Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Evantine Order for the Very Calm Life: Rule Two

The second is like unto the first.
Breakfast shall greet thee on thy descent
and it shall be of the hearty and hot kind.

What is the point of bacon and a constant supply of it within one's refrigerator if it does not emerge. And by emerge I mean like the superheated mass of Apollo's chariot heralding the day set before your glory seeking eyes. There is a declaration in the sizzle of bacon, hash browns, eggs, biscuits and sausage gravy (with a side of English muffin and marmalade should the wifely unit not have time to conjure the cinnamon rolls last seen in the beatific vision). That declaration is not merely the lusts of someone whose "god is their belly". While the list of foods is inspirational it is not Levitical Law. Those details, if stressed, can spoil the poetry and miss the point of these rules.

One of my communicants suggested that the thickness of the bacon should have been insisted upon in the first rule but I thought that the phrase "thick sliced bacon" bordered on the redundant. I avoid descriptive detail as our point dwells not in even the butter and bacon (peace be upon them) but in the soullessness of those who discount and avoid those glories.

The key words in this rule, that thy heart and eye shall follow (and shall not pity), are "breakfast", "greet", "descent", "hearty", and "hot".
The Very Calm Life is lived where no meals are missed. Hurried schedules betray you.
The Very Calm Life is lived when someone else cares enough or is paid enough to relieve you of fixing your own sustenance.
The Very Calm Life is multistoried. A ranch home is pedestrian.
The Very Calm Life is hearty enough to be wasted. "Is that all there is?", should not be a phrase falling from your lips as the last bits of Pop Tart or cereal disappear past them. And that provider of your morning needs has not just placed a box of Cheerios next to an empty bowl, spoon at the ready. We are not in a primitive society where the cooking art has not visited the mastodon we slew. That mastodon is made into sausage and fried up with three archeopteryx eggs (over medium).
So what do I mean?
Do not hurry, possess retainers, eschew the common, embrace the extra, and taste the art.

Ecclesiastes 5:19-20
Every man also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and find enjoyment in his toil -- this is the gift of God. For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Evantine Order for the Very Calm Life: Rule One

The Oracle, many years past, needed to describe what things, apart from righteousness and peace with God, conspired, when present, to calm the life on which they smiled. Those easily recognized things in the life of the Oracle, were jotted down and naturally became ten rules and with them the Evantine Order was born. The monks who submit to these regulations are a pious lot and easy to mark out from their fellow man by the wide grin on their countenance. This manuscript was found, marked with the coffee stains of centuries, taped to the wall above the author's computer desk. It is quite possibly the oldest copy of this wisdom in the hands of scholars today. We asked the author if it were and he said. "Yep."

What is the first of these guides to guideless man? This is.

Thy larder, aptly so named, shall be ever plenished with butter and bacon.

It sounds simple enough. Butter and bacon in the house, at all times, no exceptions. Why? If you can find a better repository of heavenly flavored fat, we will add it to the list.
No, margarine will not do. Margarine is evidence that the lower classes have been given too much money. They will buy a product on symbol alone. Is it vaguely yellow and does it come in a paper wrapped rectilinear form? Does it melt when heated? This is sufficient evidence that it must "taste" the same. It is cheaper. It looks like butter, but in fact is an idol, a graven image of the True which primitive and backward people have not the sophistication of discernment to measure.
This class of humanity thinks that if something bears the symbol of a reportedly good flavored item (say steak, or butter, or coffee) it will report not through the tongue and its taste buds but through the helpful symbol reader. Language becomes the real. These people think that Applebees really is a "neighborhood bar and grill". It has "stuff" up on the wall and handy pictures in the menu to be sure that your symbol reader will read steak when that animal product piece of gristle shows up at your table. Thus, since apple pie is known to be the All American Wonder dessert, the round pie shaped piece of sheet rock and apple sludge that your mother or wife made, is good. If the pie had something claiming to be a crust, the symbolist taster comments on what the symbol demands, flakiness, oh my yes, the flakiness. What passed their lips, tongue and taste buds without pausing for conversation, was oven hardened Play-Dough.

Tasters taste, they do not read their food.
Tasters who have seen Heaven opened in the form of butter and bacon will accept no substitute.
Because fat, well, fat satisfies. And butter and bacon are the Platonic form of fat.
It is a basic food group for those who love life. All lesser forms of fat are moved by sensibility to cost (and the ratio of taste lost to coinage saved is unsustainable) or fear ("I will become fat and die").
The Calm Life does not fear. It welcomes a fat death if you did not become fat on symbols. The Calm Life knows what it is enjoying and the path that enjoyment walked to pleasure. And if there were a hundred dollar difference between butter and margarine, it would just mean that the Calm Life would have to wait until you could afford it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I Don't Have the Time.

If we are not pantheists (in which all is god) than God is discrete from that which is not God. He knows that which is Himself and that which is not. And given those two realms of that which is (God and not-God), the referent of a point of knowledge which God possesses can be spoken of as being either Actual or Conceptual. That which is Actual has a referent outside of God. It exists and isn't God. That which is Conceptual has a referent inside of God (a mental construct as memory or anticipation would be) and it has no non-God actuality.
When the question of God's foreknowledge (or past-knowledge for that matter) arises, these two categories do as well. Is God outside of Time looking down on Actualities? Or is Time not in question at all because God's knowledge of the future (or the past) is Conceptual? I mention the past, for so many wish to create a special sphere of atemporality in which God might dwell without examining whether or not they are talking nonsense. If God is looking down on Time from an atemporal vantage then those things observed are Actual and existent. Christ is still on the cross (for God) and always was (for God) and will be forevermore. The Trinity can never be fully united for those words of Christ, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" will ring in actual existence for God, forever. Amen? That or the knowledge of God regarding the past is Conceptual (just like your memories) and He "remembers" what was, not sees what was but saw. Maybe, dare I suggest it, that God's knowledge of the Future is equivalently Conceptual? In fact, the Death of Christ on the cross is burdensome for Future thought as well as Past. Why, you ask? The Trinity of God,(atemporal and dealing with Actualities), has been eternally lacking in Triuneness since He has been eternally in a knowledge relationship with everything that is Actual and that Actual, (because Actual) binds and defines the content of truth of the thing known. So the Actual crucified state of Jesus is and was and will be (from our temporal vantage and language) the state of God. And to add insult to the injury of this silly talk of Time, God's relationship with Himself in the Trinity is also known and enjoyed as united for there have been "Times" when the atemporal God looked down on Actual non-separation AND rejoiced in the Tiune presence of the Conceptual knowledge of Himself, fully and truly united. So... Actual separation and Actual non-separation both being true for God in the same "God-moment" regarding the same characters. Looks like you either have to throw out the "Universal Law of Non-Contradiction (A cannot be non-A) or throw out Time.
It is actually a choice between you being able to "know" anything because you have made statements which call laws of Logic into question or you reject a dimension called Time. It was cute when you didn't think about it too much.

And if you are a Calvinist, God help you, but you didn't need Time in the first place. Your benighted definition of God has His foreknowledge resting in the Decree, not foresight and atemporality.

Big Haus Christmas