Sunday, July 29, 2007


Driving yesterday, I saw a cloud in the shape of the figure of an eighteenth century man - think the fim version of the Scarlet Pimpernel, or any French Revolution film, holding out his hand to a lady while dancing. The image was more vivid and lovely than I can describe to you.

Now, I've gone to school long enough to tell you that that's not really what was there. There was a nebula of water vapor attached to dust which was being struck by sunlight in a random pattern which happened to resemble this French fop to me. And, once more, I was made aware that this debate has gone on forever, between the phenomenal and the noumenal - in other words, that the scientific reality and the mental imagery are two different things. Of course, I favor the latter, being a poet and theologian. I want to say, and to believe, that I saw a man there because God wanted me to.

I think what struck me most particularly in this case was that from that angle, at that time, that shape existed. Just as, at this moment, from this angle, whatever the arrangement of atoms and particles on the screen, I am reading words. The underlying chaos of the universe doesn't, in my mind, preclude the reality of the either the phenomenal or the noumenal.

I regret that this point doesn't have as much point as some prior ones. It was tighter when I first saw it. I suppose I'll close with this: Next time you see a whale in the sky, or a star destroyer, or just a plain ol' Cowboy, let it make you feel. That, at least in part, is what life is about.

Oh, and a shout out to Penelope. Welcome to the blog. =)

mood: ring
album: WoW soundtrack

Friday, July 27, 2007

Postgap and ecclesiology

So it's been plenty long since last I posted. Thought this would end up being one thing - I failed, signally. Maybe now that it's not a class assignment I"ll actually work it from time to time.

Anyway, I just got into a good one with Sister Mary [who is peacing (peaceing? Blasted made-up words) for points Southwest tomorrow] and had one thought re: transubstantiation that I wanted to share with the vulgar.

"I think we're getting bogged down in what's dragging Sugarbutt through the mire, and maybe that's a mistake of my phrasing. What concerns me is less what is right, and more what is true. With transubstantiation, that's probably as true as anything. The difference between "it's a symbol" and "it's the physical thing" is less important to me than the truth that in the participation in the Eucharist, we are truly eating Christ's flesh, drinking Christ's blood. Any Protestant who tries to shy away from the reality of eating and drinking Christ by hiding behind "it's a symbol" is blaspheming, to my mind - the purpose of the symbol is to make the object truer than it could ever be in reality. From a scientific standpoint, though there's a lot of allowance I can make for miracles, it's tough for me to reconcile a physical transubstantiation. That said, I believe that, whatever the physical nature of the thing in my mouth, I am truly eating the flesh, drinking the blood of Christ.
Apply as needed - I think the church is, in truth, more united than people have ever known, could ever know. I think the words of Augustine echo with me as truly as those of Calvin. Right and wrong are, as you say the concepts of legality. It's possible to be wrong and untrue, but it's also possible to be wrong and true, by any measurable standard - see miracles."

So that's a chunk of recent thought. In coming weeks, perhaps, a theology of the physical, long-running enough now to be my problem of the year.