Lent 07: Day 36 – The Turning Gyre

Carl Jung wrote: “Hurry is not of the devil; hurry is the devil. ”

Saint Francis, in the movie Brother Sun, Sister Moon, speaks these words from the title track, performed by Donovan.

If you want your dream to be
Build it slow and surely.
Small beginnings, greater ends
Heartfelt work grows purely.

If you want to live life free
Take your time go slowly.
Do few things but do them well
Simple joys are holy.

Day by day,
Stone by stone,
Build your secret slowly.
Day by day,
You’ll grow too,
You’ll know heaven’s glory.

If you want your dream to be
Build it slow and surely.
Small beginnings, greater ends,
Heartfelt work grows purely.
If you want to live life free
Take your time go slowly.

Bowing to Jung’s concern, not Francis’ hope, we live in a time of haste. We want instant answers to lifelong problems. We have no patience for the extended effort, the long and winding road, the persevering hand put to the plow and not looking back.

Surprisingly, with the technical ability to record and remember almost everything, we have forgotten even the simplest lessons of history, as we rush by our lives at warp speed. Most of us have little sense of our place in the unfolding scheme of time and events.

But God is no man. He is faithful and perseveres throughout the long years, never taking his hand from the wheel on which we turn, inexorably fashioning us into his unique design. He has not forgotten his plan for who we will be, known from before the beginning. And, like a loving father, he constantly reminds us of what he is doing within us, even when we do not remember, or even take heed.

As Alzheimer’s begins affecting more and more of our citizenry, it seems that there is a form of cultural, spiritual, and religious Alzheimer’s that is affecting the American soul. The former foundations have begun to pass into the mist of forgetfulness, with nary a whimper from the mass of people whose very life they nurtured and brought into being. We hurriedly consume our heritage, using up the remaining social capital at an alarming rate, leaving nothing in its passing, till sated from our imagined new freedoms, unbound from all that formerly limited us, we look back and see nothing behind us but emptiness, and then the darkness, which has begun turning to begin its relentless pursuit.

The investment philosophy built around technical analysis and the wave principle, which fits neatly over the socio-economic events of the past is predicting a major turn is coming. The mood is shifting. Some have been seeing a tsunami of deflation (often called a depression) gathering steam. I don’t know, but the argument is compelling and it is long overdue as anger and negativity become the social capital of the day, the necessary midwives to all significant downturns.

However, there is one difference this time through the crash of the socio-economic crest, into the deep descending trough, if indeed the Elliott Wave theorists are right, and that is the underlying glue that held so much of the Western World together through the past dark times is gone. We now live in a post-modern, post-Christian world. The foundation is crumbling right before our eyes and the walls are too weak to hold back any really difficult assault.

Are we approaching the tipping point, the moment of crystallization when the latticework suddenly appears, but has been building sight unseen for decades? I don’t know. But things are getting interesting, and whether or not we are living (hopefully) through the Chinese curse of living in interesting times, something is trying be born. Whether the rough beast of Yeats has finally come to Bethlehem to give birth or something else is elbowing its way onto the stage, I have one prayer this Holy Week:

Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus, Come.

  1 comment for “Lent 07: Day 36 – The Turning Gyre

  1. April 4, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    Excellent post, Bill.

    Yet it behooves us to remember that although a thousand may fall on one side of us and ten thousand on the other, the righteous children of God can’t be touched. That’s a comforting thought.

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