Thursday, November 04, 2010

Imma Shine

It's the end of my long day (leave the house at 7:45 a.m. and don't get home until 9 p.m.) and I just finished driving, I'm the only one home, and I'm drinking a beer (Pigs Ass Porter, since you asked), so just take this whole thing with a grain of salt.  You've been warned.  And while I'm specifying caveats, please substitute "what I think of as God" for "God" throughout.

So several years ago, I read the first half of one of Brian Greene's books, The Elegant Universe.  (Love beautifully written books about science, but I never seem to get more than halfway through.)  He was explaining, beautifully, the theory of relativity, and it was late at night, and all the sudden I got it.  I had this flash of being able to hold the whole thing in my head-- all this lovely, brilliant pure energy racing around the universe at the speed of light, and then slowing down as it takes on mass and becomes-- well, everything.  Matter.  (That may not have been at all what Mr. Greene was trying to explain, but work with me here.)  Then I woke up the next morning and it was gone.  I can still remember the basic outline, obviously, but that moment where the whole thing existed as a moment of comprehension in my head is gone forever. 

But I can spin that idea out endlessly.  I've thought about it a lot over the intervening years, and moved it into a realm which Mr. Greene would probably be embarrassed to have anything to do with (sorry, Brian).  For example, is this what the Incarnation is a metaphor for?  God, pure energy/light, choosing to take on material form?  Or this:   if you can ascribe volition to pure energy, you could think of that moment, the moment of taking on mass, as a choice, and that choice might be made out of love.  Which gives a whole new meaning to the New Age idea that the fundamental glue of the universe is love.  Pure energy choosing to take on material form, slowing down its headlong flight across the universe, so that the world(s) can exist.  So we can exist. 

And then the corollary, or subset, or next thought, anyway:  and that's all we are, too.  Pure energy, slowed down from light speed, to take on mass and exist.  (cue Twilight Zone music). I should possibly be typing this while unimpaired, but I'd never have the nerve to post this if I wasn't punchy.  Remember, I told you-- half a beer and I am silly as Junie B. Jones.

So tonight while i was endlessly driving back from UTown, it occurred to me in another one of those flashes that what we are is brilliant.  What I am is brilliant.  Not more brilliant than anyone else, but we are each brilliant. Brilliant is our status quo, not something we achieve during certain special moments.  And there's something about recognizing our own brilliance that connects us with God.  If you want to use the language of my youth, we're somehow denigrating God if we deny the way God made us, if we deny that the way God made us is to be brilliant.  If you want it phrased agnostically:  We grow up in a world that layers guilt and obligation and worry and anxiety on top of what is our essential self.

OK, now I'm getting uncomfortable.  But that was my flash of insight on the endless drive today.  oh, good grief, I'm uncomfortable with my own brilliance, right?  so what else is new.  and I can never be anything but silly when typing out this kind of thing because who the hell am I to think I know anything about this?  but it's what I was thinking about, so voila, the post.  and dh and MadMax got home so I'm not even editing it. much.

10 comments:

  1. No more threat of deleting things! If you had followed through every damn time you got uncomfortable I wouldn't have been able to read all the good stuff from months and years past. E-mailing you tonight. I have notes!
    Julie
    Oh right, and your brilliance revelations, very insightful. Leave this post up, it's a good one. (With or without the adult beverage.)

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  2. What Julie said...no deleting! I love those flashes where everything suddenly makes sense, and realising you're brilliant is pretty good. I wish I could *get* the theory of relativity, my brain melts whenever I try to figure it out haha.

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  3. OK. snort. It's 9:42 here and I just came down to delete it, but I guess I won't.

    Thank you.

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  4. No deleting brillance.

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  5. OK, well, I'm at least editing out the drinking game. sheesh. it did crack me up at the time, though.

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  6. What everyone said about deleting. Also, I never got the whole guilt/obligation thing. And I'm Catholic, for heaven's sake. I'm told (by others, not my church or anything) I'm supposed to, but...nope.

    Either way, I'm glad you had a moment of buzzed up, punchy clarity. ;) Seriously, cool.

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  7. Do not edit yourself. The delete key is not your friend. This is your place - speak your mind and we will read what you write. I like the idea of being brilliant, by the way, and am impressed with your ability to think about philosophy and science while drinking beer. :)

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  8. There was an additional comment up here yesterday.... I saw it! And it was totally valid. Made sense, and made a point. You really need to get past that whole "I'm not worthy" thing and stop deleting shit. We know you are are brilliant Missy, you can try to hide under that bushel basket all you like, but we can see the sparkles peeking out.
    Julie

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  9. *blush*

    OK, OK. You would not believe the number of posts I've deleted. But that was before anyone was reading them so no one ever knew :-)

    hey, I'm only owning brilliance if you guys do it, too.

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  10. Brilliance is totally allowed then, we will all take our wee bit with grace and humility. Are we not all children of the gods? Why yes, I believe we are.
    Any of those old deleted posts still hanging around? Might want to dust 'em off and give some another run.
    Who knows? They could be brilliant!
    Julie

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