Saturday, October 22, 2011

Splinters: The Nature of Time

Because I'm of a teacherly bent, my talent is to make complexities simple while pointing down the path to further study. The larger the subject, the more imperfectly it can be rendered simply, Teaching being such a frustrating science. It has been 10 years since God used His Holy 2 x 4 to get my attention, and I'm still unpacking the experience. While talking about everyday matters, I'm suddenly waxing philosophical. My husband likes to call these weird little insights of mine splinters

The best way to begin this little insight from my conversion is to assert, imperfectly, that it is almost as if our souls once had clear senses in the same way we have bodily senses like sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. As a friend of mine once put it, "Before The Fall, our souls had eyes." With Original Sin, those senses of the soul became damaged beyond repair. Perhaps in our soul's roiling paroxysms of shame and horror at the advent of personal sins, we each damage these senses further. But it is a mercy of God that we can no longer know the lacerations we unleash upon ourselves and upon reality and the world with the slightest of our sins. We are now numbed to the consequences of sin, thank God.

All of that aside, for a moment, because I could get lost in such essential tangents and never take us down road I intended to take.

One of those senses that is damaged, or muddied up, by sin is our sense of time. Although we live in the Eternal Now, because there is no other time but Now, we perceive now as a continually shifting moment. We feel as if we a slipping from this now to the next now, when in reality it is all one. Part of the damage is our perception of our past and future. Instead of it being integrated into our present, we see each as distinct and somehow fixed. We can dimly see the error of this by our understanding of our ability to affect the future by our choices now, but it is harder to see how dynamic our past also is. Those of us who have gone through experiences like a conversion, which radically changes one's perspective, know that perspective has an immense effect on memory--our only access to the past remaining to us. Radical changes of perspective radically effect history by the explosion of insight into past situations. Such explosions flood our past with new color and light which essentially change that experience for us.

All of time can be reduced to Now. Now is all that matters because Now is all that there is. You are here now, reading this, and somehow you are experiencing every now that you will ever experience in this same moment. That is the nature of Eternity, which we will understand more perfectly when our souls are healed after our slip through death into the perfection of the Eternally Present. When the eyes of our souls are finally healed by the Touch of God at the end of our brief perception of our earthly now, we will see and experience this now so much more perfectly. So, if you can follow me into the end of a prayer while carrying such an insight, you will see that our earthly life hinges upon two moments eternally: Now, and the other vitally important moment when we surrender, ultimately and for all time, to God. How we surrender at our final earthly now that intertwined gift of life and love He has entreasured us with determines how we will perceive our eternal now: eternity itself.

How impossible it is to wrest from language spiritual truth! My frustration has reached it's limits, so I will quit with this now in the hopes that a window has opened upon reality by the briefest brush against the pane. I wish to express to you that it is no mistake that one of the sweetest prayers is an appeal to the sweetest of created beings to pray for us at the most essential moments of our existence: now and at the hour of our death.


Jacob Wrestling with the Angel
Wresting Truth from Language is akin to this.

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