High holy days, dark
and the 90% Almighty
From the 12-23-2001 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune
A good case can be made for canceling our high holy days. Postponed due to murder, mayhem, rape and war.
The battle of the Ten Commandments vs. the seven capital sins has reached critical mass within the linear accelerator of instant communication. The chain reaction is efficient, quick and cruel.
An Israelite kills his Philistinian cousin over some slight inflicted last week, last century or a millennium ago. The news flash inflames true believers in Timbuktu or Tora Bora. Instant revenge is extracted upon some poor, unsuspecting lout on his way to buy cabbage.
The chain reaction of death continues, the most negative affirmation of the interconnectivity of all things.
How does this affect you? Well, what have you done lately? Anything of which you are proud enough to bring to your table, your family, your god? Can you say "I've done this, sacrificed that, overachieved here, been generous there -- I have brought honor and love into my house and community and have thus earned the right to celebrate in the feasting season."
What have you made which is worthy to lay at the altar of respect and good will?
Jesus, Mohammed and the other great brown prophets of south central Asia have seen their work perverted by false answers to that great question. They were big thinkers succeeded by small minds who edited simple, original ideas to suit personal and political purposes. Aggressive marketing has long trumped truth. Narrow interpretation of even the simplest philosophy can hurt many people.
The Christian canon was closed at the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. Some books had the political support to get included in what is now known as the Bible. The gospel according to the unfortunate St. Thomas, who said that the kingdom of God is within you (negating the need for churches), didn't make the final cut.
We should not have doubted Thomas. Science, which the ignorant fear as the most powerful enemy of religion, recently provided a tempting clue to the validation of the good apostle's words.
Physicists aspire to explain reality in terms of numbers. They are closing in on one equation which will demonstrate the basic functionality of all that we see -- and don't see.
The quest for the "theory of everything" just spawned a tentative explanation of the universe. It seems that the cosmic books have been out of balance. Einsteinian CPAs found that observable reality only constitutes about 10 percent of what's actually present. The other 90 percent has been termed "dark matter," something so mysterious and ubiquitous that it is said to cross-cut and interlard anything and everything within and around us.
Humankind has always performed masterfully when failing to recognize the obvious. Oh, occasionally when pursuing some political end, we spawn some idea like natural law. When you have little in the way of existing dogma to propel a predisposition, it's always convenient to look for clues in Mother Nature as the agent of the Almighty.
When our forefathers needed a reason to break from England or end slavery, they looked to a wonderful concept called natural law. Courts still entertain arguments proceeding from same. The potential for perversion is limitless. Catholic orthodoxy bases its opposition to birth control on natural law.
The Catholic dictionary definition of natural law is "rules for ethical moral conduct which God has implanted in the rational nature of man, as opposed to supernatural revelations by the Almighty which constitute positive law." (The rational nature of man seems a slightly shaky assumption upon which to base religious teaching.)
St. Thomas Aquinas was the most original user of natural law. Through pure logic derived from thoughts within him and observance of the world around him, he deduced his five great proofs for the existence of God.
Let's say that Sherlock Aquinas was right on at least one of them, the evidence demonstrated in the natural order of the universe. He opined that something must have created this huge and orderly place and this we call God. (He didn't realize that God has a sense of humor. Science has proven that the order in the universe proceeds from randomness and chaos.)
Jesus said that his followers must come to him with the faith of a little child willing to accept the unknowable on belief alone. Dark matter is certainly close to unknowable. Scientists apparently haven't a clue how to analyze what is mathematically there but still invisible. (God's sense of humor rules!)
Has the unknowable Almighty opened the door just a crack? Or have we primitives just gotten enough folds in the gray matter to finally recognize what is naturally obvious?
How many times must we get beaten over the head with the message that all of creation is interconnected and thus valuable? Preachers have preached it, producers have made songs and movies about it. But the monster which poet e.e. cummings called mannunkind remains self-afflicted with eyes which will not see and ears which will not hear. Senseless cruelty continues.
Only when we open our minds to what's in front of our faces will there be hope for our future. Otherwise, it will be perfectly consistent with our violent history that we proceed to destroy ourselves as efficiently as that asteroid which nuked the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
We are an endangered species in an orderly universe based on random occurrence and perhaps held together by an unknowable force commonly termed God. Appreciate the 90 percent solution. Embrace it. Look into a clear night sky at the vastness of this plane and rejoice at your part within it.
There's no better time to dwell on these values than the season of celebration of the star in the east.
OOPS DEPT. You will find the text of last Sunday's lost-in-cyberspace opus at the Barbwire archive at NevadaLabor.com. Look for the piece entitled "How to get your development project approved in Nevada."
Be well. Raise hell.
© Andrew Barbano
Andrew Barbano is a 33-year Nevadan, a member Communications Workers of America Local 9413 and editor of NevadaLabor.com and JoeNeal.org/ Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.)Tribune since 1988 .
Site composed and maintained by Deciding Factors (CWA signatory)
Comments and suggestions appreciated. Sign up for news and bulletins.