Note to reader; if you note a spooky similarity between old C.P.E. # 21, and #32, it's because I goofed, and did not notice that I was "re-correcting" the same essay? Oops.
Thinking somewhat about "artifacts" today, and I mean; by the use of that word, to indicate those things that human-kind build for themselves, that we are able to observe. As builders, as shapers, we make objects for "glory", and for "identity. Town hall is a magnificent edifice, because we are a magnificent people! Moreover, the equation of making-to-identity, of being known via observation of our hands' effort, is to be "a positive thing". We want an enormous structure, because it's better to be great, than small, or so we infer. And whether this is a valid concept on our our part or not, we are nonetheless built ourselves, such that we keep replicating the pattern. My keen observation here is not to condemn nor laud making-building per se, but to point out instead; our sleepwalking, as we do so!
Termites (at least some species) are a "community which builds". Like us, their structures are big, and unlike us they are not self-conscious. That means then, that no individual bug steps back from the mound to survey it's grandeur, so to thereby congratulate himself; or his kind. They are building in their sleep (so to speak), and thereby remain unable to link their efforts to their identity. We, on the other hand; are all about patting ourselves on the back. But is such patting itself, not a form of work? Why do we remain unaware of seeing this particular making (back-patting I mean), and further, we never inquire as to the sleepiness itself, that chronic zonking perhaps our "greatest-thing" yet built?
Across history, and around the world, man always has, and very likely shall continue building something called "homes". In that era, a tent serves; in this jungle we note a hut, up north we find an igloo. Whether it be building fortresses, castles or condos doesn't much matter here. The creature (us, I mean) always, and always builds "dwelling places". In this sense then, man is; "he who dwells-with. . .someone". We (apparently) cannot-not build "homes", and as sleepwalkers nor can we see this making "as us". Yes, we differentiate "who we are" from our house or hogan, and proceed to turn right around in order to brag-up our own casa! It is both, and they kinda keep on "cancelling" each other. It is that inner divorce (also which we industriously built), which "is us"! It is almost as-if there is more than one of "me" in here?
Or think for a moment of automobiles. Flashy or ugly? It don't really matter, new or old then? Nope, not that either. Not quite magic chariots, these pesky, expensive horse-less carriages of ours continue to act as artifacts of ours. And we do link our glory (or lack thereof?) to the owning, driving, and being seen in them by others, while simultaneously rejecting that behavior in others. The argument works to defy our selves, and that "thing" is what we build, over and over again. The "invisible and unconscious" aspect here is (perhaps?) roads! Viewed from the air, the sheer number of our smoothed, flattened roads, avenues, and boulevards is shocking. Hey man, that's a whole lotta asphalt down there! Our fancy-ugly rides, ride-upon. . ."something-we-forget". Man in this case is; "the flattener-straightener of the path". That traveler, that journeyer for whom the way is made, gets the glory, and is also remaining gloriously invisible behind those custom tinted windows! I'd tend to ask; "Which is the greater doing, plunking down some greenbacks to buy a new ride, or blowing out the hillsides and filling those swamps necessary for those fragile things to roll on?".
We build, for we must, and likewise we sleep, for we must also. When you are next summoned for a family emergency from one end of the land to the other, you go buy a ticket and fly. Swift and high we soar, roaring with the sounds of little gods as they sound their tiny thunder. That full tilt sprint across now the whole world, at nearly the speed of sound; is a "grand making" indeed. . . and yet who notices any of that? See? Grandma is real sick, and sister said we'd have to hurry, or she might not be able to recognize us! The part we consistently overlook is that the call did indeed cross oceans and continents, and successfully came through, and thus; we now know-enough to go! The fact that we can get there in four hours, instead of ten weeks is "asleep" to the reality of that mightier-yet call. In the rush to "get somewhere", that . . . "someone calling" gets overlooked. Those miles of wire, those satellite links and cell towers did not appear over-night on their own, it was they first we built, and promptly forgot. Calling determines us as "we who hear, and come at the call".
