Welcome Guest! Pagan Journeys is an online community primarily geared toward Pagan paths, but all paths and spiritualities are welcomed here. Pagan Journeys is a place of community, learning, and growth for all of its members. You must either login or register to view all boards and features of this forum.
Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  


Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Yule, a season of miracles  (Read 1807 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Eternal Seeker

  • Wisest of Them All
  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Karma: +7/-0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 644
  • Location: directly above the center of the Earth
  • Spiritual Path: through the spiritual garden
    • CUUmbaya
Yule, a season of miracles
« on: August 29, 2009, 09:13:06 PM »

   Yule is a season of magic and miracles, daring us to consider the most basic of all religious questions: do we live in clockwork, mechanistic universe or one full of magic? The word ‘magic’ seems ridiculous to the modern sensibilities. It conjures mental images of Halloween witches on brooms, and cannot be taken seriously by the modern materialist “Where’s the magic”, they say, “There’s only science and nonsense”. The spellchecker in my computer lists magic and science as antonyms. But even the materialist is so immersed in magic that he is no longer capable of seeing it, just as the fish is unaware of water. It requires every bit as much faith to believe in a clockwork universe as in a magic one!

   Consider the central miracle of the Yule season: the birth of the God. For the sake of this discussion it doesn’t matter whether you call him Jesus, or Mithras, or any one of a number of names still older. Winter Solstice ceremonies are common to nearly all cultures and are among the oldest of all religious concepts, dating back to the earliest cultures- perhaps even predating Homo Sapiens Sapiens itself. God being born in the midst of the long night is the promise given to us that Spring will return, that we have not been abandoned to the cold and dark.

   The modern materialist can no longer empathize with the primitive who believed that the Sun and its warmth retreated because of the capriciousness of the Gods. The materialist, with his modern understanding of celestial mechanics, needs no faith to know that Spring will return; indeed, with his knowledge of the Earth’s orbital path he can calculate the precise second of Spring’s return. It’s purely mathematics, only the ignorant need faith.

   “Is that really so,” I want to ask the materialist, “No faith is required to know that Spring will return?”

   “Of course,” he’d reply. “You see, the tilting of the Earth’s axis...”

   “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” I’d interrupt, “I know all about the tilt of the Earth. But are you aware of ice ages?”

“Of course. There have been several.”

“And periods of global warming, as well?”

“There have been several of those, too- so what?”

   “Well,” I’d ask, “as the SUV hadn’t been invented a hundred million years ago, what caused these cycles?”

   “There are cycles in the Sun’s energy levels,” he’d begin to lecture. “You must understand that even a small change in the Sun has tremendous impact on the Earth- a single large flare can be devastating.”

   “I see,” I reply, “and you know the exact goings on in the center of the Sun? You know what causes these cycles, what triggers sunspots and flares- many of which are larger than the Earth itself? You know the exact timetable of their happenings?”

   “No, of course not,” he’d have to admit.

   “The Sun is a raging nuclear inferno- isn’t it within the realm of possibility that changes could occur within months, weeks or days, or even hours? Isn’t it at least theoretically possible that between now and the next solstice the Sun will change and Spring will never come?”

“Yes, that’s theoretically possible, but...”

“Then how do you know that Spring will return?”

“Because that’s how it’s always happened before!”

   “So you agree with the theologian: ‘… as it is, so it was, and ever shall be; world without end.’ That sounds a lot like a belief statement.”

“Well, that’s not how I would have phrased it.”

“No, I imagine not…”

   The conversation above explains why so many scientists are true believers in their faith- whichever one that may be- while educated laymen think of science as fact that drives out faith. The scientist knows what shaky ground many of their theories and calculations are based on; the well-educated layman treats his old college textbook as revealed wisdom. The classically trained scientist is aware of the limits of science; it is the amateur, the one who had a few elective science classes on the way to a liberal arts degree that believes that science has all the answers. Those who have studied have faith in miracles.


This message composed of 100% recycled electrons
Pages: [1]   Go Up

Page created in 0.064 seconds with 29 queries.