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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Submission


.

NOT: photo by Nick Lyle, 20 November 2013

This O lord is my supplication
Let all those
near and dear who spent their sad
lives submitting themselves
to you get a bit of peace
someday 




Cactus Home: photo by Nick Lyle, 26 November 2013
 


Rainy Light House: photo by Nick Lyle, 3 April 2014


Mudflat Clouds: photo by Nick Lyle, 3 April 2014

8 comments:

Be the BQE said...

Tom,
I'm not Bible scholar but your poem of supplication led me to poke around a bit. Here is Kings 8:52 (King James version):

'That thine eyes may be open unto the supplication of thy servant, and unto the supplication of thy people Israel, to hearken unto them in all that they call for unto thee.'

It begins with the idea of God paying attention to his people. No sure thing.

-David

TC said...

David,

Thanks very much. I suspect that if when the people were in the business of constructing their gods out of thin air -- the proper and natural realm of the gods, of course, and why any self-respecting gods would wish ever to descend from that aethereal region, or for that matter permit themselves to become construction materials for anybody, I've never been able to fathom -- they may have left out the feature of attention to detail.

I've never been able to figure out which of those adages, God is in the details, the Devil is in the details, admits of a more accurate application, when it comes to the details of human behaviour. Probably both, alternately, depending on the occasion.

In any case, given the continuing elaboration and complication of all those noisome yet relevant (to the principals) details, gods, or God with a big G, would seem to have an increasing workload. And as with a CEO, or an executive board, there would then come the inevitable delegation of duties to inferiors, and right away the quality of attention would begin to suffer.

And then, after a few more millennia, the gods, or God, would grow increasingly remote from the people and their real concerns, worries, pains, burdens and so on.

That would perhaps be the stage we are at now.

Hazen said...

Tom, What is left to us in a universe where absolutely nothing in the way we live is due to our willing participation in existence? What are we to do if our actions, and even our desires, have been predetermined, our destiny shaped and decided for us and imposed upon us? Surrender seems as meaningless as suicide. Maybe it’s a slow suicide. When I come to a fork in the road do I chose to go left or right? It doesn’t matter; the outcome has already been defined. Celestial puppetry renders personal agency null and void; free will becomes a dodge, a cruel joke. Still, a universe of pure accident, as some also profess to believe in, is equally as fatalistic as a deterministic world, where everything is controlled by an entity outside Time and Space. Fatalism is the default mode for a great many people, even for those who profess submission to an off-planet being; but they would never call it fatalism. Others, such as Lothar Schafer see a participatory universe, where "the mind-like background of the [quantum] universe" joins with the human mind and consciousness. One is part of the other: the drop in the ocean and the ocean in the drop. We give up our child-like dependence to become co-conspirators in reality. We choose to co-exist with chance. Individual awareness and attention are more critical than ever. The intelligence in the universe is not single-pointed, but emanates from everywhere.

TC said...

"Individual awareness and attention are more critical than ever."

This is perhaps the last human epoch in which those qualities remain within the possibility of a singular human to achieve without entrusting the job to machines.

(The post recalls generations of people spending a lot of time on their knees before their God -- and doing this for reasons probably unknown to them, and in any case largely taken for granted. I suppose that would be more a matter of culture than of faith finally, still there was the reality of it. At this point in my own degeneration, I can't think of a single good reason for people to be on their knees before anything, at any time.)

Wooden Boy said...

I've never been able to shed the faith I grew up with. I have tried. There have been moments of peace but far more of struggle and resentment.

Submission; obedience; mute kenotic service. I can't find it in my heart to be thankful for any of that spiel.

TC said...

I can't say I've taken any lasting consolation from the faith I grew up with; I continue to search, more urgently than ever, for those elusive moments of peace; they are now increasingly rare; increasingly to be grateful for.

It might be said in favour of the God of my ancestors that there was a usefulness in the bringing of people together, into a kind of community, with all that a community means; while it might also be said that at the center of this community there was a kind of blank, filled in for the faithful by what after all was never more than a phantasm, created out of need, but, as far as my perhaps limited vision could make out, no more real for that.

Hazen said...

How strange, that millions of people for thousands of years will fall to their knees and worship an entity whose existence is and ever has been nothing more than a rumor. What a sad commentary on the mind and emotional makeup of Homo sapiens.

Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore said...

GOD'S IN THE DETAILS

In Spokane, Washington, at the corner of
Lily and Tenth, on a dark night,
rain-puddles reflecting Victorian casements and
cornices, a flutter in the air, flashing
star-shaped yellow burst, Amelia closes her eyes and it's
still there, writing subtle words
inside her eyelids: "Valse suave,
Monette, valse vite!"
She holds onto a railing and feels like flying.

At the back of a warehouse in Copenhagen,
behind the latticework shadows of blond wooden
platforms stored on end, Elgar feels inside his
soft cotton undershirt, brushes his
hands across his nipples, leans back and
inhales the entire afternoon, gnats and
ants included, shifts his weight,
becomes the sky, hears the words, in Danish:
"It is finished, it is hollow, it is full, it is
endless."

In the Amazon, deep in the forest known by the
locals as "Locus of Green Spirits,"
a grandfather blows through a blowgun up into a
tree to the amazement of his
grandson, and a poisoned arrow
pierces the skin of a howling monkey who
immediately leads the chase for three miles
across the treetops until, exhausted, he
falls dead at their feet. "Machoaca, labita, cala" the
grandfather says, and they hoist it
onto a branch and start the
long trek home. Everything routine, except
the boy catches a glimpse of the god. Between
two trees. In shadow, The long
face. The distant laughter.
The wild, red eyes. The green hair.

Between trains in downtown Beirut, watching
herself in a department store window
reflected between mannequins dressed in newest
Paris fashions, Amira
suddenly sees herself multiply like stop photographs of
opening moth-wings, accordion-like, of
herself in various blurred
replicas, her face on each a
full moon smiling like a radiant queen, and the
sound of the world drained away for a
moment replaced by celestial sighing,
cosmic intake of breath,
and she had to steady herself on a
lamppost until it passed.

And it did pass, as all these
brief Epiphanies passed through their
subjects, or more precisely, their objects,
leaving them briefly
as wide open as morning mountains under
brash sunlight,

these momentary revelations entirely
vaporizing them and turning them
not quite inside-out nor upside-down, but

song came more readily to their lips afterward,

a fountain dripped in shadow from
somewhere deep within each one of them
that refreshes anyone who hears of them or
hears in detail, in divine detail, what

befell them, whatever it was that
filled them beyond their
usual capacity, and then

passed on.

________________________________
3/29/96 (from Miracle Songs for the Millennium)