Since it’s now a new year — L’Shanah Tovah, by the way — I thought I’d take some time (see what I did there?) to ponder the enormity of time, and what science, faith and Spinoza all have to say about it.
You are what you eat — it’s got some interesting implications. Especially if you think about the shortness of life compared to the permanency of matter.
If you look at things a certain way, there’s a lot of agreement between Spinoza’s ideas, those of the church — and even modern-day science.
Today is Spinoza’s 388th Birthday, and in his honor, I’m sharing one of my favorite anecdotes of his life – that time when he almost got torn to bits defending those two other guys who got torn to bits.
Spinoza says that ALL things MUST happen exactly as they do because of everything that came before. We humans are a part of nature and not apart from it, and beholden to the same laws. That includes things like how you react to people who look different from you. Or what you will have for lunch tomorrow. Or who we vote for.
I can’t allow myself to slip into despair. It’s just not a place I want to be. So I began looking for a branch to grasp on the slide down that hill. And I turned to, of course, Spinoza. Because what use is philosophy if you can’t use it when you really need it?
So if you feel sad, let yourself feel sad. But don’t lose sight of reason. And try not to lose grip on civility (myself included). If you need to blame someone, blame it on the butterfly.
I was raised godless. Churchless. Creedless. Without spirituality except for one thing. Once a week, on Sunday nights, we made a big bowl of popcorn, flavored with Lowrey’s seasoning salt, and gathered on the couch to watch Carl Sagan’s groundbreaking and breathtaking science for the masses series, “Cosmos.” The show is back for a new season, and the first episode has a special guest who’s an old friend.
February 21, 1677, fell on a Sunday, so it happened when the landlord and his wife were away at church. Just as it is this year, it was the weekend before the start of the Lent season. If they knew their tenant was on death’s door, they may have stayed home instead. They just didn’t know.