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Genesis 24-26 (con’t.)- And… and…and it was so… And…and… and… and…it was good… And… and… and… and… and… and… 

As the original author(s?) of this section of the bible chose or were inspired to write a chronology of events in a linear timeline, the effect is that of a film script of a cinematic effort with minimal dialog. “And what happens next?” we ask within the rising plot line. However, this is a script written after the production and written for an audience whose consciousness generally demands a straightforward timeline. Yet, the event being described– creation of a universe, creation as well of creatures capable of awareness of a universe and some limited understanding of the meaning of a universe– that event does not actually seem to take place in a linear manner but rather is by design expansive, implosive as well as self-consumptive (as in the phenomena of black holes) dependent only upon a system of physics, a grammar of laws not all of which have been discovered or have been permitted to be discovered by the Creator. This ungraspable system is simplified by (male) human authors into days and sequential events in order that the audience (other males who will take on the task of enlightening men and some women to aspects of the story as necessary) can capture and consider moments, as if studying still frames of film that could not otherwise be mulled due to the ongoing rush of events in all directions simultaneously. It is for now and was during the writing of the bible too much to expect the unwashed masses, myself included, to have a familiar enough grasp of, say, string theory and its permutations such that it would be a relatively simple thing to grasp the narrative of creation and the ongoing universal drama in all its potentially multi-dimensional, time-relative, reality-suspect dynamism. Best to dumb down to the common capacity for a straight chronology of events from a to zed with no going back but rather going forward to a great reward that continues through eternity. Let it alone, the biblical authors would pose, that eternity may perhaps require a turning back upon itself and all other permutations in order to fulfill the limitlessness of infinitude. Happily ever after is best for the reading and under-read audiences, the work weary, the child burdened, the young and old yearning to be free of the burden of thought. Everything from that first event growing, shrinking, feeding on itself to generate new selves, cells, particles, energies and awarenesses is overwhelming, wonderful, yes, but rarely sustaining in its entirety for those among us seeking Maslow’s lower levels of food, water, shelter, safety. For us, the frozen frame analyses of how God intends us to struggle and why it is our burden to bear and what reward awaits the worthy supplicants is the proper bite-sized spiritual/intellectual nutrition. The simplistic plot line feeds our illusion that yesterday has passed and tomorrow is on its way and today we need divinity to maintain ourselves and loved ones. The biblical narrative will play with a non-linear structure in books and chapters to come but generally the context of linearity will permit a comfortable understanding of the shift or, in cases of abstruse/obtuse sections such as Revelations, we turn quickly to religious leaders for intervention/interpretation against/for the meaning/significance. In modern times (another ironic term within an infinite existence where all is anachronism unless perceived otherwise), the cinema and narrative arts have embraced non-linear narratives and that may speak to an evolution in humanity’s openness to a life limitless. Or not. One day at a time may remain the wisest advice for we hollow men, old in Eliot’s dry season, and so the biblical authors present us our origin story in the one day at a time format.

For those among us who would argue that reality is in fact and truth a linear experience, do please keep in mind that the Creator is limitless (do you deny that from the text provided?) and infinite and so can be all places and times simultaneously without regard to chronology or sanctions of time. If this Author of the universe is immune to linearity, then linear is not the rule but rather an experience of the rules we are offered and accept most often willingly to avoid the uneasiness of abstraction and further to address an ongoing Weltschmerz and the upheaval our unbound (like  the Creator) spirits invoke against such sorrows and against a social system perpetuating and profiting from the suffering of the quiet, brooding men and women baling hay for the landed gentry or sitting twelve hours in a call center answering substance-less calls without bathroom breaks for less than a living wage for faceless board members. Are these perhaps apt metaphors for the ennui God sustained pre-Genesis that ignited the Creative spark initially? Insufficient as this concept may be in our limited understanding, it may be somewhat comforting to see not just God in ourselves but also ourselves in God and to feel the magnitude of the event creating the universe and its roiling, interlacing, Cheshire cat-like events as equally overwhelming/surprising to its Creator (sometimes magnificently sorrowful and brooding) as to those created within…

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