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Comments (10)

Gregory Borse

#1, Dec 13, 2011 7:48pm

Thanks, Jules, for highlighting my comment.  I'm honored--and I think you've captured what I was trying to get at.  I included, at some point, the idea that it's a mistake to think of reality as "material" rather than "biological."  To think of the foundation of reality as (merely) material is to open up everything to the "use" against which JPII fought and underscores your point in referencing Mr. Incredible.  I agree, wholeheartedly.  I understand, of course, the differences between mineral as opposed to biological strata of reality.  My point regarded the healthier of two views:  the one that reduces everything to something less-than-what it really is; the other that honors uniqueness as the hallmark of real value.  If that makes sense.

 

Gregory Borse

#2, Dec 13, 2011 7:52pm

I would only add this--taking a God-like view of what "special" actually means:  Mr. Incredible is not quite right (but we can forgive him, and his family, even if they are super-heroes, perhaps because they are):  From God's point of view the formula is not "if everything is special, then nothing is"; for God, it's this:  "If everything is special, then everything is special."  (And let's not think that this means William of Ockham was right regarding universals/substances. He's not--but that's a discussion for another thread . . . .). 

Jules van Schaijik

#3, Dec 13, 2011 8:40pm

Gregory Borse, Dec. 13 at 7:52pm

From God's point of view the formula is not "if everything is special, then nothing is"; for God, it's this:  "If everything is special, then everything is special."

That's true. And very hard for us, mere mortals, to comprehend. Newman has a great line about that in one of his sermons; how difficult it is for us to realize that every person we meet "has his own hopes and fears, desires, judgments, and aims; [and that in some sense] he is everything to himself, and no one else is really any thing."

By the way, ever since I read your thing about "sacra-fractal" I have been trying to come up with some pun related to Mary Poppins' "Super-cali-fragilistic-expiali-docious". Something like the Mahatma Gandhi pun. But I can get no further then "Super-sacra-fractal..." 

Gregory Borse

#4, Dec 13, 2011 9:51pm

Good start, Jules.  I wrote about what you are talking about in referencing Newman's line re: that each person has his "own hopes and fears, desires, judgments, and aims."  I called it "Shoebox."  It's about finding a picture of my little sister in the same box as a stray picture of my mother.  I sent a link to a blog where it's posted to Katie.  If you cannot find it, well, let me know.  It's ridiculously imperfect--but heartfelt.  Hoping this link gets you there--if not--follow the link and look for "Shoebox."

http://gregorbo.blogspot.com/2009/04/shoebox.html

Gregory Borse

#5, Dec 13, 2011 10:07pm

But--Jules, regarding the "specialness" of existence.  I think one of the great, great (and hard) gifts God gives us (those of us who have children) is precisely a glimpse of what He feels when he looks at us--when we look at our own children.  Not our spouses--that's different and takes a kind of effort not involved in the love we are compelled to suffer when feeling for our own children.  My dad always said that he was not compelled to "like" me; but he couldn't help but love me.  I now know what he means.  But I could not have unless I too had participated, as a co-creator, in the making of another person.

 

Katie van Schaijik

#6, Dec 14, 2011 9:58am

Gregory Borse, Dec. 13 at 9:51pm

It's about finding a picture of my little sister in the same box as a stray picture of my mother.

http://gregorbo.blogspot.com/2009/04/shoebox.html

It's a lovely post, Gregory.  Thank you for the link. I like these lines especially.

I've never considered Linda to resemble my mother--and yet they are clearly of the same stock. There's no denying it, despite the difference in hair and skin color and tone. My mother, in my imagination, has no freckles. Linda is scored with with them. But there's something in the expression of each that teaches me, inarticulately, a certain something about what it means to be a  person.

I've had similiar experiences looking at old photos--the shock of recognition followed by a kind of gut-level reflection on the mysterious uniqueness and unrepeatability of each life.

Gregory Borse

#7, Dec 14, 2011 9:40pm

It's the unrepeatability that I find arresting--esp. in the paradox of our noticing it in likenesses . . .

Gregory Borse

#8, Dec 16, 2011 12:16am

I am going to re-read, over Christmas, my friend (and, to me, mentor--in an arm's length kind of way), Fred Turner's "Beauty: the Value of Values" and I recommend it heartily.  I'm searching through his chapter, called "The Biology of Beauty," which is fascinating, for the quote I remember that is cogent to our discussion here.  Haven't found it yet--but Fred links a need to re-discover our "shame" ro a re-discovery of Beauty in the human form that I think intersects with our discussion of "unrepeatability" and "likeness."  When I find the right passage, I'll share. 

Katie van Schaijik

#9, Dec 16, 2011 12:45am

Sounds like a great topic for a new member post!

Gregory Borse

#10, Dec 16, 2011 12:48am

Okay then!  I'm working on it!

 

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