Dreamers of the Day

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible." -T.E. Lawrence, "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom"

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

My Epistemology

I first saw The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring with friends during a Christmas break. I had not read the books (yes, I realize that may be a shock to some) and did not know there would be two more movies coming out. Enthralled by the action and captivated by the story, I found the movie magnificent—until the end. When the three main characters arrive at an overlook, peering into the tumultuous future ahead of them in the quest to destroy the ring, the movie abruptly ends. I was angered. Who ends a movie that way?! Who could live with writing such a masterpiece and yet have no ending?! Then my ignorance was revealed as I was told that there are more movies coming out.
This story came to mind because of my thoughts and the way I think. I have been pondering this for some time in my every day life. Certain questions will reveal my way of thinking and cause me to set back and stop. I often find myself thinking of things I know. “What am I going to do about lunch”; “Where do I want to study tonight”; “What am I going to do this weekend?” These are all questions I can deal with and answer. I ponder about people I know, about places I have been and I like reading materials on things that I know about. In my thought life, I have the perfect monastery.
Then the thought of death enter my mind. Not death as a whole, but this question: “When am I going to die?” Shiver. Gross. Ick. Why think about that? Why ponder that? And my subconscious was revealed. I do not like pondering that which I do not know. I do not know the answer to “when am I going to die,” so I will not choose to ponder it. It is uncomfortable. It is dark. It is depressing. But, it reveals something and that something is real. I will end and I am completely human.
Many questions that cannot be answered make me feel this way. Why is there sin? What if God is not real? Are we really alive or is it just a huge video game we are all apart of? It makes me feel uncomfortable because it causes me to go outside the world we live in. With deadlines, book endings, conclusions and periods, our world is all about endings. Movies with poor endings leave audiences talking and stimulated by pain or interests simply because there was no ending. The ending is not known. We like to know the end because it grants us a certain amount of power. “Just get it over with.” I find myself saying this statement time and time again, for the sake of control. I want to end the pain of uncertainty to be “happy.”
Yet, this world knows "true" nothing. In a material world, everything is so disconnected that reality is oblivious. We work, exercise, shop, eat and worship in different places. Our homes are where we sleep and store our fake identity objects, but nothing more. We can “know” someone for years, but never know them. We can drive by the same places every single day, but never realize they were there in the first place. Our world is so huge and we can communicate in so many ways in any place in the world, but still never know anyone.
“When am I going to die?” It is questions like these that continue to reveal who I am. Questions that cannot be answered, answer the question I have been asking: “Is there something more to life than this?” My knowledge has limitation and questions are proof of that. I can only go so far and know so much, but until I know Jesus Christ, I cannot make sense of this all. He does not answer the questions, but allows us to live in a world that does not answer all the questions. It is a painful thing to realize one is simply human, but it is a powerful, empowering truth. Knowledge becomes real and not superficial because it is obtain with a reason. Truth is not a curse word, but reality. Purpose is not a nirvana, but what is happening right here and now because our Savior can connect our minds, hearts and souls. The disconnection of who we are and where we live no longer exists.


At 6:02 AM, Blogger Jen said...

Excellent thoughts. How easy it is for me to not think about the questions I don't have answers to, or avoid the questions I do have answers to, but are afraid of the answers.
"God has not given us a spirit of fear....."

At 6:22 AM, Blogger amy said...

And I have been having the same thoughts. But would you believe that of all things, the first few chapters of "Purpose Driven..." discuss these exact matters?! Yes...a NY Times Best Seller is starting to bring to light all that I question. Let's just say that God is immensely using the words of Rick Warren in my life. Pick it up - enjoy chapters 1-5. I was surprised to read it through again...

'My purpose is not of this world, nor this time...we haven't even begun Chapter 1 yet!'

At 7:04 AM, Blogger Creth said...

true, true, it's all true... very clear and good thought, Jason Mayes

I would say that I have been incubated by fear, what a terrible thing

...and Amy, I am SO GLAD that you are reading that book and God is actually using it, speaking to you!

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Emily said...

wow. This is a very familiar to me.

Except, I'm an 'avoider' by nature. I'm not good at facing tough decisions, fears, obstacles, conflict- anything remotely painful or negative. I avoid. I sweep unpleasant things under the rug. So, it is my first 'instinct' to avoid things like my 'purpose' or my 'future'.

Living in the 'now' is very comfortable to me. I have to make concerted efforts to step out of my comfort zone. I have to tell myself that life's a fact, and life is NOT comfortable.

At 7:40 AM, Blogger Micah & Brad said...

Funny... When Brad saw the first one, he didn't know there were others either and was SO ANGRY the whole way home :o).
Great thoughts...

At 8:35 AM, Blogger Micah & Brad said...

Brad always gets on to me for not being detailed enough... sorry! When Brad saw the first LOTR's he didn't know it was a trilogy... That should explain :o)


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