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Summit Expedition - Summer of 07

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Post by Physicist » Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:47 am

Sam Gamgee wrote:“I see man’s mind cannot be satisfied
unless it be illumined by that Truth
beyond which there exists no other truth.

Within that Truth, once man’s mind reaches it,
It rests like a wild beast within its den.
And it can reach it—if not all desire
is vain!


We wander like a wild beast looking for that Truth. When we find it, we are still the wild beast, but we can have rest. Profound thought from Dante.


Some more thoughts from a famous Author, but a lesser known part of his Canon:

1 ¶ Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:
2 "Who is this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge?
3 Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.
4 ¶ "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.
5 Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?
6 To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone,
7 When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
8 "Or who shut in the sea with doors, When it burst forth and issued from the womb;
9 When I made the clouds its garment, And thick darkness its swaddling band;
10 When I fixed My limit for it, And set bars and doors;
11 When I said, ‘This far you may come, but no farther, And here your proud waves must stop!’
12 ¶ "Have you commanded the morning since your days began, And caused the dawn to know its place,
13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, And the wicked be shaken out of it?

- Job 38


25 ¶ "Who has divided a channel for the overflowing water, Or a path for the thunderbolt,
26 To cause it to rain on a land where there is no one, A wilderness in which there is no man;
27 To satisfy the desolate waste, And cause to spring forth the growth of tender grass?
28 Has the rain a father? Or who has begotten the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb comes the ice? And the frost of heaven, who gives it birth?
30 The waters harden like stone, And the surface of the deep is frozen.
31 "Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, Or loose the belt of Orion?
32 Can you bring out Mazzaroth in its season? Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs?
33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you set their dominion over the earth?
34 "Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, That an abundance of water may cover you?
35 Can you send out lightnings, that they may go, And say to you, ‘Here we are!’?
36 Who has put wisdom in the mind? Or who has given understanding to the heart?

- Job 38



Do you recognize this horse from Job 39?

19 ¶ "Have you given the horse strength? Have you clothed his neck with thunder?
20 Can you frighten him like a locust? His majestic snorting strikes terror.
21 He paws in the valley, and rejoices in his strength; He gallops into the clash of arms.
22 He mocks at fear, and is not frightened; Nor does he turn back from the sword.
23 The quiver rattles against him, The glittering spear and javelin.
24 He devours the distance with fierceness and rage; Nor does he come to a halt because the trumpet has sounded.
25 At the blast of the trumpet he says, ‘Aha!’ He smells the battle from afar, The thunder of captains and shouting.




Puzzle over Job 40 and Job 41 and the creatures described there. These four chapters plumb the beauty and purpose behind creation from a point of view that transcends ours. I never get tired of reading them.
"If I hadn't believed it, I wouldn't have seen it." -- Old Geologist's saw

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Post by Sam Gamgee » Wed Dec 31, 2008 10:00 am

Physicist wrote: 19 ¶ "Have you given the horse strength? Have you clothed his neck with thunder?
20 Can you frighten him like a locust? His majestic snorting strikes terror.
21 He paws in the valley, and rejoices in his strength; He gallops into the clash of arms.
22 He mocks at fear, and is not frightened; Nor does he turn back from the sword.
23 The quiver rattles against him, The glittering spear and javelin.
24 He devours the distance with fierceness and rage; Nor does he come to a halt because the trumpet has sounded.
25 At the blast of the trumpet he says, ‘Aha!’ He smells the battle from afar, The thunder of captains and shouting.


I didn't know Lisette was in the Bible! ;)
[color=#ff6600][i]Workings of man crying out from the fires set aflame
By his blindness to see that the warmth of his being
Is promised for his seeing, his reaching so clearly[/i][/color]

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Post by Sam Gamgee » Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:22 pm

"The mystic only gradually becomes aware of the faculty he has been given of perceiving the indefinite fringe of reality surrounding the totality of all created things, with more intensity than the precise, individual core of their being.

For a long time, thinking he is the same s other men, he will try to see as they do, to speak their language, to find contentment in the joys with which the are satisfied.

For a long time seeking to appease his mysterious but obsessive need for plenitude of being, he will try to divert it on to some particularly stale or precious object to which, among all the accessory pleasures of life, he will look for the substance and overflowing richness of his joy.

For a long time he will look to the marvels of art to provide him with that exaltation which will give him access to the sphere--his own sphere--of the extra-personal and the suprasensible; and in the unknown Word of nature he will strive to hear the heartbeats of that higher reality which calls him by name.

