Winter Solstice

The shortest night of the year:  it will only get more light from now on.  Each year the cycle repeats, like a promise kept.

One difference here between the physics with which we’ve become familiar and our phenomenological analysis is that the latter doesn’t posit a theory; it merely describes what we experience and analyzes this experience carefully.  We recognized, in describing our experience, that the present moment is unknowable, beyond time consciousness, our consciousness of time always anticipated (future) or just-past (remembered), so subject to distortions and imaginings.  The structure of the present moment is without the narrative structure of anticipating and remembering.  It just is.  We just exist, true existence beyond knowing, or at least beyond our knowing.

So consider the problem of time travel in light of this analysis of our present experience.  It is theoretically possible, according to theories of modern physics but logically impossible because you can’t enter an experience without changing it.  If I come into a room from a previous century, the room is altered and I am altered so I am in a new moment, not that of the previous century.  This isn’t just the structure of physical time; it is that of creation.  It is what it is and it can’t be otherwise.

So I contemplate the crucifixion of Jesus in this light.  It isn’t fatalism, when Jesus realized at some point that it was going to happen and even God wouldn’t take this bitter cup away.  He’d have to drink it, freely, knowing… Here, try this.  Try contemplating the crucifixion in this light, and the resurrection.  Jesus took on the story and entered eternal life because he was always living even though he died because that is what it is to be fully human, incarnate… I think.  Or rather here I stop thinking, just sit with it for a short while.

After all, it’s the shortest night of the year.

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