“Man is always marveling at what he has blown apart, never at what the universe has put together.” Loren Eiseley, January 28, 1956
A statement worth pondering, including that the inclusion of “what the universe has put together” as a human understanding demonstrates in curvatus sei, mankind curved inward upon onself without recognition of the source of all things in a Creator God.
In curvatus sei – a philosophical, moral and ethical “fetal position”.
Let us allow that Eiseley made an intentional ironic inclusion, since he was not known to be a casual or flippant commentator. Many of the most “creative” enterprises recognized by mankind have involved blowing something up, demolishing the pre-existing to bring about its new creation, whether blowing up a physical artifact (man-made or natural), or wrecking havoc to a societal construct (whether a family or a nation).
That destructive urge has and continues to be unleashed with particular ferocity against those things that the Creator or other people made, those things that do not bear the individual’s own signature.
People (we) continue to be so eager to accelerate the entropy of all things, while they (we) simultaneously raging in the wind against the certainty of death and the concomitant destruction or loss of all each has wrought for themselves, whether for good or for evil.
Too often, the multitude What have I done moments clearly show the self-inflicted damage to ourselves and to those that we care about like videos of building demolitions that have gone grotesquely awry. Then we proceed to keep doing the same things, expecting different results (a definition of insanity!). “Fail fast and often in order to succeed”, some gurus proclaim. Consider the cost.
The Holy Bible records the universally sad results from that inward curving and demolition-happy characteristic of mankind, including that we are bound to it without outside help, without grace and mercy, Recapitulation to comprehend the challenge and Reformation to identify and correct error and to return us to a rightful course.
The New Year, “perhaps the most arbitrary Holiday” as one sage commented, is the next best time to uncurl from that fetal position and open up to an understanding of this life-long challenge – along with the acceptance and administration of grace and mercy. Hearing and reading the Word of God in its truth and purity is a good place to start! There is Good News that atones for that sad history, something for men to truly marvel at!
I am not a fan of “New Year’s Resolutions”, particularly targeting an attempt to “beat the curve” to escape some personal aspect of in curvatus sei behavior through one’s personal efforts. However, I’ll indulge you (a little grace, you know).
If you are impelled or compelled to adopt New Year’s Resolutions for yourself, please consider a completely different one this year…
Don’t blow anything up until Independence Day (July 4th in the USA)!