This is a continuation of a conversation Chrissy and I were having over at Polination. As I didn’t want to fill up the combox, with ever narrower comments, I brought it over here. Chrissy’s words are in italics. If you want to see more of the context, start with Chrissy’s original post, here.
* * *
. . . what you say about “Why Rapture?” and Chekov is so PERFECT. I never ever thought of this! I have been thinking of Mama Buzz’s idea about us helping at Laodicea as a “little idea”, kind of a “wouldn’t it be nice if”, not the actual POINT of the Rapture itself! Yowza!
Well. . . it’s all speculation at this point. But, that said. . . I notice that a lot of times, we avoid asking “why?” because it’s been drilled into us that 1) We can never possibly know the mind of God, so don’t even try and 2) Who are we to question?
These are true, to a point. We will never fully grasp what God is doing– but part of the basics of Judeo-Christianity is the idea that God is a Rational being, the Font of Reason. No, we won’t always understand the “Why?”– but sometimes we can. And we should try, I think, because the why changes the flavor of so much in the Bible and Tradition. For example, in Genesis, when Adam and Eve are being expelled from Eden, God takes the time to “fashion clothes of animal skins” for them. Why? Why craft them from the skins of animals? Why not just fiat them into existence? Or why even make them at all? There’s a very important idea here, and if you miss it, you get the entire OT, even the NT, completely wrong. But you have to ask “why” before you can get it. And you have to keep asking– you have to observe the words and actions of God, interacting with the patriarchs, interacting with the matriarchs, always questioning “why?”. Why does He say something a certain way? Why does He do this other thing that way?
We may not get an answer, but we must ask.
The second: Who are we to question? One the one hand, true enough. On the other, if we’re not questioning His authority, but just seeking Understanding. . . then this is what we’re supposed to be doing. If Jesus came to be our example, then we must study and ask questions, as students do.
Truth is, this proclamation “Who are you/we to question?” usually comes from people that can’t bear to be asked those questions, because they cannot face their own lack of knowing or understanding. I spent. . .well, years, outside the Church, in part (~30%) because of one question that I could not get a good answer to. It isn’t that there wasn’t an answer– there certainly was. It’s just, not a single “authority” had it, and when I tried to press the point, out came all the usual accusations of trying to destroy the Church. So I searched for the Truth elsewhere, because those entrusted with it hadn’t the humility to find it for themselves. Really, it’s no wonder I got involved with esotercists. . . they were the only people that took my search seriously, and honestly tried to help me find answers . . . to that question and others.
So I’m in the habit of asking “why” about almost everything. So, when I read the arguments for and against the Rapture, I see that both sides have good points– but neither are they mutually exclusive to each other. Which raises the question, to me. . . If there is to be a Rapture, then why? Why is the Harvest split? [Related things to ponder: Why a big bombastic apocalypse at all? Why not just turn off the lights? Why the special effects show? We are told of the martyrs anxious to be avenged–why? If they are in heaven, why would they desire vengeance? Especially since most martyr, if given a moment, made a special point of forgiving their killers?]
You and I chatted briefly once about Hogwarts. I’m totally Hermione, right down to the big teeth, curly hair and “when in doubt, don’t walk, RUN to the library.” I confess I’ve never understood your affinity for Slytherin, but what you say here gives me a little peek as to why.
I think everyone, ideally, has a mix of all 4 houses within themselves. My library could qualify me for Ravenclaw, I think!
