Sunday, August 15, 2010

Getting The Lead, And The Apple, Out

The independently owned and operated Tophets we endure from time to time, or even more or less constantly, are there by invitation only, invitations hurried along, no doubt, by fear or befuddled wonderment at mortal mind's many kaleidoscopic spectacles and seamy sideshows.

There are probably times when we wonder, like King George III of England when confronted with an apple dumpling, "how, how the devil got the apple in?" [His fluency in English was never a strong suit.] ("Historic Side-Lights", Howard Payson Arnold) If the porters at the door of our consciousnesses are snoozing instead of watching we are going to be admitting a sinister gallimaufry of undeveloped negatives (in more senses than one). Once past the dozing porters they go to our mental dark rooms, where they are developed (again, possibly in more senses than one) and then "voila" [sorry about the missing accent grave, LowlyWise] or, more precisely, "quelle horreur!" Some are even sent to the enlarger, and the Gulliver's disgust at the sight of the Brobdingnagians is small beer compared to those enlarged and unwelcome horrors. By then, however, mortal mind has run up its Jolly Roger and we bitterly rue our failure to post a diligent watch.

The rudely awakened or startled student of Christian Science may be tempted at such a juncture to "floor it", to flee in a squeel of smoking tires from the pestilential Blackbeard (I know, he was a pirate, not a NASCAR driver.) , after the manner of the person Stephen Leacock describes who "flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions", but sedulous, consecrated, and patient study and prayer are needed, not a frantic Nathan's Famous gorging to make up for lost time. Better to post a dedicated doorman and then add a solid plank a day to our bridge from matter to Spirit than be forced to attempt a leap in unsure, unseemly, and Skivvied hasted over the frightful chasm we ourselves have occasioned.

19 comments:

Phoenix, AZ said...

This one, though dazzingly written, might be better for your learned brethren, though I will say, when I look up about half a dozen words, am going to be better educated!

Anonymous said...

I usually read your entries more than once to get the full thing, but this one will take extra readings. Fascinating!

Arizona regular said...

Well done, Professor!

NYC said...

Really enjoyed reading this. Quite well written, as yours usually are.

L. R. said...

Here you go, sending me to the dictionary again. Perhaps one of your well-read readers can tell the rest of us what certain words and phrases mean.

From New England said...

Afternoon Christian,
A thoroughly enjoyable read. And I laughed at the poor King's question about the apple. No, English was apparently not his strong point.

LowlyWise said...

The missing accent grave (Alt+0224) is forgiven, since I will forgive anything that gives me a laugh--and this essay elicited four. Comedy, humor and wit make distances between our minds and the object perceived, so why not treat the monstrosities developed (in more ways than one) in the mental darkrooms as comic? Then, when we have to get down to the dead seriousness that underlies the comedy (like Hermia's choice between untenable marriage and exile in Midsummer Night's Dream) the distancing will afford a truer perspective and consequent ability to deal with what the somnolence of the porters has allowed to grow.

California CS said...

Our Leader says that academics of the right sort are desirable (my words) and I would say you have this covered, Christian.

Thanks! said...

A fresh and delightful way you have, English professor, of putting your metaphysical musings into essays.

Midwest said...

Don't know what the heck a Tophet is (must look it up) but did enjoy this blog posting.
Thanks!

P.S. said...

I'm back. Consulted my dictionary and found that tophet is a Jewish word meaning something painful or uncomfortable, in other words, hell.

Anonymous said...

You do keep trying to tell your readers that demonstrating divine Science is no easy thing. This is good, as it counteracts the false impression too many CS's have that all they need is a sweet little truth from the textbook and presto, all is done. Does take much more than this, I am finding.

Cambridge said...

Good job, Christian!

Helen said...

I really do get a lot out of your writing. You are a blessing to our Cause for sure.

Anon...for now said...

Always enjoy seeing what titles you come up with. Can we imagine seeing these in the periodicals? I don't think so.
Such originality!

Hartford, CT said...

Dear Christian,
From time to time, I just have to say thank you for all the giving you are doing. Imagine how many out here are being inspired and instructed by your essays.

London said...

You must speak French, Christian. Not familiar with the word "gallimaufry", am I spelling it right, but anyway, one more to look up.
Enjoy your little offerings,

Anonymous said...

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C. W. - Oregon said...

Dear Christian Scientist:
Keep using your writing talent for this Cause we love. We need you!