As we come near the end of another jaunt around the old sun I reflect on how many go arounds I might have left myself. I take comfort from the chapter in Dandelion Wine where his grandmother says her goodbyes and lays down to remember a long ago lost dream from infancy. Perhaps death is the true reality and this life a temporary fantasy.Thanks to Ray for using his talents to unveil the illusions of life. A happy new go
around to you all!
Too True, Please keep going !
Betwixt many of my previous posts, have I nailed down at least the scratching-surface of what makes Ray tick? Perhaps. So being present for a performance of Ray's "The Machineries of Joy" last weekend, I paid an extra attention to the first part of the play, specifically where two priests discuss the meaning of life.
The weaving of those words on stage come from a magician's pen, no doubt. But sit still! Don't run off at the first phrases and views to find new worlds! By doing so you would have missed what came next, at least on stage:
Here are two priests not having a clue about what they are supposed to be about. They appear never to have cracked open a Bible and read between the lines. In the first few sentences in the New Testament book, 'Ephesians', it says before God made the worlds, before he made the stars, before he made 'anything', that was made, he already knew Me (or you), and made it possible to please Him by gifting one with the mind of His Son, Jesus Christ. Now that's before there was a single atom. If you get a good modern day translation, it reads easier and brings out that event clearer. But here we have two priests saying, well, what about a Universe, a world somewheres deep in the galaxies, where there is no original sin? Or Heaven or Hell? . ... And I'm thinking, these guys have lost it! But then, you remember the magical melodies of the prose once again and you somehow don't necessarily feel sorry for these two bumpkins, but, rather, see how easily it is to believe them.
Oh, so much wonder in Ray's writings thru the years and thru so many stories. The awesome wonder. As to a theology lesson of truth, with two priests on stage sitting down and talking about the meaning of truth, I must give Ray an 'F'.
That’s ten down and now over to Miss. Francis.
I couldn't stop laughing. That was pretty funny!
Grace and peace, brother.
Nard, I appreciate what you're saying from a Christian perspective, but please appreciate that particular concept of sin and redemption applies only to THIS PLANET. (Or, by extension, the human race as defined as descendants of Adam--even if they leave and occupy some other planet or means of existence.)
I come from a religious tradition which teaches this planet was the only one so fallen that God had to come PERSONALLY to redeem it. In "The Fire Balloons," Ray was trying to explore an idea similar to C. S. Lewis's "Out of the Silent Planet" with the concept of a planet where the original sin never occurred, therefore redemption through sacrifice was not necessary. That does not necessarily amount to a rejection of the concept of Christianity for descendants of Adam.
You understand that you now must reject a key belief in Christianity in order to agree with your last post. In the gospel of John, like it or not, it says everything that we see, and all things we do not see, 'visible' and...' invisible', were created by means of the very nature of Jesus Christ. That anything that there is, could not exist otherwise. That may seem like your god is better than my god kind of talk, until an examination of what constitutes the nature of Jesus Christ. And, in a Reader's Digest version, it's this:
Jesus Christ always was, (known as the Word in John 1, vs 1) is the very reality of what is mercy, the very reality of what is humaness, the very reality of what is eternality, the very reality of the very template that makes one truly human and truly in the right mind. Remove Him, and the world would be utterly corrupt. In fact, that is what hell is... God removing himself from the spirit of man and leaving man who he is ...without God.
In the stage play, 'The Machineries of Joy', (that just closed yesterday at the Fremont Theater in Pasadena, California)...it contained 4 plays. The first one is the titled, 'The Machineries of Joy'. A handful of priests agonize over the reality of what they believe. And what has happened is the discussion falls prey to a worldly belief, a totally uneducated understanding of scripture. One may seem aghast that Catholic priests would think like this, but then certainly there have been such...but so many in such a small room? But in the priest's round-table discussion, Original sin, Adam, Eve, the idea of all the fundamental historic beliefs, would be utterly dashed on another planet. If so, how about the idea of Heaven?
In Heaven, the apostle Peter writes that there are angels today waiting in great expectation of our someday visit to them. And our visit comes not on a mercy occasion, but in judgment of them.
So Peter explains that ...with this in mind, what sort of people are we expected to be in this life? Certainly people where God will find not a trace of fault, for we are to ...judge angels!! Wow!! Does this ...other-planet no- redemption talk ...include these words of Peter as well?
All this seemingly endless universe seems almost more than the mind can explain or take in, as Father Vittorini in the play, 'The Machineries of Joy' states. But then, he says, in so many words, the Big Bang has certainly made it now 'impossible' for me to grasp it at all.
So...create 'your own' philosphies and theologies that's more likely to be understood. Something you could...live with! Yeah, that's it...isnt it?
________________________________________________This message has been edited. Last edited by: Nard Kordell,
Maybe I'm dense, but I'm still missing why other planets couldn't worship the same God without nailing his human incarnation to a tree.
Good Golly, Miss Dandelion. I hardly knows where t' start.
So let's start here:
You comment that sin only applies to THIS planet! Or, by extension, the human race as definied as descendants of Adam...
Hmm! Well, how about cats and dogs?
How about plants and birds?
How about all sorts of cells and ...atoms?
All affected by sin?
If not... then please draw a long heavy line thru the passage that writes all creation, including the above mentioned, had a will NOT to be placed under the curse of man, but...against its will (go figure that one out for the next half lifetime...do cats and birds and trees have a will?)... against its will was put under the curse of 'Adam's' fall, and now groan....waiting to see man set free of the curse and themselves set free as well.
You see, scripture can be reeaaally interesting...!
And now panel it’s time for our mystery guest. Are your blindfolds all in place?
Well, I guess we’re in good hands.
Okay, even accepting that the concept of sin applies to ALL human beings, even on other planets, so that some form of redemption is necessary, did the problem of sin reach such proportions on all other planets as to require a sacrifice similar to the crucifixion? If Jesus (or whatever name He went by on other planets) had to be nailed to a tree on each and every planet (assuming they all came up with the exact same thing) or even die by some other method (to vary the torture) it still seems overly harsh and unfair. So how does Christianity assume the same form on every planet, and, if it does not, what form does it assume?
Forgive me for butting in a theological discussion that I know little about, but didn't James Blish tackle some of these issues in his novel A Case of Conscience?
And at the risk of provoking Christian wrath, has anyone here read Mark Twain's 'Diary of Adam and Eve' - or Harlan Ellison's 'The Deathbird'?
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