Monday, March 8, 2010

Mystery of the Present Moment

My daughter and I were talking about this just the other day -- mystery in regards to the significance of the present moment.

One particular case of lower-level mystery worth meditating on is the mystery that arises from our failure to know future contingents. The whole of future is not laid out to us either in the past or in the future- on the one hand from a (necessary) lack of narratives; on the other hand from the indeterminate existence of future contingents and the reality of chance..

...There are certain things we would need to see all of history to see- and so as it stands we are left in mystery. These mysteries are not from the superintelligibility of the object, but from its indetermination, obscurity, and susceptibility to chance causes.
The blogger uses the example of Lazarus in the tomb -- or what one might think about evil and death if one had been there on the first Holy Saturday. Surely, every present moment is holy ground, when you think about it.

From On Interpretation (which is the context in which my daughter and I were talking about it):

...Yet this view leads to an impossible conclusion; for we see that both deliberation and action are causative with regard to the future, and that, to speak more generally, in those things which are not continuously actual there is potentiality in either direction. Such things may either be or not be; events also therefore may either take place or not take place. .... It is therefore plain that it is not of necessity that everything is or takes place; but in some instances there are real alternatives, in which case the affirmation is no more true and no more false than the denial; while some exhibit a predisposition and general tendency in one direction or the other, and yet can issue in the opposite direction by exception.

....Everything must either be or not be, whether in the present or in the future, but it is not always possible to distinguish and state determinately which of these alternatives must necessarily come about. ....

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I would love to hear your thoughts on this!