Happy the man who fails to stifle his vision.

Happy the man who will not shrink from a passionate questioning of the Muses and of Cybele concerning his God.

But happy above all he who, rising beyond aesthetic dilettantism and the materialism of the lower layers of life, is given to hear the reply of all beings, singly and all together: 'What you saw gliding past, like a world, behind the song and behind the color and behind the eyes' glance does not exist just here or there but is a Presence existing equally everywhere: a presence which, though it now seems vague to your feeble sight, will grow in clarity and depth. In this presence all diversities and all impurities yearn to be melted away.'"

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Pensées, §11


...Ever thought of calling yourselves mystics in the making?
[color=#ff6600][i]Workings of man crying out from the fires set aflame
By his blindness to see that the warmth of his being
Is promised for his seeing, his reaching so clearly[/i][/color]

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Post by asbury » Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:55 am

MayorOfLongview wrote: Now you may see that much of my lyric-writing always comes back to the same place.

My hope was always that the lyrics would raise the questions, and the music would soar at just the right moment to provide a thrill - not quite of this earth. Which might lead the listener further along the trail of longing till at last he or she realizes the answer is not here; the fulfillment not within.
This shows in your work. GH does a masterful job of creating art that stands on its own merit (i.e. it rocks), but that is also infused with meaning ... if the listener wants to look for it.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy music that makes all kinds of statements (or none at all). And I appreciate well constructed lyrics that I don't agree with at all. But COA has such great lyrics, and the music is the perfect vehicle for it.

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Post by MayorOfLongview » Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:37 pm

asbury wrote:
MayorOfLongview wrote: Now you may see that much of my lyric-writing always comes back to the same place.

My hope was always that the lyrics would raise the questions, and the music would soar at just the right moment to provide a thrill - not quite of this earth. Which might lead the listener further along the trail of longing till at last he or she realizes the answer is not here; the fulfillment not within.
This shows in your work. GH does a masterful job of creating art that stands on its own merit (i.e. it rocks), but that is also infused with meaning ... if the listener wants to look for it.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy music that makes all kinds of statements (or none at all). And I appreciate well constructed lyrics that I don't agree with at all. But COA has such great lyrics, and the music is the perfect vehicle for it.
Thanks much! Most of what I listen to these days has no meaning at all. I'm just digging stuff that sounds amazing. When I need something deeper, I read a book :)
But way back in the day, lyrics meant everything to me. Whether Ozzy or Neil Peart, I consumed every word. lol
When I write however, I'm still hiding something in the lyrics or driving you to some conclusion (if you care to be driven). 8)
I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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Post by MayorOfLongview » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:34 pm

Physicist wrote:
asbury wrote:I think it is interesting that Chesterton links age with sin -- the two "meditations on a theme" in Sun Song also deal with age. The first is a memory before the Fall, when we were "young"; in the second we have grown old and we are striving to recapture what has been lost.

So, since I can't help but think of this passage when I listen to the song -- which is often -- I thought I would share it.
Wonderful post. Chesterton was a subtle and profound thinker. His book 'The Man Who was Thursday' completely fooled me at every turn. It was a joy to read.

Your thoughts also bring to mind the idea that sprang from Kepler's precise solution to planetary motion and the time relations of the orbits--Music of the Spheres. Music comes from minds full of life (like Babb and Schendel) not from chance.

Finally, regarding age and sin, Solomon's thoughts in Ecclesiastes are completely in line with this. He is looking back on everything that he has experienced (and he had everything an earthly man could want) and lamenting his loss of the state 'before the fall.'
Hey - just wanted you to know I'm reading "The Man Who Was Thursday" and loving every word of it. Its been on my list for years and I'm just now getting to it.
Steve
I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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Post by asbury » Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:33 pm

Awesome! Looking forward to hearing what you think of it as soon as you are done. (If you don't immediately go back and re-read it in light of the ending, like I did.)

