Ascension

Today marks Ascension, an important church holy day commemorating Christ’s ascension into heaven after spending time among His disciples after the Resurrection.

I had some deep and profound thoughts to share about this. I thought of them as I lay in bed last night after staying up late to drink some whiskey, puff a cigar, and read Dan Simmons’ Hyperion. But I forgot them all upon waking.

But that’s okay, because the very idea of ascension is a powerful one worth thinking about.

Life these days seems centered on what is material, what is down low, and some might say the gutter. I won’t go that far. The physical world is sacred and important, but it is not it.

Since time immemorial, mankind has cast its eyes and souls upward toward something ineffable and beyond us. It’s the last mystery–the purpose of life and what happens after–that none of us will ever know until we die. And it drives us nuts.

Some have faith in something better. Some despair. Some become hedonists, figuring that if this is it, might as well live it up. But most of us at least think about it.

Or do we? When you wake up, do you pray or ponder creation, or do you immediately check your smartphone?

What does this have to do with Jesus Christ ascending into Heaven?

Everything.

It’s not good to ignore the travails of everyday life or the horror of current events. It’s similarly not good to ignore the fact that things can be better and that they start with us and how we behave and comport ourselves and think.

We can all ascend in some way, upwards and onwards. It’s this attitude that’s gotten humankind to some pretty impressive places.

Have we forgotten it in total? Of course not. But it can feel like that sometimes, and I can’t fault anyone for thinking that all is lost, doom and gloom, and so on.

Christians believe that Christ had already won, and we need to hold on until the return. Other traditions exist of course, including those of a non-religious bent.

That’s great. The important thing is the belief that we can rise above who we were before and come out better for it.

Man is not God, but we can sure listen to His teachings. And they don’t start with trying to better other people or society at large. The start with trying to better yourself.

A little humility and a little forgiveness go a long way.


Positive sci-fi about people–and aliens–striving to be the best.

2 comments

  1. Hi Alex, I hope if you went to church it was a good experience..

    —-I’m not much of a church goer but the one I have attended is adhering to the masks and regulations. I don’t blame them for this but I don’t like it; all feels wrong to me.

    —I received Hyperion and the first sequel as birthday gifts over a year ago I think and I’ve not read ’em yet, just part of a growing stack. But I’m excited to dig into them at some point. I haven’t read the back of the books, will dive in without knowing anything other than there’s a cool looking spiky guy involved.

    Alex said: “…and read Dan Simmons’ Hyperion. But I forgot them all upon waking….”

    —I think some writers/comedians maybe even musicians keep a notebook by their bedside precisely for this reason. Maybe give it a try, some also I heard keep dream journals.

    Nicely said: “…We can all ascend in some way, upwards and onwards. It’s this attitude that’s gotten humankind to some pretty impressive places…….And they don’t start with trying to better other people or society at large. The start with trying to better yourself.”

    —-I guess a good thing is self improvement is something in our control and that we can do; even if it’s something as simple as eating healthier, passing on the cupcake at work.

    Best to you and yours,
    cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey hey! I didn’t make it to church but I wish I did. I’d love to go next week. It’s been way too long.

      Hyperion is great! I recommend starting it as soon as able.

      Yes, I should’ve had a notebook or a phone on my nightstand. I used to do the notebook thing in the pre-smartphone days. It saved a LOT of ideas, especially musical ones. I gotta dig up all old notebooks to see if they’re any good.

      Best to you too! Hope summer is treating you well so far!

      Like

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