And so, our works-made, reveal "us". And part of what we thus reveal; is that we keep consistently forgetting "something, someone and some-why". We do remember to build and we do recall the admiring of ourselves in that making, but it's a bit like using a mirror. The image is reversed, and in that mirrored gazing, we fail to recall the original device of silvered glass itself. This disavowing of glass workers and miners and manufacturers is the price paid for thinking highly of my-our, image-backward. That divide within us, this unwholesome tandem affair of remembering to admire backwards, plus forgetting to admire (or thank) forwards, is the divide we always remember to build, and in that construct, we always forget that we "did it yet-again"!
From this perspective then, we observe that what our artifacts actually "are"; is the grounds of judgement. The actual path we build is for The One Coming. Every hill brought low, every valley raised, for "Another" to walk upon. In our perpetual forgetting, we thereby deem our own selves unfit to walk that path, and yet; build-it we must! Our very civilization, our "city of man" is a dwelling place for a. . . "Somebody" we dare not name, and in this very reluctance, we evict ourselves from that "place of rest". Consider for example, the "gubmint", and our no-longer republic. Defacto, it has become an empire instead of a constitutional republic. And all of our "concern for the poor" builds, not assistance, but in fact; a multi-generational permanently-poor class. L.B.J.'s "War on Poverty" turns out in practice to be a device to destroy black families by. Our present day "liberal immigration reforms" emerge not as a way to integrate new citizens, but a novel way to create a permanent slave-caste by. Of course (!) it is never openly named as such, mind you. We "liberalize for the good", but never for the good of the poor, but for the glory of "our" empire. We emerge thereby, as those sleepwalking our way into becoming; "they who build and hold empire-for. . . Somebody". In that undertaking, we endorse mistreatment of them unable to defend themselves, and as the internally divorced, this makes perfectly good sense. . . to us at least.
That "compassion which is cruelty", that miserable logic-bomb of "rights for those illegally present", is plainly and simply the expansion of federal powers into un-(anti actually) constitutional realms. As sleepwalkers, we are building "centralized power for the few over the many". Simply, we are re-inventing emperor status. Build we must! For there is indeed a lawful High King, the Emperor of Is, and His dwelling place is "here"! Our lousy, sawed off imitation of that high glad regal greatness is but more evidence against us. As oath-breakers, we construct a "house all under One Hand", as a "thing" simply, which must be built, and it shall, and surely it shall!
Insofar thereby, that our identities are linked to our making, and also our works damning us in that process; the situation appears hopeless. Our torpedo-job done upon our own selves, is pretty darned efficient! Man thereby "is". . . he who ain't good enough, by his own measure, and his measuring stick is broken to boot! No cure, no medicine, no remedy can possibly overthrow this, our mightiest making. We are digging our own grave, and into it go, we must! Death appears (to us at minimum) to exclude "hope", and yet it is precisely here that Hope (Himself!) shines brightest.
The new thing in earth, is not to try-harder to fix ourselves, but to surrender to death gladly! Joined to "Another's" death, we go-gladly! And it's not because we welcome it-itself (death I mean), but to greet He on the far side of same. Central to the confessing church thus, is the resurrected Champion, Good King Jesu, the righteous. The new thing made is that our new identities now include "those welcoming-home (Some-One)", and with assistance, that remembering is already begun! We have begun to emerge from our chronic fog, to recall for-Whom we build! Further, with holy-help, we have even begun to recall that He is the actual Builder-Extraordinaire, of Whom we are but fuzzy reflections.
Terrifyingly beautiful are His works, clothed in light, immortality, and a gladness-unkillable, He indeed, builds "something-new"! He is building an astonishing new creature, some sort of "compound individual". Billions of component-men, as one-new "freed-man" (or more accurately, freed-woman!). Building a "wife" for the Son then, none can, and none shall; halt this Mighty construct. No power available, be it in heaven, earth, or hell, or (God forbid!) all combined, can halt or derail His Making of the new-thing made. The entire "thing" is now become "Personal" to Him, and has become a matter of His own integrity and honor. So, this new-making, is the surest-thing; ever! Building thus, a new kind, we (of all people!) are being re-made to endure and enjoy that otherwise intolerable brilliance of His. He Is. . . Light. In Person!
Now, man qua man, becomes thereby a previously unthought thing, Never an "it", this He-They-Her, this compound-entity-everlasting, comes violently to life! And that non-ending motion is already begun.