Archive for November, 2015

REPRIEVE

November 8, 2015

Well, it’s finally arrived—SNOW! And it’s not pretty, it’s some of that heavy, slushy kind in which one is in danger of getting some of the melting stuff down the back of your collar as it slides off your car’s roof when you exit. As happened already once today. And all against a somber, gray background the mere sight of which makes me wonder if my decision to remain here through the winter is really a wise move.

However, I’m pretty much stuck at least for the worst part of the season, as my forthcoming cervical spinal fusion event has been postponed until January 4, after which I shall be significantly restricted from my usual roaming and visiting. The delay is in order to identify some occasional irregular heart beats by using a 30-day monitor; the cardiologist, surgeon, and anesthesiologist are comfortable with all the other tests which showed the heart is strong, clear, and functioning well as is the ascending aorta, a genetic troublespot in my mother’s lineage. However, I need reassurance so they allowed the postponement. I’ll have to live with all the pain a bit longer but will enter into the activity with a bit more mental comfort. The surgeon’s PA optimistically commented that “you’ll be able to catch up on all those TV series you’ve missed, and read all those books that have slid by”. Hah! I never watch any TV series, restricting my only scheduled viewing to CBS Sunday Morning, news, weather, and sports. Nor am I interested in expanding the scope of my viewing pleasure to include Two and a Half Men.

Last year I bought one of those “Smart TV’s” to add to my four or five other sets, thinking I could lie in bed at night and watch some of those free movies through Amazon Prime. Huh! After several attempts to select one, I gave up; the ones of interest I had already seen sometime in the past ten years, or there were none. I’ve retreated to watching the Weather Channel, I’ve become addicted to the music during the “on the 8’s” segments.

More recently I ordered the latest Kindle Fire, and downloaded Marcus Borg’s Convictions, in which he explores his personal development of faith within the Christian context. As I move through the text, there are some similarities which I first saw in another publication, Jesus: Prophet of Islam, by Muhammed Ata Ur-Rahim, which views Jesus as a non-divine prophet along with Islam’s own Muhammed. The Borg writing presents examples within the Bible that support or deny that divinity while at the same time preserving the essence of Jesus’ teachings. Interesting read. I’ve developed some curiosity about this area during the past few years; I hope it’s not due to advancing age and what may lie fairly close, ahead. Not having been raised in a religion, it’s been left to me to work out my beliefs; I’ve fairly well done so but continue to explore and can modify my beliefs as it appears to make sense.

And speaking of that kind of change, here’s a thought: Does it make sense to think that all of us are natural conservatives, at least in the beginning? To be conservative is to create a structure within the mind that allows one to function without having to deal continually with decisions. Many things are “cut and dried” whether it is a habitual traffic route that one takes daily to work, or a political stance that says “No New Taxes”! But upon reflection, many of us change over time, or at least entertain the option to modify existing beliefs. In today’s world, those persons are known as Liberals or Progressives. In my view, many Conservatives either refuse to make changes even when confronted with new data, or they continue to adopt opinions and beliefs created by others. In either case, they do not have to go through the mental gymnastics of revising opinions and beliefs.

And, taken to the extreme, each step forward in our attempts to understand the Universe is basically a continuing exercise in modification, and from a spiritual perspective, progress toward understanding the Essence of Creation. We may never reach full understanding, just as we have difficulty in fully internalizing the concept of Infinity; but miring our beliefs in conservative perceptions provides little help toward assimilating a genuine appreciation for that Supreme Power, whatever it might be.

Enough of this kind of chatter; I had thought I had left it back in my rooming house during college in the late 50’s. Of course it only took place during commercials; western melodramas like “Sugarfoot”, “The Rifleman”, “Have Gun, Will Travel”, and others were our top priorities. Term papers were several notches down the list.

Always Be Happy    To Our Youth