Friday, December 01, 2006

Feeling super

A surprising fact about the magician Bernard Kornblum, Joe remembered, was that he believed in magic. Not in the so-called magic of candles, pentagrams, and bat wings. Not in the kitchen enchantments of Slavic grandmothers with their herbiaries and parings from the little toe of a blind virgin tied up in a goatskin bag. Not in astrology, theosophy, chiromancy, dowsing rods, seances, weeping statues, werewolves, wonders, or miracles. All these Kornblum had regarded as fakery far different--far more destructive--than the brand of illusion he practiced, whose success, after all, increased in direct proportion to his audiences' constant, keen awareness that, in spite of all the vigilance they could bring to bear, they were being deceived. What bewitched Bernard Kornblum on the contrary, was the impersonal magic of life, when he read in a magazine about a fish that could disguise itself as any one of seven different varieties of sea bottom, or when he learned from a newsreel that scientists had discovered a dying star that emitted radiation on a wavelength whose value in megacycles approximated pi. In the realm of human affairs, this type of enchantment was often, though not always, a sadder business--sometimes beautiful, sometimes cruel. Here its stock-in-trade was ironies, coincidences, and the only true portents: those that revealed themselves, unmistakable and impossible to ignore, in retrospect.


You can't be a physician and not believe in Kornblum's type of magic. The human body is amazing stuff--no short of real magic. Further, human relationships are remarkable. And human stupidity is unfathomable (to put a little more cynical spin on it!).

In a parallel way, I believe in super heroes. Not in the web crawling mutations of a teen photographer, not in the x-ray vision of an alien orphan, but in the very personal super heroes of life--the poem writers for the upset, the activists for the oppressed, the courageous folks who walk away from mistakes, the ready friend to the struggling, the unwavering voice of faith, the (I could go on, but I'm too lazy--insert something here that describes you)... these folks are heroes of mine and accomplish in a slow and quiet way the super-human task of human life. They do what everyone does, but do it exceptionally.

I aspire to be super. But being super in life, much like Kornblum's magic, has many imitators and often remains unrecognized. Perhaps someday I can be as super as I want to be.

4 comments:

the Baker's son said...

This post reminded me of those Shyamalan movies, especially of a few quotes from Unbreakable. I like the idea that we are all super hero's, and have special powers.

Samantha said...

This was an awesome post--for obvious reasons--even beyond the reason that it was posted by The Great -L-. And I think you should register for another five-day trial period to Comic Book Creator in my name.

Sensate said...

Hi -L-
I'm very new to the LDS-SSA blogging scene and have been reading and thoroughly enjoying the posts from a number of individuals. Sharing commonground from both the perspectives of faith and sexuality appears to be immensely stimulating a constructive.

I very much enjoyed your post. I hope to maintain myself in a similar fashion to the manner in which you have despite my lifelong SSA; with a strong marriage, family, respectable standing in the church, progressive testimony and noted optimism.

I wanted to hear more about your view of the atonement, namely whether our sins (of humanity in general) can contribute to the total suffering of Christ.

In my philosophy courses we discuss the principle of backwards causation and how it impacts God; in omniciense, in omnipotence, divine fiat etc.

My personal view of the Atonement is that it is infinite in scope (relative to this universe or creation) and that our Savior suffered in a maximal (God) capcity.

Rather than require a measured amount of grace proportionate to the severity of sin commited Christ absolves us by infinite justification until we sin again and all previous stain reappear. So that each sin is as every former sin combined until by faith and repentance His infinite Grace (cultivated by His infinite suffering) rests upon us once more.

With all my heart I believe the Atonement is intimate and personal but if it were only to benefit me my Lord would have suffered the same even infinitely.

Thank you for the sharing your insights.

-L- said...

Sensate, John Galt and I discussed that a bit... did you see that comment exchange? It wasn't too long ago. I think you've both got me convinced. On the other hand, I wonder at times whether the atonement is something complicated and other-worldly enough that it can only really be understood through the spirit and in a personal way--the kind of thing that can never be adequately articulated. I'm quick to admit I have a lot of studying/learning to do before I come close to having the slightest idea what it's all about.

Thanks so much for the comment.