Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2 Samuel 23:1-7

Pentecost Last - Year B

2 Samuel 23:1-7

In looking back, David cuts through the good and absence of good to summarize a road better taken even though it is not In looking back, David cuts through the good and absence of good to summarize a road better taken even though it is not descriptive of his own journey. If you were to look back over your life, what would you distill from it? Would someone who knows you well recognize you in the maxims you see as critical or foundational? Even if your distillation of wisdom doesn’t exactly fit your own life, is it generally true over a longer time than your life and in a context of a series of cultures?

It is very tricky to divine meaning from the various journey points of a life. We keep getting caught in in the specifics of what appears to be cause and effect. How do you discern fair governance in David’s relationship to Bathsheba and Solomon? Are these details extraneous to some larger picture?

To sharpen your thinking about psychohistory, remember to browse, again or for the first time, Isaac Azimov’s Foundation series from 50 years ago. The always intriguing Wikipedia has discerned three disparate responses to the series, which leaves room for yours: “In Learned Optimism, psychologist Martin Seligman identifies the Foundation series as one of the most important influences in his professional life, because of the possibility of predictive sociology based on psychological principles. He also lays claim to the first successful prediction of a major historical (sociological) event, in the 1988 US elections, and he specifically attributes this to a psychological principle; Paul Krugman, winner of the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, credits the Foundation series with turning his mind to economics, as the closest existing science to psychohistory; and Osama Bin Laden, the leader of the Al Qaeda terrorist organization, may have been influenced by the novel in its formation as a method to expand Islamic fundamentalist influence, even extending to the name 'Al Qaeda', a translation of the word 'Foundation' into Arabic which otherwise has no natural direct counterpart in the language.”

How do you see actions in your personal life and the lives of individuals around you limiting the duration of a coming “dark age”, to be a sun rising on a foggy day?

1 comment:

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