Category: Revision


Doing the Math

> From this.

So to make some more observation into the meaning of things, again to notice how much we take for granted, music we’ve covered, but then there’s the subject of mathematics. Physics, more precisely. This is what Albert was talking about how incomprehensible it is the universe’s comprehensibility. Does anyone find it a bit convenient that there are equations that can predict how things will behave in reality? It has made some people think that God is a mathematician at heart, though I believe differently on that matter. But how eerie is it that Newton’s laws of gravitation so closely match how things behave, but then Einstein comes along, and we have an even more precise description of how things must happen?

The greatest gift to knowledge of the twentieth century is the sense of uncertainty — just before it, the Enlightenment had physicists thinking we’d figured it all out, just some trivial details remained to be found. How wrong we were. But the universe seems to be profoundly weirder than we ever before believed it could be. And yet, we can make sense of it. You don’t find that at all peculiar? It’s almost like it makes sense of itself to us. There was one scientist who likened mathematics to archeology. It may seem like a strange comparison, as we like to think of math as being a strictly logical endeavor, but really, it’s a matter of where exactly you’re digging, in both sciences. Sometimes to make a fortuitous discovery, sometimes to dig for years and years and come up with nothing.

If you really think about it, all of science has just barely scratched the surface in the lines of inquiry that currently exist, not to mention the lines of inquiry that have yet to be discovered. Like that dim gold space that I had a vision of, that stretched (as far as I could tell) out to infinity, so is that which can be known about the universe. If God is God, as advertised, this world is stranger than we can imagine. Until we discover it.

When we do discover it, most likely, it will conform to some mathematics. It is utterly strange how closely the weirdest things in our world are explained by purely mental constructs. Why is it that math works so well, but doesn’t, in fact, seem to be “it”, exactly? What does it mean? To the faithful, everything speaks of the Creator, and to the unbeliever, no evidence is sufficient. Mathematics is its own landscape, hearkening to an archeological paradigm again. It is a land within a land, a universe within this universe. Perhaps why it explains things so well is that it exists within the world it is explaining. And perhaps it points to something more: an order above all the observed orders, that explains why it does, in fact, work. Just a thought.

Scripture

> From this.

So how are we to read the Bible, if we cannot count on it being in totality free of errors? First, read the Bible. It is first and foremost a book of the worship in the God who made heaven and earth, who made us. A lot of it may not make sense to us, for a lot of it espouses a philosophy created thousands of years ago. There are things like God telling the Israelites to eradicate all life in a city: men, women, children, even the animals. Surely we cannot be expected to follow such dictates in this day and age? If God were to tell me personally to kill someone, I would have to decline. But for all that’s “wrong” with it, there is much that is right: and this is why it continues to be a bestseller. For it is convenient to God as a method for Him to write the Law in our hearts, which comes with the new covenant.

So when you do read the Bible, let it be known that it is an insane philosophy to be of the sort that takes every word of it to be literally true. When the Law is indeed written in our heart, we may gain the gift of discernment. It is those who do need to take every word as being infallible who lack the Spirit: the spirit of truth, the spirit of love. For God not only gave us the Bible, He gave us a mind, and He gave us a heart. There is reason upon reason to believe that the world is billions of years old, and was not created in six twenty-four hour days. That Adam and Eve were not the parents of us all. I will go no further in this vein, for if you cannot have faith except with the crutch of blind faith to the Word, there is nothing I can say that will make you leave your crutch behind, and stand, and walk on your own.

We must look upon the Bible as what is now known of it: not everyone said what the Book says they said, nor did they all do what they are said to have done, and not all things happened like it said they happened. Is there a simple formula to discover which is true, and which needs a more reasoned approach? The Lord told us what this is: love God, and love your neighbor as yourself. And if the first is interfering with the second, you’re doing it (all) wrong.

Blasphemy

> From this.

When it comes right down to it, when the Holy Spirit asks something of you, is it yes, or no? Even easier, when we are unencumbered by the weight of the world, when it is purely choice, do we say yes to Him, or do we say no? For the offense that we will not ever be forgiven for, what is termed blasphemy to the Spirit of truth, is simply that: to say no. This is a very controversial bit of scripture, when the Lord tells us of this, the unforgivable offense: to say a word against the Holy Spirit. Sounds incredibly easy to breach this regulation. At one point I thought it was so stupid that I said out loud that “the Holy Spirit is a piece of s#!t.” If you were going to damn me for something that innocuous, that kind of Heaven was not for me. Then the Lord told me that it was simply to say, “no”, and that made even less sense. No sense at all, until much later.

When there is no devil your shoulder (nor angel on the other), faced with a decision that is pure choice, pure free will, which way will you go? For if you say no to the Spirit of love, that part of you dies: for we are made in the image of love. But we know very few decisions are so cut and dried, free from the weight of the world. Not to worry, because God understands if somehow we cannot sometimes abide by the rule of love: these would be that which encumbers us in our choice, which I mentioned. You are forgiven, if within you something still holds true. It is when nothing true remains in you that you have died as a child of God. And it is well taken by God when you do have the weight of the world pressing against you, and you still say yes — it is thus how saints are made… Sometimes we to say yes and it translates wrong. And perhaps rather to say no to ourselves, than to love.

Truth, Money, Power

> From this.

There is no truth in power, nor is there truth in money. Where do you suppose the truth is? The wise man will see both of those, the ruling and the riches, as necessary evils used as sparingly as possible to get things done in the world, and thinks it is better if possible to get things done without having to deal with either. It is too easy to get caught in the pursuit of one or the other, and often both together, and for a good man to lose his goodness by good intentions, to slip into the madness that sings so seductively: what he collects he would use for the betterment of all, but in the collecting makes room for that money and power by the squeezing out all remnants of his soul.

