Friday, August 24, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
If one day we're here one moment and light years away in a flash, philosophers might start to wonder if we were ever here to begin with, or if when we got to where we were going would we still be the same person, or would we ever be that person again, if we teleported back from whence we came.
Of course even Plato questioned whether this was the true reality or whether it was a shadow of the ideal model somewhere in some perfect sphere beyond our reach. I've sometimes thought that the apostle Paul must have read much of Plato when he spoke of "looking through a glass darkly."
Please click on the title of this post to read the original New York Times article, Our Lives, Controlled From Some Guy’s Couch, by John Tierney that got me to thinking about the views I've expressed here.
Through the years, I didn't consciously think of that novel which I read at 15 or 16. I once caught a PBS adaptation (1980) which delighted me by its distillation into quite a completely different story from what I had imagined it to be. Nevertheless, for about 20+ years I've had the odd suspicion that some elements of life have changed ever so slightly than from what I clearly remember them to be.
Monday, August 13, 2007
If you live in the present you will live out your life normally.
If you live in the future you will live forever.
Friday, August 10, 2007
For years I've wanted to document what I see around me, especially as I look up, as well as around me as Callisto and I live our simple pre-Sabbath lives. Suddenly, with no strong intention to own one, a free camera phone appeared in my hand last night--courtesy of ATT's upgrades--and I was able to capture the blazing white ecstasy of a Floridian summer sky this afternoon. The search for other people's close approximations of what I see daily has come to an end, and for that I am grateful.
Suddenly I'm reminded of Bob Dylan's lyric, "She's got everything she needs. She's an artist. She don't look back." While I can't claim to be an artist of any kind, but I'm learning not to look back at what was and at what might have been.
Last week I talked with a Buddhist for the first time in my life. I mentioned I was a Christian and that I wanted to know what was worth sharing about the Buddhist vision of life. The simple response, was "there is no past. Life begins from this moment on." I understood this to mean, in the context of the larger conversation, that whatever regrets or expectations or anything, really, that had gone before, ceases to have ultimate value from this moment on.
I was once guilty of "living in the past" and loving it. I couldn't understand those who considered it less noble than living in the present. While we can't completely ignore the past--at least I cannot--I'm realizing that more and more people live for today and for the promise that tomorrow brings.
If you live in the past, you will die there.
So much time was spent hiding from the heat, that fifteen minutes before the sun set, I knew I had to get out and about if only to have the luxury of being able to return home again. There were restaurants still open where I might run into old friends from town, but their conversation probably wouldn't be very conducive to enjoying the Sabbath. I opted, instead, to order some Chinese food at the local take-out and head home.
On my way home I did get an invitation by phone to see Marc Anthony & Jennifer Lopez' new movie, El Cantante. These friends know I go to church on Saturday morning, but I don't know them well enough to explain why I don't accept invitations to movies on Friday nights. Simply, I said that I had a standing order tonight.
Once home, I enjoyed the simple pleasures of a Weight Watchers Chinese menu and found it lacked zing, but at least it was free of starch, sugar, salt and all the things that give Chinese food its flavor. I was thankful for the healthy meal, nevertheless.
I read a chapter from The Great Controversy and was grateful that I still had an interest in reading a book that some, or many, Adventists stopped reading decades ago. I took what I could from it and then settled down to my progressive time travel film retrospectives I now closely associate with Sabbaths in the early 21st century.
Happy Sabbath to you in whatever decade you happen to be reading this.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
What little I've heard of Cecil Taylor's music I've enjoyed immensely. Of course, when he was composing his perplexing free jazz pieces I was but a child and his music would have sounded like noise to my untrained or unchallenged ears. I wish I could have somehow have been in the next apartment or in front of his summer building as he nightly played his liquid songs of frustrated excellence, with the appreciation that 30 years of persistence have granted me in returning time and again to the austerity of Free Jazz.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
If He has the time, I'd like to spend a million years talking with God, non-stop. Laughing with Him, playing baseball with him, walking through invisible forests of anti-neutrinos with Him.
I'm happy and I'm grateful that I'm in the process of imagining and experiencing eternal life right now.