Monday, April 06, 2020

The music of the spheres

People shaped by modern culture tend to think about entities as occupying discrete and mutually exclusive spaces. Rather like 011 and water in a bottle, we expect different things to separate out from one another and occupy different layers when they are introduced to one another. Things don't mlx together. Moreover, we seem to be biased toward visual metaphors. When we think of accessing reality we imagine looking at it with our eyes and then we see things that are, again, mutually exclusive. We see tables sitting next to chairs and on carpets and they don’t move through one another. The world is full of prepositions! We even think about people this way, a problem we will have to correct shortly. If we insert these convictions into Paul’s claims about the world of the Spirit being present with the world of the Flesh, then we will find his claim nonsensical. The fact that the world of the Flesh is present means that the world of the Spirit cannot be here. They can’t coexist. It is one or the other and the Flesh is definitely still here, so the Spirit is by definition excluded. Either it is somewhere else—perhaps in the distant future—or it doesn’t exist.

But these difficulties can be resolved if we switch metaphors, Let’s think about this situation sonically, using music, with our ears, instead of optically, visually, and with our eyes. Reality is musical. This will enable us to think about things in ways that are both more accurate and not necessarily mutually exclusive.—Paul: An Apostle’s Journey, 38

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