My affinity for Slytherin is a weaving of various strands in my life, starting with being the kid that played “Potions!” in my Mom and Dad’s bathroom (when I wasn’t staging massive battles between transformers, my little ponies, ninja turtles, and gi-joes). \
Also, I never felt that Rowling really had the opportunity to really show what I think she was trying to illustrate with Slytherin (seen most especially with Snape, and at the very end Narcissa and even Draco Malfoy)– which is to not believe stereotypes about people. Everyone in the series talks about how bad Slytherins are, before really giving them a chance. There’s this vicious cycle in play, where the Slytherins are ostracized, they lash out, which causes further isolation. Because everyone assumes that they will “Go Dark”, a lot of them have no choice but to go dark. We see how Lucius Malfoy treats Draco in public (perfectly willing to publicly humiliate and even bring him physical harm), after Draco has already had his attempts at friendship with Harry publicly rebuffed (they were both kids at the time, greatly influenced by Lucius and Dumbledore/ Hagrid, respectively). Draco, like any loving son, wants his father’s approval. With no chance at any other road, thanks to Harry’s rejection of friendship (no matter how clumsily attempted), Draco does his best to act in a way to make his father proud– because that’s what little boys do. And because all the men who even give him a real chance in life (Dad, Godfather) are ostensibly “Dark”. . . he finds himself going down that road, even though he’s clearly not cut out for it. Harry finally realizes how stupid their “rivalry” is (interesting, that at least while there was a rivalry, Draco was still getting Harry’s attention and thus, in an odd way, his respect), and overcomes their history enough to save Draco’s life from the fiendfyre. This in turn sets up for Narcissa: for the sake of her son, that she loves more than anything, she lies to Voldemort’s face, which is what allows for Harry’s final triumph. Her lie is at once astoundingly Griffindor-brave and Slytherin-sly, and an illustration of an idea cherished by many fans, that Gryffindor and Slytherin are simply different sides to the same coin. [Tell me that the Weasley twins, and the Marauders, didn’t all have very dominant Slytherin characteristics, for all that they were Gryffindors. And tell me that Snape didn’t have the courage necessary to be a Gryffindor.]
So. . . I guess I see Slytherin as the House of Exiles. Those who don’t fit the standard mold of “Good and Decent”.
Huh. Relates to what I just wrote in your post about the Road Map for Spiritual Growth, under the bit about the butterflies.
I’m reminded of that scene at the giant chess board where Hermione says, “I’m just cleverness and books.” Yeah. That’s me. One of my girls grew up to be a Marine. I think she’d understand you better than I can, KWIM? Like you’re Teyla and I’m Mr. Woolsey with more hair.
LOL! Teyla is so kickass!
Here’s the thing with Hermione–maybe she thought of herself as just cleverness and books, but she’s also the person that delivered a long overdue punch to Draco Malfoy’s face. And she’s the one friend of Harry’s that never abandoned him. That actually learned practical spells like the one on her little purse, and the wardings. She was one of the few witches to be able to hold her own against death-eaters and ministry bureaucrats.
The thing about me is. . . I want to be that badass. I’m not. I’m fat (due to problems resulting from chemo, mostly), overly sensitive to the opinions of others, and not nearly as clever as I like to think I am. But in the realm of ideas, there I am quite brave and unafraid of the dark. I often feel like Mulan, at the beginning of the film, wondering when her reflection will finally show who she is inside. My inner-self is a badass ninja. My outer self. . . not so much.
I’ve been sitting here trying to think which Avenger I relate to … Betty Ross is probably the best fit. Or what my military MOS would be. Something in the background somewhere. Analyzing data?
Agent Coulson. Based on our facebook discussion this past Saturday. With your action figures, artistic inclinations, and your keen analysis of the situation, you are definitely Coulson.
I would love to be Black Widow (the human female that totally tricked Loki), but I think I’m more like pre-serum Steve Rogers. Raring to go fight bad-guys, not really fit for duty (yet).
We love movies at our house and sometimes talk about what job we’d like best. I’ve always known my dream job would be editing. Sitting alone in a room full of pictures, cutting and pasting to get the best effect. My happy times are like right now, when I’m alone in my office with my computer, making words and pictures communicate something that matters.
Like my Dad, I love telling stories. Stories that have a point, that communicate an idea in the way a textbook or essay can’t. I’d love to publish a story, and have it become a movie (so long s they respected the points I was trying to get across, lol).
Maybe I’ve got some inner Marine that’s never been allowed to manifest itself because my body has been sick and weak from birth.
