1,700. Not only that, my ankle was worse than when I went in.

About the same story with a hospital I was in three days not far from here. Three months before, they treated me for a fractured back and furnished a soft bed. This time it was for my ankle with about the same results of the VA, but worse than that, they injured my back with a ‘hard’ bed. When I complained, I was given pain pills but that didn’t stop the pain. (Afterwards, I was treated by a chiropractor to help my back.)

One doctor instead of unwrapping my ankle to see it, tried to pull it up my leg. She stopped when I started screaming. I named her the ‘wicked witch of the North’. I’m still refusing to pay their $1,300 bill.

This month, I’ve paid $102 for two ounces of cream that helps with pain in my ankle.

Christiane, do you really think we should pay for the healthcare of illegal emigrants?

I believe that’s right up there with the Trojan Horse.

The best part of today is: it’s our fourth wedding anniversary!

Christiane said...

Hello REX RAY,

Happy Anniversary to you and Judy! So it really IS the 'Fourth' you both. :)

I know we use different 'filters' and that's okay, but I do think that if ANY human being is having a medical emergency, they should be cared for whether or not they can afford it; 'illegal' or 'citizen'. In the end, a person suffering a medical emergency is a helpless being and we have a duty to care for them as best as is possible. So, sure, I think we can and should help refugee people who need medical care, especially children.

I think we should welcome refugee people, not put them in cages like animals. It's a whole different 'filter', but in the end, maybe it's more about just being 'humane'.

The Veterans' Assoc. has a lot to answer for in how our vets are neglected: and I think more money needs to be allotted for medical care, YES!!!!!
Can you get some re-imbursement for that cream? Are you able to use Express Scripts service? We use it and it works great for us. There is a fee, but it is minimal. The doctor sends the prescriptions directly to them and they mail the meds to us. I highly recommend it. Check into it. ($102 for two ounces of cream? What's in it? Crushed pearls? My goodness!)

Hope you have a great day. We are chilling here with the usual hot-dog feasting and swimming and tonight the neighborhood will do fireworks. A long lovely summer day. I hope you and Judy do go out and celebrate properly for that anniversary. Enjoy !

Rex Ray said...


You asked if I was able to use Express Scripts service.

That sounded interesting, so I asked Google about the service.

The company hires 26,000 employees. In 2017, its total assets was $54.256 billion.

Christiane, where in the world does their money come from if it doesn’t come from the manufactures of medicine?

If it does come from ‘medicine companies’, maybe medicine would be a lot cheaper if they didn’t exist.

My sister and brother-in-law have gone to Mexico to get the same medicine at about ¼ the cost.

Anonymous said...

Christiane--from one who has survived the border war and gotten away from it: no question medical emergencies should be treated for all and by law THEY ARE. But that is very different from free medical care for all. Not all medical needs are truly emergent.

Now factor in this: while all are entitled to emergency care, many who live along the border and even several hundred miles "inland" simply do not have providers. As in not enough live there. As in too few hospitals and doctors and nurses in those sparsely populated area. Try to imagine NYC and suddenly when New Yorkers awaken tomorrow the entire population of Singapore has arrived overnight. Can you really imagine NYC could provide enough medical care, diapers, clean water, sanitation, etc immediately?

That is roughly what some of our little places like Antelope Wells are coping with. Instead of screaming that ICE and Border Patrol are inhumane, when in reality they are doing all they can, why not organize your church to begin shipments of bottled water, food, and get Doctors without Borders involved?

My hometown did all they could, and then some. In the end exhaustion made them insist the government remove the center caring for women and children illegal aliens. Oh, and by the way, that wasn't under Republicans but under Obama.


Rex Ray said...


Today’s political cartoon had two airplanes flying. They displayed the American flag across the sky. Except they were going in opposite directions tearing the flag in half.

I thought the newspaper showed wisdom in leaving it up to the reader to decide who the airplanes represented.

How about a post on the ‘condition of America’?

Christiane said...


I thought Express Scripts' service was for the military/retired folks, which we are. So all I have to pay is $7 for a three month supply. Basically, the meds are free to us, but there is a delivery service for postage which is reasonable, you bet, all things considered.

I don't know how Express Scripts does business. But I will take a look on line and check.