Between Prediction & Petition,
We Beg to Differ With Our Lot
Someone once said that faith was created so man could argue with fate. Or god. Or whatever the hell we weren’t pleased about. A last ditch effort, our first and last resort against reality, as we can’t change the outcome, and evidence usually points the other way.
David Bowie’s death was hard to fathom? There’s a petition for his ‘return.’ Falling oil prices? That’s because 2016 started on a Friday, says a Medieval prediction. A woman bore a child while still a virgin? After 2000 years, many still care enough to even vouch for that.
We simply can’t allow the thought that things may happen at random. Unable to accept that everything around us out-scales us by physical distance and impossibility of time, we choose not to ever be ready to hand over our self-appointed role of comptroller of the universe.
Which, as most things, remains as oblivious to our existence as a cat is to frantic calls to come back at once. We’ll scream, and curse, and swear we’ll move mountains if necessary. But the cosmic enigma, and that little ball of fur, won’t even give us the benefit of a glance.
So we create our temples, and churches, and rituals, and commandments. So to make sure that we won’t be forgotten. And our deeds on this planet will last. And our presence will be memorable. We’ll do that even knowing full well that our ashes will be scattered.
That’s what we do; we’re convinced that if we tell a story enough times, it’ll become part of the historical record. Science may have amassed crushing evidence against it, but we’ll still recount our tales as if there’s a purpose to it all. We’ll still do it, bless our bleeding hearts.
The Zibaldone da Canal, a compendium of relevant issues to 14th century merchants, such as Arithmetics, spices, weights and (more)
* Medieval Crafts
* Medieval News
measures, prayers, and medical tables for bloodletting, certainly considered it so: it had a section for predictions for each year till eternity.
Thus the one about Jan. 1 falling on a Friday and its supposed link to a temperate winter, ‘the death of many infants,’ and oil abundance, even though the writer hedged his bets by adding, ‘in some places.’ So far, he’s been on the money, and any good ol’ devout would swear by it.
THE VIRGIN BIRTH MYTH
Science has learned to stay clear of religious dogmas, and none is more sensitive to millions of celibatarian men the world over than the one about the condition of Mary’s genitalia post-birth of Jesus. Well, not all science is er, conceived equal, apparently.
Take parthenogenesis, for instance, a process of mate-less reproduction. It’s one of the theories trying to nail the biblical account onto some resemblance of possibility, even as it thrills not about six billion of non-Catholics, possibly more.
For while most have long realized that reproduction was not a concern in early Christians’ minds, some still seem stuck on that image we’ve alluded to two graphs above. As if their faith depends on it. Good luck with all that, that’s all we can say.
BRING BACK BOWIE
That same refusal to embrace the natural world has again erupted this week, with Bowie’s passing. Unconsolable with the fact, a group of Italians started a Change.org petition, demanding ‘god or whom it may concern,’ his immediate return to Earth.
‘Say No to Bowie Dead’ has already gathered almost seven thousand signatures, in what’s better not be a ghoulish hoax about such a painfully missed human, among the finest we’ve seen around. Either way, it speaks volumes about what we are.
Or what we’d rather not face: inexorability and the world’s utter disregard to our breath and heartbeat. Of course, it’s much better that way: even without any power of grace, we’ve already acquired the illegitimate ability of destroying it all for good.
In the best case scenario, we’ll keep on arguing without changing anything, and one day, we’ll wake up and we’ll be no longer. In the worst? It’s too early in the year to commit to that kind of prediction, wouldn’t you say? Let’s just leave to/live for another day.