Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Very Last Snowflake

  Whichever side you come down on in the global warming debate, there is enough evidence to "prove" it! If we firmly adhere to a warming world, or to a cooling world, or to a "none of the above" type of world, you already are convinced that you are correct. It is a weird type of reality we live in. For instance, if you believe in UFO's or if you deny them, or if you take some type of third way on the discussion, you will find that you can and do find evidence to "prove" your view! Yesterday, I participated in a discussion in which all three options were present in a discussion about reefer. It is true the dope is more powerful today than it used to be. It is false that dope is stronger nowadays, it is actually weaker. It is neither false nor true, and in fact; some dope then was stronger than some dope now, and vice-versa! There were three of us present, and each emerged from the discussion, airing our comments, more fully confirmed in his own views! We appear (it seems) to be turning out to be more like ourselves, over time, uhm, than we used to be?
  If the world is actually getting warmer, we might one day find (sadly enough) the very last snow flake! Perhaps we could spray some kind of polymer on the rascal, and mount it handsomely in a wooden box, and place it in a museum? You see? Then future generations could send their young kiddos on future-fusion school bus type field trips to look at it! If on the other hand, if the world is not going that route in fact, then we need not fund the "Save the Snowflakes!" action committee. We can safely ignore their zany antics of raiding deep freezers to "liberate" ice cubes, and this whole "issue" of "disappearing snowflakes" just goes away all by itself! But that day is not yet come, where-in the wave front of reality has collapsed. It isn't decided until it is decided. But we are not wired to accept that sort of thing. We are guessing, we are anticipating the next big "coming thing". It is what we do; but until it actually manifests, we can only keep "rooting" for our version-expected of the next new thing. Until they lose...the Cubs could (theoretically at least) win!
  I used to read a good bit of science fiction. Don't bug me about which authors I read, that was never the point. No, the funny thing in sci-fi is that; as a hobby, as a job, as a fixation, that practice of predicting the future, is so uniformly and abysmally wrong! Go back and look at the 50's and 60's sci-fi. Which of them "got" the personal computing bomb? Which foresaw tablets, laptops, or which of them "got" phones as cameras, with more processing power than old main-frames? Heck, they were "worried" that robots were going to take over things. They were busy ignoring physics, and had super-luminal ships blazing across galaxy spanning empires, and the "problem" inherent was the governance of same? Shall it be Kings and Emperors, or will it be presidents and prime ministers? Gosh, how's about that interplanetary tyranny? So the "future" was to have been about which style of rulers we nowadays, and in coming days prefer? Uhm, when, or where exactly have we humans ever, ever, gotten governing ourselves correct? So, the "professional futurists" those sci-fi guys, predictors extraordinaire, never saw coming what we have now? How's that for a shocker? And at the same time, until it actually came to pass, until the event horizon of now collapsed, it used to be a "viable option" that (possibly) robots would be our "problem". Meanwhile, the shooters who gun down people because those poor misguided loons with guns, have poor "self-esteem"? Which author guessed, or saw that coming? Or consider the cultural reaction, to build (idiotically enough) "gun free zones" as a response (?) to shooters. Who saw, who favored that, as "our best guess" (this official helplessness), as the particular boneheadery emerging? Nobody! Not a body saw coming, what we have.
  So we find an odd phenomenon here. Either things are warming or they are not, but a third and completely unexpected thing unguessed, and unexpected, will very likely show up. These "unexpecteds" show up regularly, and consistently remain unexpected. Expect that! We are always looking for the "threat" of the future, and we consistently get it wrong, and always do this "looking" anyhow! It is who we are.
  Oddly, the actual threat of the future, that of the Landlord showing up to forcibly evict humanity (the great good God arriving in highly outraged mode), is the one thing we will not discuss, nor predict, nor mull over. And when I say "we" I mean not the unbelieving folk, but no, those who say (at minimum) that they accept the testimony of scripture! It is very much as if the actual threat did not even exist as a threat? So we are talking about a kind of delusional or paranoid re-parsing of reality itself? 
  The Sheriff from on-high with a lawful eviction notice to drive man and beast off His world, due to gross malfeasance, high treason, and poor taste in hats (possibly) IS coming. It doesn't matter whether you "like it" or agree with it. There is precisely zero you can do to halt it. That is the reality and that is the one topic for "future threat analysis" which we are incapable of dealing with! The lurid quotes in both testaments, and pointedly from lips of Christ Himself, to the effect that at that dreadful event, men will (losing their minds) call for the mountains to fall upon them, to cover them, rather than to face...Him! The prediction that the "Holy Terror Himself" will break men's minds and reason, goes "unnoticed"!
  The screamingly obvious, becomes the dark and mysterious. The certain-sure thing, becomes the one item we will never voluntarily discuss? And you want to talk about your "free will"? How's about you "freely will" to pull your head out? The answer to this, the proposed "fix" here; is deeply weird. As far as I can tell, without some serious assistance (meddling actually) nobody would ever believe. The short version is that you cannot be saved without trusting Him, and you cannot and will not trust Him on your own! That is "it".
