saw the hobbit tonight (2012-12-22). the ads and the concession stand and the whole thing reminded me that i live in this world, and that the world of thomas berry and brian swimme (for example, swimme writes, ‘There is danger in the natural world, a constant challenge, excitement, violence, risk, and terror, but out of this emerges the wonder of the Earth’), or of syrians and egyptians and west papuans and first nations peoples, is far removed.
even in the film, bilbo remarks on the nothing-unexpected, no-surprises comforts of his home in the shire, in contrast to the dwarves’ rough-and-tumble, danger-around-every-corner existence.
similarly, there are the eternal and the ephemeral worlds, the worlds of now and not-now. robert gilman, phd in astronomy and and descendant of an episcopalian missionary–as he says, he’s walked the ‘inner sanctums’ of both worlds, science and religion–writes a compelling post of the human drama in now and not-now.
question is, which is real and which is fake, or are they both real, or are they both fake? how do you balance them? swimme points out the natural world’s danger, but also its wonder. have we in our world made things safer, but less wondrous? are we addicted to narcissistic technology?
one image i have in my head is of layers of sedimentary rock, like those of the grand canyon, where you can see millions of years of this world. one day i too will be a layer, perhaps for a long time. until then….