Monday, September 3, 2012

Morsel Transcendentalism and the Challah Metaphor

Dr. Wraxtiorre said: I am trying to imagine Charles Manson guest-hosting the Lawrence Welk show, mass serial homicides in a cloud of bubbles in front of that amazing orchestra playing Big Band hits like nobody’s business amid a spraying cloud of blood and bone fragments. . . .

Nope, I just can’t stomach it. If Peanut butter and bananas were meant to be together, they would be growable in the same climate! “If God had meant for us to put stuff on bagels, he would have invented cream cheese!” But Mr. Wonka! He did!

Hmmmm...a world in which Evil is inseparable from Goodness? Well, I can't discuss the Christian ramifications of such a notion, everybody believes the two to be polar opposites in Chrustianity! I mean, anything that has any portion of Evil is considered to be entirely Evil, and anything (or anybody who has an ounce of Goodness is considered to be entirely redeemed. I mean, the only thing that is wrong with intolerance is the way it tastes in candies--I can't stand it! “Uh-oh! The Chocolate Easter Bunny is turning into a Transcendental Metaphor. “My, he’s beginning to look pretty tasty growing into the morselly goodness of transcendentalism!”

According to most Wiccan beliefs, there is no such thing as Evil in Nature, only human actions governed by intent. We humans tend to think that carnivores who eat humans are evil, but to them, we are no more special than any other kind of meat. We do that to cows, but we do not consider ourselves evil. It is simply a case of human arrogance and hypocrisy getting the better of our morals. Or is this distinction of morselly transcendentalism a mere semantic issue? Did we invent the notion of Evil in order to provide a contrast to our notions of goodness? Is goodness a higher principle than the appreciation of a great-tasting meatloaf? Is there a HE L L in every religion ruled by a red-skinned, goat-hoofed, ram-horned, spike-tailed daemon who doesn’t like it when you call him Norman?

But does that mean that we invented Goodness, as well? Say, Mr. Chocolate Easter Bunny, you’re looking more and more tasty growing into the morselly goodness of transcendentalism!

[“Rewrite! Rewrite!” The author sprinted through the kitchen, waving a manuscript in the air above his head as he ran, twisting and side-stepping through the thick crowd of cooks and dishwashers.

“Oh, no.” The baker dropped several strings of bread-dough on the cheesecloth that was spread out before him. “The six strands are supposed to be braided, in theory . . . “ He turned askew, glancing furtively at the oven door which bellowed with occasional clouds of smoke. “What is Challah, anyway?”

Jesus stepped up to the window and put his hand on the baker’s shoulder. “Calm down, my son. The tangles of your bread-like substance will render it inedible.”

The Baker’s hands dropped in dejection. ”huh?”]

[“Rewrite! Rewrite!” The author sprinted through the kitchen, waving a manuscript in the air above his head as he ran, twisting and side-stepping through the thick crowd of cooks and dishwashers.

The Baker shrugged diffidently, causing Jesus’ hand to fall to his side. “But what you are saying is the every purely Good thing that we claim to be doing is tainted by some hint of evil in it, like a dash of pepper in your morselly transcendentalism.”

Jesus chuckled. ”I wonder where that came from. I never said those two words together like that. But I do find it amusing.”

The Baker looked down at the partly tangled strands of bread-dough. “But what of it? How would things be different if Good and Evil weren’t inseparably entangled.”

Jesus grabbed the Baker’s shoulder thoughtfully. “Aw, come on. A little disentanglement is good for the soul, isn’t it? You know I could never fall for that!”

The Baker glanced over his shoulder fearfully.

Jesus continued. ”Throw some onion in that, and you will find its recipients much more hungry for it.”]
Postscript added February 21st, 2014:  Look for a completely rewritten, fully-researched, and expanded version of this article in the book, Appearing to Study Particle Physics, which is currently available at!