Daily Meditation

I was reading Mak’s recent post this morning questioning how Adam and Eve could fear a punishment of death without having known death and it reminded of this interesting passage from Roger Zelazny’s Hugo Award winning book Lord of Light (I strongly recommend it).  Also just as a bit of trivia, this book was the source for the fake movie they said they were making to rescue the hostages from Iran in 1979.  Anyway these are some words to contemplate.

“Names are not important,” he said. “To speak is to name names, but to speak is not important. A thing happens once that has never happened before. Seeing it, a man looks upon reality. He cannot tell others what he has seen. Others wish to know, however, so they question him saying, ‘What is it like, this thing you have seen?’ So he tries to tell them. Perhaps he has seen the very first fire in the world. He tells them, ‘It is red, like a poppy, but through it dance other colors. It has no form, like water, flowing everywhere. It is warm, like the sun of summer, only warmer. It exists for a time upon a piece of wood, and then the wood is gone, as though it were eaten, leaving behind that which is black and can be sifted like sand. When the wood is gone, it too is gone.’ Therefore, the hearers must think reality is like a poppy, like water, like the sun, like that which eats and excretes. They think it is like to anything that they are told it is like by the man who has known it. But they have not looked upon fire. They cannot really know it. They can only know of it. But fire comes again into the world, many times. More men look upon fire. After a time, fire is as common as grass and clouds and the air they breathe. They see that, while it is like a poppy, it is not a poppy, while it is like water, it is not water, while it is like the sun, it is not the sun, and while it is like that which eats and passes wastes, it is not that which eats and passes wastes, but something different from each of these apart or all of these together. So they look upon this new thing and they make a new word to call it. They call it ‘fire.’

“If they come upon one who still has not seen it and they speak to him of fire, he does not know what they mean. So they, in turn, fall back upon telling him what fire is like. As they do so, they know from their own experience that what they are telling him is not the truth, but only a part of it. They know that this man will never know reality from their words, though all the words in the world are theirs to use. He must look upon the fire, smell of it, warm his hands by it, stare into its heart, or remain forever ignorant. Therefore, ‘fire’ does not matter, ‘earth’ and ‘air’ and ‘water’ do not matter. ‘I’ do not matter. No word matters. But man forgets reality and remembers words. The more words he remembers, the cleverer do his fellows esteem him. He looks upon the great transformations of the world, but he does not see them as they were seen when man looked upon reality for the first time. Their names come to his lips and he smiles as he tastes them, thinking he knows them in the naming. The thing that has never happened before is still happening. It is still a miracle. The great burning blossom squats, flowing, upon the limb of the world, excreting the ash of the world, and being none of these things I have named and at the same time all of them, and this is reality, the Nameless.”

12 thoughts on “Daily Meditation

    1. Much of the book draws from the teachings of Buddha and the Upanishads so I doubt this is nothing new under the sun in Eastern Philosophy. It simply seems more novel in the west. That’s why you’re so awesome is because you are broad minded in your pursuit of wisdom, philosophy, and spirituality. 🙂

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  1. Dave/16Av

    Hey again I find it really odd you have not seen any evidence. I think the best place to start is the resurrection, the leading guy on this topic is Gary Habermas his research has literally changed modern scholarship on the subject. He has what is called the minimal facts argument. Even people like Bart Ehrman, have said that all of his stuff is lagitament.
    He is a good place to start because he exclusivity uses documents, biblical and non, that are verified by most scholarship as real and authentic.
    Not to just leave you with a name and say good luck. But this conversation is to big for me to just pop off. I have a lot of stuff, but not everyone thinks that the moral argument, or an honest look at the big bang, counts.
    So instead of hitting pointless topics, if you could define for me what you would qualify as evidence, I can mostlikaly provide something in the ballpark.

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    1. My standards of evidence are the same as any academic. For historical cases such as the resurrection there would have to be numerous independent sources from people who witnessed the resurrection. There are plenty of criticisms of Habernas’ work.

      https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Gary_Habermas

      More importantly, as this article points out: http://theconversation.com/the-case-for-christ-whats-the-evidence-for-the-resurrection-75530

      None of Habernas’ work or Strobel seems accepting that the same reasoning can be used for other miraculous events, yet they give no more creedence to miracles that occur in many other religions.

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      1. When I read the comment by Dave I had to lol. That Habermas minimal facts argument is the place to begin. Something funnier has not been written in a while. It doesn’t even deal with the problem of the historicity of Jesus. I don’t Census was answered in his arguments as we can see in Origen contra Census. Nor has anyone, that I have seen, adequately respond to Walter Cassels arguments or even the fragments of Reimarus just to name a few of the critical literature

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