UNWASHED

Diary Memory – March 2015

The old man wakes way before dawn.
He reads for a while.
He researches Tang Band full range speaker drivers, but only briefly.
The galahs awake in the trees outside.
The skies pinken.
He watches a bit of the news on ABC 24 using his iPad.
He allows his daughter to have first access to the shower so she can spend all the time she needs to get ready to set off for a day at university.
While she’s showering he tidies the kitchen a bit whilst looking forward to the warm trickling waters from the shower-head.
She finishes in the shower.
The sleeping wife springs from the mattress and enters the shower while his back is briefly turned.
Oh the cruel irony of it all.
Another week starts.
Unwashed.

Almost 5

It’s almost 5am.
My cup of tea is cooling to a tolerable temperature.

I know that as we age we need less sleep, but 11pm until 12:14 … that’s just silly!

Still, I got some thinking done –
about art,
about subjective and objective perception of time,
about the Church and its failures,
about love
… once I’d have thought about sex, but I don’t care enough anymore to do so.

I’m going to be really tired by lunch time….

Morning Ramble

The remarkable activity that is blogging allows us to share the wonders of our wisdom with all those people out there, wherever they may be – wonders that they may have spent their whole lives not knowing they had missed.

For instance, just this morning I got into the shower with my spectacles on.
Oh, those first few moments of panic, when you think “have I gone blind?”– “is this the way the world ends?”
Like Lou Reed would say, “O, O, O, O, O, O, O, what a feeling!”

Now here we are at 7am. It’s February – the hottest month (except it’s not – that was December and January this season). Yes, the hottest month was two months.
Sweating on top of hot sheets in the gentle breezes of the quietly humming fan. I sweat and twitch, too well bred to exercise weakness of character by turning on the air-conditioner.

Besides, with the air-conditioner working, the windows would be closed, and who can sleep with the windows closed? – with the walls pressing in in the darkness – with the night taking on a threatening solidity, unknown ghosts of midnight invading and whispering and chuckling in the closed oppressive gloom – who could sleep in such darkness?

The galahs were disturbed all night last night – quarrelling sleepily in the trees. Even the birds are tired of Summer changes.
It’s the changing climate you know.

I might pop out soon for coffee and breakfast. Even in times of uncertainty there are cafes.
“O, O, O, O, O, O, O, what a feeling!”

Even Bo Derek Only Scored 10! (me waiting for coffee photographed by my Joy)

Hubert and God

The great Hubert Reeves, French-Canadian astrophysicist, educator, and possessor of a very handsome beard and hairstyle (i.e. like mine), is much quoted on the Internet –

“Man is the most insane species. He worships an invisible God and destroys a visible Nature. Unaware that this Nature he’s destroying is this God he’s worshiping”,

This reflection has been met with disapproval and consternation by many people whose weltbild is perhaps narrower than it should be.

By our very nature as humans, we all need to define our understanding of the nature/existence/being of ourselves, and so of God.
Of God, because deny it or not, we all possess an innate “knowledge” of something we call (or try not to call) God.

Defining God is no easy task.

It’s not easy because it really cannot be done – any definition we come up with is very subjective simply because it is something that we have come up with using our intellect, reasoning, experience, preconditioning, education, and so on.

Humans are not good with objectivity.

Martin Luther, in my opinion, came up with one of the better definitions of God back in the 16th Century in his “Der Große Katechismus (The Large Catechism)”, where he examines the First Commandment, thus –
“ ‘You are to have no other gods’. That is, you are to regard me alone as your God. What does this mean, and how is it to be understood? What does “to have a god” mean, or what is God?Answer: A ‘god’ is the term for that to which we are to look for all good and in which we are to find refuge in all need. … … …. Anything on which your heart relies and depends, I say, that is really your God.

Now, a few centuries later, we ask ourselves, “on what do I really rely?”
Perhaps the accepted doctrines of the Christian Church, formulated over the years by councils of churchmen?
Do we place blind faith in the stories we were taught as children?
Do we rely on the changeable promises and lies of rulers and politicians?
Or do come to see our universe and world as that without which we wouldn’t exist, couldn’t exist, and never would have existed, and so place our awe and reliance there?

It might seem obvious, but they aren’t simple questions.

I started my education in the biological sciences, and after more than 20 years working in that field I decided to change course and study theology as well.
I have a theology degree and some higher qualifications in that discipline.
For the past couple of decade I have been an ordained clergyman (that is, a “Rev”).
After all these years I still find the questions of the nature of life and God to be fascinating, difficult, and hard to answer, important questions .

When Hubert Reeves said “Man is … … unaware that this Nature he’s destroying is this God he’s worshiping”, I, perhaps surprisingly because I am a Christian theologian, would say that he has got closer to the answer than most theologians I have read or met.

(I am retired, but I am still uncomfortably aware that my bishop, ex colleagues, and most of my congregations will not be delighted by my observations here.)

Yes, I do believe that Jesus Christ is the best pattern for human living and his life and words are more than worthy of devotion and adoration – “worship” if that’s the word you like to use.

That kind of worship is good and necessary – but it is essential for us to have awareness and life outside of the scope of our simple faith and worship.

God is not just an anthropomorphised concept – a stroppy old bearded man sitting up in the clouds – a little god created in our own image.

We have no idea of who or what God might really be other than in our imaginings.

We simple creatures need myths and legends and religion – Creation Myths, miracle stories, ethical practices, good living, hope and so on.

But if we use these good things to build a fantasy universe, we are robbing ourselves of our humanity and potential, and we exploit and destroy the world that gives us life, and end up killing the God we wish to understand and love.

Memories and Awards

From my diary – November 2011

“On Monday I received an award from the ‘African Field Conference 2011’ in recognition for my service with the African communities (Sudanese ).

The citation reads -“For your contribution to the empowerment and commitment to the African Community“.

I have to admit that I was a wee bit embarrassed to be singled out in such a way and felt a bit guilty that I have been unable to continue my service with them.

But at the same time, tinged with the sin of pride, I am very touched and grateful for the award and my years with the Sudanese people.

(I have to say I do miss the Africans).

A good Birthday Present with lots of memories.”

The memories live on.

Michael and Me – The Dynamic Duo