Ya never know. . . The meaning of the words Ninja and Shinobi is “One Who Endures”. So much of my spiritual path so far has been learning patience, detachment, endurance. . . I think it’s what we’re learning, here, that determine what we really are inside. Maybe you’ve an inner Marine. I think that you and I, really, are on much the same path– to find and discern The Truth, wherever it takes us. My “Do” has been Nindo, the Way of Endurance. Perhaps you are following the “Sniper-do”. . .you line up your sights, breathe carefully, then–!
I am so looking forward to talking with you someday about how low our expectations were! What a GREAT thought! And here’s one back atcha that has blessed me again and again. “From before time began, God purposed me to be who I am and where I am.” Fantastic teaching from Beth Moore, who says she couldn’t imagine herself having any special gift apart from accessorizing, but here she is a teacher of God’s Word!
OMG, I love this! Ugh, I must listen to this until I memorize it! Thank you so much for sharing this! Very, very good word! I may have to write a whole separate post dealing with this alone!
This is why I think we ought to consider a merger between PoliNation and 4gfc. We have an extraordinary amount in common, and we all cross-comment anyway. But we miss a lot of the conversation at each other’s sites.
I don’t disagree. The only counter I can think of is that there are slightly different atmospheres between the two– 4gfc is a little more rough and tumble, maybe a bit rowdier sometimes. . .
I thought that, too, at first. But Pete’s posts are actually a little bawdier than ours, and they tolerate even rougher language than we do sometimes. I actually don’t see much difference.
Well. except of course, the difference of style on the front pages. Theirs is purposely more feminine. Ours was set up more masculine. But we also have gals, including 2 female admins. PN has guys, including 2 male admins (Pete & RP, at least). So there ought to be a way to preserve both on the same site.
Hmmm . . . *shrugs* . . . well, I’d be open to it, if everyone else was on board and we could figure out how. . .
Hey, I just tried calling you about an hour ago. Did your cell number change? I left a message, but I couldn’t tell if it was still your phone.
I’d wondered if that was you. A few months ago, and auto-update to the phone software wiped out some of my contacts, including the entire “C” section (so my entire family). Guess it got you, too. I’ll go in and save that as you (again!)
No worries. I just wanted to apologize in case I was one of those people who had discouraged you in the past in any area of your spiritual efforts. At times I know I’ve asked a lot of questions, and probably not been encouraging enough. So, sorry about that.
!!!No, Grunt, you haven’t had that role at all!!! Yes you’ve asked questions, and good ones, but I’ve never felt in any way diminished or or discouraged or anything like that from anything you have ever said or done. Rather, I always look forward to your comments, because I know that they’ll make me smile. Or at maybe get my “I’m thinking very seriously” frown, but never my “Oh dear, this is upsetting!” face. . .
And even if you did, to be honest, I’d just be like “Eh, what’s Grunt know? He’s just a flippin’ rocket scientist!” 😆
I’m speaking specifically of priests or other “official” authorities. That maybe shouldn’t be. Or maybe should have some training in the non-muggle side of the spiritual life, and that ppl that haven’t gone to seminary are effected by it, too. . . And women.
[ohmiGod, srsly, there was this one person who was like “Because women are weaker, and need the protection of men, they shouldn’t be involved at all in any sort of spiritual warfare. . . we need to keep women safe from that.”
-_- *twitch* Not amusing. I actually have a theory that it’s quite the other way around (usually), but that’s a discussion for another day. . .]
Thanks, Zoph! Glad to hear it. Yup, the amount of bad advice out there from “experts,” including clergy, is pretty shocking. I went to a counselor, once, and she was pretty horrible, too. I’ve known a few really amazing priests, though. I know they’re out there. You just got to find ’em, I guess.
I also agree with you about women being particularly skilled, often, at spiritual warfare. My mom is very strong in that area. And, of course, “our mom,” the Blessed Virgin, has always been a good model, as well.
Pingback: Why a Rapture? | PoliNation