Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Transience

If the solution to the human problem is a timeless eternity of changelessness,* then is our problem transience? No, because the world, the very good world, had transience built-in. The sun set before the fruit was picked. Transience is a feature of creation, not fall. Yet the fall is what makes transience deadly, what brings bitterness to old age and fear to the open horizon of the future. God created a world with a telos, a goal, a purpose, a project: be fruitful and multiply, extend the garden, serve the soil, enjoy. The world was made good, very good, not one that was utterly complete and with no more perfections to be reached.
*Is this true? Perhaps a subject for a future series...
Eight points for guessing which part of this image has been doctored.

22 comments:

Drew said...

But what does it mean for that good order to be frustrated, apart from humanity's influence?

Surely this affects the 'transience' as much as anything else?

What about Ecclesiastes; one of the problems seems to be transience - that things do not abide, they are a mere breath - here today, but tomorrow rusted, forgotten, worn down or in the grave.

Even if time remains unchanged, it's effects on the body, our bodies, the heavenly bodies, seems altered?

byron said...

Surely this affects the 'transience' as much as anything else?
Yes, that's what I was trying (somewhat unclearly) to affirm by saying that the fall makes transience 'deadly'.

Even if time remains unchanged, it's effects on the body, our bodies, the heavenly bodies, seems altered?
I assume you're here talking about fulfilled or redeemed time? If so, then I do not think that it 'remains unchanged', it is 'fulfilled', or 'redeemed'. Exactly what this means, I'm not sure, but I'm just trying to explore what would be the implications of taking time as itself part of the good creation and so subject to both frustration and liberation along with the rest of creation. Of course, time is not a 'part' of the creation in the same way that our bodies or the island of Sicily are parts of the creation, since temporality is a/the mode of creation. Furthermore, if (as I've been suggesting, once again, flying a kite to see which bolts of lightning will send it down in flames) God himself participates in time (even before the incarnation), then this further complicates matters...

Drew said...

I think it was my lack of clarity as much as anything!

a/the mode of creation
The good order of creation seems contingent on time... or at least I think Gen 1-2 (and science in general) suggests that.

You could also parallel that with the resurrection bodies in 1 Cor 15 which are also contingent on time (ie. the contrast between perishable and imperishable).

In fact, thinking about it, time undergirds our knowledge of God...

Just thinking out loud, dunno if it helps or not.

byron said...

time undergirds our knowledge of God
A good friend of mine just wrote me an email saying much the same thing. No sure why he didn't just post it here, though.

Anthony said...

Have you flipped it? (Horizontally, obviously!) Or did you just edit out the Opera House?

byron said...

That's two guesses! One at a time (a new rule - only one guess each until I respond, then you can guess again. This gives others more of a chance).

Neither guess is correct.

Anthony said...

It looks like the city buildings lean in a little towards each other. I don't know whether it's a minor fish-eye effect or not, or whether it's a side effect of stitching two photos together - which is what I suspect is going on.

byron said...

Again, you've made two guesses (fish eye, photostich). Neither is correct.

Anthony said...

Wait! It's obvious - you turned your camera side-on.

Ok, seriously, how about you removed the clouds (mostly)?

byron said...

Two more guesses? You can't seem to help yourself on this one...

But no.

Anthony said...

You dialled up the blue? Or dialled down the other colours?

(I had to find another way to guess twice)

byron said...

No and no.

Dave Barrie said...

have you removed a plane from the sky?

byron said...

have you removed a plane from the sky?
Sounds like an accusation of an act of violence... No, I leave planes be, even while encouraging everyone to avoid using them as much as possible.

byron said...

Good guess though, Dave.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Have you doctored the Harbour Bridge at all?

byron smith said...

No.

tim r said...

Byron,
I'm procrastinating here doing anything but uni work, but having just read your latest post (12 Nov, '07), I've found the unsolved image (above). I think you've doctored something to do wtih the water, removed an island perhaps? It appears you've taken the photo from somewhere in the woolwich area but I was sure that Cockatoo Island (and snapper?) was in the way of the balmain shoreline. I'm not absolutely confident, having only been around there two, three times but that's my guess...

byron smith said...

Tim - sorry, good try but incorrect.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Nothing - no alteration. It's a trick question (worth a try).

byron smith said...

Ah, you are truly inspired today. Have eight more points.

Anthony Douglas said...

The rewards of ascribing perversity to the blogger.

*shakes head ruefully*