blogger’s ride – day four
Wednesday December 18, 2019
As I become oriented to the beginnings of a new day – on the train – my thoughts glide upon the leftover puzzles of the yesterday. Not only the day before today, rather, my bewilderment, while adjusting to the new morning of another day of travel takes me even further back upon the wings of time. While reflecting, looking out the window as the train is pulling out of the Cumberland, Maryland station, I felt the immediate impulse to look for a potential photograph. Yet, before I could assert myself, by taking out my Kindle, a thought occurred to me: “my words are pictures.” And, so, I am relegated to follow through upon this assertion of mine, as if this insight is from beyond my limited perception of reality. This assertion is not in the realm of ethics; however, it will serve as a segueway:
What Victor Frankl would call man’s conscience, the same that he posits is received from G-d, because man is not able to transcend his condition on his own. Therefore, as the assertion goes, man’s conscience is connected to G-d. That is not to say that if a person follow’s the conscience, that person is listening to G-d’s voice, per se; rather, a comparison can be drawn to a filtration device, wherein G-d’s voice, as represented by His truths needs to be sorted out from amongst other competing “voices,” i.e., thoughts, ideas, and the general milieu of cultural influence.
Yet, it is still to early to philosophize, for to dwell upon these thoughts would only cause me to walk down a winding trail of associations, ever-philosophizing, yet, gaining no true knowledge. Even so, I will ask myself one question, “What defines a man?” because, the question has been begging for an answer all morning. I know of fundamentalists who would immediately turn towards the vast array of scriptural verses that may answer the question in a nutshell. Yet, even if I did so, I would prefer, at least, to make an attempt to place the verse within the context of my original question, and in my own words. “Lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5) may not mean that I should simply memorize an exhaustive list of verses, so that I can shout out loud, proclaiming a definitive answer to any question. That’s not the way intended in receiving and integrating the words of G-d into one’s life. And, so, I will put the question of how to define a man aside for now, despite the persistent reminder of my conscience to make an attempt at answering the question. Perhaps, it is simply what Descartes said, that is at the heart of the matter: “I think, therefore, I am.” Otherwise, I would assert the claim of Onkelos, based on scripture, “Man is a speaking spirit.” In my case, “I write, therefore, I am. “