Tom McMahon has grounded his magic carpet this week in order to take stock of our bearings. He poses a series of questions to you the reader as to whether this series is helpful or where he should head with it next. He invites your responses in our forum.
The magic carpet in search of the gods is grounded...
Looking over the log book we have traveled far back in time and circled the Globe, investigating human beings as we search for understanding in the area we call the gods. This writer senses that Editor Brian wonders at times where we are headed and for what purpose is all this hedgehopping. I've grounded the magic carpet for today to bring up two goals. The first is questioning the value of continuance of this mini-series.
Although the magic carpet is my fantasy invention I have primarily in mind that it takes us to where human beings look in on human beings, perhaps distant from us by thousands of miles and different cultures and time periods. I keep my focus on human behavior as best I can investigate such and how human experiences fashion for us so called divine thinking. Having personally experienced the priest on a pedestal nonsense (makes no sense to me) I am constantly challenged to appreciate human behavior in its relationship to a "higher power" which at times betrays human foolishness and at others human ingenuity. In thinking life over recently I saw clearly that I have been fortunate to be born into a family that valued religion (religare = Latin for tying together "god" and people) as beneficial to humankind. I can trace that realization back seventy five years to my early grade school days. Perhaps it was my mother and her priest-brother, Tuck, that taught me to look first at humans and then how the things of "god" fit into life. I can boastfully say that for the 65 years of seminary and ministry I never worked for or benefited from material gain in teaching about god. For me the best has been in realizing there is no angry god.
I am not sure of my second goal. We are at a magnificent challenge point of history; powerful forces struggle to influence human beings. Any reader of Catholica has a sense of these life changes and the conservative position that defends the status quo. Here in this piece I have no want to enter the arena of the multitude of human struggles. My goal in writing is to encourage people to think, to think for oneself, and undertake the process of dialogue exchange. In my everyday interplay with people I listen if the other has something to say. I am aware that if the other speaks she/he is thinking. At our local Senior History Club we studied the famous Titanic and its tragic ending. Always in our minds during discussions we asked such questions as "can the human being build or invent an experience that can overcome the forces of nature?" Such got us thinking about the value of humans landing on Mars when here on earth millions of babies die of starvation. The little boy from 15th street who happened to become a Roman priest is always thinking and encouraging others to glorify our Creator by a healthy use of brain power.
Shall we rehab the magic carpet and spin around to far off and yesteryears temples and priesthoods? Is the series helpful to stimulate research and thinking? Are we convinced that those Greeks, Romans, Myans, Ancient Jews, and Egyptians are pretty much made of the same stuff that qualifies us as human today. Some one was thinking 4000 years ago when literacy was scarce. Will the young of today, the adult of tomorrow, know how to think and share? Or will they have an advanced version of isolated text messages? Will the word "god" in the year 2200 be merely a museum display? Who will carry on fundamental and healthy traditions?
I hope to hear from YOU in the Forum.
Comments (mine and yours) can be found in the Catholica Forum at:
Tom in San Jose, Ca., just thinking out loud. 29May2012
What are your thoughts on this commentary?