With power, one may believe that he can make truth by his own word or action; of course, this is an illusion, for to effect something does not create a physics. And he may find that reality will twist towards his own image or vision only so far before it snaps in two that which he does make. With money, one may think he can buy truth, but as you cannot buy love, with the truth it is the same: he may just find that he only buys the hollow forms that resemble what things in truth genuinely are. What power and money do get you, at the very best, is an artificial comfort. Yes, that not an illusion, but it is usually not what any soul actually longs for. Those who have one or both, money or power, is likely not going to be satisfied with so meager a prize, not when the world makes so big a production on how great is the ruling, how great is riches.

Shall we not, then, engage with the world at all? To strive, while in the world, to be a success and to live within that society as a good man, not as a recluse who hides in the desert to be alone with his God? The Lord said to a rich man: to be perfect, that he should sell all he has, give it to the poor, and to follow Him. Is this the only way? Can no one live in the world anymore, to effect change in how things operate, to do the Lord’s will to achieve the greatest outcome that may be realized within the hustle and the bustle? Can we be Heaven’s agent in a world that is ultimately ruled by the Devil? Perhaps, then, only needing to remember, though this is crucially to be called to mind: power and money are to be used, and people are to be loved. Not the other way around. Hearken.

Complain

> From this.

There are people who do nothing but complain. What are we teaching our children that they become that kind of adult? We recall that as children we did not appreciate that we had a roof over our heads, three square meals every day, a comfortable place to sleep, clothes enough for all the days of the week. The things we had to do, whatever they were, either we complained about them or accepted them in sad resignation. If we have children, we see the other side of that equation, as providers of that roof over their heads, those clothes on their backs.

Now, shall we also regress, to think along the lines that “in a perfect world”, things would be different? Or do you invoke the Serenity Prayer, and do you change the things you can, and accept the things you cannot? For I speak not to these latter, but rather those former: would you rather to complain that to change something is too much work, or that the system is rigged, or that nobody is as unlucky as you — is it everybody’s fault but yours? Will you have none of it when someone explains why when it does not fit into “how the world works” according to you?

Are you not thankful for the ground under your feet, the air you breathe, water to drink, an entire civilization that supports your existence? For if you are reading this, you are more fortunate than most of the people who have ever existed. One needs to think about that. When we grow up, we should no longer be as the child who does not appreciate what the parent provides for them. I would suppose that it is harder to be thankful when one does not believe in a Provider above all others. But I say that there are believers who are ungrateful, too, and atheists who do appreciate all the universe holds. And if these are truly grateful for all that is, for their very lives: to them I say, you are not far from the Kingdom. For some have God in truth already, but just don’t know it — just like an idea in the heart they have not the word for.

The Secret

> From this.

Remember: there is no question, love is the answer. Recall: the secret is love, tell everyone. The Mystery surely is so simple that we never truly grasp it. The way that beauty manifests in this world, what we all react to, what we all long after: there is such holy reason that underlies every single curve that if one were to truly contemplate it, we would become lost in the grandness of it all. And you do not want to exist in a state of constant satori, please understand. The Mystery is known in some circles as the Tao, and others as Brahman, and as the Godhead, and as transcendence itself. It itself has no power, but by it may you approach the Knowledge, the Certainty, and the Power of love. The only danger is that you may lose yourself in it.

The ordinary hides its sublime beauty in the disguise of the obvious, for even in the repetition is the triumphant of energies. Sift sand through your fingertips and into your other hand, and feel the luxurious dance of particles in fleeting moment imbue the sensation. And how are we, who are greater than sand, to make one another feel, not just by touch, but by the faculty that sands do not possess? The Mystery is to find the Way that one should live, which is not one way, but Freedom. Why are we here? Animals are here to reproduce; and if we may turn that setting up an order of magnitude, we are here to love. Like all emergent phenomena, we of the individual issues that are comprised of such a high coalesce societies ants could never dream of. The Mystery is no mystery. The Mystery is love. It is what makes the difference.

Windows

Every once in a while, a little of someone else’s world opens up, enough to take a peek in. You can see for a second a glimpse of that person’s problems, his worries, get a sense for what is important in his life, what’s pressing on his horizon, even what things he pays no attention to. You may not know this person at all, but for that little while where you look in, whether through some phrase that slips out in an email or a mention in a phone call, that person is a person, just like you. You relate. You two may be living different lives — completely different lives — but you are both living lives; you both are fully human beings. The window doesn’t stay open forever, and perhaps that’s a good thing, because I think we do not have room to live more than one life at a time.

I sometimes think about such windows when I hear about death on the news. When I hear of some number of people being killed in some sort of horrible occurrence, man-made or otherwise, I think about how all these windows have closed for good. The numbers do so little to convey that for each one of these within the statistics, there was a life there. There were years of experience, good and bad, that that person went through, digested, handled, folded and stapled. And there are years, now, that such a person would have gone through, but have no chance of doing so now. But here, too, such thinking is fleeting. We have none of us hearts large enough to handle the true total of tragedy in this world, or even that we hear about. We move on, thankful for the glimpses.

We of the age of television and video, even radio, should take heart in this phenomenon, of windows into other places, places just as real as ours, our own homes on this great earth. What did our Lord say, and what does every religion say? “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Use your minds, use your hearts, see from the window cracked open before you that you and they are the same animal, and sometimes, the same angel. Everyone you meet is your neighbor, and you can see this when you do get the chance to look through these windows. That your homes are not the same, but you both have homes, that your hopes and dreams are different, but you both have hopes and dreams. Because sometimes, we are lucky enough to get the first commandment for free, “Love God”, when we love our neighbor as ourselves. No deal better than that.

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The Great Blasphemy