Sometime (when fabulously bored) listen in on guys in conversation. Almost inevitably, and very early on in the talk comes the question; "What do you do?". This is to query the line of work, the means of putting food on the table. If guys are a totem pole, then the topmost (the highest) is "best". Status having to do with weight-importance, income and how often (if ever) you get all grimy and sweaty on the job helps us place each other on the pole. Naturally, I invert the sequence!
It sounds (to my ears) altogether too weighty and impressive a thing to announce "plumber" upon being asked about my do, so I "go low" and inform the guy "I'm an overpaid ditch digger". If up-ness is the desirable cult-ural thing, then "obviously" we infer that the lower the social status one may reasonably descend to, the easier it is to be friendly rather than "superior". Our superiority complexes are often that which prevents us from hearing what the other says, So, if the concept we discuss is conversation, and people generally feel more comfortable talking if they believe that the other is "socially inferior"; I'm all for inferiority!
In the interests thus of befriending human-kind, it is far easier to converse with others if they infer superiority on their part. I figure it's worth it! So, it becomes a race to the bottom! Bragging upside down in this fashion makes sense to this gringo, and so, my other (and lower yet status) job is as a part-time janitor in the local high schools. Top that one if you can . . . or bottom it I suppose?
So then, this C.P.E. opens up as a door the panorama of ill thought out speculation for the day. A week or ten days ago, in one of the high school science classrooms, as I was vacuuming, and muttering under my beard at "the young slobs, who feel it is their duty to scatter tiny shreds of paper in five foot arcs around desks"; I noted a poster on the wall entitled "A Periodic Table".
Have you ever wondered about the periodic table? In the first place, why the "A" rather than a "The" in the title? Doing some weighty research on the matter (for about seven minutes on the web) I conclude that the deal is that science types just are not (yet?) certain that all of the elements thereof have to date been identified. Ergo, tables per se; are a lash-up affair until a yet unknown future date when some sort of certainty prevails upon the matter.
Well, with all this in mind then, we can just cut to the chase of today's brainwave, now can't we? Here's the deal, there is weirdness afoot, and only this week did I begin to first note something about the periodic table. In short, you can eat lots of it! At 56, it rather comes as a shock to first become aware that what is ordinarily deemed "trace minerals" over in health-food store land, are none other than refugees off of the table in question!
It's funny how a wrong idea can live inside the skull for years or even decades, and all that time, it goes unquestioned. I always thought of minerals as being (basically) rocks. You know, those shows featuring minerals and semi-precious gems? I figured they were showcasing rocks, and other rocks, and so minerals was just an upscale way to say stone. So, if snooty upscale says minerals, friendly down home talk calls them rocks. Somebody failed along the way to mention to this gringo that trace minerals are in fact elements right off of the periodic table!
I mean, perhaps I could have guessed about some of this? Zinc, iron, copper and silver for instance, I was aware of; as both elements and of nutritional value in minute amounts. But vanadium, ruthenium and gadolinium; who saw those coming? Potassium yes, boron huh? Minerals aren't rocks, they are elements! Who knew?
Uhm, so just being curious and all, how come the health food industry does not name the stuff in question "trace elements"? What our food is missing at minimum (when it is processed junk that is) is vitamins, amino acids, and elements. I always thought it was vitamins, aminos and. . . rocks! Clearly, I am no nutritionist or doctor, but how is it that we do not ordinarily notice that when we are trying to "eat right" we are thereby trying to eat a large fraction of the periodic table? Just how many of the periodic elements are in fact nutritious for humans, I haven't the froggiest fig newton of, but clearly something off of the periodic table is what is also missing around the dinner table!
The media types among us have declared obesity to be "epidemic" (like some type of disease?) among westerners. Isn't it damnably odd to you, that the talking heads go around saying such things in public, and never once take notice of related phenomenon in other creatures?
For instance, in horses a thing called lignophagia and a weird related "obsessive" behavior in them called "cribbing" should give us pause. Horses will start chewing on anything wooden like fence rails and the wall partitions in stalls. A compulsive eating, and an eating of the wrong kind of things, ought sound familiar enough to us. The body "wants" or needs certain things (elements) and without them present, the eating continues beyond the point of reason. Until what the body is hungering for is found, the chewing continues. Why is it that the professional food genius types never seem to get around to linking obsessive eating in humans and also in horses with a basic lack in food value? Experiment time; what if we tried first in our equine population to dose them up with elements right out of the periodic table, to see if we later observe a cure for the "disease" of obsessive chewing? Just a thought there.
