Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Even the gods must change . . .

Heraclitus famously said Upon those who step into the same rivers flow other and yet other waters.
All things . . . are in flux like a river" or, as often stated, We cannot step into the same river twice. Plato takes him up on this, and others since, including Isaac Asimov, who restates it for the 20th century as, The only constant is change.

It's been pointed out that although the water in the river is constantly changing, the river, as a whole embodiment, stays the same. Just so with personal change, which appears inexorable. My body is certainly changing, the facts of my life, my situations, my inner self, and yet the whole is still me. By whatever name I'm called—those of you who know how many times I've changed my name will surely laugh—I'm still me, and I take delight in looking at black and white photographs of little Judy, pigtails flying, and feeling the strangely delicious sensation of looking at myself. Don't you love those old pictures?

Who will I be tomorrow? Not the same. And the same . . . for now.

Just so with the gods. They are a part of this ever-changing universe and are not exempt from its ever-changing nature. In some billions of years our dependable Sun will go nova. The Milky Way will pack up its instruments, take down the lights, and go home, and the music of the spheres will change. I imagine that even as the known universe embraces all of this change and stays the same, eventually, it will be melted down and become something new. This is true for me and my spirit and also for my gods.

Charlie says that he is greater than a human, but he is changing, and someday he will die, and so it is with all the gods and all the rivers and everything. Mystery within mystery . . .

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think it is fascinating when people change their name - what a perfect way to grow and reinvent one's self - even by the traditional route of taking a husband's last name. I have never changed my name and it is hard to conceive of changing it - not that I particularly like it, but it seems like it is mine and hard to imagine another. Changing a first name is even more dramatic! I often tried on new names as a kid - we played so many imaginary games in the neighborhood and I ususally had a new name to acompany the role - Coco and Gretchen being a couple of the ones I remember.

My best to little Judy!

Maura

masterymistery said...

interesting post. In my opinion, not only are the gods part of this ever-changing universe, but deity in fact comprises the universe, is the universe.

Not only are the gods not exempt from the ever changing nature of the universe, the gods in fact comprise the ever changing nature of the universe; deity is the ever changing nature of the universe.

See blog post in defense of pantheism

masterymistery at cosmic rapture