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Archive for September, 2011

Recently, I ranked the 5 senses in (my) priority order.  Though there’s more to explore in this thought, my order came out like this:  (1 = most important, 5 = least important)

5.  Smell (I could live without it.  In fact, maybe I already do?)

4.  Taste (I’d miss it, especially the taste of Raspberry Ice Cream from Klines.)

3.  Touch (If only fingertips were affected, I could endure it;  but if the entire skin surface was affected, never to feel again….)

2.  Hearing (As awful as this would be — and it would be — we all know of very successful hearing-impaired people who’ve succeeded well.  It would be real hardship, but perhaps not as altering as ….)

1.  Sight  (I’m more dependent on this sense than any other, I think).

I was tempted to put Touch as #1, since the thought of the skin feeling absolutely nothing (no hugs, no touch, no heat, no pain, no loving caress) was unthinkable.  Your whole body “asleep.”  There is a disease which mimics the absence of Feeling (Hansen’s disease/leprosy), where numbness can be acute.

  • If God created these 5 senses, is it plausible to consider that one day, on the New Earth, we might experience …

… Heightened perception for each of the 5 senses? Instead of 10,000 taste buds, why not a million or a billion?  Instead of seeing in conventional color (ROYGBIV), why not in previously unknown colors, currently indiscernible to the human eye?

… The inauguration of a new set of senses entirely? What might they be like?  I don’t know.  But, why not?

Who knows?   Maybe the currently useless appendix will finally have a discernible purpose?  If so, I hope I get mine back.  Maybe it will be the activating organ for a 6th or 7th sense?

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I used to walk past South Hall daily at UW during my college days

Years ago, as an undergrad at the University of Wisconsin, I would trudge up Bascom Hill to my classes.  En route, I would pass by South Hall, where every time I read it’s “cornerstone plaque,” inscribed with these famous words:

You shall know the truth,

and the truth shall set you free.

12 powerful words.  The implication seems clear:     “Dear UW undergraduate, as you grind gloriously through your years at this fine academic institution, know that in your pursuit of knowledge, you are on the path toward discovering Truth — that will make you free.”

Nice words.  No attribution was given on the cornerstone, that I recall.  But I recognized the author: Jesus.  He said those words in John 8:32.

However, the wider context of His words give quite a different meaning.  Read Jesus’ words in their context:

IF you hold to my teaching,

you are really my disciples.

THEN you shall know the truth,

and the truth shall set you free.

The dreaded “IF-THEN” clause.  The simple word “IF” makes all of the difference.  (Tangent: currently, in a different context, Maya Angelou is arguing that the omission of the word “IF” from a famous quotation on the new MLK, Jr. Memorial in Washington DC makes the great civil rights leader appear arrogant.  She is correct, in my opinion, and his quotation should be amended on the monument).

If…. If…. If…

The simple logic of Jesus is: If you want to be Free, you must Hold To His Teaching.  No easy deal, if I read His teachings correctly.  But a necessity, nonetheless.

Let’s not harbor the false hope (or promulgate the false wisdom) that University-level education is The Truth that shall set you free.  It is not.  Only holding to the teachings of Jesus will free the heart and mind and soul of enslaved peoples at universities, and in the wider world.

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Jesus wasn’t mamby-pamby.  He was downright offensive in the Gospel of John.  I’ve been reading it, and am struck by how harsh he was to those who didn’t recognize Him as the Messiah.  Listen to the words He pummels His opponents with:

1.  “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire.”  John 8:44

2.  “The reason you do not hear (or understand my words) is that you do not belong to God.”  John 8:47

3.  I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts.”  John 5:42

4.  Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set … since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”  John 5:45-47

5.  (to Nicodemus):  “You are Israel’s teacher, and do you not understand these things?”  (imagine saying that to your professor)  John 3:10

6.  “[The Father’s] word does not dwell in you, for you do not believe the One he sent.”  John 5:38

7.  “If you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.”  John 8:24

8.  “My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the One who glorifies me.  Though you do not know him, I do…”  John 8:54

9.  “If I said I did not (know Him), I would be a Liar, like you.”   Zing!

Well, there you have it.  The “Jesus” you don’t want to invite over to your dinner party.  Frankly, I like Him.  He speaks the truth, no matter how offensive it may be to His audience.  It got Him killed.  But He was right, wasn’t He?

I wish I could convince our 20-something generation of college students that it’s right to speak the truth, and it’s wrong to avoid saying hard things to their peers…

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