Doctors make me crazy. People feel bad, they keep getting sick, and so they go visit the doc. They are weak, dizzy or even having worse symptoms. What is the absolutely last question the good doctor ever asks? In fact, they may well never get around to asking; "What the heck have you been putting down your neck lately anyhow?". The utterly arcane and outrageous notion that overall health and well being might well be related to what you usually eat and drink, is occult nonsense to most of the medical community it appears to this janitor.
I mean, it would be the unusual episode of Star Trek wouldn't it, in which Mr. Spock does his weird finger drill and says; "Live long and prosper. . . by a periodic eating of wet rocks", but that's our brainwave for the day. The reason I add wet to our imaginary Vulcan version of bon voyage, is that without water; as far as I know, none of the elements of the table could be dissolved. Some are metals, some are more like salts, and without water or some type of acid to create a solution who knows how else to get them into the body? The universal solvent (water) remains as the way (I think) to make the car in question go. Stomach acids likely play a big part too in dissolving "rocks". Thus saith the ditch digging eater of rocks in any case.
Now, if we were watching volleyball just now, you would clearly have seen by this intro the "set", to which the "spike" inevitably follows. These essays ordinarily spike just about here somewhere with a quasi-theological slam. At about this point in the talk we have come to expect as much.
So, the first thing I note is the 40 days of fasting, followed by the the enemy taunting The Boss. "Hey, if you really are the Anointed One, why not just solve your hunger problem by talking to the rocks? Tell them to become bread!". Interestingly, our Captain does not deny that there could be some nutrition to be gained by consuming minerals, but instead of arguing calories and transfat He reparses, He reprioritizes. "Man's life does not arise from pounding down bread, but by God's speaking!" (or to that effect); the King thereby steps on the head of the snake.
So, what is keeping us alive is not wet rocks, vitamins and enzymes, it is word truth spoken from above or outside the world. Life in our bodies thus is spoken in from the outside, so the King firmly asserts. We thereby have three things in view; life, truth and authority. They originate from above, and also are operant within, we simply cannot be "healthy" without recognizing such.
Speaking of recognition some, this entire argument pivots upon the "Who says so". In english, our word "Christ" might best be thought of as the verb "to christen", to pour liquid on the head. Back in the O.T. there were three offices in which oil and fragrances were so poured, "prophet, priest and king". The name "Jesus" roughly translates as "I AM . . . salvation". Holding all three offices, He is the Sayer-so. Now, it seems interesting to this plumber that He pointedly does not shear off one (life Speaking Prophet) from the other two, they are a matched trio.
We as humans appear to want life, but we ain't too crazy about rule granted from above. Furthermore, the very idea that designed suffering appears to be involved, we find to be downright objectionable. The tempting to toss yourself off of the temple, proposes a self designed suicidal "way out". The Priest refuses that option. The offering of "raw power" to be grasped, (running the nations!) the King refutes.
Health then (life) comes through the Man holding all three offices, and the enemy was well aware of this. The temptation structurally to have life at the expense of sound governance and sacrifice, proves an absurdity! The True King cinches up His belt another notch, and endures hunger for another hour. By doing so, He tells the creep "No dice".
Our "eating" then, is pointed clean outside the world. There is something we put in us, which gives life to us. There was a guy named "Padre Pio" which some Catholics I know talk about. He reportedly ate and drank nothing but the eucharist, for years? Anyhow, he is reported to have been a wonder worker. I don't know how reliable any of those reports are, but the entire point of the supper is us "eating Him"! As Prophet extraordinaire, He not only says; "Live", but becomes the food to live upon!
Christians, it appears to me are often lopsided just about here. We love to wax eloquent on His priestly sacrifice. The glory of Calvary in which He is both offering sacrifice, and has become the Sacrifice Himself, is astounding! Yet we forget that such a dual valence is normative across the trio.
True enough, we kinda sorta get it in governance, in that the Emperor of Is, is become the servant of the slaves (us). The Highest is become the Lowest! But over in life, we are still often "mono". We think we can eat wet rocks, and live.
A gradualism, a slope upward (only) prevails in many of the brothers. The Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world is now High Priest. The King of heaven and earth is become Servant of the weakest and slowest among us. But this gig of the Word (In Person) "hearing" we remain fuzzy on, it appears to me.
If one of the lessons to be learned in life is to talk right, we might infer that there is Someone to talk to? The signs and seals of the covenant; baptism (pouring again!) and the supper are to build in us the deep confidence that the Hearer Supreme (Jesus) hears so awfully well as to pick up my muttering about young slobs!
Tell Him your heart, and live! Put that in you, an thrive. The very best conversationalists will confess; "Mainly, I listen".
For us to listen to Him, creeps us out because we are worried about heresy. And so we close our ears, and figure we are doing Him a big favor? Yet, listening remains the friendly thing to do!