  The answer to the actual threat, is a kind of "mistaken-identity, zombie, friend of the boss" kind of thing. You know the drill here, you have seen the crummy imitations all over the place. The whole world of zombie films has never appealed to me. I do not "get" what is attractive about the idea of the walking dead. It is an insult against Christians, and I (for one) resent the intent.
  See? Something terribly odd happens to corpses, and they get up (un-naturally!) and begin limping around scaring townspeople? This is where you believing folk come in. But the big intervention, by which corpses start doing that type of thing, is just not mentioned. So the other end of zombie-dom is the super hero gig. Huge market there! What was it this time, a radioactive brownie eaten? Was it a UFO granting psychic powers? Anyhow, an inner transformation, from a source "outside and above" us is required here. The fix required to face the Sheriff on that great and terrible day, is that we be "made alive" in a way we were not, at human gestation and birth. I told you it was weird. We are calling this; this zombie gig the answer? Well actually, He is the One doing so, and we are just agreeing with the Guy. It is not the full answer though, it is only part of it.
  We love stories about mistaken identity, about loss of memory, about confusion of persons, confusion of roles, reversal of fortune, based upon a "misunderstanding". The classic Bible riff here is that absurdity of Jacob and Mumsy ripping off his twin for "the birthright". Poor Esau! What did he do to deserve being sent off without the blessing, just because his criminal baby bro hoodwinked Pop? Jacob is "mistaken" for his twin. Actually, it wasn't a "mistake" but more a criminal endeavor, in order to get it, and importantly, he Jacob, is never hauled back to "return" what he stole!
  At the heart of the Bible solution there is a case of mistaken identity! The Father "thinks" you are His fiercely loyal True Son! And all of your tirades and rantings to the effect that He's got the wrong gringo!...go unheard. Your insistence that you (like Jake) are the swindling con-man, and He is "confused" about you, fall on deaf ears! Once the "switch" is in place, it's a done deal, and He refuses (!) to ever think of you otherwise. Wait a minute, this is the answer? Says who? Who even has ideas like this? Ah, but we are not yet done.
  The way "home" (oddly enough) is to a place you have never been. Eden is closed to us now. We will never return to that innocent paradise. We know too much, we have been wrecked in the fall, but more to our point here; there is no proper place left for us...except the King's palace! It is like political refugees taking up residence at the White House! Dorothy at Oz could not get in, she was rejected out of hand, until the whole shoe thing was brought up. We are at the mafia bosses' headquarters, doing the peephole, and secret knock thing, except we will never gain entrance, unless the Boss Himself acknowledges, "Yeah, he's mine, let him in". We are admitted into a place we do not "belong", (deal with it) based upon Another's doing, for Another's glory, due to the kindness of Another, standing in bodies called alive by Another, clothed with Another's reputation for honesty, and (frankly) we are admitted...for His sake! We breathe His air standing in bodies He built, responding to His call, we say "Yes Sir!".
  It isn't for your sake, that you were saved! What a weird answer, to an unsolvable, and unavoidable problem. Further, the church knows but refuses to say, that you will never accept His "fix" for the situation, you neither can nor will agree with Him without some serious assistance! We are junkies, and despair is our drug. We alone, we of ourselves, will never call. Weirdest of all, you can call and many have, and many shall, at any time, for that help! We in truth, were never really "of ourselves"!
  Our testimony is; "I called, and He heard!". And that is "true enough"!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Of Tank Treads and Will-O'-The-Wisps

  When you think of it, the infantry warfare, especially in Europe (during WWII) contained fodder for a lot of stories. I grew up in the early 60's, and so, our Dads, the "our", being boys on our street that is, our Dads, many of which had been involved in the war, had stories to tell. Of all the stories I can recall swapping with the other guys on the street, of those guys who had stories to tell I mean; the one that really grabbed my attention, was the bazooka theory of tank tread removal. Attested to, by the highest block authorities themselves, Eglington and Dodge!
  Do we even know this bazooka thing to be an historical fact? Have we done our research? Can I prove it? And the answers are; "no, hell no, and prove what?", and in that sequence! The very idea of tank warfare is difficult to grasp. We see images of it in movies, but the 30 or 60 ton monsters out there with cannon mounted upon them, would be best viewed from a safe distance! I think that the reality is that some chance might exist for one group of tanks, versus another group, but armor against infantry? Please; just stop the madness. How are a group of soldiers with rifles, mortars, and grenades going to take on armored cavalry? Enter the bazooka man! Out of the little plastic toy soldiers we played with, the bazooka man was highly coveted indeed. And that's gotta count for something!
  As I recall, both Gary Dodge and Steve Eglington both agreed that such had occurred, that is; that the bazooka man had indeed overcome tanks in actual battle. Well, if both Steve and Gary say so, then their Dads must have told them, and therefore, we can only conclude...
  The Eglington-Dodge theorm then, was that a clever bazooka shot; aimed just right...could (and historically did!) break the tank tread. And since one need only remove one tread to effectively hobble the mobility of a tank...well, you can just imagine! In the mind of a nine year old, this was David and Goliath all over the place...but real! Did you get that? I mean the "real" part?
