Saturday, 26 March 2016

Easter everywhere - the end of Lent

Lent 2016: Day 46 - Holy Saturday

Just hours to go before the end of this year's Lent. Normally, I'd be staying up to midnight to see in Easter Sunday with a glass or three of something decent. Not this year - I've just flown in from the UK (so I lose one hour) and the clocks go forward tonight (so I lose a second hour). Bob and Ewa have kindly invited me over to their place, down Konstancin way, for 10am. This, to my body clock, is 8am Greenwich Mean Time, so I must get up at least two and half hours earlier to get there (on foot) after breaking fast. So - an early night tonight.

The fasting went perfectly this year. No surrender to temptation; no alcohol, meat, fast food, confectionery, cake, salt snacks etc. The daily average of walking was well over 11,000 paces, with more than 200 sit-ups done each day. An inch and half off the tum (down to 38.5 inches), still too much but I'm not stopping with the sit-ups, will continue with them as I see a clear correlation - eight weeks of sit-ups equals one inch off. Can I get down to 36 inches by late-summer? That's the target.

But on to the more important part of Lent - contemplation of the Eternal. What have we learnt? Does the Universe have a Purpose? Is it evolving as a spiritual unity? Is that unity distributed consciousness? What is the Purpose? Is it evolution from the brutal towards the angelic - evolution in the direction of higher awareness, greater sensitivity?

If so, there is no room within us for manifestations of the brutal - hatred, anger, aggression, violence. We must understand our biology and rise above it. How then are we to tackle manifestations of brutality when applied against us? Within the Rule of Law, with force if necessary, but the force applied without anger or hatred. We must remain vigilant of the fact that brutal persons wish to set back the progress of civilisation, for personal gain - power, wealth or both, for warped ideological reasons.

I will continue reading Fr Michał Heller's Filozofia przypadku, skipping the maths bit in the middle which is just way beyond my O-level comprehension of the subject, moving on to the theological conclusions that he draws. But I feel like the student Clive in A Serious Man, who claims to understand Schroedinger's cat without understanding the mathematics of probability underlying quantum physics. Which makes me wonder, how much progress can people make in trying to understand the world around us if there are whole areas of knowledge (economy, engineering, computer sciences, sociology etc) of which we know precious little.

Life is for learning; too many people think that finishing full-time education means they can stop learning. Get home from a repetitive job, be entertained, sleep. Not good enough.
Well maybe it is just the time of year
Or maybe it's the time of man
I don't know who I am
But you know life is for learning
- Joni Mitchell, Woodstock

If you have taken the trouble to read my Lenten posts, many thanks. At this time of year my readership falls off dramatically (from over 20,000 page views/month at the beginning to 9,500 page views/ month towards the end). Normal mix of Warsaw and Jeziorki localism and ultra-localism, political and economic views, photography from across Poland and the UK, resumes shortly.

Easter Everywhere. The title of the 13th Floor Elevators' 1967 album, from which the song Slip Inside This House, containing some deep mystical insights. Enjoy.

This time four years ago:
Sunset shots, first bike ride to work

This time six years ago:
Poland's trains ran faster before the war

This time seven years ago:
Winter in spring: surely this must be the last snow?

This time eight years ago:
Surely THIS must be the last snow?


Wilkbury said...

Happy Easter!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your thoughts for the lent.
Happy Easter

Michael Dembinski said...

@ Wilkbury, @Anonymous,

Thanks for the kind words - makes it all worth it!

Ian Wilcock said...

Congratulations on the 1.5 inch loss and good luck with your new target but most of all thanks for the continued commentary on what is happening around the area I live and further afield.