Thursday, November 17, 2011

The way of things

This is the way of things. 
This is the lot thou hast given them, 
because they are part of things which do not all exist at the same time, 
but by passing away and succeeding each other they all make up the universe, 
of which they are all parts. 
For example, our speech is accomplished 
by sounds which signify meanings, 
but a meaning is not complete unless one word passes away, 
when it has sounded its part, so that the next may follow after it. 

(Who hears the beginning of a story,
the "Once Upon A Time," and is content to stay there?
Me, with my babies, though it makes no sense.)

Let my soul praise thee, in all these things, O God, the Creator of all; 
but let not my soul be stuck to these things by the glue of love, 
through the senses of the body. 
For they go where they were meant to go, 
that they may exist no longer. 
And they rend the soul with pestilent desires 
because she longs to be and yet loves to rest secure 
in the created things she loves. 
But in these things there is no resting place to be found. 
They do not abide. 
They flee away; and who is he who can follow them with his physical senses? 
Or who can grasp them, even when they are present? 
For our physical sense is slow because it is a physical sense
and bears its own limitations in itself. 
The physical sense is quite sufficient for what it was made to do; 
but it is not sufficient to stay things from running their courses 
from the beginning appointed to the end appointed. 
For in thy word, by which they were created, 
they hear their appointed bound: "From there--to here!"

Augustine, Confessions, Book 4 Ch X, public domain



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