  Don't ask me what a will-o'-the-wisp really is, because I don't know. But where "magic" links with reality, you get the stuff of legend, you get excited boys repeating stories which "must be" true! The magic of spirit, the wispy-ness of soul, seems to reside mainly in a world not populated by mean people, in a reality where things are not boring, sad, or stupidly, and pointlessly repetitive. Think for a moment of the Disney empire. People want to go visit a clean, happy, and magical place; where good things happen. To escape for a day (or an hour), the stories of neglect, the morons, perverts and chowderheads in the news, this "escape", this breath of air is the "product" Disney sells! And people buy it...big time! Magic and reality don't normally appear to cohabit in the same universe, and to find them together is deeply memorable. The choice is beauty or truth, and it turns out that the truth is normally butt-ugly, and beauty in actuality, helps nobody...choose one!
  This is why we love the Bible. Luke Skywalker's got nothing on Gideon. Peter Pan is a piker compared to Daniel. The marvel of meaningful beauty, crashing in to this sad, crazy world, this is what sells! A will-o'-the-wisp is a little light which has no good explanation, (pssst, this is where you come in...) it is a phenomenon which is curious, and pretty, but will it blow the treads off a tank? I mean, what's the stinker good for? That's what we would like to know. Magic has to become "useful" in our book, and be more than just "pretty".
  The music and art world knows this all too well, and is perpetually in the business of making music which is "important". And if you don't believe it's "important" just ask them! The magic of life isn't normally visible to us. We have come to take for granted the deeply weird fact that we are animated piles of dirt. We fail to marvel that the little figurine is become a real boy! So good King Jesus comes bopping along, busting up perfectly good funerals? He walks right up to the bier, halts the procession, tells the professional mourners to pipe down...addressing the stiff, He says "Yo Stiff, get up!". The resultant chaos and panic, as the corpse in question, perks up remarkably, sits up and says, "Howdy!" can only be imagined. The magic meets reality, and for thousands of years, the boys on the block replay the glory of it! It worked! The amazing one-in-a-million shot takes out the Death Star, the highly improbable army of hundreds routs that one of tens of thousands!
  Soul power, spirit power intersects with hard, sad, dumb reality, but it never (really) was a matter of "magic". Magic implies a competence, an ability, a knowledge. The reality is the covenant. If we borrow the WWII theme for a moment, the covenantal story (which here, is imaginary) might be Dwight D. Eisenhower, five star general, supreme commander of the allied forces of the West, on orders, takes off the uniform. Other generals, colonels, and all those lower ranks below are ordered NOT to salute him. Not even buck privates are "allowed" to acknowledge their true commander! He puts on civvies, loses his dogtags, and is parachuted into Berlin. It is 1941, and the Nazis have sworn a 1000 year reign of ugly terror, and at this point, it looks like they just might pull it off! "Dwight" (no general here!) starts going through the Berlin neighborhoods. He is saying; "My boys will be coming in over that hill in a few years. We are going to pound your city to pieces on that day. Swear peace! Surrender unconditionally now, to me personally, and I give oath that you and yours will live on that day. Fail me here, and I will break you there!". Uh, gee. For some odd reason, our out-of-uniform leader is not being well received? In fact, he is hung by the neck until dead, with a piano wire; from the nearest streetlamp? How's the magic workin' for ya pard?
  Mere magic could never overcome such a deficit, but the covenant? That, my friend is another story! If after days in a shallow unmarked grave, our "Dwight" kicked death (personally) in the butt, and stood up again, and walked to freedom, against all opposition, this would fall under the Eglington-Dodge theorm. The absurdly low probable, coming through, just when it was needed. Why, after all, do we have a metaphor of the cavalry riding to the rescue at the very last moment? I say it is because such coheres with our understanding of things. We "buy" this type of Personal meddling. We love stories like this, it reminds us of "Someone"!
  In a raw and undiluted world, in which only justice and mercy lived, the problem is that a world of justice precludes survivors, whereas a world of mercy precludes a lawful governor! If pure and true justice were to fall upon the humans, there would be no survivors! A total wipe-out, for not one among us is just! On the contrary, if only mercy survives, you get this squishy muddle-headed nice-guy of a "god", who is plainly not up to the task, of doing his stinking job! Either we go, or He goes, and only, I say ONLY in the covenant between Father and Son, is there a solution wherein He is honored, justice is done, and mercy survives. I said "and"! That place where tank treads meet will-o'the-wisps is at Calvary! The unmovable mountain, that of fierce and implacable moved! The true Sampson pulls out the load bearing piers of "Is", and the wreckage is total! Not one survivor, justice is done! Well, actually, there is one, or should we say, "One"? The first Adam was put to sleep, and a wife appeared! The True Adam falls "asleep" and His "wife", hidden back in His side, appears!
  The One Survivor stands up out of that mighty wreckage, and hidden there, "below", "under the blood", is His "wife"! She survived too? And what a horde, what a congregation of the gladly "unruly", which is that throng of the wildly triumphant "she" is! Beauty survived! Mankind survived, because One Man paid. Deal with it, truth loves his sister, and beauty cares deeply for that hillbilly brother of hers!
  Now, now let us reconvene that discussion of the "importance" of art...