Friday, July 6, 2007

Newton's Third Law of Justice

I like to mix it up, here. Sometimes something about those horrible islamists, sometimes a little about how society is going to hell in a handbasket, sometimes a lot of whining and pathetic mewling about my feelings. You know -- really cool stuff like that. I do have any number of these things, saved as drafts, which will never see the light of day. Sometimes I just write to write. But I'm going to repeat myself now. Run along the same theme as last time. You know -- personal.

Oh, wasn't that last one good, by the way? Those aren't easy to write, you know. It's a cold reading, without even seeing you. I have to be vague while sounding specific. Go with the probabilities. Anyone who comes back to this blog is likely to have certain characteristics, which might be predicted. I'm particularly pleased with the line, "I see you, and I think there is a profound dissatisfaction buried in your heart. " It's not poetry, but it opened doors. Who doesn't think of themselves like that? The "I see you" was risky, but sometimes the artist has to dare to be concrete. And, after all, every word of it is true. Strange, how manipulations can be honest.

Anyway, the repetition is this: Tonight I had to sorta tap during a drill, and I commented that the technique was pretty nasty. The fellow said something like, "Pays you back for your shoulder pressing into my face." There must have been something of a joke, in that. But there's something of a presiding philosophy, too, perhaps. Here's the point. What an orderly view of the universe this young man must have. That's what I thought when he said it. Everything balances out. Every action has its reaction. Every grievance is answered, every injustice is repayed, every pain finds retribution.

That has not been my experience.

Perhaps, as this young man might seem to believe, this is an age of perfect justice. Perhaps we have already been ransomed, as in the twinkling of an eye, out from the bondage of a fallen world and into an epoch of joyful celebration, where everlasting happiness anoints our heads, where gladness and grace abound. Perhaps sorrow and sighing have fled away already, and weeping is silenced and the sound of crying is never heard -- where mourning and pain are no more. Every tear is wiped away from our eyes, then, and death has vanished, and the old things have passed away. We rest by the springs of the water of life, and the Lord presides from on His throne. Perhaps.

Perhaps. It might be the case. My perceptions might somehow be distorted. My experience may have deceived me. It's possible. If we have not however actually quite fully entered into that golden millennial age of celestial perfection, then there might be something slightly skewed in the expression or the expectation that one unpleasant thing happens because of a previous unpleasant thing. I don't know, it just seems a little ... mechanical. A little simplistic.

Maybe I've just been confusing myself though, with my recent readings in quantum physics, where every electron is surrounded by a cloud of virtual photons, which in turn might resolve into pairs of virtual particles, which may produce an infinite loop of virtual effects so that for every least thing in the universe there is an infinite cascade of fields and of particles, real and unreal, each with infinite energy and infinite mass, and where the only way to renormalize the equations is to divide by infinity. Dividing by infinity is, of course, a forbidden mathematical process, but it yields in this certain instance useful results. We do what is necessary.

It is possible that such fantastical considerations have clouded my perceptions, and what seems as it were arbitrary to me is in fact governed by cold and classical formulations as inexorable and as mechanistic as the motions of a tellurion or the predictions of an armillary sphere. It may be that a shoulder pressing on a face naturally elicits a painful choke in the same way that vectors and trajectories may be calculated. Or it may be that mood and character are the deciding factors. How are we to determine which view might be correct?

We might determine the truth by a posteriori reasoning. What is the outcome of vengeance? I assure you, Dear Reader, that I am not unacquainted with rage. I could lay out my grievances and make a compelling case for retribution. I won't bother. It would degrade both of us. My wisdom is insufficient to the burden of finding justice. There is no justice. The outcome of vengeance is bloodshed.

Every statement, as every action, releases a potentially infinite cascade of emotional responses, an endlessly looped skein of motives light and dark, inescapable save by the quantum leap of faith that translates us from here to there, with no middle ground. We return from the impossible back to the normal by dividing out the infinities -- a forbidden mathematical process, but necessary. By writing in the answer we know must be true, we arrive at truth.

I would prefer a world that is not a standoff of equal and opposite forces. I prefer a world not of uncertainties but possibilities -- of infinite cooperations. Therefore, that is the truth. It is the truth because the alternative is bloodshed or something just as ugly. I will be choked with a nasty choke, and I will not react with some equally painful response, however delayed. When I am confronted with the fact of the world's unpleasantness, or with the incomprehension or insensitivity of those who share this world, I will do what the situation requires, in all its complexity and unpredictability, but I will strive for grace and for gentleness.

The world is what it is. Gladness is not a right and pain goes unassuaged. Tears flow unnoticed. Death has not vanished. We must take our rest where we find it, by waters sweet or bitter. The throne of the Lord is far away. But I will be the man I would be. It's necessary. There is a truth, and I have written it in as the answer to an equation that no rational process can solve. Uncertainty be damned. I will seek light, for all that there are infinities of darkness.


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