Fleeting short thoughts this morning, at work. Glancing out the library window, at a Bruegelish autumn scene : snow on the rooftops, the Unitarian steeple. Low clouds roving up from the south (Narragansett Bay); a few flickers of gold leaf flaking off the maple trees; huddled shrouded monkish people walking by, leaning into the wind.
The recurrent, obscure & pleasant fantasy-sensation of drifting into the seamless continuum of a Bruegel landscape. Or is it a sense of heavy stones dusted with snow in the Middle Ages. Or is it a sense of a time-warp, an anachronism, a synchronicity. Or is it just an imaginary (willfully imagined) feeling of stillness : of Time slowing down, the wheel coming to a halt.
Forgive me for my self-indulgence here; maybe I'm just an old monkish librarian. Thinking this morning of one of Jesus' parables of the kingdom of heaven (& I've probably got it slightly wrong, you'd better look it up). Here's my rough paraphrase :
The Kingdom of God is as when a rich householder throws a wedding feast. He invites all his friends, all the rich & powerful & intelligent, the priests, the scribes, the lords; but nobody shows up. So angrily he throw open the doors and invites everybody in : sinners, criminals, the sick, the homeless, the poor. & they flock inside, happily celebrate with their host. But one young man shows up without a wedding outfit : the servants of the householder confront him : "What? No wedding suit?" & toss him out. & so it will be for each & all, when the Eternal comes upon you.
"When the Eternal comes." What does this mean?
To repeat : I think Jesus believed he was the Messiah, the Son of the Most High - & understood what it meant, its implications. One of those consequences was that "in his name" - in his name - salvation, healing & blessings were coming into the world. What was "his name"? Among other things, it was the sign of his individual personhood. Through the action of God coming into the world as an actual person, the form of the individual human life, the life of the person, is blessed, is made holy. As it's been put in another way : Man as the original Adamic "image of God" is cleaned, polished and restored through the "name" (the personhood) of Jesus.
Once he began his "public" career, Jesus lived his life as a sacrificial priest, making a sacrifice of his life : & in doing so, every such public act became symbolic, a dramatic sign. The life he lived became framed within the aegis of its end : he was moving toward his own death, he was moving into the dimension of eternity.
And there must be an "eternal" dimension to every person's life. The Bible, the "Word", sets up a kind of light-reflective mirror. On the one hand, we see the outward, "objective" traces of the historical record, the chronicle of the radiating vibrations from Jesus' actual life on earth. On the other hand, in the mirror of the word, we sense the inward meaning of the Gospel message as it impinges on own personal consciousness (within our "subjectivity"). A curious doubleness, a complementarity of inner & outer weaves itself together in this "mirror" Logos.
I'm looking out the window, at the wintry Bruegel-world. Sensing strange oneness, underlying time & distance : like these dark red-gold leaves, flying, floating & clustering everywhere, pervasive, omnipresent - under a worn old lamb-statue, leaning out from a cathedral door. "When the Eternal comes..." (will I have my wedding coat?).