Monday, May 7, 2018

097. God's Love

"By the goodness of God we mean nowadays almost exclusively His lovingness; and in this we may be right. And by Love, in this context, most of us mean kindness — the desire to see others than the self happy; not happy in this way or in that, but just happy. What would really satisfy us would be a God who said of anything we happened to like doing, “What does it matter so long as they are contented?” We want, in fact, not so much a Father in Heaven as a grandfather in heaven — a senile benevolence who, as they say, “liked to see young people enjoying themselves” and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, “a good time was had by all”. Not many people, I admit, would formulate a theology in precisely those terms: but a conception not very different lurks at the back of many minds. I do not claim to be an exception: I should very much like to live in a universe which was governed on such lines. But since it is abundantly clear that I don’t, and since I have reason to believe, nevertheless; that God is Love, I conclude that my conception of love needs correction."
"The relation between Creator and creature is, of course, unique, and cannot be paralleled by any relations between one creature and another. God is both further from us, and nearer to us, than any other being. He is further from us because the sheer difference between that which has Its principle of being in Itself and that to which being is communicated, is one compared with which the difference between an archangel and a worm is quite insignificant. He makes, we are made: He is original, we derivative. But at the same time, and for the same reason, the intimacy between God and even the meanest creature is closer than any that creatures can attain with one another. Our life is, at every moment, supplied by Him: our tiny, miraculous power of free will only operates on bodies which His continual energy keeps in existence — our very power to think is His power communicated to us. Such a unique relation can be apprehended only by analogies: from the various types of love known among creatures we reach an inadequate, but useful, conception of God’s love for man."

From C.S. Lewis (1940) The Problem of Pain, Chapter III - Divine Goodness.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

096. Sun Halo

A huge circular rainbow appeared around the sun over the skies of Northern Utah this afternoon for about 30 minutes. A pair of soaring turkey vultures or hawks passed through the center from our vantage point. 

The cirrus clouds that veiled this phenomenon were like a semi-transparent curtain in the sky. 

This phenomenon is known as a Sun-bowSun Halo or, more formerly, a 22-degree Halo. As sunlight passes through ice crystals in the clouds, light is projected into different directions, and a halo or rainbow around the sun can be seen at 22-degrees.

Some Native American tribes refer to this phenomenon as the whirling rainbow, which is a good omen indicating moisture in the air and abundance on the Earth.

The dot inside of a circle is also an ancient sacred symbol used in many religions, known as the circumpunct. It can represent God, the monad/unity/oneness, the Egyptian sun god Ra, the atomic structure of hydrogen (which makes up most of the sun's mass), the alchemists' symbol for gold, the point of the beginning of creation and eternity, or the universe (universe translates to uni verses or one-turn). It is the mark left by the compass after stepping out a certain distance from the centerpoint and making a circle. From the circle, all geometric shapes and polygons can be derived by further use of a compass/divider and the additional application of a rule or square. The circle is a feminine symbol, representing eternity or creation, wholeness, original perfection, the infinite, and all cyclic movement.   

I was grateful to have witnessed such a beautiful event in the sky as this Sun Halo today and to contemplate the meaning of this symbol.