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Post by MayorOfLongview » Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:19 am

asbury wrote:Awesome! Looking forward to hearing what you think of it as soon as you are done. (If you don't immediately go back and re-read it in light of the ending, like I did.)
I just finished it and was blown away by the ending. Strange and wonderful. C. S. Lewis owes Chesterton much. I'm passing it on to my wife next :)
steve
I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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Post by Physicist » Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:47 pm

MayorOfLongview wrote:I just finished it and was blown away by the ending. Strange and wonderful. C. S. Lewis owes Chesterton much. I'm passing it on to my wife next :)
steve
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"If I hadn't believed it, I wouldn't have seen it." -- Old Geologist's saw

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Post by MayorOfLongview » Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:24 am

Physicist wrote:
MayorOfLongview wrote:I just finished it and was blown away by the ending. Strange and wonderful. C. S. Lewis owes Chesterton much. I'm passing it on to my wife next :)
steve
Give my regards to Sunday if you happen to run into him. I think it more than a passing chance that he knew Ransom...
LOL - I think you're right.
I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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Post by TheMarsh-WiggleQuester » Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:52 am

I just finished TMHWT now, too.

And was blown away by it. That's what I call a narrative! The plot is oustanding too, for me, lover of mystery/investigations books and by all the phylosophy talking of the 6 men. The ending it's as unexpected as anything...

I think I'll go back an resume Perelandra, that I started years ago and left behind to finally go through the Ransom Trilogy once and for all.
[i]"Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important."[/i]
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Post by MayorOfLongview » Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:02 pm

TheMarsh-WiggleQuester wrote:I just finished TMHWT now, too.

And was blown away by it. That's what I call a narrative! The plot is oustanding too, for me, lover of mystery/investigations books and by all the phylosophy talking of the 6 men. The ending it's as unexpected as anything...

I think I'll go back an resume Perelandra, that I started years ago and left behind to finally go through the Ransom Trilogy once and for all.
Perelandra is wonderful and the end truly beautiful and profound. I never finished "That Hideous Strength".
I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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Post by Physicist » Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:55 pm

MayorOfLongview wrote:Perelandra is wonderful and the end truly beautiful and profound. I never finished "That Hideous Strength".
I never tire of reading Perelandra, or, for that matter, Out of the Silent Planet. Perelandra is one of the most beautiful tales that I have ever read.

The last two times I went through the trilogy, I didn't read That Hideous Strength. It hits too close to home. Lewis was a prophet in seeing where western civilization was headed. Having said that, I have vague memories of a scene late in the book which borrowed heavily from The Man Who Was Thursday. I'll have to see if I have what it takes to get all of the way through the trilogy next time...

If you are looking for another book that can't be categorized, try Lilith, by George McDonald. McDonald was a Scot who wrote, beautiful, florid prose. He wrote children's novels (like The Princess and the Goblin), romances, theology, and two uncategorizable novels, Lilith and Phantastes. I have not read the latter, but I need to rectify that situation. Lewis considered McDonald to be his 'master.'

Lilith is mind-blowing and fantastic (in the true sense of the word), especially considering it came out of a Scottish writer at the end of the 19th century. I cannot classify it, but I consider it the closest thing to The Man Who Was Thursday, if that is even possible, that I have ever read. It is very different than TMWWT, but it kept me disoriented in the same way. It was one surprise after another. If you start reading Lilith, get ready to hold a tiger by the tail...
"If I hadn't believed it, I wouldn't have seen it." -- Old Geologist's saw

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Post by MayorOfLongview » Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:56 am

Physicist wrote:
MayorOfLongview wrote:Perelandra is wonderful and the end truly beautiful and profound. I never finished "That Hideous Strength".
Lilith is mind-blowing and fantastic (in the true sense of the word), especially considering it came out of a Scottish writer at the end of the 19th century. I cannot classify it, but I consider it the closest thing to The Man Who Was Thursday, if that is even possible, that I have ever read. It is very different than TMWWT, but it kept me disoriented in the same way. It was one surprise after another. If you start reading Lilith, get ready to hold a tiger by the tail...
I've read Lilith and agree with the comparison to Chesterton. Its that good. I've also read Phantastes and all the MacDonald fantasy-tales. (I'm mostly Scottish myself - so I've been interested in G.M. since I heard about him.)
I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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Post by esteban » Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:00 pm

Perhaps an on-line reading/discussion group on That Hideous Strength might be interesting. It's an incredibly important book, but I didn't realize it the first time I read it (and I was too young, and inexperienced, to really understand what Lewis was getting at).

Reading it near the end of my PhD studies really put it in context. That's surely not the only context that it can be understood in, and perhaps is only one of many possible ways of understanding it, but it worked for me!

I'd encourage anyone who enjoyed the first two in the trilogy to give it a go, and if it doesn't speak to you then, put it down and try again in five years :wink:
Ecce quam bonum et quam iucundum habitare fratres in unum.

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