Thursday, October 14, 2010

285 / Now

George Fox is pictured. He is the founder of Quakerism (if you can call him a "founder," which you probably cannot properly do, since Fox aimed not so much at institution building as at making manifest and available to everyone the power of God in the world). Click on the image if you'd like to read some of Fox's "Epistles."

It strikes me that the world we most immediately inhabit, the world we ourselves create, is a world located in either the past or the future. We define ourselves by what we have already created (the past) or by our plans for what we want to do (the future).

Hannah Arendt has commented on this in her powerful book, Between Past And Future, and notes that our deepest wish is to jump out of that gap between what has been (pushing us forward) and what is to come (pushing us back). If you haven't read that book, I recommend it.

The world we didn't create, the world of Nature, the world that God created, the world upon which we ultimately depend is the world of "Now."

In perhaps his most famous advice, George Fox said:

You have no time but this present time; therefore prize your time for your soul's sake.

If we could, indeed, live right "now," we would have solved the puzzle which Arendt has so properly said preoccupies us. Could there ever be, in fact, a politics of "now?"

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