Tag Archives: order

Twirling through the cosmos and time.

Today I’ve been tossing out most of my beloved Touchstone and Gilbert magazines, but not before I glance at notes I’d written to myself on their covers ten or more years ago, suggesting to my mind and pen (and keyboard) topics to muse and write about. I have accumulated several boxes of such periodicals, including cooking and gardening magazines as well, every issue containing provocative information and knowledge that I hoped to incorporate into my daily life, both the active and contemplative aspects.

One of them that drew me in was short enough to reread this morning: “It All Depends: on Randomness and the Providence of God,” by Philip Rempel. Rempel compares the Enlightenment view of the cosmos as orderly clockwork to the postmodern concept of it as random and chaotic. Both end up being “dead and dreary,” especially when contrasted with the reality of the world we see in front of us, and described in the language of Christ and the church.

“For the world we observe if we open our eyes is indeed a universe filled with both structure and freedom, but the structure is never a rigid structure and the freedom is never a lawless freedom. As in a dance, or all art for that matter, where rules and creativity must work in tandem to produce something of meaning, so it is with the universe. In some sense we are part of a cosmic dance, but the dance must be structured if it is to have meaning; a universe of arbitrary motion is just as unsatisfying as a universe without motion.

“The existence of every created thing, and thus its role in the dance, is entirely and continually dependent on God, and so our movement through the cosmos and through time, which is our response to his love, must be continually focused on him and directed towards him. Particles and probabilities, and people and planets, are all twirling through the cosmos in response to God’s loving call.”

-Philip Rempel


If space is what I want… (update)

It is worthwhile to remember that space
is the most precious and also the most pleasing thing
in a house or room; and that even a small room
becomes spacious if it is not crowded
with useless objects.

-Charlotte Mason

I’ve noticed many quotes in my collections that might pertain to my Project of the Year, which is to accomplish a thorough thinning out and re-ordering of my belongings so as to beautify the indoor landscape, and thereby make it a more peaceful place for me and for my guests. This principle that Charlotte Mason sets down so perfectly may be the Number One, most foundational truth of the vision I have. Maybe space is to the visual sense what quiet is to the auditory. Certainly, if space is what I want, I have to create it, and constantly recreate it. Is this real creativity? I believe it is.

by Carl Larsson

We all know that a busy household such as Carl Larsson was living in, and of which he painted so many elegant scenes, would typically be filled with busy people cooking and sewing, with the children’s toys and the costumes that the woman of the home made for them, and of course, the books, and artwork in process. All of that is contained within my vision, and I understand in my bones how the creative impulse is hindered by clutter physical and mental. I need to begin again and again to carve out more of that most pleasing spaciousness, beautiful in itself, and often unfolding into more and diverse created things. I’m greatly thankful to the Larssons for their coordinated work of Life and Art, which continues to inspire us year after year with its Beauty.

Update to original post: It’s funny how this post about space had accidentally been published, while I slept, with extra space at the end where there was supposed to be more text! I fixed it now….

Success is the cause of its decline.

“The death of the spirit is the price of progress. Nietzsche revealed this mystery of the Western apocalypse when he announced that God was dead and that He had been murdered. This Gnostic murder is constantly committed by the men who sacrificed God to civilization. The more fervently all human energies are thrown into the great enterprise of salvation through world–immanent action, the farther the human beings who engage in this enterprise move away from the life of the spirit. And since the life the spirit is the source of order in man and society, the very success of a Gnostic civilization is the cause of its decline.

“A civilization can, indeed, advance and decline at the same time—but not forever. There is a limit toward which this ambiguous process moves; the limit is reached when an activist sect which represents the Gnostic truth organizes the civilization into an empire under its rule. Totalitarianism, defined as the existential rule of Gnostic activists, is the end form of progressive civilization.”

― Eric Voegelin, The New Science of Politics: An Introduction

Philosophy springs.

“Philosophy springs from the love of being; it is man’s loving endeavor to perceive the order of being and attune himself to it. Gnosis desires dominion over being; in order to seize control of being the Gnostic constructs his system. The building of systems is a gnostic form of reasoning, not a philosophical one.”

―Eric Voegelin