Chronicles in Ordinary Time 251: choosing to walk forward, together

When I have trouble making sense of the world, I turn to movies and science fiction…

I’ve been doing that a lot, lately. Science fiction must be structured. Our lives? Not so much.

Davis: That’s part of your problem: you haven’t seen enough movies. All of life’s riddles are answered in the movies.
Davis: The point is there’s a gulf in this country; an ever-widening abyss between the people who have stuff, and the people who don’t have shit. It’s like this big hole in the ground, as big as the fucking Grand Canyon, and what’s come pouring out is an eruption of rage, and the rage creates violence, and the violence is real, Mack. Nothing’s gonna make it go away, until someone changes something, which is not going to happen. And you may not like it, even I may not like it, but I can’t pretend it isn’t there because that it is a lie, and when art lies, it becomes worthless. So I gotta keep telling the truth, even if it scares the shit out of me, like it scares the shit out of you. Even if it means some motherfucker can blow a big hole in my leg for a watch, and I’m gonna walk with a fucking limp for the rest of my life and call myself lucky…

Claire: Look, Mack, I don’t even know what I’m gonna say from one second to the next. The world doesn’t make any sense to me anymore. What’s going on? There are babies lying around in the streets. There are people living in boxes. There are people ready to shoot you if you look at them. And we’re getting used to it. The world is so nuts, it makes me wonder about all the choices that we’ve made.
Davis: There’s so much rage going around we’re damn lucky we have the movies to help us vent it.
Grand Canyon (1991)

I envy those who can believe there is a greater hand, writing our story, who chooses the words to keep chaos at bay.
With these words, the path becomes clear for a moment, and then disappears.
And resurrection.
If I have a path…I’m still searching for it.
We all are.
That’s how we find our way, by choosing to walk forward, together.
And if there is a greater hand leading us into an uncertain future…
…I can only hope it guides us well.
Michael Burnham, Star Trek: Discovery

The first law of thermodynamics is a version of the law of conservation of energy, adapted for thermodynamic processes. In general, the conservation law states that the total energy of an isolated system is constant; energy can be transformed from one form to another, but can be neither created nor destroyed.
You are energy. You can be transformed from one form to another, but you can be neither created nor destroyed. This explains how all/most of the religions of the world demonstrate truth. We do not cease to exist upon death. Our human energy is transformed. We are not aware of this energy because we are ‘trapped’ in human bodies.

Here, for me, is where/how Faith becomes believable. I was raised outside of Faith. In high school I discovered that I am an existentialist. In my reading over the years, I read the teachings of Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor from 161 to 180 AD and a Stoic philosopher. He was the last of the rulers known as the Five Good Emperors (a term coined some 13 centuries later by Niccolò Machiavelli), and the last emperor of the Pax Romana, an age of relative peace, calmness and stability for the Roman Empire lasting from 27 BC to 180 AD. He served as Roman consul in 140, 145, and 161. If you’ve seen the movie, Gladiator, the murdered Emperor, Commodus’ father, is based on the person of Marcus Aurelius.

The theology I read in my third year of college was along the lines of Aurelius. Fifty years ago, I turned my life over to the One who made me; I was doing a fairly lousy job of it. One school break, I planned on sharing this information with my parents… only to discover that they had fled the Church. The reason I was raised without Faith. I think my two grandmothers might have had something to do with this.
Fifty years later, I have a much better understanding of why my parents left the Church. I’ve left the Church. The Pandemic becomes a convenient excuse. I have immunosuppressed family members. My reclusive-self delights in not having to leave the house. The rising Conservative tide, brought into the forefront by politicians who apparently have never heard of Jesus Christ beyond a profane expression. One cannot participate in the life of Christ and at the same time, ignore America’s pathetic efforts toward Social Justice. If Critical Race Theory is prohibited in schools most of my life history will disappear. The Sixties, The Seventies, The Eighties and beyond to Black Lives Matter. I’m White; American history revolves around our shared guilt in terms of oppression of people who simply have skin with more melatonin. While Social Justice proponents remain in the majority and vote, our society will move forward. The percentages of Liberal and Conservative appear to have become very similar. Voting becomes more important each year.
Jesus never tried to convert the religious leaders in Jerusalem. Very few came to Him for counsel. The one we know about became very uncomfortable.

We see these natural tragedies, which are the Earth’s response to our maltreatment. […] It is we who have ruined the work of God.
Pope Francis

“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”
Martin Luther King Jr

The other night was Oscar Night—something I usually don’t care much about.
According to a film historian, only 44 of the 1300 top movies have had Asian leads.
The very strange film, Everything Everywhere All at Once—won seven Oscars for Best Picture, Best Performances… I’ve seen it; I don’t intend watch it again. The reason I stayed with the film was because of one of my favorite actresses:

The Amazing Michelle Yeoh [not intended to be exact]

She and I have one thing in common—something I’ve only learned about in recent years. Michelle, first and foremost a stunt performer, missed her target spot in a jump from a freeway overpass. If her eyes were open, she was looking at her heels directly in front of her. For a significant amount of time, a mere touch on a specific part of her spine, would cause her to puke.
I landed on a trampoline in high school, with the same landing—MUCH shorter drop. My legs went backward over my head. I did not have my eyes open, so I did not see my heels directly in front of my eyes. What I heard was the sound of a giant zipper, as all of my vertebrae moved in a way they shouldn’t have done. I was supposed to land on the middle of my chest. Apparently, I landed close to my collarbones.
I could still move, so I wasn’t sent to a doctor. In order to look at someone to my side, I had to rotate my entire body; this went on for a long time. Damaged both my lumbar and cervical vertebrae. I’ve had problems with pain, ever since. About ten years later, my wife and I married in the thankfully-brief time of ‘leisure suits’. My wedding suit had a yoke in back with stitching intended to be horizontal—parallel with the floor. I learned that I have a ‘shoulder drop’ of about 3 inches.

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The multi-verse may exist; I’m not a physicist. The Stargate collective frequently talked about multi-verse, many years ago—in the last century. Philosophically, I don’t see the point in a mutli-verse. Of course, I believe that the Universe is Created, and has purpose in its Creation. My assumption is that the Universe is still being Created, far beyond our ability to observe or predict.
Oversimplified, the multi-verse is based on the idea that every choice we make creates another Universe. A Universe made up with what would have happened if we turned left, rather than turning right. An Infinite [without end] collection of Universes created by a lifetime of my choices; and your choices, and the choices of more than 8 billion people at present. And all the choices that came before their lives. If the Multi-Universe exists, it will never end, until all of the living humans on Earth have died.
But what about the mammals and however far down the evolutionary scale there are entities that have the power of Choice? When a squirrel in my back yard jumps to another branch; but misses the one intended, does this create a new Universe? Is there someone behind the curtain that quantifies/qualifies the number of decisions made?
We make choices constantly. The majority of choices don’t change our lives nor the lives of others. When I gave my life back to my Creator 50 years ago, I did not have an end goal. My life today was totally beyond any expectations I had for the future. That concept is neither good nor bad. It just is.
What seems pretty clear is that we don’t get do-overs; nor do we yet have the ability to switch between the multiverses—as happens in Everything Everywhere All at Once. Do something that would likely gross you out, and it becomes the means by which you jump between multi-verses.

The Legend of Spock

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